Montreux Jazz Festival
Founded in 1967 by Claude Nobs, the Montreux Jazz Festival has become one of the world’s most important cultural events, with 250,000 visitors annually. Jazz music may have constituted the Festival’s historic roots, but other musical styles quickly found their place within the Festival, sharing a common bond of musical curiosity, the blending of genres, and the spontaneous events that are at the heart of the Montreux experience.
Distinguishing itself by its ambitious programming choices, for two weeks the Montreux Jazz Festival is a shrine for musicians. Since the very beginning, the Festival has recorded every last detail of each concert, and the resulting archival collection has been listed since 2013 by UNESCO as part of the “Memory of the World” programme.
The ticketed events are certainly Montreux’s most prestigious showcase, but from the very beginning Claude Nobs wanted to make music accessible to everyone. For that reason, multiple free venues make huge contributions to the Festival’s vibe while offering emerging talents a chance to show their stuff. Some of these venues, like the ever-popular Music in the Park, are organized through the vast experience of the Montreux Jazz Artists Foundation (MJAF), the educational wing of the festival. The MJAF nurtures young artists year-round, and during the Festival it puts on prestigious competitions, workshops, and special creations.