Line up: Joe Debono, Yoni Zelnik, Fred Pasqua

Joe Debono a classically trained pianist, discovered jazz through his uncle Charles Sciberras, a renowned local jazz drummer. He attended lessons in jazz improvisations at the School of Music (1990-91) tutored by Paul Abela. He furthered his studies at the University of Malta were he obtained a BA in Music Studies (1995-1998) and later on obtained a Premier Prix at the Conservatoire de Musique de Luxembourg (2009-11). The pinnacle of this formative phase came with Charles City Gatt who served the dual role of mentor and drummer.

His recent collaborations include the ‘South Sound Experience’ which was held at last year’s Malta Jazz Festival along with Stjepko Gut, Rino Cirinnà, Roberto Occhipinti and Marcello Pellitteri and more recently he played on Carlo Muscat’s project ‘Explorations’. Last year he performed at the CHOGM celebrations in Canada were he played, in collaboration with Sandro Zerafa, with Roberto Occhipinti, Mark Kelso, Jim Doxas and Remi-Jean LeBlanc. Joe Debono is very active playing with various musicians, at both local and foreign venues. He is currently giving jazz improvisation classes at the Johann Strauss School of Music.

Playing at the Malta Jazz Festival is a great opportunity to present his most recent compositions along with arrangements of Maltese folk tunes and timeless jazz standards. These will be played with two great musicians Yoni Zelnik and Fred Pasqua. Although much of the material is steeped in the classic bop there are moments where the groove sways tentatively between modern and pre-modern.

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