Lausanne and jazz
From jam sessions to prestigious festivals, jazz is here
By George Robert
The City of Lausanne no longer needs to prove itself as a tremendously rich and diverse cultural centre. A few decades ago, His Majesty King Bhumibol of Thailand chose to study law here. As a great jazz lover, he enjoyed participating in jam sessions, and in this way he met a number of Lausanne’s musicians. Many people remember those days.
Since then, Lausanne has preserved its role as the flagship city for jazz in Romand Switzerland. In fact, among the many locations and events devoted to music, jazz holds a special place. Examples include the Chorus jazz club, the VO, and also the Théâtre 2.21, which blends styles and is inviting jazz within its walls by hosting the first ever Festival Nécessaire in autumn 2008.
The city is also the centre of one of the largest and most popular Romand jazz festivals, Onze Plus, which takes place each year in autumn. In the spring, the Cully Jazz Festival also rings through the air.
Lausanne, a centre of musical training
The Lausanne area is internationally renowned as a centre of excellence in higher education. In some fields, it has schools that rank among the best in the world.
In particular, it houses a centre of excellence in music, namely the Lausanne Conservatory - Haute Ecole de Musique, a talent pool of musicians who enrich their creativity in Lausanne and beyond. The Conservatory has two sites that are both models of their kind, exceedingly rare examples for their genre in the world of music schools. The classical music school on rue de Grotte and the jazz and modern music one in Flon are magnificent buildings at the top of their league and are a considerable asset for Lausanne.
The Haute Ecole de Suisse Occidentale, the HES-SO, has decided to centralize the teaching of jazz and modern music in Lausanne, at the Conservatory located in Flon, and this will give Lausanne a wonderful opportunity to join the ranks of Europe’s top institutions for professional training in modern music.
Situated in the middle of a region with exceptional cultural life, Lausanne has everything it takes to continue playing a determining role in the world of jazz. At its doorstep it has the most reputable jazz festival in the world, the Montreux Jazz Festival, and the Verbier Music Festival, two internationally renowned events which work closely with the Lausanne Conservatory’s jazz department.
Lausanne is happy to put together new joint projects with other top-class institutions in Europe, which is what led to the Congress of the European Association of Conservatoires (AEC) being held here in February 2008, providing an opportunity for its guests from all over Europe to appreciate and learn more about the city.
Service de la culture
Place de la Palud
Hôtel de Ville
Case postale 6904
Phone +41 21 315 25 25
Fax +41 21 315 20 30
tl: Saint-François, Bel-Air
m1: Lausanne-Flon; m2: Riponne-M. Béjart