Nick Cave, Johnny Depp top bill at Montreux Jazz Festival

Australian musician Nick Cave, seen here at the BAFTA British Academy Film Awards in 2015, will be among the stars performing at this year's Montreux Jazz Festival
AFP

Geneva (AFP) – Australian alternative rocker Nick Cave, Hollywood star Johnny Depp and punk legend Iggy Pop will be among the headliners at this year’s Montreux Jazz Festival, organisers announced Tuesday.

The programme for the 52nd edition of the festival, which kicks off on the evening of June 29 and runs through July 14, offers “a particularly rich lineup”, organisers said in a statement.

Kicking off this year’s festival in the idyllic Swiss town of Montreux, on the shores of Lake Geneva, they boasted “the kind of improbable pairing that we love”, featuring French singer Etienne Daho and Italian singer, pianist and composer Paolo Conte.

Montreux has for more than half a century been a magnet for big names of the music business and rising stars alike. 

It has retained its jazz label despite dramatically expanding its repertoire over the years, with big names in rock, punk, R&B and hip-hop also on the bill this year.

Australian composer and singer Nick Cave will be one of the top attractions at the festival, where he and his band will be performing for the first time this year, hitting the main stage on July 12. 

The gothic frontman of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, who is known for the unsparing emotional intensity of his lyrics, is “an outsize personality, dark crooner, guru and poet,” the organisers said.

He is joined on the marquee by other music industry giants performing at Montreux for the first time, including US industrial band Nine Inch Nails and Jack White, of the White Stripes, who will be performing solo. 

Billy Idol, Iggy Pop and Van Morrison also figure on this year’s programme, as does Hollywood megastar Johnny Depp, who will be performing with his band Hollywood Vampires, which also counts Alice Cooper and Joe Perry as members. 

“In addition to that colossal freeway of rock is a veritable streetscape of options,” organisers said, pointing to “the retro-funk of Jamiroquai, the nervy hip-hop of N.E.R.D., (and) the sunny pop-folk of Angus & Julia Stone,” among others. 

Meantime, “at the crossroads of rock, electronic music and the avant-garde”, John Cale, a founding member of the mythical New York band Velvet Underground, will be at Montreux for the first time this year, accompanied by a string orchestra, organisers said.

Charlotte Gainsbourg, the daughter French legendary singer and songwriter Serge Gainsbourg and British actress Jane Birkine, who has just released her fifth album, will meanwhile return to Montreux this year, hitting the stage on July 2. 

In a tribute to its jazz label, the festival this year will create a new space, The House of Jazz, dedicated exclusively to projects within the genre, including an event featuring Brazilian singer Seu Jorge singing David Bowie songs in Portuguese.

The festival will also double the seating available at its Montreux Jazz Club stage to fit 600 people, organisers said.

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