(Photo Jon Batiste performing during Montreux Jazz Festival Miami. Credit @MannyofMiami)

Festival headliner & co-owner Jon Batiste leaves lasting impression on Miami, and closes with an impromptu performance alongside audience member Will Smith

MIAMI, FL, UNITED STATES, March 6, 2024 / — Montreux Jazz Festival Miami made its dazzling, long-awaited debut this past weekend when the multi-genre music extravaganza took over The Hangar in Coconut Grove for three consecutive days from March 1 to 3. The festival’s commitment to blend musical excellence with the perfect scenic backdrop brought a one-of-a-kind cultural experience to life.

Montreux Jazz Festival Miami reeled in thousands of concertgoers to experience show-stopping sets by Jon Batiste, Daryl Hall, The Wailers, Cimafunk, and Emily Estefan among many more. Following a record-breaking sold-out opening night, fans flocked to catch the Grammy-award winning Jon Batiste for an additional second night.

On Friday, March 1 concert goers enjoyed performances by Justin Kauflin, ELEW, and Jon Batiste himself with special guests Cecile McLorin Salvant, Cory Henry and Israel Houghton. Batiste led his band through the pumped crowd, initiating a New Orleans-inspired processional he refers to as a Love Riot.

Topping off each night, world-class musicians remained at the festival and got together for the Legendary Montreux Jam Session, curated by Elmo Lovano. The March 1st session saw Jon Batiste, Cory Henry and many others return to the stage for a two-hour long improvisation session. Midway through the jam, Batiste brought up to the grand piano South Florida’s 18-year-old piano prodigy, Brandon Goldberg.

Unveiling a handful of thrilling surprises, the festival’s second night saw many unexpected and praised moments with special guest appearances and an immersive masterclass given by Jon Batiste at the Colony Theatre. On Saturday, March 2, Grammy-nominated Cuban musician, Cimafunk, added the perfect touch to the festival’s Miami premiere, offering an outstanding performance. Performers also included Daniela Mercury and Adrian Cota & The Winston House Band.

Jon Batiste took to the stage for a second show with a special guest appearance by Brazilian chanteuse Lia de Itamaracá, for her first-ever performance outside of Brazil.

During the festival’s most talked-about moment, audience member Will Smith joined Batiste for a cameo rap performance that had audience-members in awe. Smith also posted a clip of himself and Batiste from the Festival across social media platforms.

The Legendary Montreux Jam on March 2nd featured over 50 musical artists including Cuban piano legend Gonzalo Rubalcaba who dazzled both audiences and the other musicians on the stage.

The third and final day of Montreux Jazz Festival Miami brought to life performances by Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Daryl Hall, iconic reggae band, The Wailers, Emily Estefan, Cory Henry, and sensational pianist Mathis Picard, with his trio.

Montreux Jazz Festival Miami was supported by global partner Audemars Piguet, and new partners Saratoga Spring Water, Glenfiddich, 2200 Brickell, Jammcard, Bandsintown and official sound partner, Meyer Sound.

About Montreux Jazz Festival
The Montreux Jazz Festival takes place for two weeks every summer in Switzerland, on the shores of Lake Geneva. Created in 1967 by Claude Nobs and directed by Mathieu Jaton since 2013, the Montreux Jazz Festival has become over the years an essential event, generating fantastic stories and legendary performances. Nearly 250,000 spectators come to the festival every year, enjoying a breath-taking setting, concerts with peerless acoustics and many free stages. Montreux Jazz Festival spotlights the industry’s emerging and contemporary acts, while paying homage to music’s biggest names.

Originally a pure jazz festival since its inception in 1967, Montreux began showcasing other styles of music throughout the decades and today presents artists from across every genre imaginable. Artists that have graced the stage of Montreux include Etta James, Quincy Jones, Bob Dylan, Elton John, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Aretha Franklin, David Bowie, James Brown, Kendrick Lamar, Leonard Cohen, Marvin Gaye, Miles Davis, Nina Simone and many more. In addition to its iconic annual event, the Montreux Jazz Festival has exported its unique expertise and ambiance to cities worldwide for over fifty years. From São Paulo to Detroit, Atlanta to Singapore, Monaco to Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro to Suzhou, and now Miami, these global editions continue to embody the spirit of the Montreux Jazz Festival.

Angela Rodriguez
A R Entertainment
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Will Smith makes a surprise appearance at Montreux Jazz Festival Miami

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