Montreux unveils statue of jazz fest founder Claude Nobs

As the 51st Montreux Jazz Festival enjoyed its opening weekend, a bronze statue of its founder, the late Claude Nobs, was unveiled to the press and public on Sunday.

Montreux unveils statue of jazz fest founder Claude Nobs
The late Claude Nobs. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
The statue, created by Swiss sculptor Andreas Altmann as a gift to the city of Montreux, shows Nobs on his feet, harmonica and microphone in his hands.
It will be placed in the garden of the Fairmont Le Montreux Palace hotel alongside statues of other legendary names connected to the famous festival including Quincy Jones and Ray Charles.
In a statement, Montreux Jazz Festival said Nobs had been passionate about bronze sculptures and had initiated several, including the Miles Davis statue on the lakefront. 
The city’s most famous sculpture is that of late Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, whose waterfront bronze has become something of a pilgrimage site for fans. 
Current festival director Mathieu Jaton with sculptor Altmann, mayor of Montreux Laurent Wehrli and Thierry Amsallem, President of the Claude Nobs Foundation, with the statue. Photo: Marc Ducrest/MJF
Nobs created the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1967 at the age of 31, when he was the director of Montreux’s tourism office. 
The event quickly put the city on the map, becoming one of the world’s most respected music festivals and attracting big names to the bill, not just in jazz but in all genres of music. 
Nobs was given the nickname ‘funky Claude’ by  the band Deep Purple in their track Smoke on the Water, written about the 1971 festival when Nobs saved several people after a fire broke out during a Frank Zappa performance at the casino. 
Nobs died in early January 2013 after spending two weeks in a coma following a ski accident the day after Christmas 2012. 
This year’s festival started on Friday June 30th and runs until July 15th.
For programme information visit the festival's website

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Line-up released for Switzerland’s Montreux Jazz Festival

After being postponed due to the Covid pandemic, the Montreux Jazz Festival will be held this July.

Line-up released for Switzerland's Montreux Jazz Festival
A statue of Freddie Mercury in the Swiss town of Montreux. Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP

British singer-songwriter Rag’n’Bone Man and French neofolk musician Woodkid are headlining this year’s Montreux Jazz Festival, downsized and to be held mostly outdoors due to the pandemic, organisers said Tuesday.

French-Lebanese trumpeter and composer Ibrahim Maalouf and British singer-songwriter Arlo Parks, who was named best breakthrough artist at this year’s Brit Awards, are also in the line-up.

“Small is beautiful,” is the informal slogan for the 55th edition of the festival, which was cancelled last year due to the coronavirus crisis.

The festival has been scheduled for July 2-17, coinciding with the planned loosening of anti-Covid measures in Switzerland.

Around 20,000 spectators are expected to turn out — more than 10 times fewer than in 2019, when some 250,000 took part, according to organisers.

For more than half a century, Montreux has been a magnet for big names of the music business and rising stars alike.

It has retained its jazz label despite dramatically expanding its repertoire, with big names in rock, punk, R&B and hip-hop also on the bill this year.

The 2021 programme has been condensed and the format adjusted to easily adapt to the Covid-19 situation in the idyllic Swiss town of Montreux, on the shores of Lake Geneva.

The main stage has been built on the lake, 25 metres (80 feet) from the shore, opposite a grandstand that can hold up to 500 spectators.

It will be one of only four stages used for the festival — two for ticket holders and two free of charge — able to accommodate a total of up to 1,500 people a day.

Tickets go on sale on June 8. Organisers also said they would livestream several of the concerts “in order to bring the festival to a larger audience”.