The documentary Jazz: The Only Way of Life sounds out this musical genre by focusing on the life of an almost unknown promoter. Jacques Muyal was born in Tangier, Morocco, and has lived in Switzerland for more than forty years. He was the producer for jazz greats like Randy Weston, Oscar Petersen and Dizzy Gillespie with whom he was closely befriended. Despite working together with famous musicians, Muyal, who began as a radio announcer in the 1950s and then went on to become an engineer, never sought the limelight. Undeterred by his success as a producer, especially in the 1980s, he preferred to remain in the background, even though working together with Dizzy Gillespie (1917-1993) which brought him an invitation to the White House. Relying on conversations, unpublished archival material, and music clips, Jacques Mathey’s (b. 1979) documentary goes in search of the story of the friendship between an ingenious trumpet player and a man who was simply “crazy about jazz” (Jacques Mathey). Muyal is not only an important witness to jazz history, he helped to write one or the other chapter himself. As a former member of the Montreux Jazz Festival team and as co-founder of the Auvernier Jazz Festival, Jacques Mathey is closely linked with the world of jazz. Since 2005 he has produced or directed a number of fictional short movies and documentaries. His first full documentary, Afghan Memento (2010), was shown in the cinema and aired on different TV channels.
The Foundation Board awards a project grant of CHF 20 000 for a documentary that contributes to the history of jazz by telling the story of remarkable friendship, thus providing one or the other remarkable insight into the life of a great musician.