2nd edition of Montreux Jazz Festival China ready with aim to connect through music

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Despite the impact of COVID-19 on live music and cultural events, Montreux Jazz Festival China said it's determined more than ever to continue building musical and artistic bridges between China and the rest of the world.

"I want to bring the most beautiful music festival in the world to China, my beloved home country," Joyce Peng Peng, the CEO of Montreux Jazz Festival China, told Xinhua.

"And I want to connect between Switzerland and China for culture, people, art, and music," she said during the iconic Montreux Jazz Festival currently in full swing in its 56th edition on the shores of Lake Geneva, featuring more than 500 concerts and activities on 13 stages.

She said combining Chinese and global musical genres to forge links between different cultures was her lifelong dream.

Last year, the Montreux Jazz Festival traveled to China for the very first time and took place in Hangzhou, east China's Zhejiang province, on Oct. 5-8 under the theme "Where East Meets West."

It featured live performances by nine bands and a total of 46 musicians from six countries. Amid COVID-19 restrictions, 1,000 people were able to attend in person each day while 2,240,000 viewers participated in the online streaming.

"Swiss tour" in China

The organizers are now getting ready to stage a second edition, with the main festival to be kicked off in Hangzhou on Oct. 15-16 followed by a "Grand Swiss Roadshow 2022" across several major Chinese cities under the auspices of the Embassy of Switzerland as well as other Swiss institutions in China.

The roadshow is accompanied and promoted by music, arts, culture and educational events throughout the year, including a poster competition and exhibition, which were held earlier this year, Peng Peng said.

She also expressed optimism that she could book and welcome international artists again in 2023.

"This year we still focus on Chinese and international musicians who live in China, there are many award-winning musicians from the younger and older generations and their styles are very diverse, ranging from jazz, blues, to rock."

"Next year we want to bring international musicians from overseas and also find more talented young musicians and try to provide them with a platform, with a stage."

Ernst-Jan Tolen, president of the Montreux Jazz Festival China, said: "We are positive that we will have a very good festival with an excellent line-up, exciting artists, and hopefully a big audience participating. Last but not least, there is also a live-streaming audience, which we are very keen for."

The Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland was founded in 1967 by Claude Nobs and has been held every summer. This year's events are taking place on the shore of Lake of Geneva on July 1-16. 

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