Roberto Carra 1970 Montreux Jazz Festival
Artwork by Roberto Carra © Roberto Carra


Roberto Carra was a prominent young artistic director, illustrator and photographer working for L’Uomo Vogue in Milan when he was asked to produce the 1970 poster. The clean-shaven face, like an engraving, draws on both the aesthetics of figure drawing and the more robotic aesthetics of science fiction. Jazz music, as symbolised by the trumpet drawn on the forehead, would appear to be an obsession for this Renaissance android, who like a town crier or high priest heralds the forthcoming Festival in a speech bubble, with the word JAZZ shown in very large lettering. Artist Christian Marclay, who produced the poster for the 2018 Festival, recalls having a copy of this unsettlingly strange poster pinned up in his teenage bedroom. After a successful career in magazines, Roberto Carra has turned to sustainable design through his environmentalist organisation Watershed Media, based in California.