Montreux Jazz Festival Stravinsky Auditorium, 2019 (© 2019 FFJM - Marc Ducrest)

Audemars Piguet and the Montreux Jazz Festival celebrated the closing night of the festival’s 53rd edition alongside Quincy Jones

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Le Brassus, 15 July 2019: Swiss Haute Horlogerie manufacturer Audemars Piguet and the Montreux Jazz Festival celebrated the closing night of the Festival’s 53rd edition on July 13, 2019—a co-organised event starring legendary Quincy Jones, godfather of the Montreux Jazz Festival and long-lasting friend of the brand. The closing party was the perfect occasion to officially celebrate the Global partnership between the two entities, which extends their ongoing collaboration begun in 2010 with the Montreux Jazz Digital Project. (4k High-resolution pictures available in the gallery, courtesy of Audemars Piguet)

The celebration started with Quincy Jones’ concert, Soundtrack of the 80s. A line-up of seven artists had gathered at the Stravinski Hall to play some of the most popular hits composed, produced or arranged by Quincy Jones in the 1980s. Jon Batiste, -M- (Matthieu Chedid), Gareth Daley, Lauren Jauregui, Ibrahim Maalouf, Jonah Nilsson and Sheléa were accompanied on stage by the Sinfonietta de Lausanne, directed by John Clayton and Jules Buckley.

After the concert, François-Henry Bennahmias, Audemars Piguet’s Chief Executive Officer, joined the closing party held at the Belvédère, where artists gather after concerts, along with more than 150 guests.

During their joined discourse, Mathieu Jaton, Chief Executive Officer of the Montreux Jazz Festival, and François-Henry Bennahmias unveiled Quincy Jones’ life-sized statue created by Italian sculptor Marco Zeno. This new bronze sculpture will replace the artist’s existing bust in the Fairmont Montreux Palace’s garden. This statue honours Quincy Jones’ commitment to the world of music and role as godfather of the Montreux Jazz Festival.

It was also the opportunity to celebrate the long-lasting friendship between Audemars Piguet and the producer. In 2009, the Manufacture presented the Millenary Quincy Jones Limited Edition, a watch epitomising their larger collaboration on Project Q, which raised awareness on young people’s need for self-expression.

The closing night proceeded with an incredible jam session on the stage of la Coupole, next to the Belvédère. Many of the artists present, including Jon Batiste, -M- (Matthieu Chedid), Gareth Daley, Lauren Jauregui, Ibrahim Maalouf, Jonah Nilsson and Sheléa joined the stage for a unique performance. Open to the general public, this improvised concert blew away hundreds of spectators. The party continued till dawn at the Belvédère with DJ Ariel Wizman.

This shared event symbolises the beginning of a new musical adventure for Audemars Piguet as Global Partner of the Montreux Jazz Festival and beyond.

For Mathieu Jaton, the Montreux Jazz Festival and the Manufacture share common values: “Craftsmanship, character and connection are at the heart of the Montreux Jazz Festival’s philosophy. These three Cs unite us to Audemars Piguet, whose craftsmanship and unique character bring about exceptional encounters and connections.”

François-Henry Bennahmias is equally excited to be part of the Montreux Jazz Festival family: “Music creates unique emotions and brings people together. We see that happening at the Montreux Jazz Festival where artists and audience gather to celebrate a shared passion. This family spirit is at the core of all that we do at Audemars Piguet. We are delighted to count the Montreux Jazz Festival among our partners.”

More to come in 2020. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, enjoy the Montreux Jazz Festival’s hits selected by our Chief Executive Officer François-Henry Bennhamias: Playlist


“To break the rules, you must first master them.”


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About Quincy Jones

Quincy Jones (b. 1933 in Chicago) started as a trumpeter. His determination to give jazz more interpretive freedom, more solos, more improvisation and a faster tempo led him to also take on the tasks of arranger, musical director and producer. He worked on dozens of jazz albums and collaborated with numerous artists such as Frank Sinatra, Barbara Streisand and Tony Bennett. In 1965, this native of the South Side Chicago ghetto made his grand Hollywood debut with the soundtrack of the Sidney Lumet film Pawnbroker; the first of a long series of film soundtracks. In parallel, he continued recording discs combining rhythm and blues, funk and pop music. Quincy Jones’ encounter with Michael Jackson in 1978 led him to produce Off the Wall (1979), Thriller (1983) and Bad (1987), all of which became planet-wide successes.

Quincy Jones is also recognised for his generosity. He was the brain behind the recording of the famous “We are the World” humanitarian song for which he united 46 American stars. He has also established The Quincy Jones Foundation, a philanthropic organisation committed to helping children by promoting their well-being, health and dignity.

Today, Quincy Jones has been awarded a total record of 80 Grammy Award nominations, 28 Grammys and a Grammy Legend Award (1992).


About Audemars Piguet

Audemars Piguet is the oldest fine watchmaking manufacturer still in the hands of its founding families (Audemars and Piguet). Since 1875, the company has written some of the finest chapters in the history of Haute Horlogerie, including a number of world firsts. In the Vallée de Joux, at the heart of the Swiss Jura, numerous masterpieces are created in limited series embodying a remarkable degree of horological perfection, including daring sporty models, classic and traditional timepieces, splendid ladies’ jewellery-watches, as well as one-of-a-kind creations.


About Audemars Piguet and the Montreux Jazz Festival

Audemars Piguet became Global Partner of the Montreux Jazz Festival alongside Accorhotel at the beginning of the year. Creators of exceptional (hi)stories and legendary moments, Audemars Piguet and the Montreux Jazz Festival put heritage and innovation at the heart of their savoir-faire.

The partnership between the Manufacture and the Festival stems from a natural evolution extending their ongoing collaboration and strong relationship. Starting in 2010, the Manufacture participated in the Montreux Jazz Digital Project together with the Claude Nobs Foundation and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL). This massive project enabled the digitalisation, restoration and preservation of the Festival’s entire sound archives, acknowledged by UNESCO as part of its “Memory of the World.” Quincy Jones has described this unique collection, which contains more than 5,000 hours of concert recordings, as “the most important testimonial to the history of music, covering jazz, blues and rock.” The Montreux Jazz Digital Project is perfectly aligned with Audemars Piguet’s quest for innovation and endeavour to maintain watchmaking heritage and tradition in its birthplace, the Vallée de Joux.

As Global Partner, Audemars Piguet accompanies the Montreux Jazz Festival during its Festival in Montreux and in its various entities all year long, including the Montreux Jazz Festival Café restaurants, organising shared events in Switzerland and across the world.

Audemars Piguet’s partnership with the Montreux Jazz Festival also confirms the Manufacture’s time-honoured interest in music and long-lasting relationships with artists. Committed to nurturing confirmed and upcoming artists, Audemars Piguet accompanies the Montreux Jazz Festival Artists Foundation in supporting tomorrow’s talents through the Montreux Jazz Academy and the Montreux Jazz Talent Awards.


About the Montreux Jazz Festival

Founded in 1967 by Claude Nobs, the Montreux Jazz Festival takes place over 2 weeks each summer in Switzerland. With ambitious programming choices and a savoir-faire forged in the hospitality industry, the Montreux Jazz Festival offers a haven of peace to both artists and public, where time seems to stop, as the most improbable encounters become reality. The Festival draws more than 250,000 visitors each year to the shores of Lake Geneva for concerts of renowned acoustics and numerous free-access events. In Montreux, the intimacy that encourages improvisation remains a top priority. Proximity between the biggest artists and their audiences results in unique concerts and memorable moments. While jazz and blues are at the roots of this event, other styles of music quickly found their place, leading to artistic encounters between generations of musicians and unique experiences. Montreux has thus seen historic performances by artists including Nina Simone, Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, Marvin Gaye, Prince, Leonard Cohen, David Bowie and Stevie Wonder. The festival celebrated its 53rd edition from June 28 to July 13, 2019.


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