Former Genesis singer and drummer Collins will delve into 1960s Motown and soul before hundreds of musicians from the worlds of pop, rock, blues, and jazz come together in the Swiss lakeside town from July 2 to 17 for one of Europe's most prestigious summer music events.
"Phil Collins is the typical example of an old friend because he played at the festival thirty years ago with his band Brand X by the swimming pool in a free show," festival founder Claude Nobs told Reuters.
British art rockers Roxy Music, making their first appearance at Montreux since 1973, are first up in the main hall when the 44th edition of the festival gets under way properly.
Other crowd pleasers are set to be multi-instrumentalist Norah Jones, ranked top jazz recording artist of the past decade by Billboard, on July 3, an evening of rock from Billy Idol and Gary Moore on July 6, U.S. singer-songwriter Ben Harper on July 7 and U.K. trip-hoppers Massive Attack on July 8.
"The spectrum of music has become very wide and if you look at the program you can think 'should the name jazz be mentioned?'. But this year we are very lucky," Nobs said. "We have all the major jazz acts that would draw a crowd."
These include a quintet of great North American jazz keyboardists, starting with Brad Mehldau at the gala night on July 4, which also features soprano Jessye Norman breaking down the barriers between jazz, classical music and gospel.
Herbie Hancock rounds off the feast of jazz piano on July 16 with a record 26th Montreux appearance.
"If I book a musician twice in a row it's because he's going to bring something fresh. Herbie played through all these years and it's never the same musicians and never the same tunes," said Nobs.
Guitar aficionados can also catch jazz virtuoso Pat Metheny and flamenco ground-breaker Paco de Lucia on July 7 an 8, respectively, before Buddy Guy and Joe Bonamassa -- artists from very different backgrounds and generations -- give a blues master class on July 13.
Fans of African music can look forward to Senegalese superstar Youssou N'Dour showcasing his foray into reggae, "Dakar-Kingston," on July 9, when Beninese Angelique Kidjo also leads an all-star tribute to her idol, Miriam Makeba, who died in late 2008.
Makeba, known affectionately to fans as "Mama Africa," spent three decades exiled from her homeland, South Africa, after becoming a prominent voice against Apartheid.
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