Montreux Jazz Festival, the iconic Swiss festival taking place between 2-17 July 2021, kicked off its 55th edition with a bang this week, bringing an unmissable programme of some of the world’s most renowned artists, alongside exciting new talent, to Montreux, Switzerland. Set alongside the beautiful Lake Geneva, surrounded by the striking Swiss Alps, Montreux Jazz Festival has pulled out all the stops this year to create a one-of-a-kind experience, complementing its legendary and truly unrivalled atmosphere. This includes the debut of their brand-new stage, Scène du Lac, built on the lake, the second stage Petit Theatre, and a free programme of thrilling entertainment and music, such as impromptu sets in Les Jardins, and much more.
Opening Montreux Jazz Festival on Friday, 2 July with a visually striking performance on the Scène du Lac stage, internationally renowned, Grammy-nominated artist Woodkid blew audiences away with a powerful, yet intimate show, oozing of neofolk and his signature symphonic arrangements, including a striking rendition of his worldwide hit Run Boy Run. Due to popular demand, Woodkid followed this up with two equally enthralling, sold out shows the following day.
As the first week of the 16-date festival draws to a close, Montreux Jazz Festival also gave festival goers a true taste of some of brightest emerging talent and hotly tipped new artists, including phenomenal shows by Priya Ragu and Nathy Peluso, who took to the Scène du Lac stage on Thursday, 8 July. Performing at the festival’s very first MJF Spotlight Show, rising star Priya Ragu, brought a slice of her dazzling and uplifting R&B fusion, including the addictive Good Love 2.0, striking new single Forgot About, and joyful Chicken Lemon Rice. Argentine artist Nathy Peluso followed with her fiery blend of soul, jazz and urbano as the sun set over the Swiss mountains.
Other highlights this week include spectacular performances on the Scène du Lac by trumpet master Ibrahim Maalouf, critically acclaimed French chanson singer Yseult, showcasing her take on traditional variété française, neo-classical pianist Sofiane Pamart, mixing classical, rap, jazz and Oriental sounds in his bold compositions, as well as blues trio Delgres, and many more. Raul Midon opened the Petit Theátre stage with a true guitar masterclass and Belgian rapper, Neo-Soul prodigy YelllowStraps got the audience on their feet on the festival’s Sunday night, while techno titan Jeff Mills performed alongside Tony Allen collaborator Jean-Phi Dary on July 8 as their new project, The Paradox, an experimental, heady mix of club-ready bass and jazz melodies.
Montreux Jazz Festival continues today with upcoming highlights including Turkish psych-rockers Altin Gün, minimal pop artist Oklou, Italian blues by Zuchhero, acclaimed jazz pianist Fred Hersch and many more.
Music fans from across the world will be able to tune into a selection of the performances live from Montreux, including Sam Fisher, Afra Kane, Valentina Kaufman, Robben Ford, Bill Evans, Yet No Yokai, Lass, Fatoumata Diawara, and more, all available to watch free of charge via Qello Concerts by Stingray.