The day thousands of jazz enthusiasts around the world had been waiting for has finally arrived: the programme of the 2014 edition of the Montreux Jazz Festival is online!
And what a great summer is going to be for Montreux Jazz Festival and its fans! In fact, from 4 to 19 July, there’s going to be an incredible parade of stars in the city by the beautiful Leman Lake. Jazz legends Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter, Grammy award winner Terri Lynn Carrington, Hiromi, Buika and Dr. John. But also Stevie Wonder, John Scofield, Van Morrison and Dave Holland’s Prism. The 48th edition of one of the world’s most successful and celebrate jazz festivals is going to be spectacular!
Jazz Masters and Talented Women of Jazz
There are going to be so many incredible music acts at Montreux Jazz Festival 2014 that it’s difficult to choose one to start from.
No name, however, is probably more suited to be the first to be mentioned than the iconic Stevie Wonder. In fact, Wonder heading to Montreux was one of festival founder Claude Nobs’ most cherished dreams. On 16 July, one of the world’s greatest artists will join Montreux Jazz Festival, ensuring his place in the event’s pantheon of legendary performers and making Nobs’ dream coming true.
On the same day, the festival will welcome American jazz-rock virtuoso John Scofield and his Überjam Band. A versatile guitarist, at ease with jazz fusion, funk, rock, blues and soul, and who has performed with jazz greats like Charles Mingus and Miles Davis, Scofield is one of the most influential contemporary guitar players.
The list of jazz greats that John Scofield has played with includes jazz composer and pianist Herbie Hancock. On 18 July, the Auditorium Stravinski will host a show by two living legends of jazz music: Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter.
In addition to being an incredibly talented jazzman, Hancock is very active as UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador and coordinator of the worldwide jazz celebration International Jazz Day. Multi-Grammy award winner Wayne Shorter, on the other hand, has been one of the most prestigious musicians signed to the legendary Blue Note Records (with many of his compositions becoming jazz standards) and has been described by the New York Times as “probably jazz’s greatest living small-group composer and contender for greatest living improviser”.
Always scheduled for 18 July is the performance by an interesting trio of French jazzmen: Django Reinhardt-styled guitarist Biréli Lagrène, Calais-born violinist Didier Lockwood and accordionist Richard Galliano.
The list of international stars presented by Montreux Jazz Festival 2014 features a series of talented women of jazz.
This January, drummer, composer and record producer Terri Lyne Carrington was awarded the Grammy Award in the “Best Jazz Instrumental” category for her latest record Money Jungle: Provocative In Blue. She had already won the prestigious prize back in 2011 with The Mosaic Project, which was voted “Best Jazz Vocal Album”.
On 12 July, she will bring her “Mosaic Project”, along with special guests Tia Fuller, Ingrid Jensen, Rachel Z and Lizz Writght, on the stage of the Montreux Jazz Club.
On 6 July, Montreux Jazz Festival will welcome the Latin rhythms of singer Buika. The Palma de Mallorca native will perform her most popular songs, including tracks from her recently Grammy-nominee album Las Noche Mas Larga.
Hiromi Uehara, simply known as Hiromi, is undoubtedly one of the most popular contemporary jazz pianists. Famous for her incredible virtuosic technique, she will join the stellar cast of the Montreux Jazz Festival (on 11 July) along with the other members of her The Trio Project: bassist Anthony Jackson and drummer Simon Philips.
11 July is going to be a great night for piano jazz lovers. In fact, in addition to Hiromi, Montreux Jazz has scheduled another exciting show that features a prominent jazz pianist.
The Auditorium Stravinski will become the main stage for jazz-pop singer-songwriter and piano player Jamie Cullum. If you are familiar with his name, you certainly know that Cullum is one of the most hard-working musicians around. During his career, he has released six albums, was awarded the Rising Star Award by the British Jazz Awards, served as artistic director of the Cheltenham Jazz Festival and was nominated for A Golden Globe for “Best Original Song” for his composition for Clint Eastwood’s movie Gran Torino.
More Great Jazz Acts
Additional jazzmen set to perform at the 48th edition of Montreux Jazz Festival are Armenian pianist Tigran Hamasyan, smooth jazz guitarist Lee Ritenour, Jamaican piano maestro Monty Alexander and Jack De Johnette.
Armenian jazz pianist Tigran Hamasyan is probably one of the most interesting artists you could ever see live. His unique repertoire blends the Armenian folk tradition with jazz and progressive rock. There aren’t many performers who can offer you an incredible mix of Middle Eastern/South Western Asian musical traditions and jazz like Hamasyan does. He returns to Montreux on 8 July, after having been awarded the 1st Prize Prix de la Critique et du Public, Concours de Piano du Montreux Jazz Festival back in 2003. On the same day, the festival will welcome the free jazz of the Neil Cowley Trio.
Active since the late ’60s, American smooth jazz guitarist Lee Ritenour has appeared in over 3,000 sessions and has charted over 30 contemporary jazz hits since 1976. Montreux Jazz 2014 will embrace Ritenour’s catchy guitar riffs on 7 July, when he will play along with pianist Dave Grusin.
Almost 40 years ago, pianist Monty Alexander, bassist John Clayton and drummer Jeff Hamilton released Montreux Alexander, album recorded during the 1976 Montreux Jazz Festival. On 13 July, the festival will welcome back one of the Caribbean’s finest jazz pianists. Get ready for an exciting mix of jazz, melodica and joyful Caribbean rhythms!
By looking at the history fusion jazz, there’s no doubt that Jack DeJohnette has been one of the most influential figures in the genre. His extensive work as bandleader and sideman for the likes of Freddie Hubbard, Sonny Rollins and Miles Davis, make DeJohnette one of the most acclaimed jazz drummers of the 20th century. An incredible performer, who will step on the stage of the Montreux Jazz Festival on 9 July. In Switzerland, Jack DeJohnette will be joined by saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, son of the legendary John, and bassist Matt Garrison, son of the iconic Jimmy Garrison.
On 15 July, it will be time for yet another spectacular jazz act. UK-born bassist Dave Holland known for his sessions with Miles Davis and for his influence on the development of jazz fusion, brings his new project Prism to Montreux. Alongside a talented jazz band that features guitarist Kevin Eubanks, keyboardist and pianist Craig Taborn and drummer Eric Harland, Holland will present compositions from the latest album Prism.
Jazz on the Move, World Sounds and More Stars
At Montreux Jazz Festival 2014 it will be also possible to enjoy live music while travelling. Step on the train and listen to incredible live jazz shows while admiring some of Switzerland’s most beautiful landscapes (jazz trains scheduled for 5,9, 12 and 16 July). In alternative, join one of the “mini” cruises (on 5, 12 and 13 July) that bring you jazz, blues, salsa and Brazilian sounds, as well as a great view of Montreux from the lovely Leman Lake.
If you prefer to stay in Montreux, you will be happy to hear that there are more exciting concerts set to take place at the 48th edition of the festival.
The legendary Dr. John (14 July) and Van Morrison (15 July), Grammy award-winning rapper Pharrell Williams (7 July), Robin Thicke (13 July), hip hop heroes Outkast (9 July), Massive Attack (10 July), bluesman Buddy Guy and the Tedeschi Trucks Band (both on 6 July) have all been announced as performers. And there’s more!
In fact, the line up of Montreux Jazz Festival 2014 also features Damon Albarn (17 July), soul star Booker T. Jones (10 July), gospel vocalist Mavis Staples (15 July) and the world sounds of Isfar Sarabski (9 July) – winner of the 2009 Montreux Jazz Festival’s Solo Piano Competition – and the Manu Katché Quintet (on 14 July).
Very few festivals on the planet have enjoyed the success Montreux Jazz Festival has. No matter what music genre you like, where you are from or what you do, if you live in Montreux or are planning to visit Switzerland, make sure not to miss the 48th edition of one of the world’s greatest jazz festivals. You will love it!
For more information about the festival and the programme click here
While you wait for Montreux Jazz 2014 get your festival mood on with this playlist. Ah, and before you leave, make sure to leave a comment and tell us: which performer are you excited to see the most at Montreux Jazz Festival 2014?
4 – 19 July