Montreux Jazz Festival Claude Nobs dies

Jan. 12, 2013 at 1:21 PM

LAUSANNE, Switzerland, Jan. 12 (UPI) -- Claude Nobs, the founder of the Montreux Jazz Festival held in Switzerland, has died from a cross-country skiing accident, festival organizers said. He was 76.

Nobs was seriously injured while skiing Dec. 24 and fell into a coma from which he never emerged at a hospital in Lausanne, The New York Times reported Saturday.

The three-day Montreux Jazz Festival was started in 1967 and eventually grew into one of the premiere jazz music festivals worldwide. Record producer Quincy Jones called it "the Rolls-Royce of Jazz festivals."

Approximately 200,000 people flocked to the small resort town of Montreux for the latest festival, which has grown to include rock and blues. The likes of Radiohead and Bob Dylan could be seen on stage in addition to jazz greats like Ella Fitzgerald and Miles Davis.

"Even now," Nobs said in a 2006 interview with Billboard magazine, "people ask me how dare do I call it a jazz festival." But, "Montreux Jazz is a brand name, and most of the people know what to expect."

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