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Claude Nobs, Founder & CEO Of The Montreux Jazz Festival, Named Midem 2007 Personality Of The Year
By Mi2N
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MIDEM announces that Claude Nobs, Founder & CEO of the world-renowned Montreux Jazz Festival, will be honoured with the MIDEM Personality of the Year Award. Claude Nobs will receive the trophy during a gala dinner for industry VIP executives at MIDEM in Cannes on Monday, January 22, 2007.

"For over 40 years music has been at the heart of Claude Nobs' life," says MIDEM Director Dominique Leguern. "His enthusiasm and exceptional love of all types of music have forged the Montreux Jazz Festival not only into a unique event, but also into one of the world's most culturally diverse. His generosity and talent have given audiences the privilege to see many of the world's greatest artists perform live at Montreux."

"I am very honoured to have been chosen as MIDEM Personality of the Year and would like to share this trophy with the musicians, record labels, producers and of course the public who have had confidence in me for the past 40 years," comments Claude Nobs.

A passionate lover of jazz, Claude Nobs began his career as an accountant for the Montreux Office de Tourisme where he also worked on promoting tourism for the town.

In the '60s, during a trip to New York, Claude Nobs met Nesuhi Ertegun, who was the president of Atlantic Records at that time. Ertegun introduced him to the singer Roberta Flack, who he immediately invited to perform at the Rose d'Or in Montreux.

Having successfully persuaded Aretha Franklin to sing for the first time in Europe, Claude Nobs founded the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1967. The initial three-day event was an overnight hit and quickly became the international meeting place for jazz-lovers from around the world.

In 1973, Claude Nobs was named international director for WEA, which grouped the American record labels Warner, Elektra and Atlantic. In 1977, the festival ran for 23 days and proposed an eclectic line-up of music. Artists from an array of musical trends performed: jazz geniuses (Sonny Rollins, Quincy Jones, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis), rock gurus (Bob Dylan, Frank Zappa, The Pretenders) as well as international celebrities Joao Gilberto, Tom Jobim, Leonard Cohen, Johnny Cash, Van Morrison, B.B. King, Ray Charles, etc....

In addition to the Montreux Jazz Festival, Claude Nobs opened a company specializing in European tours for international artists. For over ten years he coordinated tours for artists including: The Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac, AC/DC, Neil Young, Paul Simon, Bette Midler, etc.... He also worked for Atari, Warner Communications and contributed to the launch of numerous Warner Music artists who emerged on the Montreux Jazz Festival stage. In 2001 he stepped down as a full-time Warner Music employee.

In the '90s, Claude Nobs shared the directorship of the Montreux Jazz Festival with the renowned producer and musician Quincy Jones. Today the festival continues to attract 250,000 music fans each year.

In December 2006, Claude Nobs will receive the French cultural award 'Commandeur dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres' ('Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters').

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