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Swiss Jazz Award 2024 goes to the Swiss Jazz Orchestra

The Swiss Jazz Orchestra (SJO) from Bern will receive the Swiss Jazz Award 2024 on 28 June. The SJO is considered the most active professional big band in Switzerland, as the organizers of the Jazz Ascona music festival announced on Monday.

The SJO was awarded the prize because of its outstanding commitment to the cultivation and renewal of the jazz tradition, wrote Jazz Ascona. The orchestra also cultivates diverse collaborations with innovative jazz artists who are associated with the spectacular orchestras of the swing era.

One of the orchestra's special features is the weekly concerts it performs every Monday between October and June at the Atelierhaus Progr in Bern. Including all external engagements, the SJO has given an estimated 830 concerts to date, according to Jazz Ascona.

The orchestra was founded in 2003 from the big band of the Swiss Jazz School, now the Bern University of the Arts. It has worked with prominent members of the Swiss scene and international stars such as George Gruntz, Steff la Cheffe and Jamie Cullum.

Important cultural institution

In 2010, the ensemble was awarded the Grand Culture Prize of the Burgergemeinde Bern for its achievements. Since 2020, the SJO has been on the list of regionally important cultural institutions in the Bern-Mittelland region.

Established in 2007, the Swiss Jazz Award will be presented during the Jazz Ascona Festival, which takes place this year from June 20 to 29. The prize is awarded annually to outstanding personalities. It will be presented in June by last year's winner Christoph Grab.

©Keystone/SDA

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