Montreux Jazz Festival 2010 Online!

Events, Things to Do, What's New — By Sonja Holverson on July 31, 2010 at 5:36 am

Now Playing Online: courtesy of Montreux

See what you missed in Switzerland at the Montreux Jazz Festival 2010 and prepare for 2011. Founded in 1967, the Montreux Jazz Festival is one of the most important and best-loved music festivals in the world. Situated at the foot of the Alps on Lake Geneva, Montreux is an idyllic venue for a musical event that in former times included Miles Davis, Count Basie and Bob Dylan. The musical performances have evolved over the years and now range from reggae to rap. Almost half of the entertainment is free in designated venues including clubs and parks. The big names, such as this year’s festival opener, Phil Collins playing 60s Motown, Charlotte Gainsburg, Billy Idol, and dozens more require advance ticket purchase. The musical program has expanded over the years and now includes everything from reggae to rap.

Perhaps you were there this year but like me, could not attend everything! Now you can still enjoy highlights of this year’s Montreux Jazz Festival and jazz festivals of the past from home! This will inspire you and assist you in planning your participation in next year’s 45th Montreux Jazz Festival scheduled for July 1-July 16, 2011 .  Although the weeks in July 2010 are now over, the Montreux Jazz Festival is actually an all-year event and there are many ways that you can continue to enjoy it. Top videos and audios of this year’s world famous jazz festival are now available on Live at Montreux including Quincy Jones & the Global Gumbo AllStars and Elvis Costello both recorded live at Live at Stravinski Hall as well as Nas & Damian ‘Jr Gong’ Marley recorded at Miles Davis Hall. The site is loaded with Montreux Jazz Festival videos, current information and photographic archives. Watch some of the best concerts from 2007 to 2010!

Montreux Jazz Festival Herbalist Crew 2010 Dominique Schreckling

The concerts at the Montreux Jazz Festival have been recorded with state-of-the-art facilities since the beginning. Montreux Sounds, owner of the archives, has acquired some television footage for worldwide use from and including the 1988 edition. Television programs have been put together by year and by style of music. We’re fortunate here in Switzerland to have the Montreux Jazz Festival broadcast on local TV for free. For authentic jazz aficionados who don’t get Swiss TV, you can also buy copies of the TV recordings online at Montreux Sounds. However, there are also hours of excellent performances waiting for you for free on Live at Montreux as well as on Monterux Sounds which also has a jazz performance search engine.

The enthusiastic crowds may be gone from Montreux but the Montreux Jazz Festival is happening all year and it’s happening worldwide! Competitions of artists on piano and guitar as well as singers have been organized by the Foundation Montreux Jazz 2 for the past 11 years. The organizers receive entries from over fifty different countries. In the autumn, details of the event are sent to professional jazz schools and clubs worldwide and are open to musicians under the age of 30. The Foundation Montreux Jazz goes on the road selecting winners from all over and brings them together the following winter in Switzerland at the Balik Farm Studio, located in the breathtaking alpine Toggenburg region of north eastern Switzerland. The young musicians merge their styles and creativity and compose and record an exclusive CD.  This is followed by a tour of the major European summer jazz festivals. For the Montreux Jazz Festival winners are pre-selected in the spring and then will take part in the semi-finals and the finals which will be judged by a jury of professionals as well as an international audience such as yourselves! These musicians have a chance to mix and to attend concerts as well as music workshops during the Montreux Jazz Festival and you have a chance to see future jazz stars perform (and you will be able to say that you knew them when…)

Other festival ambience is found all year at the Montreux Jazz Cafes at the Geneva International Airport and now abroad in Sydney, Australia where jazz lovers on the move can relax and watch archived exclusive footage of the festivals as well as live entertainment for locals as well as passengers.

Plan for the Montreux Jazz Festival for next year in Switzerland. The entire month of July is fabulous and full of activity in the Lake Geneva Region and you cannot miss this festival. Sign up for the Montreux Jazz newsletter and RSS feed and be ready when the program is published to get tickets for your favorite performers as the best tickets are sold out immediately. You can also receive advance information on the free performances.

Carlos Santana and Armando Peraza: courtesy of congahead flickr

If it’s your dream to watch the jazz greats perform as well as all the other famous musicians but you cannot afford it, you could volunteer to be part of the 1200 staff in 30 different production and organizational sectors of the Montreux Jazz Festival and see some of the big concerts free. Plus you can be part of an unforgettable production and meet jazz lovers from all over the world. The applications usually are made available online at Montreux Jazz around February of each year (French would be helpful).

I’ll look for you in July 2011. Carolos Santana opens. You’ll also  find me in the “Park Vernex” on the best weather days, a great natural décor for the afternoon Music in the Park free performances of rock, pop, funk, reggae, the blues and more….. This is just a warm up before the evening headliners!

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