On the occasion of the 5th International Jazz Day being celebrated this April 30th, the Centre Culturel Suisse in Paris is offering the Montreux Jazz Festival carte blanche for three days. The marquee presents sublime representatives of the Swiss musical scene Anna Aaron, Peter Kernel, and Pierre Audétat. Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, the Claude Nobs Foundation – the entity charged with preserving the monumental audiovisual archives of the Festival – has been invited by UNESCO to the White House for a major concert that is as prestigious as it is exclusive, headlined by artists with intimate ties to the Festival. These stars include Aretha Franklin, Sting, and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock. This sends a particularly strong message in this jubilee year for the Festival, which since 1967 has been an international beacon for the power of jazz to promote freedom and togetherness.
Paris, Centre Culturel Suisse: Carte Blanche for Montreux
An annual tradition, the Centre Culturel Suisse is giving carte blanche to the Montreux Jazz Artists Foundation (MJAF) – the educational wing of the Montreux Jazz Festival – to program new projects by prominent Swiss artists. This year the MJAF, which specializes in unique artistic creations, is presenting three talented Swiss artists on 28, 29, and 30 April: Anna Aaron, Peter Kernel, and Pierre Audétat. They were invited to work in part around the Festival audiovisual archives, via tools developed by the EPFL in Lausanne. For this 50th edition of the Montreux Jazz Festival it seemed only natural to play with revisiting a memory, reformulating it for the present by a new generation, based on the inestimable treasure of the audiovisual archives which have now been almost entirely digitalized.
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Washington, White House: the Claude Nobs Foundation, Special Guest
This anniversary of the Montreux Jazz Festival also marks 50 years in an adventure between the United States and a little corner of paradise by Lake Geneva. 50 years of friendship between music-business movers and shakers on both sides of the Atlantic, and also 50 years of technological prowess. Claude Nobs, whose limitless dreams were always guided by his passion for American music, rooted in both jazz and blues, contributed to promoting his beloved music in Europe and Switzerland starting in 1967. This visionary and inveterate collector also started recording all Festival concerts from the very beginning. Since 2007, his partner Thierry Amsallem, President of the Claude Nobs Foundation, has been working with the EPFL in Lausanne on the digitalization of this audiovisual collection of inestimable value to music history which since 2013 has been included in UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register. The primary mission of the Claude Nobs Foundation is to work for the preservation and widest-possible dissemination of this peerless cultural treasure for future generations, in service of education, science, and culture. It is for that reason that Thierry Amsallem will be present at the White House in Washington, the host city for this year’s International Jazz Day, for the All-Star Global Concert bringing together nearly 150 artists at the home of President Obama and his family. Many of these artists have previously performed in Montreux: Aretha Franklin, Sting, Herbie Hancock (who is returning for the 37th time this summer), John McLaughlin, Hugh Masekela, Wayne Shorter, Chick Corea… and many will once again make the pilgrimage for the 50th edition of the Montreux Jazz Festival this summer, from July 1st to July 16th, 2016.
This All-Star Global Concert will be broadcast on ABC on 30th April at 8pm ET / 7pm CT, and streamed on the United Nations, UNESCO and White House websites.
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