SHARE
COPY LINK

MUSIC

Ski fall puts Montreux jazzfest director in coma

Claude Nobs, founding director of the Montreux Jazz festival, is in a coma at a Lausanne hospital after falling in a cross-country skiing accident during the Christmas holidays.

Ski fall puts Montreux jazzfest director in coma
Photo: Yvan Hausmann

The festival issued a statement on its website on Monday confirming that Nobs, 76, was being treated at CHUV, the university hospital, where he underwent surgery.

“He has remained to date in a state of unconsciousness,” according to the statement.

“His condition requires further tests, the results of which are not known.”

The exact circumstances of the accident were not released.

But Le Matin newspaper reported that, according to its sources, it occurred on December 24th when Nobs was skiing in Caux, a community above Montreux.

Jacqueline Pellet, a Montreux municipal councillor, earlier revealed on her Facebook site that Nobs had fallen while skiing.

Pellet said she was “profoundly saddened” by the news and hoped for good news to emerge about his recovery.

Nobs is regarded as a local hero in Montreux for his role in starting the Montreux Jazz festival, now internationally renowned as one of Europe’s top summer music events.

He organized the first festival at the age of 31 when he was director of the tourism office at Montreux, a town overlooking Lake Geneva in the canton of Vaud.

It subsequently developed into a major tour stop for top jazz artists, as well as rock and pop stars.

Nobs also became involved in the recording industry in the early 1970s when he became Swiss director of Warner, Elektra and Atlantic record companies.

The 47th annual Montreux Jazz Festival is scheduled to run from July 5th to 20th.

Festival organizers said “all necessary measures” had been taken to ensure the continued management of the festival, in accordance with plans in place for some time.

Mathieu Jaton, the festival’s secretary general, “assumes all of Claude Nobs’ responsibilities,” the festival said in its statement.

It promised to release further information about Nobs as it becomes available.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

MONTREUX JAZZ FESTIVAL

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”.

SHOW COMMENTS