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Michael Kiwanuka

In 2012, Michael Kiwanuka performed on the free stage of the Montreux Jazz Café, unaware that a certain Claude Nobs was in the room. Dazzled by his velvety voice and sensitive melodies, the Festival founder thrust him onto the prestigious Stravinski Auditorium stage the very next day. Since then, the singer has performed at the Festival three times. Often compared to soul legends such as Bill Withers and Marvin Gaye, Michael Kiwanuka combines the warmth of soul with the intimacy of folk, as demonstrated on his latest album, KIWANUKA. The Ugandan-born Briton announces his heritage in capital letters, enriches his neo-soul with Afrobeat sounds, and tackles today’s racism, notably on the single “Hero”, a tribute to Black Panther Fred Hampton.