The Montreux Jazz Festival starts in less than one week. As it does each July since 50 years now, the festival is bringing together a highly eclectic mix of musical artists for two weeks on the tranquil shores of Lake Geneva. Where else over the course of a few days can you see Jean-Michel Jarre, Meshuggah, Herbie Hancock, Sigur Rós, PJ Harvey, Buddy Guy, DJ Shadow, Aurora and ZZ Top, all within a few hundred metres? The live experience at the Festival this year ranges from intimate acoustic performances by the finest jazz and world musicians, including Angélique Kidjo, Cécile McLorin Salvant and Manu Katché, to the stadium rock of British Grammy-winners Muse, loose hip-hop from Young Thug, the ‘post-rock’ of Mogwai and electronica from M83.
As befits Montreux’s half-centenary, the 2016 line-up features many artists whose previous Montreux performances have entered into legend, including jazz saxophonist and flautist Charles Lloyd — who played at the very first festival in 1967, and opens this year’s performances on the evening of June 30th — and Deep Purple (headliners on the festival’s final night this year, July 16th), who famously wrote ‘Smoke On The Water’ about the fire at a Frank Zappa concert that devastated the festival’s original venue, the Montreux Casino, in late 1971.
Regular readers of this blog will know that Shure is heavily involved behind the scenes at the festival each year, as Technical Partner for the Festival’s Microphone and Wireless systems and sponsor for the annual Shure Montreux Jazz Voice competition — and 2016 is no exception.
This year, we’re particularly pleased to see Alina Engibaryan, Russian winner of last year’s Shure Montreux Jazz Voice Competition, playing her own concert at the Festival on July 3rd. Three days later, Alina´s fellow finalists from the 2015 vocal competition, Vuyo Sotashe and Yumi Ito are appearing as part of the Montreux Jazz Academy Project’s concert on the 6th.
We’ll be bringing you more info and live reporting from Montreux here as the festival proceeds, so check back here for updates over the next couple of weeks!