Géo Voumard

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Géo Voumard
Born (1920-12-02)2 December 1920
Died 3 September 2008(2008-09-03) (aged 87)
Occupation(s) Jazz composer
Instruments Piano
Associated acts Hazy Osterwald Orchestra

Géo Voumard (2 December 1920 – 3 September 2008) was a Swiss jazz pianist and composer. He was a co-founder of the Montreux Jazz Festival and composer of the song "Refrain" which won the first Eurovision Song Contest.[1]

Life and career[edit]

Voumard was born in Biel/Bienne.[1] He originally studied architecture in college before starting his musical career.[1]

Music career[edit]

Voumard joined the Hazy Osterwald Orchestra in 1944.[1] Four years later, in 1948, he created his own group. Voumard began broadcasting out of Radio Lausanne, which is now known as Radio Suisse Romande, in 1952.[1] He originally joined Radio Lausanne as an accompanist, pianist, composer and musical producer.[1] In 1966, Voumard became the station's director of pop music. He later served as Radio Lausanne's director of light entertainment from 1969 until 1983.[1]

Voumard founded the Montreux Jazz Festival with René Langel and Claude Nobs in 1967.[1] He co-wrote and won the very first Eurovision Song Contest song, Refrain in 1956.[1] Refrain was co-written by Émile Gardaz.[1]

Voumard moved to the Provence region of France following his departure from radio broadcasting in the 1980s.[1] He worked as an architect in France before returning to his native Switzerland for the remainder of his life.[1]

Géo Voumard died at the age of 87.[1] News of his death was first announced by ATS, A Swiss news agency.[1]


  • Flavio Ambrosetti Sextet, 1943
  • Geo Voumard Trio With Mers Eddy And His Strings – Piano, Strings And Sound
  • Géo Voumard – 25 Ans De Jazz, 1953–1977
  • Géo Voumard Trio – Geo Voumard Trio
  • Hazy Osterwald – Big Bands Of Europe Vol. Ii, 1946–1948
  • Various – The Golden Swing Years, 1942–1947