45th Montreux Jazz Festival
Round up of the 45th edition
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 has become today one of the most famous music festivals in the world. Nowadays the festival lasts 2 weeks fully packed of all kind of music styles in the first half of July.
The 45th edition of the Montreux Jazz Festival closed its doors on another very successful edition. Together the Stravinski Auditorium and the Miles Davis Hall are credited for 18 sold out nights. Thanks to the enjoyable summer weather the attendance is comparable to the previous year with 230’000 – 240’000 visitors. Carlos Santana, B.B.King, Sting and Paul Simon were the worthy representatives of this year s edition. Unique concerts have attracted audiences with exceptional musical worlds such as Andreas Vollenweider, Tommy LiPuma or the homage to Tom Waits.
The free concerts of the Music in the Park stage have attracted a lot of visitors. The wide variety showed either new artists, artists famous in other parts of the world, some special guests or a large selection of Jazz School Big Bands. Worth mentioning were the performance of Ladell McLin or the awesome performance of Shemekia Copeland on this free stage before she joined B.B.King in the Stravinski Auditorium, the fabulous concert of the Italian group Nidi d’Arac, the very entertaining De Delftse Studenten Big Band or the Trench Town performing on stage with the legendary Jamaican drummer Leroy Horsemouth Wallace.
As a photographer, I cannot capture the music, I have to rely on the feelings and moods I can capture on the musicians faces and attitudes to show this Festival. Musicians with lots of stage experience such as Shemekia Copeland or Nidi d’Arac with their very expressive violinist Elena Floris do make it easy to capture the mood of the moment. At the other end of the scale, various big bands of jazz schools do make it difficult to photograph, students do show little expression on their face when they are not hiding behind their note-stands.
Apart from the Music in the Park, the public could enjoy the media stage inside the main building feature short showcases of artists performing at the paying concerts.
In addition to the paying concerts and the free program, there were also two international music competitions taking place during the Montreux Jazz Festival. Both the International Competition for solo piano as well as for professional singers have both generated excitement and joy.
This was another successful edition of the Montreux Jazz Festival spoiled by very nice summer weather.
The 46th edition of the Montreux Jazz Festival is scheduled from June 29th to July 14th 2012.
See www.pbase.com/tcom/mjf2011 for more photos of this edition.