Stellar bill for 50th Montreux Jazz Festival
MONTREUX, Switzerland: The Montreux Jazz Festival has launched its 50th birthday edition, marking its half-century with a nod to its origins.
Charles Lloyd, an American saxophonist who performed at the first edition in 1967, opened the celebrations on Thursday at the Montreux Casino with his New Quartet – accompanied by Jason Moran on piano, Reuben Rogers on bass and Eric Harland on drums.
“It’s a beautiful thing, 50 years.... It was just a village when I came here. I was a little boy then,” the 78-year-old Lloyd from Memphis, Tennessee, said at the end of the nearly 90-minute set during which he played tenor sax and the flute.
Jamaican Monty Alexander followed on stage with a tribute to his best-selling Live! album, which was recorded at Montreux in 1976.
“Forty years ago I was playing piano in this casino.... I’m very happy to be playing for you tonight,” he said.
Quincy Jones, now in his sixth decade of a career as a musician, composer and producer, has put together a show for July 8 starring Mick Hucknall’s Simply Red and surprise guests.
Lisa Simone, daughter of Nina, takes to the same stage on July 9, opening for Jamie Cullum.
Brazilian Dream, set for July 10, features artists Ana Carolina, Elba Ramalho, Hamilton de Holanda and Maria Rita.
Angelique Kidjo leads five African women in the opener.
Patti Smith (July 6), Neil Young (July 12), and Lana Del Rey (July 13), are other highlights of the festival which closes with Dweezil Zappa and Deep Purple. – Reuters