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

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

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 Final JULY 4th

Video Live Stream

Shure at Montreux Live Stream

Final JULY 4th Final 5 :00pm – 7 :00pm (CET)
Order of appearance : alphabetical order 
Performance : 15min maximum

  • 5 :00 – 5 :15 LANCMAN Sarah
  • 5 :20 – 5 :35 MARTIN Marie
  • 5 :40 – 5 :55 MINDRU Elena
  • 5 :55 – 6 :15 Jury’s final deliberation Counting of the public vote
  • 6 :15 – 7 :00 Awards ceremony

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


Review Semi Final July 2nd

The Shure Montreux Jazz Voice Competition 2012

Shure Voice Competition 2010This year’s Shure Montreux Jazz Voice Competition will take place from July 2 – 4 at the Montreux Palace and we are very happy that none other than Mr. Quincy Jones will preside over the jury.

The competition which was initiated in 2003 by Shure and the Montreux Jazz Festival foundation supports young and upcoming jazz singers from all over the world.

In 2012 the Montreux Conservatory of Music received 69 applications from aspiring artists under 35 from 26 different countries from which 11 candidates have been selected to perform in Montreux.

Schedule:

Semi-final I: July 2, 17:00 – 18:30
Semi-final II: July 3, 17:00 – 18:30
Final: July 4, 17:00 – 19:00

Please stay tuned for some backstage information on the contestants as well as videos of the semi-finals.