Preservation of Montreux Jazz Festival historic concerts (1978-1980)

Philippe Zumbrunn Collection

As part of the Montreux Jazz Digital Projectthe United Music Foundation has completed, in Geneva, the preservation of a series of historic Montreux Jazz Festival concert recordings (1978-1980), from the archive of Franco-Swiss sound engineer Philippe Zumbrunn (1931-2020).

Due to their state of deterioration, most of the audio tapes (Pyral CJ87 encoded in NagraMaster) had become unplayable. Their preservation – a major challenge – required the development of an innovative cleaning, playback and digitization process by the United Music Foundation, that will be the subject of a scientific publication on the occasion of UNESCO's World Day for Audiovisual Heritage.

Among the artists whose concert recordings have been saved by the United Music Foundation: Count Basie, Marvin Gaye, Dizzy Gillespie, Paco De Lucia, Miriam Makeba, Van Morrison, Albert Collins, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Jorge Ben, Ray Charles, Stan Getz, Gilberto Gil, Etta James, Van Morrison, Elis Regina, Jan Akkerman.
Launched in 2007 by EPFL and the Claude Nobs Foundation, the Montreux Jazz Digital Project aims to digitize, enrich and preserve the Montreux Jazz Festival recording collection inscribed in UNESCO's Memory of the World Register in 2013.


Organized by EPFL's Cultural Heritage & Innovation Center and the Claude Nobs Foundation as part of the Montreux Jazz Digital Project, the preservation project of Philippe Zumbrunn's collection was made possible thanks to the support of Memoriav.



United Music Foundation
Claude Nobs Foundation
EPFL Cultural Heritage & Innovation Center


    With the support of:

    Pyral CJ 87 HR tapes that have become unplayable due to their state of deterioration

    Tape cleaning process on special equipment

    Studer A-820 tape recorder, specially calibrated in Nagra Master

    Some images of the tape preservation process