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...and the winner is....

Othella Dallas

The recipient of the 2019 Swiss Jazz Award (at its 13th edition) is Othella Dallas. The 93-year-old American singer living in Switzerland is honored for her extraordinary artistic career. The ceremony for the award, organized by JazzAscona with the support of the Ticino Migros Cultural Percentage and Radio Swiss Jazz as media partner, will take place on Sunday June 23, during JazzAscona.

Before becoming a singer, Othella Dallas, born in Memphis back in 1925, was a successful dancer at Catherine Dunham’s school and dance company in New York. She honed her skills as a singer in the 1950s in Paris; success came quickly and she was soon sharing the stage with world stars such as Duke Ellington, Sammy Davis Jr, Nat King Cole, Quincy Jones, Sonny Stitt and King Kurtis, to mention a few. In Switzerland since the 1960s, Othella Dallas opted for tranquility, prioritizing family. However, she never stopped touring. In 1975 she founded the Othella Dallas Dance School in Basel and, in 2018, she made an impressive comeback with her successful album “I Live The Life I Love”, which officially made her the Grand Old Lady del Jazz, del Blues and Funk. A guest on the country’s most prestigious stages, aged 93, Othella Dalls still enjoys live performances, for the joy of her audience who is regularly swept away by her intensity and drive. This year’s Swiss Jazz Award is therefore a tribute to one of the most charismatic personalities in Switzerland’s show and music scene.