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Artists pay tribute to Claude Nobs in Montreux


Funky Claude night in the Stravinski Hall (Keystone)

Funky Claude night in the Stravinski Hall

(Keystone)

Swiss and international artists gathered in Montreux on Friday to pay tribute to Claude Nobs, founder of the legendary Montreux Jazz Festival. Nobs, who was injured in a fall while cross-country skiing, died on January 10 at the age of 76.

From left, Swiss musician Andreas Wollenweider, Swiss singer Bastian Baker, Montreux Jazz Festival director Mathieu Jaton, Scottish singer and songwriter Paolo Nutini, Swiss musician Dieter Meier and Swiss singer Michael von der Heide on stage at the Stravinski Hall during Funky Claude night.

Nobs, who trained as a chef, launched the summer festival in 1967 while working at Montreux's tourism office. He went on to attract some of the world's greatest stars, including Miles Davis, Ray Charles and Prince, to perform there.

HIs reputation in the music world was sealed when he was referred to as "Funky Claude" in the song "Smoke on the Water" by rock band Deep Purple, written about a fire that burned down Montreux casino during a Frank Zappa concert in 1971. During the fire Nobs rushed to save young concert-goers.

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