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Montreux Jazz Festival debuts live streaming

Caroline Bishop · 4 Jul 2014, 13:04

Published: 04 Jul 2014 13:04 GMT+02:00

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The initiative, which is a first for the festival, involves certain gigs held in the Montreux Jazz Lab venue.

The 48th edition kicks off today with Glaswegian songstress Amy McDonald headlining the first night in the Stravinski Auditorium.

Over the course of two weeks, to July 19th, Montreux will welcome top names including Stevie Wonder, Pharrell Williams, Robert Plant, Van Morrison, Jamie Cullum, Chris Rea, Damon Albarn, Ed Sheeran, Babyshambles and Massive Attack.

On announcing the programme in April 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.

In an interview with newspaper Le Matin this week, festival boss Mathieu Jaton, who took over after Nobs’ death, said this year’s artists are continuing the creative spirit engendered by Nobs.

“What I find marvellous this year is that when I discussed things with the artists or their management, they in some way have taken on Claude’s mantel – they want to come here with a project. Whether it’s Stephen Eicher, Damon Albarn, Chris Rea or Monty Alexander.

“It’s as though they’ve said that since the festival’s founder is no longer here, it’s up to them to do something special.”

But Jaton has little knowledge of what Happy star Williams is planning for his Montreux debut.

“All I know is that he arrives on Monday [July 7th], the day of his concert. And that he is a fan of improvised jam sessions. Pharrell has had a busy year. It all depends on his mood, his desire.”

In addition to the big names, Jaton’s insider tips for top gigs include Brooklyn soul outfit The Daptone, English talent Benjamin Clementine, Ethiopian veteran musician Mulatu Astatke and Swedish singer Lykke Li.

Elsewhere, organizers have cancelled the 26th annual Jazz Parade in Marly, in the canton of Fribourg, which was due to run from July 3rd to 12th, due to “internal problems”, reports newspaper 20 Minutes.

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The festival, which attracted 35,000 spectators in 2013, was suspended by authorities in the district of Sarine after they found significant organizational flaws, particularly surrounding security at the event.

The site of the festival also had problems due to recent heavy rains.

For more information about Montreux Jazz Festival visit its website.

For more news from Switzerland, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Caroline Bishop (news@thelocal.ch)

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