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The Montreux Jazz Festival is one of the biggest music festivals in the world. Montreux’s annual festival has been held in Montreux, Switzerland since 1967. The festival’s founder was Claude Nobs, who passed away earlier this year on January 10 This year’s festival became a huge tribute to him from the artists who performed. The performers came together out of love and appreciation for Nobs and what he has done, namely making the Montreux Jazz Festival a place where people from all over the world can meet to share their common love of music.
There were lots of big names in the lineup this year, such as Avishai Cohen, David Sandborn, Steve Gadd, and the all-time funky favorite Marcus Miller. Of course, the festival has much more than these names: over 100 artists and bands have performed at this year’s festival, which ran from the July 5 until July 21.
While Montreux is widely known as a huge jazz festival, most of the performing artists would fall within the category of jazz, funk , soul, or blues. This year’s lineup featured unexpected choices such as the well-known American punk band Green Day and the hip-hop artist Wyclef Jean. It makes you wonder whether the festival is truly following its purpose or simply attempting to get more publicity.
The full lineup of this year’s festival can be found here: http://www.montreuxjazzfestival.com/2013/en/program13/by-artist
The program was a really busy one this year, with performances happening at more than three different venues. Some of them were categorized as ‘main events’ and some were categorized as ‘free events’, so regardless of whether or not you wanted to pay for a ticket, there was something for everyone who loves music.
(Some Highlights of the Montreux Jazz Festival 2013)
On July 21, a special treat was offered for the Closing Night audience. Legendary bass player Marcus Miller performed at the Auditorium Stravinsky, followed by a group tribute to Claude Nobs. Meanwhile, at the Montreux Jazz Club, Philipp Fankhauser and Marcy Sway were followed by four-time Grammy winner Chucho Valdes, one of world’s best Latin jazz pianists.
Marcus Miller cannot be considered a mere guest when talking about the Montreux Jazz Festival. Before this year, he had already performed at the festival several times, including the legendary performance of 2005 when he played a set along with Eric Clapton, Steve Gad, David Sanborn, and Joe Sample. That performance has become a reference for many fans and musicians, and it is now being sold as a CD and DVD under the name “Legends: Live at Montreux.”
Although this year’s lineup left some of the attendees confused by some of choices, the festival offered something for everyone who was in search of a good gig, whether they preferred jazz, blues, or funk.
Some of the festival’s highlights and videos can be found here:
Photo Courtesy of Chris Schaer