Montreux Jazz Festival China gives voice to Swiss musicians

"China is definitely one of my priority countries. I've played here quite a few times. I think I've been around China three or four times always on great tours," said a Swiss artist.

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This aerial panorama photo taken on July 3, 2023 shows the night view of an industrial park in Suzhou, east China's Jiangsu Province. (Xinhua/Li Bo)

by Martina Fuchs

As the second edition of the Montreux Jazz Festival China is in full swing on the shores of Yangcheng Lake near the Chinese city of Suzhou, Swiss artists voiced their excitement to perform in the spirit of forging more cultural exchanges between East and West.

From Sept. 27 to Oct. 2, during China’s “golden week” holiday, the Montreux Jazz Festival China has attracted hundreds of music lovers from across China and musicians worldwide to the picturesque Yangcheng freshwater lake famous for its hairy crabs.

“I’m super thrilled to be here and excited to play for the Chinese again,” said popular Swiss singer-songwriter Bastian Baker, who rose to fame in 2011 with his debut single “Lucky.”

“China is definitely one of my priority countries. I’ve played here quite a few times. I think I’ve been around China three or four times always on great tours,” said the platinum-selling recording artist.

“Meeting the fans is what gives me the most happiness here in China. I really love it. There is such a great crowd,” Baker said.

Jessiquoi, an Australian-Swiss producer, composer and performer celebrated for her distinctive fusion of electronic music and rap, said: “I’m feeling so excited because I’ve been dreaming of coming to China to play since I was a teenager. I’ve been here several times before, but this is the first time I can play as a musician.”

Swiss rock band Stevans, which opened for prestigious groups like Coldplay, Deep Purple and Snow Patrol, said they were excited to return to China following the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We came in 2019 to play two tours, and we did a great collaboration with Chinese disco queen Rose Zhang Qiang. Here we are, back in China. We just love the culture, and there’s something special about Switzerland and China,” the duo said.

Jessiquoi said she hoped to push musical boundaries and captivate listeners in China and around the world.

“As an artist, I’ve been drawing inspiration from Chinese culture for a long time. Cultural exchange enriches both sides. It has definitely enriched me as an artist and personally in my life,” she said.

Baker, meanwhile, said, “Music brings people together. There’s this great power that music has of skipping differences and just bringing everyone together, and I really appreciate that. I love that.”

“Where Legends Are Born” is the slogan of the world-famous Montreux Jazz Festival, created in Switzerland in 1967 by Claude Nobs and takes place for two weeks every summer.

Since the end of the 1970s, the Montreux Jazz Festival has exported its savoir-faire, heritage and atmosphere to various cities worldwide with editions in Sao Paulo, Detroit, Atlanta, Singapore, Tokyo and Rio de Janeiro.

In 2021, the festival traveled to China for the first time to the eastern city of Hangzhou under the theme “Where East Meets West.”

Xinhua News Agency

Founded in 1931, Xinhua News Agency is one of the largest news organizations in the world, with over 10,000 employees across the globe. As the main source of news and information for China, Xinhua plays a key role in shaping the country's media landscape and communicating its perspectives to the world. The agency produces a wide range of content, including text news articles, photos, videos, and social media posts, in both Chinese and English, and its reports are widely used by media organizations around the world. Xinhua also operates several international bureaus, including in key capitals like Washington, D.C., Moscow, and London, to provide in-depth coverage of global events.

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