Blues to Bop 2023

Lugano, 25 – 27 August


Switzerland’s longest-running blues festival will return to celebrate the history of blues music with three days of free concerts and insights.



– 20:00, Elli De Mon, Piazza Cioccaro
– 20:30, Eugenio Finardi ANIMA BLUES the classics, Piazza della Riforma
– 20:30, Mauro L. Porro’s Hot Gravel Eskimos, Rivetta Tell
– 21:15, Keith Johnson “The Prince of the Delta Blues”, Piazza Cioccaro
– 21:45, King Solomon Hicks, Rivetta Tell
– 22:00, The War And Treaty, Piazza della Riforma
– 22:30, Shemekia Copeland, Piazza Cioccaro
– 23:30, Baba Sissoko & Mediterranean Blues, Piazza della Riforma


– 20:00, King Solomon Hicks, Piazza Cioccaro
– 20:30, Treves Blues Band, Piazza della Riforma
– 20:30, Marco Marchi & The Mojo Stompers, Rivetta Tell
– 21:30, Lovesick Duo ft Alessandro Consentino, Piazza Cioccaro
– 21:45, Mauro L. Porro’s Hot Gravel Eskimos, Rivetta Tell
– 22:00, Keith Johnson “The Prince of the Delta Blues”, Piazza della Riforma
– 22:45, The True Believers, Piazza Cioccaro
– 23:30, Shemekia Copeland, Piazza della Riforma
– 01:00, Jam Session, Piazza della Riforma


– 18:00, The True Believers, Piazza della Riforma
– 19:30, King Solomon Hicks, Piazza della Riforma
– 21:00, Sugar Blue, Piazza della Riforma
– 22:15, Jam Session, Piazza della Riforma


Blues to Bop also means in-depth study and reflection on the characteristics of blues music and the messages it has always conveyed. Some of the guest artists of the 33rd edition will be the protagonists of meetings and lessons on music and the history of the blues aimed at everyone. All the meetings take place at the Darsena in Parco Ciani and are translated into Italian. Admission is free.


10:00 – 11:00, The Music Style of Muddy Waters, with Keith Johnson

11:00 – 12:00, Keeping the Blues Alive by touring from Harlem to all over the world, with King Solomon Hicks

14:00 – 15:30, Fearless Women in the Blues of Yesterday and Today, with Shemekia Copeland and Elli De Mon

15:30 – 16:30, Voodoo Blues: The mysterious case of Robert Johnson, with Sara Bao and Ale Ponti


10:45 – 11:45, Sunday School, with The True Believers


Keith Johnson "The Prince of the Delta Blues" (USA)

25.08.2023 21:15 Piazza Cioccaro
26.08.2023 22:00 Piazza della Riforma

With the roaring sound of his harmonica and the lightning of his guitar, Keith Johnson is one of the Mississippi Delta's exciting new blues artists. Keith Johnson also has a blues family legacy that he continues to build, also being the great-grandson of McKinley Morganfield, better known as Muddy Waters. Keith is accompanied on stage by the Big Muddy Band.

Baba Sissoko & Mediterranean Blues (MLI)

25.08.2023 23:30 Piazza della Riforma

Baba Sissoko, lord of the Malian pentatonic, griot and a figure of considerable grandeur who leads an ensemble of great power, saturates every space in a single flow that starts from the Malian amadran and finds echoes in reggae, jazz, stratified and polyrhythmic rock . They tell us that Mali was the beating heart of the caravan and cultural routes of North Africa, the germ cell of the blues, and they accompany us, with the melodies and rhythms of the Afro musical tradition and the Mediterranean sounds, in an unprecedented and original musical result.

Eugenio Finardi ANIMA BLUES the classics (ITA)

25.08.2023 20:30 Piazza della Riforma

Twenty years after the debut of "Anima Blues", Eugenio Finardi returns to his great passion with a concert which, in addition to the original songs, pays homage to the great classics of the "Devil's Music" revisited by his extraordinary voice, hoarse, sweet and misty like a vintage brandy. Vince Vallicelli (drums), Giovanni Maggiore (guitar) and friends will accompany him for an evening of contemporary, alternative and traditional blues.

The War and Treaty (USA)

25.08.2023 22:00 Piazza della Riforma

The War and Treaty is the avant-garde duo of Nashville husband and wife Michael Trotter Jr. and Tanya Trotter. Emerging as one of American music's most electrifying newcomers, thanks to a roaring yet tender sonic blend, The War and Treaty span a wide range of musical palettes. With the latest album, "Lover's Game" released in March 2023 they expand their sound that crosses the entire tradition of Southern music.

Elli De Mon (ITA)

25.08.2023 20:00 Piazza Cioccaro

Elli De Vil is guitars, bass drum, snare, rattles, saturated sounds and Indian psychedelia. Drawing heavily on the shamanic tradition of distant spellcasters such as Bessie Smith, Fred McDowell and Son House, Elli fights her demons with the instrument most congenial to her: music. A new blues, made of wild slides and contaminated by punk influences and Indian music, his great love.

Mauro Porro’s Hot Gravel Eskimos (USA)

25.08.2023 20:30 Rivetta Tell
26.08.2023 20:30 Rivetta Tell

Multi-instrumentalist and arranger, Mauro Porro was an institution in the Italian jazz music sector from 1920 to 1940. With the Hot Gravel Eskimos, he discovered the pleasure of the jazz tradition by performing a musical repertoire of songs from the Swing era, through the use of period instrumentation, orchestrations faithfully reproduced from ancient 78 rpm records, and the use of looks inspired by the fashions of the time.

Shemekia Copeland (USA)

25.08.2023 22:30 Piazza Cioccaro
26.08.2023 20:30 Piazza della Riforma

Award-winning blues, soul and Americana singer, Shemekia Copeland possesses one of the most instantly recognizable and deeply soulful roots music voices of our time. Copeland - winner of the 2021 Blues Music Award as B.B. King Entertainer Of The Year - connects with his audience on an intensely personal level. His latest album, “Done Come Too Far” (2022), continues the story of his vision of America's past, present and future, which began with the albums “America's Child” (2018) and “Uncivil War” (2020). .

The True Believers (USA)

26.08.2023 22:45 Piazza Cioccaro
27.08.2023 18:00 Piazza della Riforma

Led by American singer, musician, songwriter and guitarist Castro Coleman - also known as Mr. Sipp - The True Believers sing good, unadulterated gospel every Sunday in Mississippi. Along with William West, Alan Flanagan, Treion Burn, Jamal and Lawrence Bester, he forms a quintet that seamlessly blends traditional and contemporary singing styles.

King Solomon Hicks (USA)

25.08.2023 21:45 Rivetta Tell 20:00 Piazza Cioccaro
27.08.2023 19:30 Piazza della Riforma

Growing up in Harlem surrounded by loads of great musicians, King Solomon Hicks started playing guitar at six and hit the stage at the iconic Cotton Club at thirteen. In 2018 he released "Harlem", an 11-song tribute to his roots that he has transformed over the years thanks to a fierce and distinctive personal style. The record, produced by award-winning Kirk Yano (Miles Davis, Public Enemy, Mariah Carey), showcases Hicks as a writer, performer and performer.

Lovesick Duo (ITA)

26.08.2023 21:30 Piazza Cioccaro

Italian band composed by two musicians from Bologna, both multi-instrumentalists, whose influences are deeply rooted in American country, rock'n'roll and western swing music of the 40s and 50s. In addition to their vocal harmonies, Paolo Roberto Pianezza plays electric and acoustic guitar, as well as lap steel, resonator and single and double neck dobro. Francesca Alinovi plays the double bass with the addition of a brush pad, a built-in percussion in the double bass to keep the rhythm with a drum brush.

Marco Marchi & The Mojo Stompers (USA)

26.08.2023 21:45 Rivetta Tell

Acoustic blues quartet formed by Marco Marchi (guitar, vocals), Marco Pandolfi (harmonica), Fabio Bianchi (electric bass, tuba), Tobias Glaser (percussions), highly experienced musicians who have carved out a niche for themselves in the European blues scene by performing repertoire of blues, ragtime, early jazz and boogie from the 1920s to the 1950s. Their songs are interpreted by assimilating the original energy and playing with passion and authenticity. The result: an immersive blend of sounds full of pathos from the past, which earned the Swiss Blues Award in 2022.

Treves Blues Band (USA)

26.08.2023 20:30 Piazza della Riforma

Legendary Italian-blues band born in 1974, led by harmonica player Fabio Treves. With the band, made up of Ale Gariazzo (guitars, vocals), Massimo Serra (drums, percussion), and Gabriele Dellepiane (bass), Fabio Treves offers a journey through the history of this music, from the first work songs to the archaic and country one , from the electric Chicago blues to the more modern one.

Sugar Blue (USA)

27.08.2023 21:00 Piazza della Riforma

Born and raised in New York, the Sugar Blue harmonica genius began his career as a street musician, grew up listening to jazz greats. Sugar Blue uses astonishing high register playing, circular breaths and electronic effects on his harmonics, blending them into his unique, visionary and singular style, technically dazzling and at the same time full of soul. Grammy winner, he has been called the Jimi Hendrix of the harmonica: he has played and recorded with Willie Dixon, Prince, the Rolling Stones, Stan Getz, Bob Dylan.




On 25 and 26 August, the Lugano-Stazione FFS funicular will exceptionally remain open until 02:15 in order to guarantee attendance at all the concerts.
From 00:15 to 02:15, transport will be free of charge.

Toilets (also wheelchair-accessible) areo available in Piazza Manzoni (subway and chemical toilets), in Ciani Park and at the Pensilina.

Concerts will also be held in the event of bad weather.

The volume of the concerts complies with the Federal Ordinance on the Protection of the Public at Events from the Harmful Effects of Noise Stimuli.

Water fountains
Water fountains are available at Piazza Manzoni, Via Nassa, Rivetta Tell, Piazza Cioccaro, Piazza Dante.

Car parks
Central Park, LAC, Motta, Bettydo k, Piazza Pelli,
Balestra, Piazza Castello, Lido and Campo Marzio.
More information:

PDF Programme


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