Founded in 1967 by Claude Nobs, the Montreux Jazz Festival has become one of the world’s most important cultural events, with 250,000 visitors annually. Jazz music may have constituted the Festival’s historic roots, but other musical styles quickly found their place within the Festival, sharing a common bond of musical curiosity, the blending of genres, and the spontaneous events that are at the heart of the Montreux experience.
Distinguishing itself by its ambitious programming choices, for two weeks the Montreux Jazz Festival is a veritable shrine for musicians, an intimate space where time stands still and the most unexpected magic routinely happens. Aretha Franklin, Nina Simone, Miles Davis, Ray Charles, Marvin Gaye, Prince, David Bowie, and even Stevie Wonder have staged memorable performances at the Festival. Since the very beginning, the Festival has recorded every last detail of each concert, and the resulting archival collection has been listed since 2003 by UNESCO as part of the “Memory of the World” program – and history continues to be made each year.