Le Montreux Jazz Festival – 52 Edition
Montreux Jazz Festival 2018
A New House of Jazz and Much More.
The Montreux Jazz Festival takes places over 2 weeks each summer in Switzerland on the shores of Lake Geneva. With ambitious programming choices and a warm welcome forged in the hospitality industry, the Montreux Jazz Festival offers a haven of peace to both artists and public—time seems to stop as the most improbable encounters become reality.
The Montreux Jazz Festival was created in 1967 by Claude Nobs, René Langel, and Géo Voumard, and has since become a landmark event. Not because it draws more than 250,000 visitors, or because those two weeks in Montreux make up one of the best-known events in Europe and beyond, but rather because the Festival has kept its soul intact throughout all this growth.
At Montreux, the intimacy that encourages improvisation remains a top priority. Proximity between the biggest artists and their audiences in concert halls of reasonable capacity, comfortable surroundings, and a quality listening experience all combine to produce unique concerts and encourage memorable moments.
While jazz and blues are at the roots of this event, other styles of music quickly found their place as well, anchored by artistic encounters between generations of musicians and unique experiments. Montreux has seen historic performances by artists including Nina Simone, Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, Marvin Gaye, Prince, Leonard Cohen, David Bowie, and Stevie Wonder.
The three ticketed venues (Auditorium Stravinski, Montreux Jazz Club, Montreux Jazz Lab) showcase the Festival’s prestigious lineup of artists. However, from the very beginning Festival founder Claude Nobs wanted to offer access to music to everyone, and so a wide variety of free programming energizes the Festival site and provides opportunities for emerging artists to shine. Kicking off each afternoon with the open-air stage of Music in the Park and the workshops, and continuing until the wee hours with the Rock Cave and various after-show events, the Festival ambiance is in full swing on the lakefront promenades with their rich variety of food stands and on the terraces by the lake with their inimitable Alpine backdrop.
From the very beginning, motivated by a peerless commitment to sound quality, the Festival has painstakingly recorded all its concerts using the latest technologies. This unique collection of audiovisual archives includes more than 5000 hours of live music, and has been recognized by UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register. More than 400 Montreux concerts have been published, like Les McCann and Eddie Harris’ famous 1969 Swiss Movement or the unbelievable concert by Nina Simone from 1976.
Following Claude Nobs’ passing in January 2013, Mathieu Jaton took up the reins of the Festival. With a unique identity in the world of music, each year the Montreux Jazz Festival forges a new chapter in an odyssey built on audaciousness and dreams without limits.
House of Jazz(New in 2018)
This year, the Festival is going even further. Jazz used to have a stage of its own; it now has its own home: the House of Jazz. Intimate jam sessions, impromptu concerts, workshops, and photo exhibitions follow one after another from the afternoon to the wee hours.
Fans of jazz, blues, and soul: the House of Jazz is your new musical home! Intimate concerts, educational activities, and jam sessions fleshout each day a striking portrait of the jazz of today and tomorrow
The Petit Palais is transforming into the House of Jazz! A new headline Festival space, this sumptuous building, the little brother of the Fairmont Le Montreux Palace, will spend sixteen days as a two-level venue with a fizzing groove. Unpredictable by nature, in this space jazz reveals a different audacious and surprising aspect each day.
Downstairs, the new and improved Montreux Jazz Club. Formerly located in the Convention Center, this venue dedicated to jazz, blues, and soul goes from 300 to 600 seats while preserving the intimacy and the cozy ambiance that have driven its success.
The front half of the hall features round tables that give the space an old-school class. Upstairs, the free stage La Coupole sets a frenetic pace, with an array of concerts, workshops, and jam sessions from 2pm to 4am!
The objective: discover the jazz of tomorrow, and encourage artistic encounters and memorably spontaneous instants. This stage will also be home to the concerts by the young keyboard artists and jazz formations selected for the new Montreux Jazz Talent Awards. Steps away, the terrace of the House of Jazz invites the public and the artists to enjoy its bar and restaurant, facing one of the most beautiful views over Lake Geneva.
REFLECTING THE EVOLUTION OF JAZZ
In this sumptuous setting, conceived as a complete mediation space, jazz in all its forms is at the heart of an exceptional concentration of artistic, educational, and festive activities. This development of the Festival echoes a renewal of the genre driven by a newfound fervor among young artists and spectators. For if there is one musical form that has influenced all the others, while demonstrating an immense capacity for welcoming the most diverse styles, it has to be this one.
Over 50 years, the Montreux Jazz Festival has become an emblematic event which now draws more than 250,000 visitors. A sublime musical odyssey every summer since 1967, in an extraordinary little Swiss city on the shores of Lake Geneva. The Festival has hosted the most legendary of artists, discovered and brought along talented newcomers, and mixed and matched every musical genre. At Montreux, the priority has always been proximity between the artists and their public in venues where comfort, improvisation, and quality acoustics encourage the emergence of unique moments.
The World´s most Iconic Jazz Festival!
29 June – 14 July 2018