Jazz on Lake Geneva: Spectacular lake stage at the 58th Jazz Festival in Montreux

Jazz on Lake Geneva: Spectacular lake stage at the 58th Jazz Festival in Montreux
Jazz on Lake Geneva: Spectacular lake stage at the 58th Jazz Festival in Montreux

In Montreux, the conference center is being renovated and the Jazz Festival cannot take place in its usual concert halls. The alternative is spectacular.

A stage built directly on Lake Geneva, with a panorama of mountains and sunset behind it: that’s where the 58th Montreux Jazz Festival began yesterday evening. The stage was inaugurated by Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, who warmed up around 5,000 fans in the open air with a mix of jazz, funk, rock and hip hop.

When the sun had set over the lake after a perfect summer’s day, multi-talented Jon Batiste arrived in a gold glitter suit. The audience was too tame for the jazz musician, who also plays pop, classical and R&B. “I want to see your body rock!” he shouted to the crowd and got many of the more than 4,000 people dancing and singing along.

Unique lake stage as an emergency solution

The temporary stage is necessary because the concert halls normally used, Auditorium Stravinski and Montreux Jazz Lab, are closed for renovations. Hundreds of concerts and events are scheduled until July 20, many of them free of charge. More than thirty concerts will be broadcast live on YouTube. Last year, 250,000 visitors attended.

One of the highlights of the program is Kraftwerk. The pioneers of electropop are scheduled to perform on July 11, also on the lake stage.

The second big stage is in the casino. The old building burned down in the 1970s. This inspired the band Deep Purple to write their hit “Smoke on the Water”. The British rock band, founded in 1968, will be appearing in Montreux for the tenth time.

Montreux Legends

Deep Purple is as much a part of Montreux as Freddie Mercury (1946-1991), the lead singer of Queen. He was there for the first time in 1978 and later lived in Montreux for part of his life. A bronze statue on Lake Geneva commemorates the legendary singer.

The name of the festival, founded in 1967, is misleading: in addition to jazz, soul and funk, pop, hip hop, Afrobeats, classic rock and other musical styles have been represented there for decades. Montreux is considered a launching pad for the careers of many stars. These include the US rapper Kendrick Lamar and the British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran.

Source: Stern

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