The 3rd edition of the Swing Marathon from Tirana to Shkodër, organised by the Hemingway Fan Club Albania with the support of the Italian Cultural Institute in Tirana, will take place next 30 April, on International Jazz Day.
The Swing Marathon is a full-fledged music marathon featuring 12 hours of non-stop live swing music in a journey back in time to the tune of music, dance steps and the colours of the 1940s-1950s. The journey begins in Tirana and continues by train to the city of Shkodër; a 4 and a half ride on a means of transport that no longer exists in Albania but that, on this occasion, runs along the old railway track that was inaugurated in 1947, taking our more than 500 marathon runners on a journey into the past, to discover the marvellous natural landscape that characterises the Country of Eagles. Live en route entertainment will be provided by 22 Italian swing artists, including the renowned and talented musicians of Renzo Arbore’s Orchestra Italiana. Three Italian swing bands, Swing All Stars, The Blue Dolls, Retromarching Band and the Disc-Jockey Electron Swing Ghiaccioli and Branzini DJSet will play for dozens of couples of dancers of the Lindy Hop group from around Albania and, upon arriving at Shkodër – while crossing the characteristic Venetian-style alleys to the sound of music – will reach the Gran Caffè on Shkodër’s central square. The itinerary also envisages a stop at the Museum of Memory, where a jazz performance will be held along with a modern ballet performance in commemoration of the “free spirits”, the Albanian intellectuals who were imprisoned and tortured because they had rebelled against the persecutions of the Communist regime immediately after World War II. Just like Afro-American slaves, they found comfort in playing music and singing. The Marathon will close with a concert at Shkodër’s Migjeni Theatre, where the 22 Italian artists will take turns in staging a unique show which, as is customary, will have the whole audience up on stage and dancing to the rhythm of swing.