Saturday, 9 August 2014

Montreux Jazz Festival, Switzerland.

11th - 14th July 2014...

What an amazing experience, THE Montreux Jazz Festival! I have been so very lucky to get the opportunity to travel for work purposes and boy has it been amazing! Especially this particular trip.

Lush hotels, lush food and priceless experiences with amazing people.


I didn't even know before, but now I know that the Montreux Jazz Festival is one of the most famous Jazz festivals in the world! It's held annually in early July in Montreux on the Lake Geneva Shoreline. This was my first time ever in Switzerland and I was overwhelmed by the beautiful scenery, the fresh air and clear water! Definitely quite different from the Thames!! What's more, the simple fact that I am travelling with the fabulous singer-songwriter Paloma Faith and her band! If you do not know of her music I highly recommend that you should get to know ;) she doesn't sing about 'drinking in the clubs with hoes and bitches' haha......Her latest album 'A Perfect Contradiction' is wonderful, it's not often that I like every single song on an album even after listening to it over and over again. Paloma's music has much more profound and meaningful concepts compared to a lot of the very commercialised stuff out there. This album delivers fun beats and catchy melodies as well as smooth bluesy vibes and soulful jazz. This is not me being biased because I get to work for her but truly because I appreciate her music and I want people to know about it. The media is a funny thing, sex always sells, sadly I feel like a lot of commercial music is a slave to this (to name a few Jason Derulo - talk dirty, wiggle wiggle....Snoop Dogg - Drop it like its hot, Robin Thicke - Blurred lines) I mean the list is endless. This is not to say that I don't like commercial music like this but I am well aware of the message it sends and tend not to pay much attention to these kind of lyrics and rather enjoy the beat and melody. This is the difference with Paloma's music, the lyrics are deep and meaningful, it is the very opposite to shallow, I can feel and hear life experiences, of love, loss and tragedy...Listen to it and see what you think!

Wow ok I totally went off on a tangent there. It literally just came out, I started and couldn't stop...So back to talking about Montreux. We stayed in the Grand Majestic Hotel, what a lucky girl I am, need I say more but the name of the hotel.

Maybe a fews pics though ;)

The view from the hotel restaurant, and this was in bad weather!

The gym, sad I didn't try the sauna or steam room :(

Errm my room, excuse the unmade bed I was in a rush to get breaky before check out! 

We were lucky enough to get a full Saturday afternoon off after flying from Amsterdam airport (we were also at the North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam on the Friday) and arriving at the Grand Majestic around 1-2pm. It was a very chilled afternoon with Paloma and some of the band, had a lovely smoked salmon salad in a bar next to the hotel before the evening events began. I also met the very lovely and telentedLaura Mvula and co

That evening was such a memorable experience. We were invited to the home of Claude Nobs, the founder of the Montreux Jazz Festival to enjoy the breathtaking views and a feast of bbq'd meats and other treats. On arrival we took a little tour and spent quite sometime watching the archives of previous gigs at the Montreux Jazz Festival. It was quite something to watch the old performances from legends like James Brown and Marvin Gaye. And I have to say what an incredible chalet!! Just google it and you will get the idea. I was told not to post any pictures on social media of inside the chalet so I am not going to do so. It was fantastic, a cosy vintage feel mixed with modern day living, with baby grands on every floor, a huge professional kitchen, a long balcony/terrace (not sure which is the right word..), a glass lift, glass staircase, I bet you can imagine!

Photos from the balcony:

They had chefs and wait staff and everything, seriously I am so blessed that I got to experience that, what an absolute treat!! After dinner everyone convened to the lower ground floor which was basically a music room, baby grand piano once again, organ, drums, guitars, amps and just all the musical things! This is when the jam session began. It. was. ah-mazing! All these amazing musicians coming together and jamming out, it was very cool to say the least. I decided against indulging in the free flowing drinks and got back to the hotel and did some late night cardio in the hotel's gym and reflected on the day, finished by a lush bubble bath in my cute hotel room. I rarely take the time for a nice bubble bath so this was yet another treat for me.

The following day I woke up on a high, thoroughly enjoyed the hotel breakfast buffet (believe me!) and ventured out on my own in the afternoon before the evening gig called us to work. I took a stroll along the shoreline where there were loads of stalls set up for the festival selling all sorts. It was a glorious day with the sunshine out amongst a few clouds. I stood and just gazed out into the water for a few minutes to take it all in, I wish I could share how I felt at that moment...

Making sure I had proof that I was there haha!

As late afternoon approached is was time to scurry off to work. As wardrobe mistress to the 11 piece band, after prepping and everyone is hurried to stage I am very fortunate to get to watch the whole show as well. This was a seriously incredible gig, after being inspired by the archive videos Paloma and her band hit it hard and out of all the gigs I've seen them do this really topped it! After the gig and work was done with, the party began! I popped in to watch Robin Thicke for a bit as he performed one of my favourite old hit songs of his, 'Lost without you'. This was followed by a brief meeting of Robin Thicke's band backstage, then rushed down to catch the last of catering with a few of Paloma's band before heading to the famous Montreux Jazz Club. Again, I COULD have got absolutely wasted, with the free flowing alcohol but no kidding I was buzzing anyway from the atmosphere. High on life! The whole trip just got even cooler when Paloma and her hot band got up to start a jam and as it progressed pulled in unknown musicians. Even Robin Thicke's band showed up and joined in to! I cannot tell you how freaking amazing/awesome/mind-blowing it was!!

Watching Paloma's gig from the sound booth.

Witnessing an incredible jam session at the Montreux Jazz Festival.

I really have rambled on in this post but I just had to share this wonderful experience, its something I will never forget. Genuinely one of the best experiences of my life so far. I may not be where I thought I would be 5 years ago but there's is only so much in life you can control. I do believe things happen for a reason, and for whatever reason I was given this great opportunity. What goes around comes around, so work hard and be patient and the rewards will come around. When they do, seize them and absorb the experience with all your being.

With love, Lele

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