Youssou N’Dour’s Darfur Protest

Senegalese singer Youssou N’Dour marked the opening of this year’s Montreux Jazz Festival by inviting other acts to join him on a march in support of the victims of Darfur.

"We get the impression that the conflict has been put on the backburner by those in power," he explained, announcing that the march would follow the festival’s opening press conference on July 6.

"We have to show that people are outraged at how long it’s taking to resolve this conflict that has killed 300,000 people," he explained.

Figures are disputed regarding the number of people killed in Darfur: The United Nations says it’s 200,000 since 2003 plus a further 2 million left homeless, although some global aid organisations have pitched it much higher.

The opening press conference for Montreux Jazz, the 41st time it’s been held, was at the city’s media centre and grabbed headlines by announcing that the festival had managed to get an 11th-hour agreement for Prince to play a special show in the 3,500-capacity Stravinski Auditorium on July 16th.

It also formally unveiled the usual characteristically diverse lineup July 6-21, including Norah Jones, Beastie Boys, Placebo, The Chemical Brothers, Wilco, Van Morrison, Motorhead, Paolo Nutini, Heaven And Hell, Pet Shop Boys, Foreigner, Laurent Garnier, Chick Corea, Wu-Tang Clan and Beenie Man.