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Montreux Celebration

Montreux Statues & Monuments


Aretha Franklin

The sculpture of the artist Aretha Franklin was created by Italian sculptor Marco Zeno following a donation from Barbara J. Riley. It was inaugurated on July 6, 2010 in the Montreux-Palace gardens alongside many other musicians.

Story told by Claude Nobs, director and founder of the Montreux Jazz Festival about Aretha Franklin :

"Aretha came to Montreux in 1968 for the Golden Rose Festival and enjoyed it so much. I was desperate to bring her back to the Festival but we could not agree on the price and she did not want to fly. It was terrible. Finally I went to see her and I took with me the biggest box of the best swiss chocolate I could find. She opened it, bit into a piece filled up with champagne, looked up at me and said, "Is this box for me alone" ? I replied : "You can have as much as you want and for others too!" She burst out laughing and said "OK Claude, I'll come to your festival next year" ! Her concert was amazing, she's really one of the greatest artists of all time.

"June 12, 1971 in the Montreux Casino, Aretha Franklin was waiting behind the curtain. She will join on stage King Curtis and his musicians for a recital which will remain in the annals of the Montreux Jazz. The next day, the press will speak of a "cyclone" that has come down on Montreux. It will be one of the very last concerts of King Curtis, murdered two months later in front of his home in New York. He had just taken part in the recording sessions for the album Imagine by John Lennon.

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