It began in 1967 – with Festival founder Claude Nobs (1936-2013), who is revered in Montreux today, as a Saint: Actually, the trained chef was hired at the tourist office of Montreux, just as a book holder. The music enthusiasts had built up with many trips to France and in the USA a network of relationships. As early as 1964, he had brought the Rolling Stones for their first concert in Switzerland. Three years later, he founded with two companions in the Montreux Jazz Festival. Actually, this was a competition for European jazz bands – and had to make do with 10’000 Swiss francs Budget and without paid staff.

Nevertheless, the kick-off was spectacular: at The Casino Montreux, the acclaimed saxophonist Charles Lloyd (81) occurred already then, accompanied by young talents and the young Keith Jarrett (74) on the Piano. In the following years, Soul Diva Nina Simone (1933-2003) and jazz pianist Bill Evans (1929-1980), with the later released the recording of his Montreux appearance. The plate with the castle of Chillon on the Cover received in 1969 a Grammy.

thanks to Deep Purple, is the founder of the Festival, Nobs “Funky Claude”

in subsequent years, Nobs, to lure big Stars to Montreux and he will open the Jazz Festival for Rock and Pop: he creates it in 1970 to engage in, Carlos Santana (71), who had played the year before at the legendary
Woodstock Festival in front of half a Million people.

Apparently it was enough, when he went behind the stage and said: “Hello, I’m Claude Nobs from Switzerland.” So he opened the Festival for rock music in addition to jazz fans, many of the Hippies of the visionary Nobs, to be referred to as
“our audience of the future” filled, were new.

The Band Deep Purple owes founder of the Festival, Nobs his nickname “Funky Claude”. The hard rockers were in 1971, witnesses of the devastating fire at the Casino in Montreux. In her Mega-Hit “Smoke on the Water” as the clouds of smoke over the lake to draw. Claude Nobs was in the middle of the action and helped where he could. So it says in the lyrics: “Funky Claude running in and out, pulling kids on the lawn”.

headstrong and temperamental Stars

Nobs understood it, to agree with the bitchy and most idiosyncratic Stars is treatable and game willingly. Not at all satisfied with the wings, the him, the Festival had provided, was a Jazz Pianist Keith Jarrett (74). Critically he pressed a few buttons and then shook his head. The jazz pianist, also known as the choleric, demanded to be stubborn to a Grand Concert Steinway – the man brought in haste shortly before the start of the concert from the Conservatory of Lausanne brought about. “The sounds do not have, however, said so well,” Jarrett then, “I’ll play but rather on the first”.

the often capricious Chuck Berry (1926-2017) could vote in 1972, mild. Nobs knew that the Rock’n’Roll pioneer had a penchant for fish and, therefore, a fishing boat of Europe – for safety’s sake, with a few fish, which was able to present Berry as a catcher. It worked, the musician was during the concert in high spirits.

Miles Davis (1926-1991) wanted a convertible. He got it in Red – but he wanted a black – according to the color of his skin. For Alice Cooper to read book tennis courts. And the full-bodied mane of Funk icon James Brown (1922-2006) interested in, had to organise the Montreux-artist competent Michaela Maiterth in the wind, a drying hood.

Nina Simone wanted a diamond watch

a year ago deceased Aretha Franklin (1942-2018) made with Swiss chocolate for the show in Montreux convince. And Nina Simone with added to your contract, hand-written: “I would like a wrist watch by Piaget with diamonds.” Nobs ran into the watch store and bought a such – the one with the smallest diamonds.

Jazz legend Miles Davis appeared in 1991, with Quincy Jones, the musician and Star producer is for the first time, Co-producer of the festival. With the prototype of a digital video recorder is the only digital
recordings of Miles Davis arise, because he died only a few months later. Almost since the beginning in Montreux every concert in Montreux, recorded – and sometimes even in 3-D. The recordings have been applicable since 2013 as a Unesco world heritage site and will be stockpiled as a precaution, in duplicate, in a Bunker in Claude Nobs’ Chalet in the University of EPFL in Lausanne: 15’000 hours of concerts to 14’000 audio and video tapes.

herbal tea for Prince

music legend Prince (1958-2016) was celebrated in Montreux as a king during his last visit in Montreux, he traveled with a 50-person Entourage, and the festival organisers had to him “two large mirrors, two tables in the exact circumference of 20 centimetres” and “herbal tea with honey and lemon, served in porcelain cups with silver spoons” in. For this, he gave three concerts, and
put on top of that, after the first short notice late in the evening, an after-show, the first began at 2 o’clock at night.

catfight of the Bossa Nova legends

in 1985, Claude Nobs invited the two Bossa Nova sizes João Gilberto (88) and Antonio Carlos Jobim (1927-1994) to the Festival – two of which were arguing about who had invented the Bossa Nova. Therefore, none of us wanted to be the first to enter, so as a “yell leader” for the other – the stage. The lesser known José Barrense-Dias (86), who lives in the Western part of Switzerland, then jumped as a concert opener.

Mercury and Bowie created in Montreux hit

Queen legend Freddie Mercury (1946-1991) has a permanent place in Montreux – in the memory and with its own Statue on the lake. He lived in Montreux, but he is never encountered at the Festival. In Claude Nobs Chalet “Le
Picotin” in Caux whether or not Montreux, but he was often a guest. Once with David Bowie (1947-2016), who also lived in the vicinity.

As I said Nobs to the two: “down Go in the Studio and playing what.” After two hours, the two returned to announce to be: “So, we have now composed a new piece, it’s called “Under Pressure””. In two hours the Mercury and Bowie had created a worldwide hit – to the Initiative of the founder of the Festival, Nobs. David Bowie Once, in 2002, the Festival occurred.

Iggy Pop is losing his teeth

the Ur-Punk and rock legend Iggy Pop (72) proved to be in 2018 that he is not a wuss: At his concert in the great hall, and was the first Song to the audience – after an hour, but he fell accidentally from the stage, was carried away and returned but to announce: “I lost my Tooth” – and sang with a broken Incisor tirelessly, as if nothing had happened.

The Montreux legend continues – this year. Already is known: With Elton John (72), Anita Baker (61) and Joan Baez (78) say goodbye to the great artists of the concert stage. Stars such as Sting (67), Lauryn Hill (44), Janet Jackson (53), Tom Jones (1957-2016), Rita Ora (28), Bon Iver (38) and Slash (53) are part of the game.
Montreux-friend and collaborator Quincy Jones makes tidbits special Music. The rich program of Festival Director Mathieu Jaton guaranteed to be more moments that will go down as a music milestone, or at least as the anecdotes in the Montreux-history.