Overview of the fantastic opening week-end
The Montreux Jazz Festival takes place in the city of the same name on the border of Lake Geneva in Switzerland. What started in 1967 as a three day festival featuring Charles Lloyd and Keith Jarret at the top of the bill has become today a famous music festival. Nowadays the festival lasts 2 weeks fully packed of all kind of music styles in the first half of July.
In addition to the paying program consisting in indoor concerts as well as music events on boats and trains, the festival features also a free program with a whole range of concerts . Last year s edition presented 90 paying concerts as well as 260 free concerts.
People of all ages come from all over the world to see famous music performers on stage or to discover a whole range of musicians and music styles at the various stages, enjoy the scenery with the view on Lake Geneva and the Alps as well as a wide range of food offerings on terraces overlooking Lake Geneva.
The 45th edition of the Montreux Jazz Festival opened on Friday July 1st with an opening concert from Carlos Santana together with John McLaughlin. The opening of the free concerts was performed by the Little Dreams Band , a band of the Little Dreams Foundation founded by Orianne and Phil Collins in the year 2000 helping young talents.
The whole week-end was packed with great music. The free concerts on the open air stage of Music in the Park was presenting various Jazz Ensembles and Youth Jazz Bands mainly from the US and the UK in the afternoons while artists such as Ladell McLin on Saturday and Shemekia Copeland on Sunday attracted the crowds in the evenings.
Shemekia Copeland presented really a big surprise in the free concerts of this festival s edition. She performed a wonderful concert on the free stage of the Music in the Park with great energy and presence on stage attracting the crowd. Later, she was giving a concert together with B.B.King, Carlos Santana and many more. Never before had a performing artist of a paying concerts been performing nearly a whole hour on a free stage at this festival.
This first weekend was really a great start into this year s edition of the festival with a wonderful sunny weather.
Just to mention a few of the upcoming highlights of the free program are the traditional Brazilian Music day on July 9th and the Eastern Delight evening on July 12th featuring this year s special guest Turkey.
This year s edition will be closing by a concert of the legendary Deep Purple who have helped to make this festival famous with their title Smoke on the Water.
See www.pbase.com/tcom/mjf2011 for more photos of the free concerts.