Lady Gaga, Sam Smith booked at Montreux jazz festival

Thu Apr 16, 2015 9:23am EDT
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By Stephanie Nebehay

LAUSANNE (Reuters) - Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett headline the 2015 Montreux Jazz Festival and Brazilian legends Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil will appear in a rare double billing.

The line-up for the July 3-18 event also includes veterans Santana, Herbie Hancock, Lionel Richie and Lenny Kravitz as well as Grammy-winning newcomer Sam Smith, the organizers said.

Lady Gaga and Bennett team up on July 6 in Stravinski Auditorium to perform tracks from their jazz album "Cheek to Cheek".

"It's a meeting of a crooner and Queen of Pop that really fits Montreux. They'll be singing jazz standards," festival director Mathieu Jaton told Reuters after the program was announced in the Swiss city of Lausanne.

The 49th edition of one of Europe's most prestigious summer festivals will be the second under Jaton, who succeeded the late founder Claude Nobs.

"To have Caetano Veloso is quite rare, so having him is already something special but together with Gilberto in duet is not something you see every year," Jaton said.

Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock appear regularly but "not since 1979 have the two artists come together at Montreux, what better in jazz today than to have them together," Jaton told a news conference.

John Legend, fresh from picking up a Grammy for "Glory" in the civil rights film "Selma" opens the festival on July 3. Mary J. Blige and D'Angelo share the famed stage on July 8.   Continued...

Montreux Jazz Festival Director Mathieu Jaton poses in front of the MJF poster after a press conference to announce performers booked at the 49th annual edition of the famed Swiss jazz festival in July in Lausanne, April 16, 2015. REUTERS/Pierre Albouy