The Malta Jazz Festival is kicking off on Thursday 21st July. This music event has surely become one of Malta’s most eagerly awaited summer milestones, not only because of its role as a showcase of local talent, but most importantly for the huge number of both local and international artists in attendance each year.
Sandro Zerafa, the Festival’s artistic director, emphasises the importance of presenting the Malta Jazz Festival as a way of encouraging the creative collaboration between local musicians and foreign artists and outlooks. This year in particular promises to be a very innovative one, in that apart from performances taking place only in the traditional venue of Ta’ Liesse Valletta Waterfront, the celebration will be expanding to other venues in a bid to involve the public more.
Due to the highly growing popularity of the festival, not only in terms of audience, but also in format, instead of it being offered solely to ticket holders, the festival will also be offering a number of free performances. The first day, taking place on Thursday 21st, will in fact be a free for all entertainment. The evening concerts will be moved to two venues within Valletta city centre – City Gate in front of the Parliament building, and the square opposite the law courts.
The festivities will be opened by Oliver Degabriele and his quartet, featuring French saxophone player Damien Fleau at City Gate. Moreover, as part of the ‘Jazz on the Fringe’ performances, the Malta Jazz Festival in collaboration with the Valletta 2018 – European Capital of Culture, is presenting a series of mid-day concerts running from Tuesday 19th to Saturday 23rd, featuring mostly young local talent. These too will be presented free of charge and for all to enjoy. The aim is to create a jazzy and relaxed feeling of celebration throughout all of Valletta for everyone.
The 4th edition of the Malta Summer Jazz Camp (19th to 23rd July) will feature important educators in the field of jazz today and foster a number of workshops at the Johann Strauss School of Music, for free. Places are limited and pre-booking is required.
The evening performances on Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd July will take place at La’ Liesse Valletta Waterfront. General single day tickets are on sale at €20, while 2-day block tickets cost €35. Students and Senior Citizens can present their ID cards in order to purchase Concession tickets.
On Friday, visitors will be enjoying The Fringe Youth Jazz Ensemble, Marcus Roberts and his trio, as well as the Dean Brown and Bill Evans band, featuring Rolling Stones player Daryl Jones and Sonata’s legendary drummer Dennis Chambers. On Saturday, the last evening of the festival will be showcasing Dominic Galea and the UK Connection, and the Omer Avital Quintet, known for their oriental sounds and powerful rhythms. The highlight of the weekend will surely be the popular Snarky Puppy. This Texas-based ensemble already performed next to big names such as Justin Timberlake and Snoop Dog, and have 11 albums and 2 Grammy awards under their belt. Their show is sure to be one to be remembered.
Malta’s music scene is a dynamic and ever changing one, and the Malta Jazz Music Festival is surely a very important yearly landmark.
So, come out and enjoy the Jazz scene next weekend!