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Heading To Valletta’s Jazz Festival This Week? Here’s What You Need To Know… And Who To Look Out For

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The Malta Jazz Festival has steadily become one of Europe’s most important summer jazz festivals, attracting some of the most renowned and sought after musicians from across the world. 

With events running daily until the 20th of July, it can be tough to keep up with what’s going on.

That’s why we’re bringing you the ultimate guide to The Malta Jazz Fest 2019, complete with all the acts you need to see, where they’re playing, when they’re playing and what it’s going to cost you.

1. Fred Pasqua

If you’re looking for some free entertainment tonight, then look no further. Fred Pasqua will be performing his first album ‘Moon River’ at Palazzo Vilhena in Mdina at around 7 pm.

2. Jochen Rueckert Quartet

Jochen Rueckert is a German-born jazz drummer who currently resides in the United States. He formed his own quartet back in 2011 and has been touring the world ever since.

Rueckert will be playing alongside guitarist Lage Lund, bassist Matt Penman and saxophonist Mark Turner at is-Suq tal-Belt in Valletta at 7:30 pm. 

The best thing about it? It’s free!

3. Ozmosys

Ozmosys is the brainchild of legendary drummer Omar Hakim and his wife Rachel Z who formed the band back in 2010 (under its previous name ‘Trio Of Oz’). 

Omar has performed with the likes of Miles Davies, Dire Straits and David Bowie, while Rachel Z made a name for herself playing keyboard and piano for the fusion band Step Ahead.

Check out Ozymosys on Friday 19th July at 8:30 pm at Ta’ Liesse, Valletta.

Tickets are €25 and can be purchased here.

4. Chucho Valdés Jazz Batá

Also performing on Friday (and at the same location) is Chucho Valdés Jazz Batá, a six-time GRAMMY and three-time Latin GRAMMY winner. He’s been dubbed as the “most influential figure in modern Afro-Cuban jazz”, making him an unmissable performance at Malta Jazz Fest.

5. Jazzmei Horn

Closing the Jazz Fest is none other than Jazzmei Horn. Jazzmei shot to stardom in the jazz world after releasing her debut album ‘A Social Call’ to great critical acclaim, and even received a 2018 GRAMMY nomination for it.

Jazzmei is planning to release her sophomore album Love and Liberation this summer and just yesterday released her single from it, ‘Green Eyes’.

Jazzmei will perform on Saturday 20th July at 8:30 pm at Ta’ Liesse, Valletta.

Tickets are €25 and can be purchased here.

6. Kenny Garrett Quintet 

Last but not least is the Kenny Garrett Quintet. Kenny leads the five-piece-band on saxophone and has handpicked a band that complements his style of post-bop jazz.

Basically, it’s going to be one jazzy week. And it wouldn’t be The Malta Jazz Fest without a few Maltese acts, which this year include the William Smith Trio and Dominic Galea, who will be playing on Friday and Saturday night respectively. 

Tag someone who needs a bit of jazz in their life!

READ NEXT: Malta’s First-Ever Jazz School Is Recruiting Some Of The Best Local Talent To Teach Aspiring Musicians

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