Welcome to the Competition 2016

Schedule: Shure Montreux Jazz Voice Competition 2016

It’s only a few days until the 14th Shure Montreux Jazz Voice Competition starts.

Time to take a closer look at the schedule. Continue reading

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

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

Montreux Jazz Festival 2012 – Diary (Part II)

The first festival week is already over. Time to look back 🙂

This year the weather here in Montreux is quite unsettled, a mix of sun and rain.

Monday (07/02):  Alabama Shakes and Alanis Morissette performed at Stravinski. I spent the afternoon walking around the festival and watching a few soundchecks. As usual I loaned some additional mics plus some IEM Systems but also had the chance to place some VP89 shotgun mics at the Stravinski stage for some atmo recordings. We also welcomed a very regular guest of the festival, Pat Metheny, who played at Miles Davis. Very nice guy.

Pat Metheny, me, Claude Nobs

Tuesday (07/03): Jamie N. Commons and Katie Melua at Stravinski, Paco De Lucia at Miles Davis. But first of all the winners of last year’s Shure Jazz Voice Competition had the opportunity to show their skills. This is something very cool – all Voice Competition winners get the chance to perform at the following festival.

Something I like very much in general is the volume level in Switzerland, the sound level mustn’t exceed 100 dB(A). Nevertheless the concerts never appear to be too quiet. Especially at Stravinski, the sound is really good.

Wednesday (07/04): Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds and Bombay Bicycle Club at Stravinski. Was too monotonous (at least for me), apart from some Oasis classics. In Miles Davis we had Woodkid and Lana Del Rey. The hall was fully packed and the air was extremely warm and muggy. On Wednesday we had also some guests around at Montreux (customers, dealers, consultants, integrators). One important part of their visit is an exclusive backstage tour, of course! So I show the guests the festival ground and sometimes we even have the chance to see some soundchecks.

Wednesday was the most hectic day so far. All bands performing at Stravinski and Miles Davis came with their own backlines and wireless systems. And they worked in the same band as our systems on the stages. So I had to adjust a majority of our frequencies. With our Shure Axient Wireless System being used at Stravinski – no big deal 🙂 At Miles Davis we use UHF-R, there it took me a little bit longer as you have to sync the transmitters manually with the receivers. However it was done relatively quick and all systems ran dependably. Round midnight I joined some Shure colleagues to watch a jam session taking place at the foyer of the Miles Davis Hall and to have a few drinks.

Axient and PSM 1000 racks @ Stravinski

Thursday (07/05): Erykah Badu on stage at the Auditorium Stravinski. Very cool. I even installed a receiver plus a little active speaker in my office to listen to the audio signals.

July 4th 2012 – Finals SHURE Montreux Jazz Voice Competition

The room is packed. Press is there, waiting for the competition to start. Our live-stream is already online. And: I was just asked to fill the space while the jury deliberates and play some tunes with this nice band. YES! This will be very spontaneous – no charts, no prepared arrangements, no high heels 🙂 … but certainly: JAZZ JAZZ JAZZ SWING JAZZ LATIN JAZZ BLUES JAZZ JAZZ JAZZ …

5:17 We are already waiting … the live-stream is on … it was a beautiful day today outside, very very hot … inside the temperature is just a little lower – it is hot in here … and on stage there are brasilian temperatures the Singers told me … now we hope the jury will arrive soon and the finals start … so: stay tuned!

5:20 It starts! …for you just to remember: application from 27 countries were received – 11 candidates were selected, in the semifinals 2 times 5 Singers performed, yesterday the jury selected 3 out of these… Each finalist will present one own song, and 2 free choices. They will play in alphabetic order.

5:27 Sarah Lancman starts with Horace Silvers tune: “NICA’S DREAM” – a song with a latin groove. Actually the song is about a Baroness who loved Jazz and stayed in close contact to the Jazzmusicians starting in the raise of Bebop in the 40ies: Baroness Pannonica de Koenigswarte. She was a big “sponsor” and “host” for the musicians – so Jazz is an art, and art needs sponsors, competitions and poeple who love it, put themselves in an organising position – so thanks to all of you: SHURE, MONTREUX JAZZ FESTIVAL, all you people helping us musicians to develop our art and artistry, MUSICLOVERS… Sarah sings it just beautifully- it is intense and without anything that doesn’t belong to the music. For her second song “THE BOY NEXT DOOR” she sits behind the piano and comps herself together with the two members of the band. She scats – and plays along at the piano. With such a nice phrasing, relaxed, some great back-phrasing, to the point, gentle – WOW! Oh my good – this is beautiful! and such an unexpected chord to end the song… it was her own composition. THAT OLD BLACK MAGIC is an old swing – and Sarah can swing. She swings in a very nice, subtle way, changes the original rhyhthm … the drummer is constantly smiling – that tells it all. People in the room are clapping hard and cheering.

5:40 Marie Martin tells us: “DON’T GET AROUND MUCH ANYMORE” in a groovy Latin style and takes this song out of the Swing-Big Band-era into a more modern interpretation. She adds pop-phrasing, modern belt-sounds and crazy triplets against the straight 16nth notes played by the band. “YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT LOVE IS” just started by Marie and Sebastian at the bass. She showes a very personal style of variations and embellishments, melismatic changes of the melody notes. She definitly tells the story, it sounds like she knows what she is singing about. Connecting to her spanish roots – she sings “SPAIN” by Chick Corea (1972) – inspired by the famous “Concierto de Aranjuez” composed by Joaquin Rodrigo in 1939 in Paris. Marie scat-sings and it totally back in this Latin-style – no pop-phrasing anymore, just accurate 16th notes in unison with the band – and thats really difficult, believe me. A dag in the audience helped her finishing the song 🙂 …she goes back to her personal style of embellishments to finish the song. The audience is enthusiastic.

5:59 Elena Mindru wants to tell a story to us: “old but still true” she says: “NATURE BOY”. Her scat-solo starts with sounds like coming from a trumpet playing in another room. The song is played in a funky way. Her natural way of being is also convincing. Horace Silver is her favourite Jazz-composer and we again listen to NICA’S DREAM. Elenas version starts with sounds made by consonants: ts t k ttt k ts sssss … in a rhythimcal way. Her impro goes to notes with pitch, nice choices, some glottal sounds that might be inspired by the music of her origin: Romania – very original, very personal, convincing. Now she sings her own song and the singing style changes more towards soul. Another way of improvising comes up – groovy and interesting. It’s a good interesting song… I didn’t get the title – I will ask her later. Also big applause for Elena from the audience.

Again: good luck to the jury, all three candidates are original, personal, have their own sweet way, a highly developed artistry – if I just may say my opinion, a total different approach toward Jazz-music, brilliant vocal technique, good harmonic knowledge for scat-singing, are good performers, interesting timing, they interact with the band – it’s fun to listen to all of them. Wow – I am not in the jury – I am writing the blog and enjoying the performance. And I’ll be on stage soon – and that’s the best. For you three girls: Sarah, Marie and Elena: you are WINNERS!

6:48 I am just back from the stage to my seat in the first row. Two songs: Stormy Monday – a blues and YOU STEPPED OUT OF A DREAM with a Sunny Rollins Solo put into words . And now I am curious. The jury comes in…

6:51 Introduction by the jury: “All of the candidates were just wonderful. And: the level is really improving – it gets better and better – so real congratulations to the singers.” I totally agree … Quincy says: “All these girls are a party, it’s about living and lerning – especially in Jazz. the last 65 years I worked in that field … and each one has a totally different situation: Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan and all of them… – so I am just proud to be here, you can be proud to be here.”

Public Price: goes to ELENA MINDRU!

3rd price: MARIE MARTIN

2nd price: ELENA MINDRU

1st price: SARAH LANCMAN

 

Well, Sarah stands there, packed witha head phone, vouchers of 2000 Euro product from SHURE, 5000 Euro and the chance of recording one week in the great BALIC studio in Switzerland. I did that and that’s just a fantastic thing. CONGRATULATIONS!

 

 

Live Video Stream Semi Final JULY 3rd

Semi final JULY 3rd 5 :00pm – 6 :30pm (CET)

Order of appearance : alphabetical order
Performance : 10min maximum

  • 5 :00 – 5 :10 Presentation
  • 5 :10 – 5 :20 MARTIN Marie, (France) (Birth date : 1979)
  • 5 :20 – 5 :30 MINDRU Elena, (Romania) (Birth date : 1988)
  • 5 :30 – 5 :40 PILATOVIC Viktorija, (Lithuania) (Birth date : 1989)
  • 5 :40 – 5 :50 REGIDOR Luis, (Spain) (Birth date : 1985)
  • 5 :50 – 6 :00 SCANDALIOS Jenna, (USA) (Birth date : 1995)
  • 6 :00 – 6 :30 End first day Announce of the finalists End of the Semifinals


This event will appear on our live video stream starting 5:00pm CET.


Interviewing the band