From 28 June to 13 July 2019, the Montreux Jazz Festival will explore current sounds and celebrate timeless music.
The 53rd edition features new trends, striking individuals, and absolute legends from African-American and British music.
On the program: Janet Jackson, Thom Yorke, Slash, Elton John, Joan Baez, Bon Iver, Anita Baker, Rita Ora, James Blake, Rag’n’Bone Man, Sting, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Janelle Monáe, Tom Jones, Chick Corea, Quincy Jones, Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, George Ezra, $uicedeboy$, Cat Power, Jessie Reyez and many more.
PROGRAMMA E BIGLIETTI >
Play. Pause. Forward. The symbols placed at the center of the 2019 posters each reflect the spirit of one of the Festival’s venues. Through its emblematic stages, the Montreux Jazz Festival celebrates its legends, honors its jazz roots, and displays its passion for the trends of tomorrow. An overview of the program.
AUDITORIUM STRAVINSKI : PLAY
In an era that sees networks instantaneously create and destroy careers over a few months, the Auditorium Stravinski continues its focus on the timeless, hosting legends with big personalities. Because it’s above all individualism on display in the intimacy of the Auditorium Stravinski: with only two exceptions, all the headliners at the Stravinski are performing under their own names. They have all left their mark on American and British music.
First off, three women who have each impacted a generation of R&B and American pop: Janet Jackson, Ms. Lauryn Hill and Janelle Monáe. The first, who contributed to a profound renewal of R&B, arrives at the Festival to further solidify her legend. The second presented a landmark show two years ago in Montreux, and honored Nina Simone by singing two of her songs. The third returns to the Festival with an album celebrated everywhere as one of last year’s very best. In 2010, a prestigious guest slipped backstage incognito for her first Montreux show: none other than… Prince!
Two kings of indie music, Thom Yorke and Bon Iver, will transport the Auditorium Stravinski with their singular melancholies. Thom Yorke is back 16 years after an unforgettable show with Radiohead, while Bon Iver will play at Montreux for the first time.
After a 2018 edition that was steeped in rock, ZZ Top and Slash are more than worthy of representing the genre. The emblematic guitarist from Guns N’ Roses will make his faithful Les Paul roar for the first time in Montreux.
This edition is marked by three farewell tours. For many artists, the Montreux Jazz Festival is a place charged with symbolism. For Joan Baez, it might be the memory of a crazy jam session with B.B. King in 1989. For Anita Baker, a unique concert alongside George Duke and the Al Jarreau Band in 1986. For Elton John (at Saussaz Stadium), it was his last chance to discover the Festival founded in 1967, the year of his fateful encounter with lyricist Bernie Taupin.
Two of Great Britain’s most powerful voices, steeped in blues and American soul, each represent a generation: the inimitable Tom Jones, and Festival favorite Rag’n’Bone Man, who after health problems last year had promised to return to Montreux. Also from Britain: the infallible pop-folk of George Ezra, cult duo The Chemical Brothers, and faithful friend of the Festival Sting, returning on a tour celebrating his biggest hits.
Last but not least, Quincy Jones will close out this edition by revisiting his highest-profile compositions from the eighties with Lausanne’s Sinfonietta. Powerful symbolism.
MONTREUX JAZZ CLUB: PAUSE
Here, jazz is the music of every possibility. Virtuosity, nuances, and intimacy are enjoyed to their fullest in this cozy space where time seems to stand still. Inaugurated last year, the House of Jazz has lived up its promises. It is home to the new incarnation of the Montreux Jazz Club, more spacious and with reworked aesthetics, which has made a strong impression on the public.
One of the key moments for this edition of the Montreux Jazz Club: the inimitable Joe Jackson will celebrate 40 years of a multifaceted career featuring new wave hits, influences from dub, and jazz experimentations.
Two of the most popular voices in jazz today will perform for the first time at the Montreux Jazz Club: the incontestable queen of crooning Melody Gardot, and indefatigable vocal explorer Bobby McFerrin. As for the legendary Billy Cobham and Chick Corea, they will each present a special project in Montreux: the former, on his 75th birthday, will revisit his album Crosswinds with Randy Brecker; the latter will bring a flamenco touch with his Spanish Heart Band, a nod to his 1976 album.
Genius pianists capable of generating emotion but also (and above all) known for off-piste experimentation, Chilly Gonzales and Yann Tiersen will light up the Club. “Gonzo” will play the Club two nights in a row, while the mystical harmonies of the Breton composer will resonate for the first time at the Festival.
Another pair of aces: New Orleans natives Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah and Terence Blanchard, who are nothing less than two of the planet’s finest trumpet players, as well as brilliant at freeing jazz from all constraints. The first, present at the Quincy Jones birthday event last year, has set himself the task of uniting people and knocking down social barriers. The second, Spike Lee’s official composer, returns to Montreux twenty-six years after playing here with the Jazz Messengers and Art Blakey, who he is honoring through his project A/B Squared.
“Bringing gospel closer to its African roots” is the idea behind the brilliant project blending the Malian Afropop of Amadou & Mariam with the American gospel of the Blind Boys of Alabama. Africa will also be at the heart of the opening night at the Montreux Jazz Club, with the Afrobeat of Seun Kuti, leader of the legendary orchestra Egypt 80, founded by his father.
The Brazilian delicacy of Ivan Lins, the blues guitar style of Robben Ford, the quintet of Vincent Peirani, and the versatile class of José James, preceded on stage by Kimberose, complete the tableau for the 53rd edition at the Montreux Jazz Club.
MONTREUX JAZZ LAB: FORWARD
A striking snapshot of current sounds, the Lab sketches out the shapes of the music of tomorrow. This is where the public, in an electrifying ambiance, sees the stars of the future.
The universe of electronic music has been an integral part of the Lab since its beginnings, and this edition is no exception. Out of Berlin, previously in Montreux together supporting their project Moderat, Apparat and Modeselektor will each present their new albums in live performances. The former alongside multiinstrumentalists and machine virtuosos David August and Monolink, the latter during the long-format evening on the final Friday. An evening that will be wrapped up by the techno DJ par excellence, Berghain resident Ben
With a strong character and multiple hits, including 13 in the British Top 10, Rita Ora is the planetary superstar of this edition of the Lab. Mysterious and fascinating: two appropriate descriptors to describe the universes of James Blake, an intricate craftsman and Festival favorite, and Sevdaliza, a complete artist on an unstoppable upward trajectory, performing on the same night.
The trademark of the Lab and its programmers: nights in which everything goes together perfectly. That’s brought together songwriter Lewis Capaldi, disarming Canadian Jessie Reyez, and the BBC’s ‘Sound of 2019’ Dermott Kennedy. These three sensitive souls are each at a key moment in their career, and ready to take off. In fact, Lewis and Jessie already worked together on a title in 2018. Also together for an evening, Loyle Carner, Tom Misch, and FKJ orbit together in a hyperactive and interwoven South London steeped in unabashed jazz and hip-hop influences.
Strongly individualistic and icons of indie, Cat Power and Mac DeMarco will each present a new album. The first unflinchingly recounts her healed-over wounds and victories over the fears that ate at her in the past. The second is armed with sunny hymns and touching low-fi ballads, but above all with humor and self-derision.
Soul and funk accents will conquer even the stage of the Lab! Festive, irresistible, and soaking in influences – rhythmic and melodious – from all over the globe, the trio Khruangbin and the collectives Snarky Puppy and Jungle are certain to launch the Montreux public into orbit.
As for Lab mainstay hip-hop, the tour de force consists of bringing together completely new combinations of artists who will be getting stuck in the public’s heads over the coming weeks. The English-language evening with $uicideboy$ and Scarlxrd, with explosive shows and an anxiety-provoking aesthetic, reflects a world in torment. A five-star lineup is in store for two French-language nights: one with Algerian icon Soolking and the hymn “Liberté”, Koba LaD, Maes, PLK, and SCH; the other with Suzane, L’Or du Commun, and Columbine.
And among the artists you can’t afford to miss: the ubiquitous Eddy de Pretto – on stage the same night as the staggering Grace Carter – Masego, and Fatoumata Diawara… with many more to discover during 16 frenetic days at the Montreux Jazz Lab!
EARLY BIRD INSIDER
The Festival offers early bird access to tickets. Each subscriber to the Montreux Jazz Insider mobile app will be able to purchase tickets starting 9 April at 2pm, a whole day before the ticket office officially opens. Montreux Jazz Insider brings together music-lovers and passionate friends of the Festival, and provides them with special offers and exclusive news items all year round.