Leonard Cohen returns to Montreux

Legend provides a highlight to jazz fest

MONTREUX, Switzerland -- Leonard Cohen returned to the Montreux Jazz Festival on Tuesday for his first concert here in 23 years.

Cohen, 73, who played favorite old songs "Suzanne" and the much-covered "Hallelujah" as well as the lesser-known "The Future," is on his first major tour since 1994. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March alongside Madonna, John Mellencamp, the Ventures and the Dave Clark Five.

The songwriter is among the highlights of the two-week music extravaganza held every year on the shores of Lake Geneva.

Four-time Grammy winner Erykah Badu opened the event Friday.

Joan Baez, k.d. lang and last year's Montreux discovery Sophie Hunger played an all-female night Sunday, while Herbie Hancock, Al Jarreau, Chaka Khan and Angelique Kidjo will perform at a 75th birthday celebration for music impresario Quincy Jones on Monday. Paul Simon hit the stage Wednesday.

Alicia Keys, Paolo Nutini and Lenny Kravitz also are among the dozens of acts playing at Montreux.

The event, which is in its 42nd year, also features a host of free concerts including performances by jazz emsembles from the Universities of Kansas, Minnesota and South Alabama.

Organizers expect 220,000 people to visit the festival, which ends July 19.