Claude Nobs

Claude Nobs ( born February 4, 1936 in Montreux, † January 10, 2013 in Lausanne) was a Swiss cultural managers. He was co-founder and longtime director of the Montreux Jazz Festival.


Nobs initially trained as a chef. Beginning of the 1960s he became a member of the Tourist offices of Montreux. The neighboring town of his birthplace Montreux was already known by the television price Golden Rose of Montreux. Nobs official traveled to New York and decided spontaneously to visit Nesuhi Ertegun, the president of the record label Atlantic Records. In the hallway to his office, he met Roberta Flack and invited them as well as later Aretha Franklin one to their first European visit to Montreux. In 1964 he organized the first Rolling Stones concert outside of the UK.

Nobs was 31 years deputy director of the tourist office of Montreux, as in 1967, where she organized the first Jazz Festival together with Géo Voumard and René Langel. Already the first edition of the festival was filled with prominent musicians - among others, Charles Lloyd and his quartet ( Keith Jarrett, Ron McClure and Jack DeJohnette ), which caused right away for national attention. Nobs built "his" Festival quickly into an internationally recognized event, even toured intensively the home countries of the musicians (especially North and South America) and established close ties with numerous world famous musicians, producers and promoters.

In 1971, under the mediation of Nobs the rock band Deep Purple Montreux to make recordings. This should at the Casino of Montreux, whose hall was used in the basement for concerts, take place. On the eve was there a Frank Zappa concert, broke out as a fire and the whole building burned down. The members of Deep Purple were eye-witnesses of the event and dedicated to him later worldwide hit Smoke on the Water. Also, the rock band Queen used the known Nobs as genius loci for jazz, pop and rock musicians of all styles made ​​place for several pictures.

1973 Nobs Swiss director of the record company WEA ( Warner, Elektra, Atlantic ). Especially at Atlantic were legendary artists such as Ella Fitzgerald and Sonny Rollins and many others under contract, which from now on pilgrimage in the summer to Lake Geneva to give their concerts. In addition, the musicians came - in a more or less gentle pressure of Nobs - even in unusual situations to very popular jam sessions together.

In the 1990s, Nobs shared the direction of the festival for some time with the American musician, composer, arranger and producer Quincy Jones. Regular guest at this time was also Miles Davis.

For his contribution to tourism Nobs was awarded on 25 September 2004 with the Tourism Award of the Swiss Edition Salt & Pepper, the eulogy at the award ceremony at Lakeside Casino of Zurich held Alexander Pereira, the former director of the Zurich Opera House. Also in 2004, he was honored by the Vaudois Art Foundation in " recognition of his services for the benefit of the music " with the Prix du Rayonnement. 2006 was 40 years Nobs director and founder of the festival, which attracts around 200,000 visitors each year in Western Switzerland. Since 2008 he was a patron member of the Zermatt Unplugged. He owned more than 200,000 recordings which he likes at his chalet in Le Picotin heard Caux above Montreux. From 2006 until his death he lived 200 meters away, while living his longtime partner in Le Picotin in his newly built Chalet Le Grillon. In 2011, awarded by the United States for her life's work Nobs and Quincy Jones. At the award ceremony, it was said they were " the true ambassadors of America ." 2012 drew the Jazz Foundation of America in New York Nobs with the Dr. Billy Taylor Humanitarian Award for his work from.

In April 2010, Nobs said that he abgebe the operational management of the Montreux Jazz Festival due to health problems with his back to his team and especially to his designated successor Mathieu Jaton. However, the strategic direction will stay with him myself.

Nobs was killed on December 24, 2012 cross-country skiing in Caux and had to undergo an operation. After the procedure, he remained there until his death on January 10, 2013 in a coma.


  • Claude Nobs made ​​under the legendary Jethro Tull fans announcement " ... welcome to Festhalle Bern! " On the live album Jethro Tull - Bursting Out ​​.
  • In the Deep Purple song Smoke on the Water, he is as " Funky Claude " mentioned by name (referring to his assistance in the evacuation of the burning casino in Montreux 1971): Funky Claude what running in and out Pulling kids out the ground
  • 2006 accompanied " Funky Claude " Deep Purple during their Montreux Jazz Festival performance at the addition, " Black Night " with the harmonica