In 1967, the first Montreux Jazz Festival opened its doors. The festival was held at Montreux Casino, which burned down in December 1971 during Frank Zappa's performance. ("Smoke on the Water" by Deep Purple tells that story.)
It lasted for three days and featured almost exclusively jazz artists. The highlights of this era were Keith Jarrett, Jack DeJohnette, Bill Evans, Soft Machine, Weather Report, Nina Simone, Jan Garbarek, and Ella Fitzgerald.
Originally a pure jazz festival, it opened up in the 1970s and today presents artists of nearly every imaginable music style. Jazz remains an important part of the festival. Today's festival lasts about two weeks and attracts an audience of more than 200,000 people.
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