Jaton named new head of Montreux Jazz Festival

Series of memorial events for Claude Nobs announced by MJF board

Mathieu Jaton, new head of the Montreux Jazz Festival (photo, © 2009, Lionel Flusin – Montreux Jazz Festival Foundation)

MONTREUX, SWITZERLAND – Mathieu Jaton was named the new general director/chief executive of the Montreux Jazz Festival (MJF), the organization’s board announced Tuesday morning 15 January. Jaton, who joined the festival in 1999, has been its secretary general since 2001 and he was selected by founder Claude Nobs to succeed him as CEO. Jaton has directed festival operations for a number of years.

Nobs died 10 January followed a cross-country ski accident over the Christmas holidays. He was 76 years old.

The 37-year-old Jaton, from Fribourg, was educated at the Lausanne Hotel School. He has a reputation for warmth, reserve and sound management, Le Temps noted in a profile of him in July 2010, when Nobs said he would like Jaton to succeed him.

The MJZ Foundation board also approved a new organization chart for the festival, proposed by the new general director, and board members were re-elected for a period of three years.

A number of events will now be held “to allow the countless friends of Claude Nobs and the public to say farewell to an exceptional person who shaped the world of music and his region for nearly 50 years”, a statement from the board says:

  • 8 February 2013, in keeping with the wishes of Claude Nobs, there will be a musical event in the early evening at Auditorium Stravinski in Montreux. This event will allow the Festival to express, in the name of Claude Nobs, his gratitude to the City of Montreux, its region, and its inhabitants. This musical soirée will bring together artists representing the diverse genres that Claude Nobs loved, in a festive, democratic mode—this gathering will be completely free.
    The complete program and other details will be released very soon.
  • In spring 2013 there will be a memorial event for Claude Nobs in New York. This city inspired Claude Nobs to found the Festival when he met with the Ertegun brothers, the directors of Atlantic Records. This event will bring together American artists who are friends of Claude Nobs and the Festival.
  • The 47th Montreux Jazz Festival will be held from 5 to 20 July 2013. The most fitting homage to the Festival’s founder will be to organize a particularly successful edition of the Festival, following in the pattern that he put in place—this holds true both in programming and in an array of innovations regarding certain elements of the Festival. This year’s Festival will be the occasion for a variety of memorials to Claude Nobs.
  • 26 and 27 July 2012 there will be a special event at the Royal Opera House in London following plans initiated by Claude Nobs. The complete programme and other details will be released at a later date.