« It’s the most important testimonial to the history of music, covering jazz, blues and rock »
These are the words that Quincy Jones pronounced to present the preservation and restoration project of one of the musical monuments from the 20th century, the Montreux Jazz Festival Archives.
From Aretha Franklin or Ray Charles to David Bowie or Prince, more than 6,000 hours of concerts have been recorded both in audio and video, since the creation of the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1967, by the visionary Claude Nobs.
The Montreux Jazz Festival video library is the largest testimony of live music recorded on the same stage, both in audio and video, for the past 48 years - more than 4,000 bands among others were filmed in Montreux resulting in 12,000 recording tapes.
The Claude Nobs Era joined the Memory of the World Register. In June 2013, UNESCO has inscribed 6,000 hours of the Montreux Jazz Festival audiovisual collection in its international Memory of the World Register, the documentary equivalent of “World Heritage”.
This collection of “live” music recordings, ranging from 1967-2012, with universal significance and intercultural dimensions for current and future generation has no direct equal in the world. This musical library traces a timeline of stylistic influences from the early styles of jazz to the present day.
In 2007, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) and Montreux Sounds, curator of the archives, have decided to join forces to create a unique and first of a kind, high resolution digital archive of the Festival.
This project started with the assistance of private individual benefactors following the signature of an agreement between Claude Nobs, Thierry Amsallem, curators of the archive, and President Patrick Aebischer (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne / EPFL).