Blues to Bop 2023


🇮🇹 Italiano

Blues to Bop is back with an exciting programme and international guests!

Blues to Bop means even deepening and reflecting – with a playful perspective – on blues music features and on topics it has always conveyed.

Some of the guest artists of the 32nd edition will be protagonists of meeting, music lessons and blues history for everyone, paying specific attention to the young audience. All these meetings are going to take place in the Darsena of Parco Ciani and they will be translated into Italian. Free entry.


FRIDAY 26.08

– 20:00, Roberto Testini & The Blues Swingers (Piazza Cioccaro)
– 20:30, King Solomon Hicks (Piazza della Riforma)
– 21:00, Marco Marchi & The Mojo Workers (Piazza San Rocco)
– 21:30, Toni Green with Groove City Band (Piazza Cioccaro)
– 21:45, Nikki Hill (Piazza della Riforma)
– 22:30, Egidio “Juke” Ingala & The Jacknives (Piazza San Rocco)
– 23:00, Bobby Rush Band (Piazza della Riforma)
– 23:00, Nikki “D” & The Sisters of Thunder (Piazza Cioccaro)
– 00:00, Lilly Martin (Piazza San Rocco)
– 00:30, Vasti Jackson and the Mississippi Trinity (Piazza della Riforma)
– 1:30, Jam Session (Piazza della Riforma)


– 19:30, Lilly Martin (Piazza Cioccaro)
– 19:30, Roberto Testini & The Blues Swingers (Piazza San Rocco)
– 20:30, Estival Jazz: Banda Dos Curumins, PFM- Premiata Forneria Marconi, Gipsy Kings by André Reyes; Tour Nací Gitano (Piazza della Riforma)
– 20:30, Egidio “Juke” Ingala & The Jacknives (Piazza Granda, Morcote)
– 20:45, Bobby Rush Band (Piazza Cioccaro)
– 20:45, Nikki “D” & The Sisters of Thunder (Piazza San Rocco)
– 21:45, King Solomon Hicks  (Piazza Granda, Morcote)
– 22:00, Vasti Jackson and the Mississippi Trinity (Piazza Cioccaro)
– 22:15, Toni Green with Groove City Band (Piazza San Rocco)
– 23:00, Nikki Hill (Piazza Granda, Morcote)

SUNDAY 28.08

– 18:00, Toni Green with Groove City Band + Nikki “D” & The Sisters of Thunder (Piazza della Riforma)
– 19:15, Gospel Jam (Piazza della Riforma)
– 19:45, Marco Marchi & The Mojo Workers (Piazza della Riforma)
– 21:00, Toni Green with Groove City Band (Piazza della Riforma)
– 22:15, Vasti Jackson and the Mississippi Trinity (Piazza della Riforma)


Toni Green with
Groove City Band (USA)

25.08, 00:30, Piazza della Riforma
26.08, 21:30, Piazza Cioccaro
27.08, 22:15, Piazza San Rocco
28.08, 18:00 e 21:00, Piazza della Riforma

Grew up in Memphis during the big expansion of the blues and soul music, her career started when she was very young, with a single as a member of the Imported Moods band, produced by Willie Mitchell for the Hi. She continued as chorister collaborating with artists like Isaac Hayes and Luther Ingram, until she joined the band of the trumpet player Gene “Bowlegs” Miller. She published several solo albums starting from the 90s, period in which even the European audience appreciated her unique voice. In Lugano she will be accompanied by the Groove City from Bologna.

King Solomon Hicks (USA)

25.08, 22:45, Piazza Cioccaro
26.08, 20:30, Piazza della Riforma
27.08, 21:45, Piazza Granda, Morcote

Born in 1995 in Harlem, Hicks is an emerging talent who started playing the guitar since he was a child, with a natural inclination for blues, soul and jazz. His education was enriched both by attending the Harlem School Of The Arts and by being constantly on the musical scene of New York, playing in pubs like Cotton Club, Terra Blues, B.B. King’s Club. In 2020 he released his most recent work, for the Dutch label Provogue, inevitably intitled “Harlem”, which made him win the Blues Music Award as Best Emerging Artist Album.

Nikki Hill

Nikki Hill (USA)

25.08, 21:15, Piazza Cioccaro
26.08, 21:45, Piazza della Riforma
27.08, 23:00, Piazza Granda, Morcote

Soul, rock and blues varieties coexist with great naturalness in the music of Nikki Hill and her band, which includes her husband Matt. Their performances gush with energy and groove, in a personal discography which has been broadening over ten years of activity. During this period, they realized three albums, the last one is “Feline Roots” (2018), and played as much as possible with constant appreciation.

Vasti Jackson and the Mississippi Trinity (USA)

25.08, 21:00, Piazza San Rocco
26.08, 00:30, Piazza della Riforma
27.08, 22:00, Piazza Cioccaro
28.08, 22:15, Piazza della Riforma

For many years Jackson, in addition to pursuing his solo career, has worked as musicians with famous blues and soul names since the 80s. Indeed, he participated in albums and concerts with Z.Z. Hill, Katie Webster, Denise LaSalle, C.J. Chenier, Cassandra Wilson, Michael Burks e Bobby Rush and many others. Vasti brought his versatile guitar and show from the juke joint of the native McComb, Mississippi, to the stages of the most known festivals around the world.

Nikki “D” &
The Sisters of Thunder (USA)

25.08, 23:15, Piazza della Riforma
26.08, 23:00, Piazza Cioccaro
27.08, 20:45, Piazza San Rocco
28.08, 18:00, Piazza della Riforma

This family based group from Toledo (Ohio), led by Nicole “Nikki D” Brown, combines gospel, blues riffs and grooves in a very impactful way. Nikki Brown is an heir of “sacred steel” tradition, art which she has been practicing since she was nine, taking example of masters like Fran Grace, Henry Tyson or Calvin Cooke but without loosing her individual style. For the first time at the Festival, which has been always attracted by the gospel, their concert is promises to be intense and engaging, far from stereotypes.

Egidio “Juke” Ingala &
The Jacknives (Italia)

25.08, 22:00, Piazza della Riforma
26.08, 22:30, Piazza San Rocco
27.08, 20:30, Piazza Granda, Morcote

Since many years it is one of the most representative European band of the blues music. Every year they held a hundred concerts among clubs and festival around Europe. They release a lot of albums proposing always an individual sound, directly recognizable at the first glance. Starting from the inspiration of the most genuine and authentic Blues of the black masters, Egidio and the Jacknives created an individual sound, influenced by R’n’B, Soul, Jazz and the original R’n’R. Their live performances embrace right this context in which the most traditional sound of Chicago Blues is combined with the West Coast one, creating an amazing atmosphere from the first to the last song.

Roberto Testini &
The Blues Swingers (Italia)

25.08, 19:30, Piazza della Riforma
26.08, 20:00, Piazza Cioccaro
27.08, 19:30, Piazza San Rocco

Defining this guitarist, born in Milan, a bluesman is belittling: since he was young, starting from rock music listening, he followed a backwards path to know the different blues features, which inevitably bring to rock’n’roll and above all to him to the initiation with the Jazz. His band is named Blues Swingers, with respect to the blues-swing landscape, composed by musicians of an exceptional curriculum. The band is capable of performing a fascinating and unique concert to live again all the emotion of the music of the great Texan artist T-Bone.

Marco Marchi &
The Mojo Workers (Ticino)

25.08, 20:00, Piazza Cioccaro
26.08, 21:00, Piazza San Rocco
28.08, 19:45, Piazza della Riforma

Marco Marchi and The Mojo Workers drive the audience through different blues styles among the early 21st century and the 50s, making them fresher with the band’s unique sound. Since 2009 they have played together, holding a thousand concerts in Europe. In 2011 they won the Swiss Blues Challenge and thanks to that they represented Switzerland at the European Blues Challenge in Berlin and at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis. In 2020, Marco Marchi was nominated for the Swiss Blues Award.

Lilly Martin (CH)

25.08, 20:45, Piazza della Riforma
26.08, 00:00, Piazza San Rocco
27.08, 19:30, Piazza Cioccaro

You could be in a Memphis soul-club, or a blues basement in Chicago: on stage is a tightly grooving band, no frippery, just steadfast musical competence with first-rate embellishments. And in front of them is a captivating singer, effortlessly unifying this sound tapestry with her vocals. Lilly Martin possesses one of the most soulful blues voices in Switzerland and is the winner of the Swiss Blues Award 2020. Her captivating stage presence makes her a welcome guest at renowned blues and jazz festivals. A must for blues fans!

27 August – Estival Jazz night

This year, Blues to Bop will host a special edition of Estival Jazz. The City of Lugano, within Blues to Bop context, will pay tribute to the historic and prestigious festival with three highly popular concerts to inflame Piazza della Riforma.

The Banda dos Curumins, from São Paulo Brazil, the famous Gipsy Kings, led by the founder member André Reyes, and the Premiata Forneria Marconi will perform on stage.

In partnership with



From 25 to 27 August, City centre


Free entry


Blues to Bop is an event organised by Divisione eventi e congressi, City of Lugano, in partnership with BancaStato and AIL