The Montreux Jazz Festival is celebrating its 50th edition this year. A half-century of sublime, living music in an extraordinary little city. The 2016 poster by Giovanni Riva, like the projects and collaborations for this future-oriented jubilee, is steeped in the historic bonds that tie the Festival to its artists and public.
Over 50 years the Montreux Jazz Festival has become a singular rendezvous in the world of music. For this edition, the Festival intends to tell its story and affirm its values and specificities in order to better project itself into the future. From its creation in 1967 by Claude Nobs, who would have turned 80 this February 4th, the Festival rapidly earned a reputation for fantastic concerts, unbelievable artistic collaborations, rare moments, improbable anecdotes, audacity, ambitious projects, and impulsive decisions.
The Festival has welcomed legendary artists into its idyllic embrace. Some, like Prince and Deep Purple, contributed to penning the legend of Montreux through their songs, while others, like David Bowie, Nina Simone, and Freddie Mercury came and lived in the region, or recorded albums here. The Festival has mixed all musical genres and discovered and nurtured talented young artists, carving out a permanent mark on the world map and in the hearts of the public. The Festival continues today to bring to life the unreasonable dreams of its founder. Claude Nobs has inspired in his teams of yesterday, today, and tomorrow his passion and fundamental values: a sense of hospitality, close, friendly ties with artists, an obsession with sound quality, and a gift for bringing about the unexpected so that magic happens. To breathe life into all kinds of music for the greatest possible number in optimal conditions, Montreux has always been committed to progress, both on the main Festival stages and at the free venues.
From its inception the Festival has proven visionary by scrupulously recording every single concert using the latest technologies of the moment. This absolutely unique collection of audiovisual archives contains more than 5000 hours of live music, and has been recognized by UNESCO through inclusion in the “Memory of the World Register”.
This year the logo is at the heart of the poster artwork, with a multihued synthesis of all the posters produced up until now symbolizing 50 years of artistic encounters and mixing genres.
The artist behind this poster, Vaud’s Giovanni Riva, recomposed the official Festival logo from Jean Tinguely’s 1982 poster. On a midnight blue background grooved like a vinyl record, the logo is made up of fragments of the 49 preceding posters, laid out in chronological order. The 2016 poster thus brings together another incredible story: that of the connection between the Montreux Jazz Festival and the visual arts. The posters, like the audiovisual archives, constitute part of the Festival’s heritage. Since its creation, the Festival has given international artists “carte blanche” to create the posters. With his poster paying tribute to this Montreux tradition, Giovanni Riva wanted this symbolic artwork to be solidly rooted in the bedrock, the terroir, of the Festival, so he crafted a monumental luminous installation with help from local artisans.
ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE PROGRAM FOR THE 50th EDITION: 14 APRIL 2016
The program for this anniversary edition will be unveiled this coming April 14th. Since its very beginning, the Montreux Jazz Festival has never stopped evolving. This tradition of constant renewal will continue with the 50th edition: details on changes at the Parc Vernex and access to the lake will also be revealed at this event.