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Montreux unveils statue of jazz fest founder Claude Nobs

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Montreux unveils statue of jazz fest founder Claude Nobs
The late Claude Nobs. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
11:26 CEST+02:00
As the 51st Montreux Jazz Festival enjoyed its opening weekend, a bronze statue of its founder, the late Claude Nobs, was unveiled to the press and public on Sunday.
The statue, created by Swiss sculptor Andreas Altmann as a gift to the city of Montreux, shows Nobs on his feet, harmonica and microphone in his hands.
 
It will be placed in the garden of the Fairmont Le Montreux Palace hotel alongside statues of other legendary names connected to the famous festival including Quincy Jones and Ray Charles.
 
In a statement, Montreux Jazz Festival said Nobs had been passionate about bronze sculptures and had initiated several, including the Miles Davis statue on the lakefront. 
 
The city’s most famous sculpture is that of late Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, whose waterfront bronze has become something of a pilgrimage site for fans. 
 
Current festival director Mathieu Jaton with sculptor Altmann, mayor of Montreux Laurent Wehrli and Thierry Amsallem, President of the Claude Nobs Foundation, with the statue. Photo: Marc Ducrest/MJF
 
Nobs created the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1967 at the age of 31, when he was the director of Montreux’s tourism office. 
 
The event quickly put the city on the map, becoming one of the world’s most respected music festivals and attracting big names to the bill, not just in jazz but in all genres of music. 
 
Nobs was given the nickname ‘funky Claude’ by  the band Deep Purple in their track Smoke on the Water, written about the 1971 festival when Nobs saved several people after a fire broke out during a Frank Zappa performance at the casino. 
 
Nobs died in early January 2013 after spending two weeks in a coma following a ski accident the day after Christmas 2012. 
 
This year’s festival started on Friday June 30th and runs until July 15th.
 
For programme information visit the festival's website
 
 

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