Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett to hit Montreux

Lady Gaga and veteran crooner Tony Bennett are among the top entertainers unveiled on Thursday for this summer’s Montreux Jazz Festival.

Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett to hit Montreux
Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett among this year's jazzfest stars. Photo: Montreux Jazz Festival

The duo, who have recorded two albums of jazz standards together, head a lineup of musicians for the 49th festival that is heavily accented on jazz but also includes the likes of Sinéad O’Connor, Jackson Browne, Lionel Ritchie and Lenny Kravitz.

Gaga and Bennett, who began their Cheek to Cheek tour in Los Vegas in December and sang at the Grammy Awards ceremony in February, are set to perform on July 6th at the Auditorium Stravinski with top tickets selling for 385 francs apiece.

American R&B artist John Legend and Scottish pop singer Emeli Sandé will kick off the festival on July 3rd with a concert, also at the Auditorium Stravinski, one of three venues for the event.

The following night, O’Connor and Browne will hit the stage at the festival in Montreux, a town overlooking Lake Geneva in the canton of Vaud.

Top jazz names this year include singer Dianne Reeves and Montreux veterans such as Chic Corea, Herbie Hancock, Al Jarreau, David Sanborn and George Benson.

Electro groups Portishead and the Chemical Brothers are among other headliners.

Tickets for the festival go on sale on Friday at 10 am.

For the full lineup, check here.

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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”.