1. Snarky Puppy
Having performed with the likes of Snoop Dogg and Justin Timberlake, this Texas-based ensemble certainly goes against the elitist associations jazz still carries with it. Made up of a rotating band of merry musicians – all glued together by their bassist, composer and producer Michael League – and with a total of 11 albums and two Grammy Awards to their name, their should be a show to remember. Or at least enjoy immensely.
2. Oliver Degabriele Trio
The wiry and likeable double-bassist Oliver Degabriele has had his agile fingers stuck in a number of important musical pies over the past few of years. Dividing his time between Malta and Paris, he is a founding member of bands like Brikkuni, Etnika, Akale Wube and Festen.
Now, he’s brought along his former Brikkuni colleagues Manuel Pulis (drums) and Jimmy Bartolo (guitar) with him for this upcoming Jazz Festival gig. Promising to give some rock energy to their interpretation of both classics and originals, the trio will be joined by French saxophonist Damien Fleau for the show.
3. Harold López-Nussa
Coming from a musical family, Harold López-Nussa has since become an award-winning jazz pianist in his own right, bursting out of his native Cuba after gaining international attention at the Montreux Jazz Piano Competition in 2005. He is now the leader of a trio with his younger brother, drummer Ruy Adián López-Nussa and Senegalese bassist Alune Wade, and also composes music for films.
4. Omer Avital
The word on the street is that this highly acclaimed Israeli virtuoso is responsible for putting his country on the jazz map. Having lived in New York since 1992, Avital combines his native country’s sounds with Western rhythms, a mix that has gone down a treat with fans and critics alike.
5. Marcus Roberts
After losing his sight at age five, Marcus Roberts started teaching himself to play the piano, and took his first formal lesson only when he was 12. He’s since become an accomplished musician at the top of his field, performing with orchestras worldwide.
6. The Fringe Youth Jazz Ensemble
It doesn’t get much fresher than this. Artistic Director Sandro Zerafa has assembled a medium-sized jazz ensemble made up of the best Maltese musicians, along with some talent from France. Come watch them take the plunge!
For more info and a full programme, log on to the festival’s site.