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About Montreux Jazz Festival

Le Montreux Jazz Festival se déroule durant deux semaines chaque été en Suisse, au bord du lac Léman. Fondé en 1967 par Claude Nobs, le Montreux Jazz Festival est devenu au fil des ans un rendez-vous incontournable, générateur d’histoires et de performances légendaires. Par ses choix de programmation ambitieux, son caractère intimiste et sa qualité d’accueil, le Montreux Jazz Festival offre un écrin privilégié aux artistes et au public.

THEY ALL CAME TO MONTREUX

In its 50 years history, Montreux has hosted iconic performances by artists including Nina Simone, Miles Davis, Aretha Franklin, Ella Fitzgerald, Marvin Gaye, Prince, Leonard Cohen, David Bowie, Elton John and Stevie Wonder. Deep Purple and Prince even helped to write the legend of the place in their songs, while David Bowie and Freddie Mercury came to live in the region and record albums.

 “Montreux Jazz is the original prestige festival. If they invite you here, it is your duty and an honor to come and perform.”

Questlove

While jazz, soul and blues are at the roots of this event, other styles of music quickly found their place, anchored by artistic encounters and unique experiments. In recent years, Kendrick Lamar, Pharrell Williams, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, Alicia Keys, Adele, Lady Gaga, Tyler The Creator, Lizzo, Dua Lipa and many more played in Montreux and honored the legends who have played here before them.

Quincy Jones said it…

« You can’t describe it, words don’t do it justice. You just have to come and experience it ».

LE FESTIVAL EN CHIFFRES

  • 16 jours de Festival
  • 380 concerts
  • 11 scènes, dont 6 gratuites
  • 250’000 festivaliers

50+ YEARS OF MUSIC DIGITIZED

From the very beginning, the Festival’s founder Claude Nobs has recorded all its concerts using the latest technologies. Entirely digitized in high definition, this unique collection of audiovisual archives includes more than 11’000 hours of live music and has been recognized by UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register.

“This archive is the most important testimonial to the history of music, covering jazz, blues and rock.”

Quincy Jones

MORE THAN A FESTIVAL

The Festival universe now flourishes all year long: the Montreux Jazz Artists Foundation, dedicated to educational projects and training a new generation of artists; the Montreux Jazz Café restaurants, veritable ambassadors of the Festival spirit across the world; the Claude Nobs Foundation, whose mission is to preserve and valorize the world’s most extensive audiovisual concert archives.

Artists Foundation

The non-profit Montreux Jazz Artists Foundation is the educational wing of the Montreux Jazz Festival.

Discover
Montreux Jazz Cafe

Trained as a chef, Claude Nobs took his passion for gastronomy and his sense of hospitality far beyond the Festival with the cafes.

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Afra Kane – 2019 Montreux Jazz Talent Awards Solo

The Festival has kept its soul intact throughout all this growth

The Montreux Jazz Festival was created in 1967 by Claude Nobs, René Langel, and Géo Voumard, and has since become a landmark event. Not because it draws more than 250,000 visitors, or because those two weeks in Montreux make up one of the best-known events in Europe and beyond, but rather because the Festival has kept its soul intact throughout all this growth. At Montreux, the intimacy that encourages improvisation remains a top priority. Proximity between the biggest artists and their audiences in concert halls of reasonable capacity, comfortable surroundings, and a quality listening experience all combine to produce unique concerts and encourage memorable moments.

While jazz and blues are at the roots of this event, other styles of music quickly found their place as well, anchored by artistic encounters between generations of musicians and unique experiments. Montreux has seen historic performances by artists including Nina Simone, Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, Marvin Gaye, Prince, Leonard Cohen, David Bowie, and Stevie Wonder.

The three ticketed venues (Auditorium Stravinski, Montreux Jazz Club, Montreux Jazz Lab) showcase the Festival’s prestigious lineup of artists. However, from the very beginning Festival founder Claude Nobs wanted to offer access to music to everyone, and so a wide variety of free programming energizes the Festival site and provides opportunities for emerging artists to shine. Kicking off each afternoon with the open-air stage of Music in the Park and the workshops, and continuing until the wee hours with the Rock Cave and various after-show events, the Festival ambiance is in full swing on the lakefront promenades with their rich variety of food stands and on the terraces by the lake with their inimitable Alpine backdrop.

From the very beginning, motivated by a peerless commitment to sound quality, the Festival has painstakingly recorded all its concerts using the latest technologies. This unique collection of audiovisual archives includes more than 5000 hours of live music, and has been recognized by UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register. More than 400 Montreux concerts have been published, like Les McCann and Eddie Harris’ famous 1969 Swiss Movement or the unbelievable concert by Nina Simone from 1976.

Following Claude Nobs’ passing in January 2013, Mathieu Jaton took up the reins of the Festival. With a unique identity in the world of music, each year the Montreux Jazz Festival forges a new chapter in an odyssey built on audaciousness and dreams without limits.

Phoenix – Photo by © 2007 FFJM – Lionel Flusin