Montreux marks 50 years as the 'Rolls-Royce of music festivals'

Thu Apr 14, 2016 5:20am EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Stephanie Nebehay

MONTREUX, Switzerland (Reuters) - The Montreux Jazz Festival celebrates its 50th anniversary this year with a line-up featuring Van Morrison, Herbie Hancock and Patti Smith, as well as young bluesmen and electronic musicians stepping into the limelight.

Marcus Miller, Neil Young, Lana Del Rey, Jamie Cullum, Santana and Deep Purple are standouts at the June 30-July 16 event, which Quincy Jones, a former co-director of Montreux, calls "the Rolls-Royce of festivals".

"It's rare for a music festival to turn 50," MJF director Mathieu Jaton told Reuters as the program was announced in the Swiss resort where the late Claude Nobs founded the festival in 1967.

"We're bringing together people close to the DNA and savoir- faire of a festival known for its special creations, this time with a Quincy Jones evening and a Brazilian-African night, but also the young generation like Woodkid, inviting his own guest artists" he said, referring to a French singer-songwriter and video director.

It kicks off on June 30 with a tribute to "two jazz greats", Jaton said.

American saxophonist Charles Lloyd, who headlined the first edition in 1967, performs with his New Quartet, followed by Jamaican Monty Alexander, whose best-selling Live! album was recorded at Montreux in 1976.

"It will be held at the Montreux Casino, we're going back to our roots," Jaton said.

"Brazilian Dream" night, set for July 10, features artists Elba Ramalho, Hamilton de Holanda and Maria Rita, followed by Angelique Kidjo leading five African women.   Continued...

Montreux Jazz Festival Director Mathieu Jaton poses in front of an art installation replicating the poster of the 2016 edition of the festival in the garden of Le Picotin chalet in Caux near Montreux, Switzerland, February 4, 2016. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse