le temps d'explorer avec esplora

Malta jazz Festival launches today


Today, Monday 11 July, sees the welcome return of the Malta Jazz Festival, a longstanding fixture in the country’s busy cultural calendar and one of the Mediterranean’s flagship jazz events, attracting an impressive array of both home-grown and international talent 

From 11 to 16 July, the Malta Jazz Festival returns to the country for a six-day programme of concerts featuring some of the jazz world’s most prominent established and emerging artists. This year marks the 32nd edition of the renowned festival, and is dedicated to Charles ‘City’ Gatt, a well-known Maltese drummer and founder of the festival, who passed away in February this year.  

Organised by Festivals Malta with creative direction from Artistic Director Sandro Zerafa, this year’s jazz extravaganza welcomes such household names as noted drummer and British Empire Medal (BEM) recipient Clark Tracey, and internationally-recognised guitarist and multiple-times Grammy Award winner John Scofield. This year also welcomes a host of prodigious newcomers to the jazz festival’s impressive line-up, including Quincy Jones mentees Richard Bona and Alfredo Rodriguez (bass/vocals and piano/vocals respectively), America’s foremost upcoming vibraphonist Joel Ross and prominent New York-based pianist and composer Danny Grissett.  

American guitarist John Scofield

Malta’s own wealth of rising jazz stars are also represented, with performers including pianist Dominic Galea and New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music (New York) alumnus, guitarist Warren Galea. The festival also features Blue Tangerine, a nine-piece ensemble comprising some of the best emerging talents from Malta and France, and counting Maltese members singer Angela Vella Zarb, bassist Dean Montanaro, drummer Joseph Camilleri and guitarist Karl Galea amongst its ranks.

Concerts will take place at numerous locations around Valletta, including the Phoenicia Hotel, City Theatre, Offbeat Jazz Bar, Pjazza Teatru Rjal and Ta’ Liesse (Quarry Wharf). Additionally, this year’s edition includes sold-out masterclasses from festival performers Danny Grissett, guitarist Daniele Cordisco, bassist Marika Galea and drummer Francesco Ciniglio, as well as including an exhibition of paintings by Malta Jazz Festival founder, Charles Gatt, running from 11 to 31 July at the Phenicia Hotel.

This year’s full-length edition follows two shortened versions of the festival in 2020 and 2021, owing to restrictions put in place due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, with this summer’s occasion proving to be a popular and hotly-anticipated event. Those interested should book now to avoid disappointment (tickets available from www.visitmalta.com).

The Malta Jazz Festival runs from 11 to 16 July. To find out more and view the festival’s full programme of events, visit the official website at https://www.festivals.mt/mjf