GENEVA Haitian-born rap star Wyclef Jean will stand in at the Montreux Jazz Festival for Lauryn Hill, who has canceled her European bookings, organisers said on Tuesday.
Organisers scrambled to replace the American Grammy-winner, who has already canceled tour dates in Japan. "Europe now has to face the disappointment of missing out on the fantastic Lauryn Hill," the festival said in a statement.
"We were told she was cancelling her European tour," Montreux festival spokeswoman Pauline Lalondrelle told Reuters.
Wyclef founded the hip-hop group Fugees along with Hill and Pras Michel. They recorded the 1996 Grammy-winning album "The Score," which sold some 17 million copies worldwide.
He takes the stage at Stravinski Auditorium on July 11 after an homage to American civil rights activist, soul singer and songwriter Nina Simone, featuring Dianne Reeves, Lizz Wright and Angelique Kidjo.
"His new album, which features Akon and TI, is set for release this autumn and we can expect many of the songs to be debuted on July 11th," the statement said.
New Yorker Eric Lewis aka ELEW, whom it called "a slightly mad pianist with an equally astounding amount of technical and improvisional talent," will be playing the same night next-door at the famed Miles Davis Hall, followed by bass virtuosos trio SMV: Stanley Clarke, Marcus Miller and Victor Wooten.
"Chances of the night ending in a jam session are very strong," it said.
Chaka Khan has also booked a return engagement on July 6, teaming up with George Duke's trio for a jazz concert at Miles Davis Hall, according to the statement. The Black Eyed Peas remain booked that night at Stravinski Auditorium.
More than 1,000 musicians are to perform at the 43rd annual festival along Lake Geneva, one of Europe's most prestigious summer music events, between July 3-18.
(Editing by Paul Casciato)