The Malta Jazz Festival 2016
Spreading Jazz Music All Over Valletta
After 10 years of touring with his album Soulgrass, Bill Evans introduced the Bill Evans band last year, a hard hitting montage of jazz, rock, instrumental and vocals. The world-class saxophonist, who debuted on the international music scene in the 1980s with Miles Davis, will be accompanied by Dean Brown, a well-known American session musician and composer in the jazz/fusion scene; legendary drummer Dennis Chambers and Darryl Jones, who has been the Rolling Stones’ bassist since Bill Wyman’s departure.
Twice Grammy award winner Snarky Puppy, who is currently one of the most sought-after bands in the jazz world, is a collective of nearly 40 musicians, with a line-up which is often in flux and collaborates with a variety of artists. By this summer they will have released 11 albums. The band will close off Saturday’s programme.
Saturday’s programme will also feature Israeli-American Omer Avital who plays the double bass and the oud but is also a composer and bandleader. Reviewers have compared him to Charles Mingus and described him as ‘roaringly inventive’ and ‘a pioneer in combining jazz with a myriad world music elements’.
Pianist Marcus Roberts, is perhaps best known for the development of a new approach to jazz trio performance. He will be performing on Friday night.
Dominic Galea will perform alongside late jazz legend Stan Tracey’s son – Clark Tracey, a friend since the 1970’s, with whom he recorded an album last March in London. They will open Saturday’s programme. The line-up for the Thursday concerts includes world-known Cuban pianist Harold López-Nussa, who has gained international attention since 2005, when he won top honours at the Montreux Jazz Piano Competition at the age of 22. Preceding López-Nussa, there will be the Oliver Degabriele Trio featuring Damien Fleau, who will open the night at City Gate Entrance, and The South Sound Experience featuring Joe Debono, who will play in front of the Law Courts at 9pm. Both events are free of charge.
The Valletta Midday Concerts happening during the 19th to the 23rd of July will be introduced in this summer’s Fringe and will also be free of charge. This initiative will particularly highlight Malta’s young and dynamic jazz scene. The concerts start at 12.30pm and will be held in Republic Street in the shade of the Parliament Building. There will also be a performance by Rino Cirinnà/Warren Galea Quartet feat. Dean Montanaro and Manuel Pulis, happening at Talbot and Bons, Sky Parks Business Centre, Luqa on Tuesday 19 July at 8.30pm, also for free.
Jazz on the Fringe
The Mid-day Concerts happening during the 19th to the 23rd of July will be introduced in this summer’s Fringe and will also be free of charge.
Masterclasses will be offered again by some of the festival’s participants to all interested musicians. This year they will be held by Marcello Pellitteri (drums; Berklee College of Music, Boston), Roberto Occhipinti (bass; Humber College, Toronto), Vincent Jacqz (improvisation, EDIM, France), Stjepko Gut (trumpet/improvisation) and Rino Cirinnà (sax). Jacqz, head of the jazz department at the EDIM, will coach and direct the Fringe Youth Jazz Ensemble. The medium-sized jazz ensemble will feature the best of young talent from Malta and France, and will work on a repertoire which will be presented for the first time at the festival during Friday’s opening and at a later date in Paris.
The second edition of the Fringe Youth Jazz Ensemble was originally conceived by Zerafa and is performing in collaboration with the renowned EDIM music school in Paris. It is supported by Valletta 2018.