The Stage Is Set…

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!

Behind the Scenes: The 2016 Montreux Jazz Festival

Names can be deceptive. Yes, the Montreux Jazz Festival is… well, a music festival that takes place every year in Montreux, Switzerland, on the banks of Lake Geneva. Continue reading

Welcome to the 2016 Shure Montreux Jazz Voice Competition

We are delighted every year to be heavily involved with the Shure Montreux Jazz Voice Competition, which takes place every July during the famous Jazz festival. Established in 2003, the competition seeks to encourage up-and-coming vocal talents from all around the world, irrespective of background, and Shure has been the headline sponsor from the beginning. In addition to the international recognition that comes with winning, the three lucky finalists get to share Shure prizes worth a total of 10 thousand Euros! Continue reading

Shure presents: Chris Read Quartet – Live at Montreux

The free program for the 50th annual Montreux Jazz Festival was released publicly today — so we can now reveal that a long-time Shure user, UK singer/songwriter Chris Read, is amongst the performers appearing during the festival. Together with his backing band (the aptly named Chris Read Quartet), Chris will be playing tracks from his recently released debut album, If I Knew, as well as “jazz standards with some modern twists” as he puts it, during two separate performances on the Music In The Park stage on July 13th and 14th. “I can’t wait,” he explains over the phone from a noisy London venue whilst preparing for a gig. “Montreux is one of those places you always hear about as a musician… the thought that I’m getting to perform there this year is just unbelievable to me.” Continue reading

50th anniversary Montreux Jazz Festival

Every summer in Montreux, on the eastern shores of one of Switzerland’s most beautiful Alpine lakes, the world’s finest musicians gather for what has become one of the longest-running annual music festivals of all time. Originally founded by lifelong music lover, promoter and mean blues harmonica player Claude Nobs in 1967, the Montreux Jazz Festival has taken place every year since. Continue reading

Interviewing the winner of 2015: Alina Engibaryan

Congratulations to Alina Engibaryan, who has been elected as the winner of the Shure Montreux Jazz Voice Competition 2015.

Impressions from the final 2015

Welcome to the Final of the 13th SHURE Montreux Jazz Voice Competition 2015!

4:30 The room is already almost full – wow!!! I am locking forward to a great concert – of three great singers: Alina Engibaryan from Russia living in the Netherlands, Yumi Ito Japan/Poland born in Switzerland and Vuyo Sotashe South Africa currently living in NYC. I think we will have a lot of fun and deep moments! ENJOY!

5:00 The jury including Al Jarreau enters the room, everybody is excited. The “Petit Theatre” is packed, every seat is taken, people stand in every little corner to be able to listen to these fantastic musicians.

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Let’s have a chat with the three finalists of 2015!

Congratulations to Yumi Ito, Vuyo Satashe and Alina Engibaryan, who have been elected as the three finalist of the Shure Montreux Jazz Voice Competition 2015.

Interviewing the winner of 2014: Alita Moses