Montreux Jazz Festival has returned for the 57th consecutive year to the shores of Lake Geneva to bring together 250,000 music lovers from around the globe to enjoy 15 days of acoustic concerts and free access events. This year’s musical program included renowned artists such as Bob Dylan, Lionel Richie and Audemars Piguet ambassador Mark Ronson. We have witnessed a sophisticated musical experience at the hands of AP. We tell you about it.
Founded in 1967 by Claude Nobs, the Montreux Jazz Festival is held every summer for 2 weeks in Switzerland. With a very measured selection and a unique savoir faire, the festival offers a haven of peace for both artists and audiences, where music is at the center of everything. Something very different from what we are used to at festivals on the peninsula.
The proximity between the biggest names in music and their audiences translates into unique concerts and memorable moments. While jazz and blues are in their raison d’être, other styles of music such as rap or reggaeton have quickly found their place. Montreux has seen historic performances by artists such as Nina Simone, Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, Marvin Gaye, Prince, Leonard Cohen, David Bowie and Stevie Wonder.
Almost everything in this small Swedish city goes to the continuous rhythm of the archives of the best concerts transmitted by the screens. Even the Montreux Jazz Café located in the Fairmont Hotel has relics that narrate more than half a century of musical history: a jukebox, the kimono offered by Freddy Mercury to the founder of the Festival; on the walls you find emblematic photographs of the greatest of the industry, giving an almost museum-like character to this experience, not only gastronomic but also cultural and patrimonial.
Arriving at the Lake House, a relatively recent location of the festival, we find three floors destined to different functions: concert hall, archive room, a vinyl library and a bar located under the elegant dome that crowns the building. Next to it, Audemars Piguet sets up its experiential space where to summon friends and clients to spend a pleasant afternoon in front of the lake talking about how the APxMusic projects developed since 2019 and before with the MJF are so important for the Swiss watchmaker.
Here, Audemars Piguet CEO François-Henry Bennahmias and Mathieu Jaton, CEO of Montreux Jazz Festival were waiting us to have a chat with them about how important is the creative synergy between Haute Horlogerie and the music festival. As the main sponsor of Montreux Jazz Festival, for Audemars Piguet the preservation and enrichment of the festival’s audiovisual archives is crucial. Since 2010, the brand has been involved in the Montreux Jazz Digital Project with the Claude Nobs Foundation and the EPFL. This huge project undertakes the digitization, preservation and expansion of the festival’s audiovisual archives, recognized by UNESCO’s “Memory of the World” program. Later, in 2019, Audemars Piguet took this relationship a step further by becoming a global partner of the festival.
The Manufacture in Le Brassus has also forged lasting friendships with artists and musicians, such as Jay-Z or Quincy Jones. These artists share values such as technical virtuosity, precision and innovative zeal with the watchmaker. “Music creates unique emotions and brings people together. The furor that used to be caused by jazz is now caused by the world of hip hop. That’s why it’s so important to include them in this musical gathering,” says François-Henry Bennahmias, CEO of Audemars Piguet.
The «AP & Music» program launched in 2019, through which the brand promotes a rich dialogue between artists and the experimentation of unique encounters, this year welcomes the performance of Mark Ronson to put the finishing touch to the 15-day festival. In his second year as brand ambassador, Audemars Piguet has entrusted the British-American DJ, composer and music producer with the mission of creating an exclusive and collaborative show to celebrate the closing night of the Montreux Jazz Festival. For the occasion, Mark Ronson joins on stage the musicians who have marked his career, some of whom he has mentored, such as Lucky Daye and Yebba. All this under the singular gaze of creative director Daphnée Lanternier. The concert, entitled Mark Ronson and his Favourite Band Ever, was a tribute to the artist’s musical family.
Once again this year, Montreux Jazz Festival and Audemars Piguet write a new chapter of their collaboration, in their mission to drive musical excellence to create the extraordinary and to thrill. A mission in line with the community of talented craftsmen that the Manufacture has cultivated and developed in La Vallée de Joux since 1875.
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