Programme of the 57th Montreux Jazz Festival
The Montreux Jazz Festival today unveiled the programme for its 57th edition, which will be held from 30 June to 15 July 2023. The two paying venues of the Festival, the Auditorium Stravinski and the Montreux Jazz Lab, are each offering sixteen combinations full of character, traversing genres and generations. The cast includes major figures of the current scene, pioneers of the sixties and seventies, monuments of blues and jazz, pop icons and legends in the making.
In the Auditorium Stravinski, different generations of artists complement each other and meet in a skilfully orchestrated balance. The programme covers all decades without exception, from the late fifties to the present day. A stunning retrospective of music history, from the voices of Buddy Guy and Mavis Staples first recorded in 1958 to the rise of contemporary stars such as Sam Smith, Maluma, Janelle Monáe and Lil Nas X.
The Montreux Jazz Lab is celebrating its tenth anniversary. Through sixteen evenings transcending codes and genre labels, it pursues its primary mission: to explore current and future sound trends. Some of the biggest hits of the moment will also be heard at the Festival. Indeed, nine artists in the programme – including five in the Lab – have at least one song to their credit that exceeds one billion streams.
The Festival format will be more or less the same as last summer, with two paying venues and 9 free stages. It should be noted that this 57th edition will be the last opportunity to attend concerts in the emblematic Auditorium Stravinski before 2025 due to the renovation of the Congress Centre.
True to its musical DNA, the Festival primarily explores American and British music. Artists from these two countries represent more than three quarters of the Auditorium Stravinski’s programme. A prestigious line-up, both timeless and topical, which has won 85 Grammy Awards, including some thirty in the last fifteen years.
Each time he comes, it is an event: Bob Dylan will be in Montreux this summer to present Rough and Rowdy Ways exclusively in Switzerland. Half acoustic folk, half electric blues, this album is considered by many to be one of his best of the last 30 years. Fueled by the brilliant inspiration of his new songwriting material, Dylan’s current tour has received critical acclaim everywhere. His appearance at the Auditorium Stravinski will mark his first concert in French-speaking Switzerland in ten years.
Exactly thirty years after his only concert at the Festival, Chris Isaak will once again be bringing his “Wicked Game” to Montreux. A hit that has since entered the collective memory, covered by everyone from R.E.M. to London Grammar. A true figure of American pop culture, the David Lynch protégé is as well known for his fifties-inspired music as for his cult appearances in Friends or Twin Peaks.
Back on top with their latest album and the hit “Unholy”, British star Sam Smith will play for the first time at the Auditorium Stravinski, eight years after their concert at the Lab. A long-awaited return to Montreux for the artist who spent several holidays at the Festival as a spectator. In 2017 they summed up their experience with these words on Instagram: “This festival reminds me why I love music so much. If you haven’t been to Montreux for the festival, please go. It will change your life.”
Like Sam Smith, Lil Nas X has become an LGBTQIA+ icon and is racking up the streams. His debut album blurs the lines between hip-hop, pop and R&B, allowing the artist to make a name for himself far beyond the country-trap phenomenon “Old Town Road” that put him on the map in 2019.
Maluma, an internationally successful Colombian star, perpetuates the Festival’s special relationship with South American music, represented this year by two different generations, since the unmissable Gilberto Gil, the first Brazilian artist to have graced the Montreux stage in 1978, will also be present.
With the arrival of Lionel Richie, Simply Red and Seal, the Auditorium Stravinski is presenting three decades of hit-makers at the crossroads of soul and pop. Lionel Richie started out with the Commodores in the mid-1970s before embarking on an iconic solo career in the eighties, The Mancunians of Simply Red had a dazzling success since their first album in 1985, while Seal conquered the world at the beginning of the nineties with his hits «Killer», «Crazy» or «Kiss from a Rose».
The richness of the Auditorium Stravinski programming also lies in the complementary nature of its offerings. Two giants of the piano will be brought together on the same evening for the very first time: Chilly Gonzales and Sofiane Pamart. In a kimono or dressing gown, both showcase their virtuosity in a highly singular approach. Their instrumental music has become very popular, which is rare in a music industry dominated by voice.
Two «children» of the Festival, Jon Batiste and Jacob Collier are now a fixture on the jazz scene and beyond. The former made his debut in the Montreux Jazz Club’s small venue in 2013. The latter had played the very first concert of his career at the Festival in 2015, propelled on stage by Quincy Jones. Since then, these two virtuosos have each won five Grammy Awards, including Best Album of the Year 2021 for Jon Batiste.
Several evenings explore a musical genre through the artistry of two different generations. On the soul-jazz side, the legendary Mavis Staples will celebrate her 84th birthday on the day of her concert with her friend Norah Jones, back in Montreux 13 years after her last visit. The two women have collaborated on several occasions, both in the studio and on stage. On the pop-funk side, producer and guitarist Nile Rodgers will celebrate the hits he created with CHIC, David Bowie and Pharrell Williams, while Janelle Monáe, now in great demand in Hollywood, is preparing her musical comeback with a highly anticipated album. On the blues side, the two greatest representatives of the genre today, Buddy Guy and Joe Bonamassa, will display their virtuosity on the six-string.
Guitar fans will also be treated to Pat Metheny, the only artist to have won Grammy Awards in ten different categories. He will play on the same night as another jazz icon who started his career in the mid-1970s, Marcus Miller.
A dream line-up for every punk rock fan: the trailblazing Iggy Pop, who released a ferocious new album at the beginning of the year, will be preceded on stage by Generation Sex, a supergroup comprising the original members of Generation X and the Sex Pistols. It features the legendary singer Billy Idol and bassist Tony James, both founders of the group in 1976. For the Pistols, drummer Paul Cook and guitarist Steve Jones both played on the legendary album Never Mind the Bollocks.
Montreux Jazz Lab
The Montreux Jazz Lab is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year. Refocused in 2013 to take the pulse of current trends, the former Miles Davis Hall has fully played its role as a trailblazer. Kendrick Lamar, Ed Sheeran, Dua Lipa, Sam Smith and Rag’n’Bone Man all took to this stage at the beginning of their careers. This year again, a line-up full of promise awaits the Lab audience.
The Lab will be more than ever the capital of pop in all its forms, from the polymorphous explorations of Christine and The Queens to the dance pop anthems from American superstar Ava Max, to the alt-pop sophistications of Caroline Polachek, South Korean phenomenon The Rose and the highly popular singer-songwriters Calum Scott and Dean Lewis. Let’s also mention some very popular talents on TikTok, such as Stacey Ryan in the groovy pop category and Cavetown, Maisie Peters or GAYLE in more indie or emo incarnations.
The bubbling Nigerian scene was supposed to be one of the highlights of the 2020 edition, and it will finally be there this summer at the Lab with Rema, now a global star with his hit “Calm Down”, and the young Ayra Starr, who has made her mark in Lagos from her native Benin. Every summer, the Lab shines the spotlight on the future stars of French rap and this year is no different as it welcomes Khali, So La Lune, Kerchak, SDM and Zola.
The best of current British indie rock will be in the spotlight with IDLES, who have established themselves as the indisputable modern post-punk benchmark, and Wet Leg, an all-female duo who formed after going to… an IDLES concert. From their tiny Isle of Wight home, Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers have created a tidal wave on planet rock with their witty lyrics and heady bass lines.
Two evenings can be classified under a key word dear to Montreux: groove. The Teskey Brothers’ retro soul and Jacob Banks’ hard-hitting R&B on 11 July, Loyle Carner’s conscious hip-hop and Gabriels’ steamy soul on 13 July.
A combination as beautiful as it is brand new for two artists who are making their return to Montreux: the Swiss guitar duo Hermanos Gutiérrez, whose latest album is produced by Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys, and the Belgian singer Tamino, who enlisted Angèle for a collaboration on his latest album. Both are fond of ethereal atmospheres, enriched by sounds from elsewhere, South American for the former and Egyptian for the latter.
The Lab’s Friday nights will be dedicated to big names on the current electronic scene. The Australian synthetic trio RÜFÜS DU SOL will take over the stage with their kaleidoscopic beats. The French producer Worakls will be accompanied by a 20-piece orchestra to merge two worlds that have more in common than you might think: classical and electro. On 14 July, The Blaze will be back with their haunting electro-house tracks, while the two British brothers in sound Overmono will transcend their nineties influences.
For the closing night, DJ, composer and producer Mark Ronson has been invited by Audemars Piguet and the Montreux Jazz Festival to curate and create a unique collaborative concert. For this unique show, the renowned musician will bring together on stage artists from his artistic family, including special guests Yebba and Lucky Daye. The collaboration between Audemars Piguet and Mark Ronson is part of the brand’s APxMusic programme started in 2019 to support talent through creative collaborations.
The quays of Montreux will vibrate as every summer to the rhythm of the free stages, food stands, terraces and bars. The 57th edition will feature 9 free stages, including the Lisztomania, the Ipanema, the Super Bock Stage, the Terrasse ibis MUSIC and the Memphis, a stage dedicated to new jazz music, supported by bank Julius Baer. The Audemars Piguet Parallel experience will return this summer in a new, undisclosed location. The Festival is also renewing the Lake House concept after last year’s great success. Taking over the three floors of the Petit Palais, the Lake House offers a multitude of musical, cultural and festive experiences.
The free programme will be announced on 1 June 2023
Ticket Office News
SITTING CONFIGURATION FOR BOB DYLAN : At the artist’s request, the Auditorium Stravinski will be fully seated to reflect the intimate atmosphere of his tour. The number of seats available for this concert will therefore be limited to a capacity of 1,500.
A nod to Claude
This year marks the tenth anniversary of the death of Claude Nobs, founder of the Montreux Jazz Festival. A tribute or merely a coincidence, seven artists on the programme of the next edition played in Montreux in 2012, and these were some of the last moments of magic that Claude witnessed on the stages of his Festival. Among them, Bob Dylan, Pat Metheny, Joe Bonamassa and Nile Rodgers will return to Montreux for the first time since.
Off–Premises Edition 2024
The renovation of the 2m2c should only impact the 2024 edition of the Montreux Jazz Festival. The format of this 58th edition will be announced this spring. In any case, the Festival will remain in the town of Montreux, with a similar capacity and duration, from 5 to 20 July 2024.