Niles, IL, August 4, 2016–
The annual Shure Montreux Jazz Voice competition strives to promote and nurture talented young vocalists from around the world. The 2016 finals were held July 9 in the Petit Theâtre at Montreux Palace during the world-famous Montreux Jazz Festival, and the winner was Latvian vocalist Arta Jekabsone.
A former violin student and graduate of the Riga Choir cathedral school in the Latvian capital, Jekabsone is currently studying on a scholarship at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York. She tried to make her winning performance at the competition as personal as possible, as she explained in an interview: "When I was thinking about the concept of what to sing, for me the first condition was: be yourself. I chose the songs where I felt a connection."
This year, 164 entrants from all over the world took part, with ten semi-finalists performing in Montreux before an international jury of singers, composers, and journalists, and presided over by Beninese singer/songwriter Angélique Kidjo. With great difficulty, three contestants were chosen for the finals: Fabio Giacalone from Italy, Arta Jekabsone from Latvia, and Erik Leuthäuser from Germany.
Following a final set of performances, Jekabsone was announced as the winner, with Leuthäuser in second place, and Giacalone taking third. All three of the 2016 finalists will take home Shure products of their choice with a value of 2000 Euros each, along with other prizes.
“Shure has been a proud sponsor of the Montreux Jazz Voice competition since 2003,” said Nils Proesser, Marketing Director for Shure Europe. “Every year, the finalists’ interpretations and performances are a delight to behold. This year’s finalists were no exception.”