On one side you have Montreux, a Swiss resort town on the banks of Lake Geneva that has seen many famous residents over the years, and which has been immortalized in the lyrics of the Deep Purple song “Smoke On The Water.” On the other you have a Japanese city in the heart of the world’s most heavily populated urban conglomeration, known for its heavy industry and whose name is familiar to people the world over as a motorbike marque. At first glance these two places may come across as something of an odd couple, but recently they’ve been getting along just fine, and this month sees Kawasaki hosting the Montreux Jazz Festival Japan (MJFJ) for the second time.

Conceived by Claude Nobs, the first Montreux Jazz Festival (MJF) was held in 1967 at the Montreux Casino. A success from the very start, it is now one of the biggest music events in the world and has expanded its appeal beyond the realm of jazz.

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