The Montreux Jazz Festival: A Look at 15 Dates that Shaped its History

The Montreux Jazz Festival is an annual music event held in Switzerland in early July. Founded in 1967 by Claude Nobs, it has become a must-see event over the years, generating fantastic stories and performances. We take a look at 15 dates that have shaped the legend of the Festival and have left their mark on the history of music. The first Montreux Jazz Festival was held in 1967 at the Casino de Montreux overlooking Lake Geneva.

It was a three-day event that featured the participation of the Charles Lloyd Quartet, an American group, along with a dozen participants in a competition for European jazz-artists. The following year, the festival was expanded to five days to accommodate more guest artists, notably American pianist Bill Evans and American vocalist Nina Simone, and increased participation in the competition. Subsequently, the Montreux Jazz Festival became an annual event, and it continued to grow, both in duration and scope. In the late 1970s, it typically spanned two weeks, from early to mid-July, and covered not only jazz—but also an eclectic mix of blues, gospel, soul, rock, and other popular musical genres.

Swiss artist Jean Tinguely imagines the poster of the Montreux Jazz Festival and creates the highly recognizable logo. This 55th Montreux Jazz Festival was the opportunity for artists and the public to finally come together in the name of music. The Montreux Jazzy Festival has become the main annual event in Switzerland with 2 weeks of scheduled performances, workshops and competitions on guitar, solo piano and voice. Two of New York's best artists, Keith Haring and Andy Warhol, jointly create the lineup for the 20th anniversary of the Montreux Jazz Festival.

The Montreux Jazz Festival is a must-see event for music lovers from all over the world. If you plan a trip to Switzerland during this time of year, make sure you experience this big jazz-music festival. Pickyourtrail's destination experts are super prepared to help you plan a dream trip to Switzerland.