Let the music play as Montreux Jazz Festival returns to China
The prestigious Montreux Jazz Festival is making a return to China this year, playing out its second Chinese edition in September during which more than 200 international musical performers will gather at the Yangcheng Lake in Kunshan, neighboring Jiangsu Province.
The world-famous jazz festival has been held every summer in Switzerland on the shores of Lake Geneva since 1967. In 2021, the inaugural Chinese edition of the Montreux Jazz Festival was hosted near the West Lake in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, on a relatively small scale due to COVID-19.
After a one-year absence due to the pandemic, Montreux Jazz Festival China will return from September 27 to October 2. The main stage will be set at the Fairmont Yangcheng Lake Resort, which is just a one-hour drive from Shanghai. A few other stages will be set up at Kunshan City landmarks, including Tinglin Garden and Kunshan Forest Park.
"We are honored to bring the 57-year-old Montreux Jazz Festival to China," said Ernst-Jan Tolen, president of Montreux Jazz Festival China. "The creative and unconventional Montreux Jazz Festival China team is committed to present a unique live music festival where East meets West in the form of music."
According to Qi Pengpeng, CEO of Montreux Jazz Festival China, more than 40 international bands and 200 musicians have already confirmed their participation, with 80 percent of them from overseas.
A detailed schedule and musician line-up will be announced in Shanghai later in August.
Despite its name, Montreux Jazz Festival is not limited to jazz music alone. According to the organizer, about 30 percent of the performances will be jazz, while the rest of the stages will be open to all music genres like rock, pop, funk and electronic.
"Montreux Jazz Festival is premier, because it emphasizes creativity and freedom, and encourages musicians to express themselves fully on stage," said Charles Foldtet, an American drummer who is based in Shanghai.
"I have lived in China for 16 years, and witnessed the development of the music industry here, including the introduction of the Montreux Jazz Festival China," said Foldtet. "Music has a healing function, especially after what we have encountered in the past few years. Me and my band The Foldtet will see you at the festival."