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These are the words that Quincy Jones pronounced to present the preservation and valorisation project of one of the musical monuments from the 20th century, the Montreux Jazz Festival Archives.

Claude Nobs Legacy

From Aretha Franklin or Ray Charles to David Bowie or Prince, more than 15,000 hours of concerts have been recorded both in audio and video, since the creation of the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1967, by the visionary Claude Nobs.

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"Live at Montreux":

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The Montreux Jazz Festival video library is the largest testimony of live music recorded on the same stage, for the past 50 years - more than 5,000 bands among others were filmed in Montreux resulting in 14,000 recording tapes. Read more ›

UNESCO Memory of the World

Claude Nobs Era joined the Memory of the World Register. In June 2013, UNESCO has inscribed the Montreux Jazz Festival audiovisual collection in its international Memory of the World Register, the documentary equivalent of “World Heritage”.

This collection of “live” music recordings, ranging from 1967-2012, with universal significance and intercultural dimensions for current and future generation has no direct equal in the world. This musical library traces a timeline of stylistic influences from the early styles of jazz to the present day. Read more ›

The Montreux Jazz Digital Project

In 2007, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) and Montreux Sounds, curator of the archives, have decided to join forces to create a unique and first of a kind, high resolution digital archive of the Festival.

This project started with the assistance of private individual benefactors following the signature of an agreement between Claude Nobs, Thierry Amsallem, curators of the archive, and President Patrick Aebischer (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne / EPFL). Read more ›



Keeping Artists' Memory Alive :

Scientists from Microsoft and the University of Washington have reached an early but important milestone in synthetic DNA storage by storing 2 songs from the Montreux Jazz Festival Archive, 200 megabytes of data on the molecular strands. Demand for data storage is growing exponentially and the capacity of existing storage media is not keeping pace. DNA could be one solution.

Claude Nobs Foundation was invited at the White House during the 2016 UNESCO International Jazz Day for a major concert that was as prestigious as it was exclusive, headlined by artists with intimate ties to the Festival. These stars included Aretha Franklin, Sting, and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock. This sent a particularly strong message in this jubilee year for the Festival, which since 1967 has been an international beacon for the power of jazz to promote freedom and togetherness (Concert and pictures >>).


Interview with Quincy Jones, Montreux Jazz Festival 2013.

Claude Nobs was not only the Founder and Director of the Montreux Jazz Festival. He was also a musician who often joined famous artists on stage for improvised jam sessions.

Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO  "Jazz is more than music, it is a universal message of peace, harmonising rhythm and meaning, carrying values significant for every woman and man, providing unique opportunities for mutual understanding, through listening, playing, improvisation."

Prof. Patrick Aebischer, President Emeritus EPFL / Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne.

Access UNESCO Memory of the World Register

Access UNESCO Memory of the World Register

Facts and figures


  • 14,000 magnetic tapes, weighing 30 tons
  • 600 meters of shelves
  • 14,5 PetaBytes of storage (14,500 TeraBytes) @ EPFL
  • 150 people involved in the Montreux Jazz Digital Project @ EPFL