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ZURICH (Reuters Life!) - Former Dire Straits guitar legend Mark Knopfler will play the Montreux Jazz Festival for the first time this summer, festival organizers said on Thursday, a tantalising foretaste of their 2010 line-up. Rock fans will relish the chance to catch Knopfler, the British guitar genius behind Dire Straits' nine times platinum-selling "Brothers in Arms" record, which featured 1980s classics "Money for Nothing" and "Walk of Life."
The Glasgow-born musician and soundtrack composer is one of the world's most respected fingerstyle guitarists and has produced records for the likes of Tina Turner, Randy Newman and Bob Dylan.
Knopfler has kept a busy schedule since Dire Straits split in 1995, playing with artists such as The Dandy Warhols and Emmylou Harris, writing music for film hits "Wag The Dog" and "Metroland," and recording six solo albums, including last year's acclaimed "Get Lucky."
The festival will also welcome back talented multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Sophie Hunger, who gets her first headlining show in the main auditorium after wowing the audience in 2008, when she appeared with French enfant terrible Camille and singer-songwriter Yael Naim, who shot to fame after Apple used her song "New Soul" in a advertising campaign.
The Swiss artist will showcase new album "1983" -- the year of her birth -- which she recorded in four languages ready for release later this month ahead of a European tour.
Reporting by Jason Rhodes, editing by Paul Casciato