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Tradition   /   February 27, 2018

Noggeler Guuggenmusig Luzern

Live musical performance featuring the 55-person brass band from Switzerland! 


The „Noggeler Guuggenmusig Luzern“ was founded in 1971 by then teenagers who wanted to play an active role in the Lucerne Carnival tradition. After 2015 the Noggeler Guggenmusig participates the second time in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in 2018.

Every year, towards the end of winter, right before the lenten season/fasting period, Carnival breaks out in the streets, alleyways and squares of the old town of Lucerne in Switzerland. This is a glittering outdoor party, where chaos and merriness reign and nothing is as it normally is. Strange characters in fantastic masks and costumes make their way through the alleyways, while carnival musicians (Guggenmusigen) blow their instruments in joyful cacophony and thousands of bizarrely clad people sing and dance away the winter.

With it’s unique carnival bands, playing everything from folklore to pop with common brass band instruments, played mostly by amateurs and it’s beautiful costumes, the Lucerne carnival is a one of the greatest events coming up in Lucerne. Invented in the first half of the 20th century, carnival bands have a long tradition in Lucerne. Instruments played by amateurs who try to play famous tunes from pop to the latest hits along to traditional Swiss tunes, carnival bands play almost everything in a unique, not-allways-right-sounding but very powerful way, which makes the difference to a professional brass band.

The "Noggeler Guuggenmusig" currently has 66 members, only men, aged between 19 and 65 with a average age of 52 and an average membership of 18 years. The members come from different professions and have a very diverse background. From bus drivers to electricians, from painters to senior executives, from engineers to medical doctors.

Every year the members of the "Noggeler Guuggenmusig“ create a new costume with masks. The subjects reach from very creative, mystic costumes and masks to more burlesque or comic inspired themes. This year, the theme is based on the swiss based brass and marching band tradition where tons of regional and Swiss wide festivals are organised for the bands to compete and celebrate. Therefore, the costumes are basically overly decorated swiss marching band uniforms, the masks are cartoonish faces of joyful and happy musicians.

The "Noggeler Guuggenmusig“ was and is the first and only Lucerne carnival band to visit the United States in 1991 and has since been invited 10 times for various occasions. During their 47 year history they have played countless times in many major cities around Europe (Germany, Austria, France) including Berlin, Frankfurt, Cologne and many more.

The "Noggeler Guuggenmusig“ has won awards (e.g. for best musical performance) in Lucerne at the yearly carnival parades as well as the award for "Most Entertaining Performance“ at the 2015 St. Patrick’s Day Parade. They have recorded 7 studio and live albums and were the first carnival band to have their records sold on iTunes and all other major online streaming services like Spotify.

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