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Montreux Presents Its “54th Summer of Music”

16 vintage performances from the Swiss jazz festival—including sets by Charles Mingus and Nina Simone—will stream on YouTube

Charles Mingus
Charles Mingus (photo: Sue Mingus)

The 54th edition of the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland was supposed to start tomorrow (Friday, July 3) and run through Sunday, July 18. Obviously, this will not be happening due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But in place of a live in-person event, the festival’s organizers will present “54th Summer of Music,” a series of vintage Montreux performance videos—all rare, some never previously seen—streamed exclusively via YouTube.

One performance a day will stream across the 16 days originally allotted to the festival, including six world premieres. Montreux Media Ventures, the festival’s media subsidiary, and its “54th Summer of Music” partner Eagle Rock Entertainment will donate all ad revenue generated from the virtual event to the National Museum of African American Music, currently set to open in the fall of 2020 in Nashville, Tennessee; viewers can also make donations to the museum through the entirety of the festival. 

The full schedule for “54th Summer of Music” is as follows.

Friday, July 3: John Lee Hooker (1983, world premiere)
Saturday, July 4: Charles Bradley (2016, world premiere)
Sunday, July 5: Dimeh, Slimka, Makala et Varnish la Piscine (2016) 
Monday, July 6: Suzanne Vega (2004)
Tuesday, July 7: Rory Gallagher (1979)
Wednesday, July 8: Charles Mingus (1975)
Thursday, July 9: Carlos Santana Plays the Blues (2004) 
Friday, July 10: Bang Bang Romeo (2019, world premiere) 
Saturday, July 11: Angelique Kidjo and Friends (2016, world premiere) 
Sunday, July 12: Nina Simone (1976) 
Monday, July 13: Deep Purple Live with Orchestra (2011)
Tuesday, July 14: Etta James (1993)
Wednesday, July 15: B.B. King (1993)
Thursday, July 16: Kenny Wayne Shepherd (2019, world premiere)
Friday, July 17: Tom Misch (2019, world premiere)
Saturday, July 18: Marvin Gaye (1980)

For more information, visit the Montreux Jazz Festival website