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Malta’s Jazz Festival Returns For A Grand 30th Year Celebration

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Looked upon as a mecca for music in the Mediterranean, Malta’s Jazz Festival has gained a reputation for being a beacon for artistic integrity over its thirty-year existence.

And in order to celebrate its rich history, the renowned summer event is adopting a semi-virtual format this summer.

Malta Jazz Festival is taking place between the 13th and 18th July with an eclectic program that features virtual and live masterclasses, archival concert broadcasts and live events with local and international artists in attendance.

Salvatore Bonafede

Salvatore Bonafede

More than just a celebration of contemporary music, the jazz fest is synonymous with Malta’s history and in an effort to catalogue and celebrate the festivals’ 30 years of existence, the artists that have taken part in the festival throughout have sent video testimonials that speak volumes about the festival’s excellence. 

Malta Jazz Festival will also feature rare archival footage of some of the best performances from previous editions going back as early as the 90s, as well as an exhibition curated by Joe Smith, depicting the history of the festival through photography and art, titled “Notes from the Harbour”.

The secret to jazz’s success is its ability to adapt as time moved on

This year’s edition of the festival will feature events both on a virtual platform and live as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Masterclasses led by jazz cats Jonathan Kreisberg, David Prez and Kostas Anastasiadis will all be streamed online so those who register  can enjoy them from the safe confinements of their home.

Jeff Ballard

Jeff Ballard

On the other hand, for those of you who like to get up close and personal, live classes will be held by drumming guru Jeff Ballard, French pianist Vincent Bourgeyx and vocalist Hetty Kate at the Green Room in Pjazza Teatru Rjal and the Phoenicia Hotel.

Hetty Kate - Photo by Jacqui Henshaw

Hetty Kate - Photo by Jacqui Henshaw

The Jazz Fest is celebrating 30 years of history including the man known as the father of Maltese Jazz.

Charles “City” Gatt is the first artistic director of the Malta Jazz Festival and his vision has propelled it to become one of the few true jazz festivals existing in Europe today.

City Gatt - Photo by Pierre Stafrace

City Gatt - Photo by Pierre Stafrace

To celebrate his artistic vision and continued success, the Malta Jazz Festival will be releasing three tribute videos highlighting the local legend’s music and his contribution to the festival and the local Jazz scene.

But it wouldn’t be a jazz festival without the sweet sound of live acts to fill out the program…

The majority of international acts previously announced won’t take place but the festival has pulled through with a stellar line up nonetheless.

From the PlaKard to Dominic Galea Jazztet and Oliver Degabriele Trio to Swing Nuages…

The City Jazz Series will be held in a series of midday and evening concerts over the five-day festival period which means you have plenty of time to catch a gig or two.

Swing Nuages

Swing Nuages

Whether you’re an avid musician or casual music lover, the Malta Jazz Festival is a summer event you don’t want to miss out on. With Malta emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic, now’s the perfect time to kick back and enjoy the sweet sounds of swing on a sunny summer’s day.

Tag someone that loves jazz music

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