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Festival History

The magic of the Baloise Session -

since 1986

The Baloise Session in Basel has been writing music history for 37 years. Musical legends like Miles Davis, Nina Simone, Ray Charles or James Brown have enriched our festival. But also stars of today Eric Clapton, Elton John, P!nk or Alicia Keys have set the magical and intimate concert hall of the Baloise Session «on fire».

 

Monty Alexander at BALOISE SESSION 2014

Immediately as I put my hands on the piano, I say yeah, all right. So for me this event and this venue is wonderful.

Monty Alexander
Charles Bradley at BALOISE SESSION 2014

The people here, the love here… I see this like brothers and sisters are having a good time. And it was a beautiful moment that I will never forget.

Charles Bradley
Alicia Keys at BALOISE SESSION 2017

I am having a really good time being here with you… this is nice! I can’t believe I have never been here before. How come I have never been here before?! Like this is crazy. I love this energy, I love this vibe.

Alicia Keys

Our festival has evolved from a regional jazz, blues and gospel concert venue to an international music festival. That's a long time and there are some exciting stories to tell about it. If you have the time and inclination to get to know our history better, then browse through our stories here.

OUR HISTORY - SINCE 1986

Goodbye AVO SESSION Basel – Welcome BALOISE SESSION

Goodbye AVO SESSION Basel – Welcome BALOISE SESSION

2012
Pictured left to right: Beatrice Stirnimann, Avo Uvezian, Matthias Müller, Hans-Kristian Hoejsgaard (CEO Oettinger Davidoff Group)

During the construction of the new event hall, the AVO SESSION Basel took place at the Musical Theater Basel with concert seating. The 2012 festival edition marked the end of the current festival name and the festival's partnership with presenting sponsor AVO Cigars. It was announced that starting in 2013, the festival would be called Baloise Session with the new presenting sponsor Baloise and would take place at the Congress Center Basel in the new event hall designed by Herzog & de Meuron.

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