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Malta Jazz Festival 2019

Mon Jul 15th 2019 to Sat Jul 20th 2019
Malta, Valletta

Event Details

Valletta sets the backdrop to the Malta Jazz Festival. This event has become a byword for high-calibre performances, which delight jazz aficionados and lay persons alike. Held over six days in various venues across Valletta’s historical setting, the festival promises to be one of the highlights of the summer festivals, presenting an eclectic range of styles, which make up the contemporary jazz scene.

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From the Times of Malta:

The full programme of the 29th edition of the Malta Jazz Festival (MJF) is now available.
Festivals director Annabelle Stivala emphasised that “the Jazz Festival has grown significantly over the years, has made a name for itself and has an international following”.

Ms Stivala also explained that in this year’s edition Festivals Malta would be putting forward new initiatives and taking the Jazz Festival to new venues.

“This year’s festival will not only be celebrating music and musicians but also spaces and our heritage. It will be venturing out of Valletta, exploring three new settings ­– the Palazzo Vilhena courtyard in Mdina, the Notre Dame Gate in Vittoriosa and Tritons Square,” Ms Stivala said.

Ms Stivala also explained that through the Malta Jazz Festival, Festivals Malta offered the opportunity for local and foreign artists to collaborate. “A case in point is the Blue Tangerines project, which started three years ago during the Malta Jazz Festival, through which local and foreign artists collaborated, leading to an album launch which will be happening this year,” she added.

There is more to the Malta Jazz Festival than the weekend events at Ta’ Liesse. The Jazz Festival also hosts daily free midday concerts near the Parliament building, free masterclasses at Offbeat throughout the week and a photographic exhibition by Darrin Zammit Lupi at the Phoenicia Malta, which could not be possible without the help of Farsons, MSV Life, Phoenicia Malta and Offbeat. Sandro Zerafa, artistic director of the MJF, said “the festival is not only a platform for jazz heavyweights; it is also an opportunity to stimulate the local scene and to cultivate a jazz audience”.

The highlights of this year’s programme are Kenny Garrett, one of the world’s most renowned saxophone players, Jazzmeia Horn, one of the most important jazz vocalists who was nominated for a Grammy last year, Ozmosys, featuring legendary jazz drummer Omar Hakim, one of the most versatile eclectic jazz drummers who has collaborated with Miles Davis, Dire Straits, Daft Punk and David Bowie, and for the second time Chucho Valdés – the Cuban jazz legend and six-time Grammy award winner, who will all be performing on the main stage at Ta’ Liesse in Valletta.

Ta’ Liesse concerts will also feature some great local acts like the William Smith Trio and jazz veteran Dominic Galea, who will be presenting a new project featuring young Maltese musicians.
“These acts contribute to one of my main goals, providing a platform for young musicians. I am a jazz musician today because of the Malta Jazz Festival. I started off as a stage hand and here I am today wanting to give something back,” Zerafa said.

The Malta Concert Orchestra’s Big Band together with Joe Cutajar will also be performing at Pjazza Teatru Rjal on July 18, among many other performances.


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