One needn’t seek a special excuse to visit the idyllic shores of Lake Geneva: the natural beauty and tranquility of the region are reason enough. However, if you are looking for a bullet-proof justification for a trip, the musical delights of the Montreux Jazz Festival are just the ticket.
The festival has been growing in diversity, confidence and reputation for over half a century and the result is what Quincy Jones describes as ‘the Rolls Royce of all festivals and the absolute best place for musicians to share their gifts with the rest of the world’. The 52nd festival encompasses a dazzling array of ticketed concerts as well as more than 250 concerts, DJ sets, and workshops on six stages — a generous offering by anyone’s standards.
In terms of musical expectations, Q himself is an excellent reference point as Montreux is a meeting point of all sorts of genres. This year, Deep Purple rub shoulders with Mils Frahm. Massive Attack follows Young Fathers. Robert Glasper, Terrace Martin , Christian Scott and Derrick Hodge do the jazz thang on one stage while Queens of the Stone Age rock out on another.
Light on the ‘jazz’, heavy on the ‘festival’: you know where the party’s at in Switzerland, 29 June – 14 July this summer. Explore the full programme here and the free listings here.