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The UIW Jazz Ensemble had the distinct honor and priviledge of performing at the 43rd Annual Montreux Jazz Festival

Jerrold, Jacqueline, and Brian got to hang out with Rachelle Ferrell while David, Jim and John spent time with Ella Fitzgerald

The Cockfield brothers exchanged ideas with Earth Wind & Fire's keyboard man and later, Paul got George Benson's autograph

These pictures were taken during the Monday, July 13th performance
John Panzarella warming up for first performance | UIW Jazz Ensemble hanging with George Benson

The director wants to play too! | Another shot of George Benson who was extremely friendly and gracious - video coming soon!

The street on the left is the route we took to walk to our train (elevation 3000 ft) to ride down to the street on the right

montreux_logoThe Montreux Jazz Festival was founded in 1967 by Claude Nobs, Géo Voumard and René Langel. The festival was first held at Montreux Casino. It lasted for three days and featured almost exclusively jazz artists. The highlights of this era were Keith Jarrett, Jack DeJohnette, Bill Evans, Soft Machine, Weather Report, Nina Simone, Jan Garbarek, and Ella Fitzgerald.

Originally a pure jazz festival, it opened up in the 1970s and today presents artists of nearly every imaginable music style. Jazz remains an important part of the festival. Today's festival lasts about two weeks and attracts an audience of more than 200,000 people.

In the 1970s, the festival began broadening its scope, including blues, soul, and rock artists, for instance Marianne Faithfull, Led Zeppelin, Frank Zappa, Deep Purple, Prince and many others. In December 1971, Montreux Casino burned down (an event memorialized in the Deep Purple song "Smoke on the Water"). The festival was forced to move until the new Casino was ready in 1975.

Towards the end of the decade, the festival expanded even more, including music from all continents (with an emphasis on Brazilian music) and lasting a full three weeks. Santana came to Montreux for the first time in 1970; Van Morrison played in 1974. Other artists included Weather Report, Camarón de la Isla, Soft Machine, Chuck Berry, George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic, Eric Clapton, Bo Diddley, Stan Getz, Airto Moreira, Joe Henderson, Dizzy Gillespie, Oscar Peterson, Charles Mingus, Etta James, Sonny Rollins, Count Basie, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, B.B. King, Gilberto Gil, Ray Charles, James Booker, Hermeto Pascoal, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Rory Gallagher, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Elis Regina, Les McCann, Eddie Harris, Pasadena Roof Orchestra, New Order, Jaco Pastorius, Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band, André Geraissati, Korni Grupa, Joe Satriani, and many more.

The initiator and—as of 2008—still the head organizer, Claude Nobs, has managed to bring an array of artists to Montreux, both established ones and newcomers.

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