The FISCHER-WICKIHALDER JAZZ COALITION, consisting of four Swiss jazz musicians led by guitar player Werner Fischer and saxophonist Jürg Wickihalder, toured the People's Republic of China in the summer of 2004 (July 12 to August 8). The "Daqing Ruidao Media Group" had invited the band. The band played a dozen concerts in Daqing, Tie Li Shi (Heilongjiang) and in Beijing. In addition, the band held several Band Workshops at the "Beijing Midi School of Music" and opened the series SWISS PEAKS IN BEIJING on August 1. It was the goal of the musicians to present their original compositions as well as to take in as many new musical impulses as possible. On a broader scope an intercultural musical exchange with China was intended.
The tour had the support of the Swiss Embassy in Beijing and of several major cultural foundations in Switzerland: Academy of Performing Arts Zurich, Casinelli-Vogel Foundation Zurich, Kulturfonds of Kanton Glarus, Schindler-Foundation Ennenda, Foundation Gartenflügel Ziegelbrücke, Schuler-Foundation Glarus. The tour was sponsored by the SINO-SWISS HOTEL BEIJING AIRPORT.
Three of the members of the FISCHER-WICKIHALDER JAZZ COALITION, guitar player Werner Fischer, saxophonist Jürg Wickihalder and bass player Fridolin Berger, have been working together for more than five years, performing jazz in countless venues all over Switzerland. Werner Fischer and Jürg Wickihalder both studied (among other institutions) at the world-renown Berklee College of Music in Boston (USA), where they both received their Diplomas in Professional Music. They work as professional performers and music educators in Switzerland. Fridolin Berger has studied at the Jazz School Zurich (Switzerland), the same institution where the youngest member of the band, singer and drummer David Beglinger, is currently receiving his musical education.
Fischer and Wickihalder both have received a considerable number of awards in Switzerland and the USA. Individually, they have recorded over twenty Compact Discs over the last 15 years and performed on Swiss radio and television.
The scope of their music is very broad but lies within the tradition of jazz. They perform mainly original compositions but are also familiar with the great song tradition in jazz and pop music.