The Shure Montreux Jazz Voice Competition showcases up-and-coming vocal talents from around the world. The contest takes place each year during the legendary Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. Shure has been honoured to sponsor the competition since its inception back in 2003.

The legendary US singer Al Jarreau led the jury for the 2015 edition of the contest. Coming from as near as Switzerland and as far away as New Zealand, 10 entrants were invited to the semi-finals on July 15 at the Petit Théâtre at the Montreux Palace Hotel. The finals were held a day later after the jury whittled the field down to three singers.

“I’m so happy to be here, my heart is lifted up,” said Jarreau in inspiring comments during the finals. “I’m so encouraged to hear these people sing.”

The finalists had 15 minutes to show off their best vocal stylings. Alina Engibaryan from Russia was awarded first prize for her rendition of the gentle swing number “My Gentleman Friend” followed by “You’re Everything” by Chick Corea before ending with “Mood for Love” by James Moody.

Just 22 years old in 2015, Alina was studying at the Prince Claus Conservatoire in The Netherlands at the time of her victory. She first started attending jazz music school in her native Russia at the tender age of five. 

Alina Engibaryan, Winner of the 2015 Shure Montreux Jazz Voice Competition

It was a special evening, I am quite speechless.

Watch the full interview with Alina below.

Vuyo Sotashe from South Africa took second place and Yumi Ito from Switzerland finished third. All three finalists won €2,000 worth of Shure equipment each, as well as other prizes.

As in years past, former competition winner Sabine Kühlich was backstage to offer her insights and speak with the finalists.

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