Pharrell Williams set for first Montreux jazzfest

Pharrell Williams set for first Montreux jazzfest
Pharrell Williams: gearing up for his maiden appearance in Montreux. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
American R&B singer and rapper Pharrell Williams and pop legend Stevie Wonder are among the stars headlining this summer’s Montreux Jazz Festival, organizers said on Thursday.

Others in the lineup for the 48th annual Swiss festival include Massive Attack, Amy Macdonald, Robert Plant & The Sensational Space Shifters, Robin Thicke and Montreux veteran Van Morrison.

Williams, a singer-songwriter who has chalked up hits with the likes of Daft Punk and Thicke, is surfing on the success of Happy, a song he composed for the soundtrack of the Despicable Me 2 animated film.

The song took on a second life as part of a global “happiness project” that has encouraged groups from cities around the world (including numerous Swiss cities) to post videos set to the music.

Williams is set to perform for the first time at the festival on July 7th at the Auditorium Stravinski, while Wonder is scheduled to appear at the same venue on July 16th.

Festival organizers said that bringing soul icon Wonder to Montreux had been among the "most cherished dreams" of its founder "Funky" Claude Nobs, who died in a skiing accident in January 2013.

This year’s festival on the shores of Lake Geneva, running from July 4th to the 19th, features the return of familiar jazz figures such as Lee Ritenour, Dave Grusin, Dave Holland, Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock, as well as the blues icon Buddy Guy.

For more details check the Montreux Jazz Festival website.

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