Music

The Montreux Jazz Festival, key numbers.

The Montreux Jazz Festival, key numbers.

Reading Time: 4 minutesEvery year summer is pulsing around Lake Geneva in Switzerland thanks to the Montreux Jazz Festival. This very special Festival was founded in 1967 by Claude Nobs, Géo Voumard and René Langel with considerable help from Ahmet and Nesuhi Ertegün of Atlantic Records. The festival was first held at Montreux Casino. It lasted for three days and featured almost exclusively jazz artists. The highlights of this era were Miles Davis, Keith Jarrett, Jack DeJohnette, Bill Evans, Soft Machine, Weather Report, The Fourth Way, Nina Simone, Jan Garbarek, and Ella Fitzgerald. Originally a pure jazz festival, it opened up in the 1970s and today presents artists of nearly every imaginable music style. Jazz remains an important part of the festival. Part of the festival’s expansion was due to coproduction by Quincy Jones who brought many international artists in the early 1990s. Here is a great video with Mr Quincy Jones talking about the early…

Inside Claude Nobs’ chalet in Montreux, a beautiful place for passionate people.

Inside Claude Nobs’ chalet in Montreux, a beautiful place for passionate people.

Reading Time: 5 minutesMontreux Jazz festival is pulsing and LuxuryActivist got to visit one of the most VIP places of all: the Claude Nobs chalet called Le Picotin. This is a very special place in the highs of Montreux, where Claude Nobs used to live and share his passion for music. 2 years after his death, his spirit has never been so strong and his home became a place for people sharing the same intense passion for music. Only some happy few have the chance to visit the place and enjoy the amazing hospitality. It is a place for memories and a place for hope in terms of the future of music. The review here. The Montreux Jazz Festival, the entire world of music meets in Montreux The Montreux Jazz festival is probably one of the most incredible music festivals in the world. From the edgy program, to the location, period of the…

Patricia Kaas, enchantress with a new album.

Patricia Kaas, enchantress with a new album.

Reading Time: 4 minutesIt was in Geneva, that we discovered the new tour of French singer Patricia Kaas. It was the first date in Switzerland. She will cross Germany, Belgium, Austria, Netherlands, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, and of course France. We saw a charismatic, inspired and enchantress Patricia Kaas. After singing other artist’s songs like Edith Piaf, it was time for Patricia Kaas to come back with her own songs. The tour gathers a collection of her greatest hits as well as songs from the new album. It has been several years that we did not see Patricia Kaas in concert. Patricia Kaas sold more than 20 million albums worldwide. All fans waited for more than 13 years to see a new original album. We have the very best Patricia Kaas possible. Her live voice is perfect, like in the CDs. The mise en scene is minimalistic, elegant and essential. This album would reflect the woman she…

Here is what you did not know about Coachella festival.

Here is what you did not know about Coachella festival.

Reading Time: 5 minutesMusic festivals became a real big deal worldwide and it is a positive thing. People can share a nice moment around music and amazing singers. By far, one of the most popular festival in the world is the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, or simply mentioned as Coachella Festival. From an interesting programme to all the celebrities you can see there, the Californian Festival is more than just jeans shorts and make-up. Here is what you did not know about the most fashionable festivals in the world. Who owns the Coachella Festival? We could say that the people owns Coachella. With 200’000 tickets sold every year in less than 20 minutes, the festival is always breaking new records. Behind the festival there is Goldenvoice, a subsidiary of AEG Live, the second biggest concerts organizer just after Live Nation. AEG live was founded in 2002 by Philip Anschutz, after acquiring…

Sion Festival 2016, one of the best classical music festival in Europe.

Sion Festival 2016, one of the best classical music festival in Europe.

Reading Time: 4 minutesWe all know that Switzerland is an amazing country for festivals. From small music festivals to major ones, Switzerland stands for quality, uniqueness and expertise. One of the best examples is the Sion Festival. This year it will take place from August 19th to September 4th 2016 and once again, the festival organizers have prepared an outstanding programme. Year after year this Swiss festival climbed all the stairs of the Classical music world and stands today as one of the major events in Europe. The International Music Festival Sion Valais was founded in 1964 by Tibor Varga, Hungarian violinist and renowned pedagogue. Three years later, he merged it with a violin competition, which quickly became an true part of the Festival. In 2002 the artistic direction of the Festival was taken by Shlomo Mintz, the famous violinist. Also appointed Chairman of the International Violin Competition, he invited a number of prominent violinists (soloists and…

Christine and the Queens: if Barbara was born in 1988 she would have been Heloïse Letissier.

Christine and the Queens: if Barbara was born in 1988 she would have been Heloïse Letissier.

Reading Time: 4 minutesThe French music landscape has been painted in a new color thanks to the arrival of Christine and the Queens. Some say it is minimalistic, others essential. At LuxuryActivist we would say just two words: free and inspired.

Tidal vs Spotify, who is going to win the battle of our hearts?

Tidal vs Spotify, who is going to win the battle of our hearts?

Reading Time: 7 minutesSpotify was the tsunami in terms of online legal music distribution. Now it seems we have a earthquake called TIDAL. Jay-Z project about a better music service, sustainable and fair for the artists and the users. Who is going to win the battle? Spotify the ultimate (r)evolution in terms of legality and online music experience Spotify was launched in 2008. 7 years later the Swedish company has more than 60million registered users, 15 million are paid users. The music giant just washed away Soundcloud and Deezer that remain either more niche or local. From a technical point of view, Spotify Premium streams music at 320Kbit/s. This is supposed to be a good quality for listening. Certain mobile OS use a compression technology that triggers the effect of a better quality without any buffering. An off-line mode authorizes Premium subscribers to listen to music without being online. Thanks to Spotify and…

Elina Garanča finally back to La Scala in Milano. Carmen!

Elina Garanča finally back to La Scala in Milano. Carmen!

Reading Time: 5 minutesElina Garanča’s reprise will take place at Teatro alla Scala in Milano. Considered as one of the most demanding Opera audience, performing at La Scala is like walking on fire. Elina Garanča will then fight fire with the fire of Carmen, her signature role. Starring opposite José Cura as Don José with Massimo Zanetti leading from the podium. Carmen, a passionate story, only one truth: to be free no matter what and above everything Carmen is considered by experts as the most played Opera in the world. Yet, its debut was not as we could consider as glamorous. When Georges Bizet delivered Carmen, it was firstly performed at Opera Comique in Paris. This happened on March 3rd 1875. We would imagine that the audience of that time would immediately recognize Bizet’s talent on this masterpiece… Well, actually they did not. After the Premiere, the Parisian audience did not understand at…

Lana Del Rey Ultraviolence, a sad Marilyn…

Lana Del Rey Ultraviolence, a sad Marilyn…

Reading Time: 3 minutesWe all remember the youtube big hit “Video Games” by Lana Del Rey in 2011. It was the moment in which the world discovered American singer Lana Del Rey. Music critics had some concerns saying she was a “Justin Bieber for adults”. Well, they were wrong. Born to Die, heavenly perfect With the launch of her first album “Born to die”, well, we realized those music critics were just… Jealous. The album was the perfect match between an amazing recording voice, talented proved producers, outstanding musicians and great lyrics. You can read our review here. Born to Die sold by June 2014 more than 3.4 million copies in the world. It was definitely a big hit. Lana Del Rey was satellized from her hometown anonymous status to the rank of worldwide rockstar in weeks. She started then hundreds of concerts around the world and reached the recognition of her pairs…

Kurt Cobain, 20 years already. Photo exhibition in Paris.

Kurt Cobain, 20 years already. Photo exhibition in Paris.

Reading Time: 5 minutes27 years old is a tricky age for Rock stars. And Kurt Cobain proved it once more by joining the selective club of rock stars who died at the age of 27. Like Jim Morrisson, Jimmy Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Brian Jones or recently Amy Winehouse, Kurt Cobain died at the top of his glory. Probably that is why he became a sort of symbol and rock legend. It’s been 20 years now and in order to remember his disappearance, there is a new photo exhibition in Paris that will take place from March 25th to June 21st 2014. And it is called: “The Last Shooting”. Kurt Cobain, Desperate Rock star or the symbol of a lost generation? The end of the 80’s, beginning of the 90’s was a complex moment. After all the exaggerations of the past decades, the world engine was slowing down because of economic crisis, Aids devastating…

Elīna Garanča returns 2014-2015

Elīna Garanča returns 2014-2015

Reading Time: 5 minutesOne of the best news of the month is that Elīna Garanča will be back on stage by the end of the year. By giving priority to he family and the birth of her second child, we have been missing her a lot from the opera scenes around the world. So now it is official, she will be back just before Christmas. And that is good news! The Knight of the Rose by Richard Strauss, what a comeback! The amazing thing with Elīna Garanča is that she will always surprise you by the outstanding choices she makes. You might always find her where you would not expect. And at the end, you realize that she always does the right choices. So after all this time being away you could imagine her coming back for a more conservative role. No, this would mean you do not know the daring personality of…

Cully Jazz Festival – the biggest small festivals of all

Cully Jazz Festival – the biggest small festivals of all

Reading Time: 3 minutesIn a little more than a month, Leman lake in Switzerland will vibrate in a different way thanks to the new edition of Cully Jazz Festival. This year the program is again as special as “connoisseur“. Little flashback It was in 1983 that Daniel Thentz and Émmanuel Gétaz had the idea to create this festival. And this dynamic duo had everything to succeed. Daniel Thentz, who passed away in 2011, was a guy from Cully with a huge passion and even bigger talent for Jazz. He was definitely one of the key musicians, trompetist, and composer in Switzerland. Émmanuel Gétaz learned everything from master Claude Nobs for more than 10 years. That’s why Cully Jazz festival became one of the important references in the world of music festivals. Until 1995, all concerts took place at Salle Davel in Cully but a fire ruined the place and then the festival organizators…

Elīna Garanča first biography: “Wirklich Wichtig Sind Die Schuhe”

Elīna Garanča first biography: “Wirklich Wichtig Sind Die Schuhe”

Reading Time: 5 minutesElīna Garanča is official in “baby break” for the second time. We are all happy for her. In order to let us with something while she is away from the spotlights, last month she released a Best of album with her most iconic interpretations and this month she is releasing her first auto-biography called “Wirklich Wichtig Sind Die Schuhe”. In German, it means “Really important are the shoes”. Elīna Garanča, a star made in Latvia Latvia is an amazing country. This country has a little more than 2 million inhabitants and they have probably one of the strongest concentration of Classical singers with an international career. Elīna Garanča is a perfect example of such talented and gifted Latvian singer. From Lizete Iesmina-Mihelsone at the beginning of the 20th century to young Maija Kovalevska or Anna Krauja, Latvia bursted into the international scene of Opera singers for more than 100 years. Elīna Garanča…

Deaf Preachers, Rock & Energy at the maximum.

Deaf Preachers, Rock & Energy at the maximum.

Reading Time: 3 minutesThis month, discover Deaf Preachers. An amazing Rock band, between garage-rock and punk-rock. They have been playing since 2006 and the only word is: ENERGY. They are launching a new EP this month, more than one year after the first album. For this and more below, they are our Music band of the month. End of 2006, the group was founded under the name The Bagro’s. Since then, they have been constantly playing and pushing the limits of energy on stage. When you listen to their music, one huge influence comes to our minds: The Stooges. In deed, the same energy, an outstanding, high voltage guitar, big drums and a virtuose at the bass. It is pure, crystal clear and will definitely burst your ears. The garage rock has never been so modern and true to its roots. In 2009, they made their first public appearance in a rock festival,…

Musopen, let the music free. Next project: Chopin.

Musopen, let the music free. Next project: Chopin.

Reading Time: 3 minutesMusic is one of the most precious heritage human kind has. It should be shared to everybody and many times people complain about the price of music. Musopen has a mission to set free the music by proposing free recordings of the major masterpieces in classical music. Musopen, set the music free Musopen is a non-profit association with the mission to improve access and exposure to music by creating free resources and educational materials. Based in California, they provide free recordings but also sheet music and even textbooks to the public. No copyright restrictions. In their website you can already find many of the major composers for classical music and you can simply download the music. You can also find a lot of information about the composer, as a mini-bio. On each composer, you can browse the available catalog by composer, performer, instrument and even time period. It is probably…

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