Thursday, October 9, 2008

Montreux Jazz Festival

Montreux Jazz FestivalThe annual Montreux Jazz festival is one of the best-known musical events in the world and is often considered to be a "Mecca" for music lovers. Held near the shores of Lake Geneva every July, this festival has indeed achieved cult status over the years with many famous names from the musical world endorsing it in a big way.

Way back in 1967, an enterprising music lover named Claude Nobs decided to create an event entirely dedicated to jazz, his favorite form of music. The extravaganza lasted for three days and brought together some big names from the world of jazz besides many newcomers. The participants included Cecil McBee, Jack DeJohnette and Charles Lloyd Quartet with Keith Jarrett. The enthusiastic response received from music lovers inspired Nobs to make it a yearly affair. Thus the much loved Montreux Jazz festival came into being. Thereafter, the event went from strength to strength and became one of the biggest musical events to rock the world.

Today, the Montreux Jazz festival lasts for more than two weeks and attracts an audience of more than 200,000 people from all across the world. Moreover, the Montreux Jazz festival is no longer a "purely jazz" affair even though this beautiful form of music still remains an integral part of the proceedings. Now music lovers can choose from a variety of music styles like pop, rock, reggae and so on. In fact, the list of participants is getting more and more impressive every year. Some famous names that have been a part of the Montreux Jazz festival include Santana, Eric Clapton, Miles Davis, James Brown, Ray Charles, Herbie Hancock, Leonard Cohen, Tracy Chapman, Deep Purple, Johnny Cash, Simply Red, Bob Dylan, Sting and Paul Simon. Indeed the list is endless!

Besides bringing together some of the biggest names in music, the Montreux Jazz festival also serves as a wonderful platform for newcomers to showcase their talent. In fact, one of the main objectives of this festival is to scour for new talent that would simply bloom forth into a force to reckon with. Every music lover should make it a point to visit this festival at least once during his / her lifetime and thus garner a bagful of precious memories to last forever.

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