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Eva Kess | Research Trip

South Africa | Music

June - July 2023 — Music

Eva Kess

Artist website

Swiss double bassist and composer Eva Kess will spend time in various cities in South Africa for a research trip from 26 June – 25 July 2023. The trip is planned to coincide with the National Jazz Festival in Makhanda, giving Eva the opportunity to connect and engage with a large number of musicians in a dynamic and lively context. We are pleased to be supporting performances by the Swiss-South African quartet The Rainmakers and The Kesivan Naidoo Big Band Experience (Kesivan is part of Eva’s Swiss musical network) during this year’s festival programme.

Eva’s interest in the South African jazz scene was fuelled in part by the jazz programme in the recent “Cultural relations between Switzerland and South Africa, 1948-1994” symposium hosted by the Basler Afrika Bibliographien. “As a musician, the four concerts around this conference and the exchange with the artists were the most important part. I’ve been listening to the music of and talking to bassist Romy Brauteseth, guitarist Keenan Ahrends, drummer Sphelelo Mazibuko, trumpet player Feya Faku, saxophonists Mthunzi Mvubu and Sisonke Xonti,” she explains.

During her research trip, Eva plans to connect with the music departments at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg UNISA in Pretoria. She is also particularly excited about participating in the National Jazz Festival workshop programme, which has played an important role in the development of many South African jazz musicians. She says, “Having many young people involved in the festival is something that I am really looking forward to as it will be very lively and great fun. And it is also important for the passion for jazz music to be passed on to the next generation of musicians and listeners.”


Based in Bern, Eva Kess is a double bassist and composer, and active performer who has played concerts in cities such as Bern, Basel, Zürich, Geneva, Berlin, Paris, Barcelona, Zagreb, and Rio de Janeiro. Eva expanded her horizons by composing for larger ensembles in the Composition and Theory master’s program at the University of Arts in Bern. She studied composition with Guillermo Klein, Django Bates, Bert Joris, Martin Streule, Frank Sikora, and Klaus Wagenleiter. Eva also studied jazz double bass in Bern with Patrice Moret and at the Music Academy of Basel with Larry Grenadier, Jorge Rossy, and Julio Baretto. She prepared at the Swiss Jazz School in Bern with Thomas Dürst. Her education is further enriched by countless masterclasses. The Friedl Wald Scholarship enabled her to immerse herself in the music scene of New York City, and to take lessons with Larry Grenadier and Matt Penman. Eva has recorded several albums featuring her music and has gained national as well as international recognition.