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Montreux Jazz Festival Statue unveiled of ‘funky’ Claude Nobs


A statue of Claude Nobs, the founder of the Montreux Jazz Festival who died in 2013, has been unveiled in the Swiss resort overlooking Lake Geneva. 

The bronze work by Swiss sculptor Andreas Altmann will be installed in the gardens of luxury hotel Fairmont Le Montreux Palace, joining figures of other artists linked to the festivalexternal link such as Quincy Jones, Ella Fitzgerald and Carlos Santana. 

Nobs, who was 76 when he died following a cross-country skiing accident, launched the jazz festival in 1967 while working at Montreux’s tourism office. 

He was immortalised as “Funky Claude” in “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 several young concert-goers.

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