* Line-up for prestigious event announced early after leaks
* Tributes to B.B. King, Miles Davis at July festival
GENEVA (Reuters Life!) - Seal, Santana and Sting will play the 45th annual Montreux Jazz Festival, whose July 1-16 programme was revealed two days early because of leaks, organizers said on Tuesday.
Festival founder Claude Nobs was due to announce the line-up for one of Europe’s most prestigious music events on Thursday, coinciding with tickets going on sale.
But the programme appeared on the Internet, and soon afterwards in Swiss media, on Tuesday, leading organizers to post the entire line-up except for two events. “There were leaks, but I can’t confirm we were hacked,” spokesman Pascal Buchs told Reuters.
Carlos Santana and John McLaughlin open on Friday, July 1 in the Stravinski Auditorium and return to the stage two nights later along with Susan Tedeschi and others in a tribute to blues king B.B. King, who plays his own gig on July 2.
Montreux regulars George Benson, Diana Krall and Dr. John will offer a gala concert on July 5 in honor of the 75th birthday of American producer Tommy LiPuma. Puerto Rican-born pop star Ricky Martin follows the next night.
Paolo Nutini (July 7), Canadian indie rock band Arcade Fire (July 10) and Grammy-winning American newcomer Esperanza Spalding (July 12) are also booked at the lakeside festival.
Sting’s concert on July 11, when he will perform his greatest hits with an orchestra, is already sold out after being announced as a teaser last month. Seal follows on July 12.
Quincy Jones, the legendary producer and former co-director of the Montreux festival, leads a July 13 homage to Miles Davis, along with Herbie Hancock, Marcus Miller and Wayne Shorter.
Hip Hop lovers can catch Coolio, Naughty by Nature, Digital Underground and House of Pain, accompanied by breakdancers and visual street artists on July 15.
Deep Purple, which dubbed Nobs ‘Funky Claude’ in their epochal 1970’s hit “Smoke on the Water” about a fire raging in Montreux, closes the festival again on July 16.
Nobs, 75, organised the first jazz festival in the resort while working in the tourism office and over time has brought giants including Miles Davis, Aretha Franklin and Keith Jarrett to its famed stage. It now draws about 250,000 people a year.
He has had health problems but still takes pride in introducing each act and often joins in on the harmonica.
Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay, editing by Tim Pearce