Dylan, Van Morrison headline Montreux jazz fest

Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:08pm EDT
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By Stephanie Nebehay

CAUX, Switzerland (Reuters) - Bob Dylan, Van Morrison and Anita Baker return to the Montreux Jazz Festival for the 46th edition that founder "Funky" Claude Nobs hopes will go on into the early hours with improvised jam sessions.

New talents Lana Del Rey and Ed Sheeran, as well as veterans Jane Birkin, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock and Tony Bennett are also booked at one of Europe's most prestigious music festivals that runs from June 29-July 14 along the shores of Lake Geneva.

Dylan performs on July 8 for the first time here since 1998, with "Chicago Blues" opening for the American legend, now 71.

"I heard Bob (Dylan) play in Geneva a few months ago and brought him some DVDs of Montreux. He was the one who said he wanted to come back to Montreux," Nobs told Reuters in his chalet in the village of Caux just above Montreux.

"He never appears with someone before him or after him but this time he is, it will be something totally different."

Van Morrison and Buddy Guy appear the night before, and Nobs hopes that the Northern Irish singer who is staying on a day longer will join Dylan in some poetic lyrics at the Stravinski Auditorium.

Other line-up highlights include Detroit-based Anita Baker and a 1970s disco evening billed as "Freak Out" featuring Nile Rodgers & Chic, Mark Ronson and Grace Jones.

"Anita Baker is in great form, she has the greatest jazz voice in the world at the moment," Nobs said, adding that he saw her perform in New York two months ago.   Continued...

Singer Bob Dylan performs during a segment honoring Director Martin Scorsese, recipient of the Music+ Film Award, at the 17th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards in Los Angeles January 12, 2012. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni