Many of you, especially the music buffs among us, have heard of the Montreux Jazz Festival. It’s more than famous, being ranked neck and neck with other renowned music festivals like the events held at Montreal, Newport and Monterey.
Here’s some background info about this remarkable event:
Held annually every July, the festival was founded in 1967 by Claude Nobs, one of music world’s visionaries. It’s perennially ranked as one of the world’s top ten festivals of its type, and its influence on music has been extraordinary ever since its beginnings.
The Montreux Jazz Festival proudly occupies a position on the UNESCO Memory of the World Register, an important program designed to protect the world’s cultural heritage. Currently only 245 items are on the register, the festival being one of them.
Quincy Jones (the American record producer and record company executive, conductor, arranger, composer and jazz trumpeter) has described the Montreux Jazz Festival as being “the most important testimonial to the history of music, covering jazz, blues and rock.” Those are some powerful words, especially when you consider that they’re coming from someone who’s so preeminent in the field.
About now, you might be wondering, “So what’s the big deal about Montreux? What makes it so special?”
Well, over the years the festival’s headliners have included dozens of renowned performers, including Ella Fitzgerald, Prince, James Brown, Etta James, B.B. King, Ray Charles, Carlos Santana, Patti Smith, Dizzie Gillespie, Aretha Franklin, Count Basie, Herbie Hancock, Les McCann & Eddie Harris, Deep Purple, Marvin Gaye, Keith Jarrett, David Bowie and Miles Davis. Virtually any music lover you could ask would say that the list of music giants who have performed at Montreux is about as good as you could get, but somehow the festival gets even better than that.
Multiple live recordings and videos have come from the performances at Montreux, including influential albums like “Swiss Movement,” by Les McCann & Eddie Harris, “Live at Montreux 1966,” by Deep Purple, “Live at the Montreux Jazz Festival 1988,” by Carlos Santana and Wayne Shorter, “Montreux ’77,” by Ella Fitzgerald, “Miles & Quincy Live at Montreux,” by Miles Davis and Quincy Jones, and “Live at Montreux 1997,” by Ray Charles. The list goes on and on – over the years, more than 5,000 hours of concerts have been recorded in audio and video, with more than 4,000 performances.
The festival is a veritable monument to music, and that’s why this year’s version is such a can’t-miss event. There are at least 33 Montreux hotels, but rooms will sell out quickly for the period immediately before, during and after the festival. If you decide to attend, don’t put off making your flight and room arrangements. Our convenient booking page makes it easy to set yourself up with a room in one of those Montreux hotels.