Claude Nobs

born on 4/2/1936 in Territet bei Montreux, VD, Switzerland

died on 10/1/2013 in Lausanne, VD, Switzerland

Claude Nobs

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Claude Nobs

Claude Nobs, founder and general manager of the famous Montreux Jazz Festival, 2006
Born February 4 1936
Territet, Montreux, Switzerland
Died January 10 2013 (aged 76)
Lausanne, Switzerland

Claude Nobs (February 4, 1936 January 10, 2013) was the founder and general manager of the Montreux Jazz Festival.


Nobs was born in Montreux, Switzerland. After apprenticing as a cook, Nobs worked in the Tourism Office of Montreux. He later went to New York, where he met Nesuhi Ertegün, the then-president of Atlantic Records. He also met Roberta Flack and invited her to the Rose dOr de Montreux. Later, Aretha Franklin made her first visit to Europe thanks to him.

At the age of 31, while he was director of the Tourism Office of Montreux, he organized the first jazz festival featuring artists such as Charles Lloyd, Keith Jarrett, Ron McLure and Jack DeJohnette. This new festival was an immediate success, and gained a reputation far beyond Switzerland. Nobs quickly transformed his festival into an international gathering place for lovers of jazz.

In 1971, Deep Purple decided to produce and record their album Machine Head in Montreux. The group was also scheduled to record at the Montreux Casino, shortly after Frank Zappa performed. During Zappa's concert, the venue caught fire and reduced the Casino to ashes. Nobs saved several young people who had hidden in the casino, thinking they would be sheltered from the flames. This act earned him a mention (in the line Funky Claude was running in and out pulling kids down to the ground) in the song "Smoke on the Water", which is about the incident. Also, on the inner liner of the original album, Nobs' picture was the only one labeled with a name other than those of the band members themselves.

In 1973, Nobs became the director of the Swiss branch of Warner, Elektra and Atlantic. On the live Jethro Tull album Bursting Out (recorded on 28 May 1978 in Bern), one can hear Nobs announcing "...herzlich willkommen in der Festhalle Bern!" (Welcome to the Festhall of Bern).

During the 1990s, Nobs shared the directorship of the festival with Quincy Jones, and made Miles Davis an honorary host. The festival continued to diversify and was no longer exclusively devoted to jazz.

In 2004, the festival attracted 200,000 visitors. On 25 September 2004, Nobs received the Tourism Prize of Salz & Pfeffer. The canton of Vaud gave him the "Prix du Rayonnement" for his contributions to music. He has also received an honorary doctorate.

Nobs played harmonica on the opening track of the 1983 Chris Rea album Water Sign.

In 2005,[1] during the referendum campaign on registered partnership in Switzerland for same-sex couples he came out publicly to support the new law. At the time, Claude Nobs had been in a relationship with his partner, Thierry Amsallem,[2] since 1987.

On 24 December 2012, he had an accident while Nordic skiing in Switzerland and fell into a coma. Nobs died on 10 January 2013 at age 76.[3]

Claude Nobs left a documentary heritage of international significance for current and future generations, inscribed as of June 2013 on UNESCOs Memory of the World Register. Thierry Amsallem, his partner, will continue to give life to Claudes collection through the newly established Claude Nobs Foundation, with a goal of preserving and making accessible to the greatest number of people this compendium of 5000 hours of live recordings. Its the most important testimonial to the history of music, covering jazz, blues and rock is how Quincy Jones describes the Montreux Jazz Festival collection.


  1. Montreux founder reveals his winning formula. (24 June 2005).
  2. En perdant Claude Nobs, le plus grand festival du monde est orphelin (French). Tribune de Genève (11 January 2013).
  3. Claude Nobs, Montreux Jazz Festival founder, dies. BBC News. Retrieved on 11 January 2013.

External links

  • Montreux Jazz Festival
  • Live at Montreux
  • Claude Nobs Foundation (2013)
  • Claude Nobs Revealed, on
  • Montreux-Vevey Tourisme official website of Montreux Riviera Tourist Office

Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Claude Nobs

Deep Purple
Ian Gillan | Steve Morse | Roger Glover | Don Airey | Ian Paice
Ritchie Blackmore | Jon Lord | David Coverdale | Joe Lynn Turner | Tommy Bolin | Glenn Hughes | Rod Evans | Nick Simper | Joe Satriani
Albums : Shades of Deep Purple | The Book of Taliesyn | Deep Purple | Deep Purple in Rock | Fireball | Machine Head | Who Do We Think We Are | Burn | Stormbringer | Come Taste the Band | Perfect Strangers | The House of Blue Light | Slaves & Masters | The Battle Rages On | Purpendicular | Abandon | Bananas | Rapture of the Deep
Live albums: Live in Inglewood | Concerto for Group and Orchestra | Kneel & Pray | Scandinavian Nights | Space Vol 1 & 2 | Made in Japan | Deep Purple In Concert | Made in Europe | Live in London | California Jamming | Just Might Take Your Life | Perks And Tit | Mk III: The Final Concerts | Last Concert in Japan | King Biscuit Flower Hour Presents: Deep Purple in Concert | This Time Around: Live in Tokyo | Nobody's Perfect | In The Absence of Pink: Knebworth 85 | Come Hell or High Water | Live In Europe 1993 | Live at the Olympia '96 | Total Abandon: Live in Australia | In Concert with the London Symphony Orchestra | Live At The Rotterdam Ahoy | The Soundboard Series
Videos and DVDs: Concerto for Group and Orchestra | Special Edition EP | Live In Concert 1972/73 | Live in California 74 / Live at the California Jam | Come Hell or High Water | Bombay Calling | Live at Montreaux | In Concert with the London Symphony Orchestra | Live in Australia: Total Abandon | Perihelion | Live Encounters
Compilation Albums: Purple Passages | 24 Carat Purple | When We Rock, We Rock, and When We Roll, We Roll | The Mark II Purple Singles | Deepest Purple: The Very Best of Deep Purple | The Anthology | 30: Very Best of Deep Purple | Days May Come and Days May Go | Listen, Learn, Read On | Winning Combinations: Deep Purple and Rainbow | Deep Purple: The Platinum Collection
This page was last modified 25.04.2014 10:51:30

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