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Montreux Jazz Academy 2014

LESSONS IN PROXIMITY

The inaugural Montreux Jazz Academy proved to be fertile ground for the selected participants, who explored new territories in both public and private sessions. With a winning recipe of shared experiences, improvisation, exclusive concerts and daily creations, this successful initiative has reaffirmed the importance placed by the Montreux Jazz Festival on nurturing young artists.

How do you make a living from your music in 2014? How do you find your own path? How do you share and distribute your art using contemporary tools? How do you engage with the music business without losing your soul? These were just a few of the questions that the invited artists and mentors tried to answer from the viewpoint of their own experiences during this intensive week in Villeneuve and Montreux. Through invaluable contact with these guides, the 12 young virtuosos were able to hone their art and take full advantage of their knowledge of the music business. This rich source of inside info was not something always provided by their schooling. Each evening they performed publically at Funky Claude’s Bar in impressive jam sessions.

At the Montreux Palace, it was all about jazz. Workshops by the inspiring “professors” resulted in sublime encounters: Ravi Coltrane discussing his trajectory to illustrate the importance of developing his own style above and beyond technique, even at the risk of not being understood. Sonny Emory and Eric Harland, together for the first time around a drum set, engaged in a humorous dialog. The same concept brought together Yaron Herman and Bugge Wesseltoft the next day to break down the barriers between piano and electronic music, as the young candidates drank in the possibilities for new sounds. As for the live sessions, they resulted in intimate musical encounters between Anna Aaron and Erik Truffaz, and between Yaron Herman and Sébastien Schuller plus some candidates. The little stage at Funky Claude’s Bar was the scene of the kinds of moments that only happen in Montreux: Charles Lloyd and Eric Harland spontaneously joining the concert by Erik Truffaz and Bugge Wesseltoft, turning it into an improvised quartet that resulted in a historic jam that didn’t leave a dry eye in the house.

“Each note was just meant to be: this is the very reason we choose one day to make music. On this cold November morning, I am aware of how fortunate I am to have experienced that, a life lesson that I will never forget…Thank you, Charles Lloyd.” Jerry Léonide, pianist and 2014 Academy participant.

Throughout the week, the Centre Musical Sylvia Waddilove has danced to the rhythm of the constant exchanges between the 12 participating young talents and their mentors, opening new perspectives and palpable connections based on musical creation. Before heading back out on their individual roads with doubtless as many new questions as they have striking memories, tonight they will share the stage at their Villeneuve residence for two exceptional concerts with their 14 mentors: Charles Lloyd, Lee Ritenour, Sonny Emory, Patti Austin, Eric Harland, Bugge Wesseltoft, Makoto Ozone, Tom Kennedy, Yaron Herman, Jack Savoretti, Oh! Tiger Mountain, Gerald Clayton, Joe Sanders and Erik Truffaz. Two concerts in the image of the Academy: accompanying a new generation of musicians who already have amazing pedigrees. 

Day by Day Gallery

Day by Day Gallery

Have a look on the images of the Montreux Jazz Academy 2014

© 2014 FFJM - Marc Ducrest

Participants 2014

Participants 2014

Hailing from all over the world, 12 guitarists, vocalists, and pianists winners of the Montreux Jazz Competitions lived and worked at the Centre Musical Sylvia Waddilove, where they enjoyed a panoply of work sessions, mas­ter classes, and moments of close contact with artists and professionals ready and willing to address issues of interest to young musicians.

Program 2014

Program 2014

In 2014, the Montreux Jazz Academy had the chance to host several local and international artists.