The 2020 edition of Switzerland’s famous Montreux Jazz Festival was to have kicked off this past Friday, but the event was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In its place, the organizers have launched a 16-day virtual festival dubbed “Summer of Music,” featuring archival performances by different artists each day streaming at the event’s official YouTube channel.

Among the performances by famous veteran artists that will featured during the series are a 1979 show by late blues-rocker Rory Gallagher on Tuesday, July 7; a 2004 concert by Carlos Santana on Thursday, July 9; a 2011 performance by Deep Purple, accompanied by an orchestra, on Monday, July 13; and a 1993 set by blues icon B.B. King on Tuesday, July 14.

The series wraps up on Thursday, July 16, with a 1980 show by Motown legend Marvin Gaye.

Other artists whose archival performances will be a part of the “Summer of Music” series include singer/songwriter Suzanne Vega, jazz greats Nina Simone and Charles Mingus, blues legend Etta James and blues-rocker Kenny Wayne Shepherd.

“Since its beginnings in 1967, the Montreux Jazz Festival has been immensely fortunate to have built up, thanks to the visionary spirit of [its late founder] Claude Nobs, a rich and unique audiovisual archive,” notes festival CEO Mathieu Jaton.

“This heritage has made the Festival famous and continues to make it shine through initiatives such as the 54th Summer of Music…This summer, this heritage is more essential than ever.”

Here’s a full list of the upcoming “Summer of Music” streaming concerts:

7/6 — Suzanne Vega (2004)
7/7 — Rory Gallagher (1979)
7/8 — Charles Mingus (1975)
7/9 — Carlos Santana (2004)
7/10 — Bang Bang Romeo (2019)*
7/11 — Angelique Kidjo and Friends (2016)*
7/12 — Nina Simone (1976)
7/13 — Deep Purple Live with Orchestra (2011)
7/14 — Etta James (1993)
7/15 — B.B. King (1993)
7/16 — Kenny Wayne Shepherd (2019)*
7/17 — Tom Misch (2019)*
7/18 — Rag’n’Bone Man (2019)*; Marvin Gaye (1980)

* = world premiere.

By Matt Friedlander
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