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Montreux Jazz Festival launches 47th edition

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Montreux Jazz Festival launches 47th edition
Leonard Cohen performing at the festival. Photo: Montreux Jazz Festival/FFJM/Lionel Flusin
11:29 CEST+02:00
Canadian troubador Leonard Cohen kicked off the 47th annual Montreux Jazz Festival on Thursday night with a sold-out concert at the Auditorium Stravinski.

This year’s festival, running until July 20th, is longer than previous editions in part because Cohen, 78, wanted to perform two concerts.

His second performance, also sold-out, is set to begin on Friday at 8pm.

The festival, one of the best known summer music events in Switzerland, is getting under way for the first time without founding director Claude Nobs, who died in January.

“We have worked flat out and I hope that the public will be delighted,” Mathieu Jaton, the new festival director, told a press conference in Montreux, the ATS news agency reported.

Organizers say tickets are selling well for the festival, with concerts at the Auditorium Stravinski, one of three main venues, already 90 percent sold.

A total of 11 concerts are already sold-out, including those by Cohen, in addition to Prince (July 13th, 14th and 15th), Sting (July 16th) and Deep Purple (July 19th).

Other performers at the festival include Green Day, George Thorogood and the Destroyers, ZZ Top, Jake Bugg, Bonnie Rait, George Benson, Joe Cocker and Kraftwerk.

At the press conference, Thierry Amsallem, Nobs’ partner for 25 years, spoke of the creation of the Claude Nobs Foundation, created to protect the legacy of the festival’s founder, ATS reported.

The foundation will oversee the collection of 5,000 hours of video from past festivals to be stored in a new building, “Under The Roof” at Lausanne’s federal insitute of technology (EPFL), Amsallem said.

The audovisual collection was recently added to Unesco's international Memory of the World Register, which the cultural organization describes as "the documentary equivalent of 'World Heritage.'"

Recordings from the festival will be made available through the foundation to musicians and music schools, Amsallem said.

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