The Malta Jazz Festival in collaboration with Valletta 2018 and the Johann Strauss School of Music  is proud to present the fourth edition of  Malta Summer Jazz Camp featuring some of the most important educators in the international jazz scene today. These workshops/masterclasses will be held at the Johann Strauss School of Music  (32 Joseph Abela Scolaro Street, Hamrun) between the 19th and 23rd July and are FREE of charge. Places are limited and pre-booking is required. Observers are welcome. Applicants should send an email to, indicating their level and which masterclass they would like to attend.

Masterclass 1 - Advanced rhythmic concepts applied to different American grooves.
It will deal with the learning of several rhythmic techniques such as super imposition of 3-5-7 note groupings, polyrhythms, metric modulation in a variety of styles typical of American music, such as jazz, funk and Latin American grooves.

Teachers : Marcello Pellitteri (USA) and Roberto Occhipinti (Canada)
Dates : 19 July - 5pm , 23 July - 11am

Masterclass 2 - Singing your improvisations
All instruments are welcome to this improvisation class where we will study harmony, melody, rhythm and phrasing. " If you can sing it, you can play it ". All the exercises, patterns, excerpts from the solos of the masters and four parts harmonies will be sung by the students. This method will improve drastically your ear perception and will strengthen your improvisations. This class is highly recommended for singers.

Teacher :  Vincent Jacqz (France)
Dates : 20 July - 5pm, 21 July - 5pm

Masterclass 3 - Rhythmical  interpretation of a jazz language through the use of right syllables and polyrhythmical approach to the rhythms of jazz  
In order to play jazz, you have to speak the jazz language. The purpose of this workshop is to involve one in the proper way of interpreting the jazz language by using the right syllables. So we create a different sets of   " highs and lows "  Dynamically (Accents and so called "ghost" notes)

Teacher : Stjepko Gut (Serbia)
Dates : 19 July - 5pm, 22 July - 5pm

Masterclass 4  - For sax players only!
Using the right setup. The right relationship between the reeds and the mouthpiece. The right use of the tongue. Mastering the jazz language. Transcribing the masters. Building jazz lines.

Teacher : Rino Cirinnà (Italy)
Dates : 20 July - 5pm, 22 July - 5pm




Marcello Pellitteri - Masterclass Teacher 1

World-class musician, Marcello Pellitteri is best known as an award-winning drummer. Pellitteri is also an accomplished pianist, educator, composer, arranger and producer. Pellitteri graduated Cum Laude at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston and received a Master’s Degree in Jazz Studies with Distinction in Performance from the New England Conservatory of Music. For nearly 30 years Pellitteri has taught at Berklee, where he is currently a Professor. He has played with jazz legends such as Joe Henderson, Woody Shaw, Jon Hendricks; with Grammy award winners New York Voices, Dave Samuels, Slide Hampton, Paquito D’Rivera; with orchestras such as the Boston Pops, the Taipei Philharmonic and with the world renown Gipsy Kings. He has scored music for several theater plays. HIs compositions have recently been described as having “all the fingerprints of a musical genius”. Moreover he has performed for prominent international political figures, Royal families and Head of States, such as President Clinton at the White House, Prince Alberto of Monaco in Montecarlo and Princess Margriet of The Netherlands. Pellitteri has recorded over 90 CDs and he has appeared on the stages of worldwide festivals and broadcast programs with concerts at Radio City Music Hall, Boston Symphony Hall;, and performances on NBCˆs Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with Conan O’Brien as well as numerous Asian, South American and European radio and TV shows. When he is not on the road, in the studio, or teaching, you might catch Marcello playing with top jazz musicians in New York City, where he lives.

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Robert Occhipinti - Masterclass Teacher 1

Born in Toronto, Bassist Roberto Occhipinti is a well established presence in the Canadian and International Jazz scene. A 5 time Juno award musician, he is equally at home playing classical music as well as jazz and world music. In addition to leading his own groups with 4 with discs under his name, he has performed ,toured and recorded with Jane Bunnett, Hilario Duran, Jamey Haddad, Jovino Santos Neto, Don Byron, Jeff Coffin,Uri Caine,Bob Mintzer, Enrico Rava, Stefano Bollani and Dafnis Prieto. An award winning producer ,recent projects include recordings for Dafnis Prieto, Michael Occhipinti- Sicilian Jazz Project , Hilario Duran, The Gryphon Trio, David Buchbinder’s Odessa/Havana project and the 2015 Pan Am Games.

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Vincent Jacqz - Masterclass Teacher 2

Vincent began his carreer as a professional jazz pianist in Paris in 1985. He won the 2nd prize at the « Concours International de Jazz de La Défense » in 1988 and the first prize at the « Concours du Festival de Sorgues » in 1989 as a soloist. In 1990, he was awarded the « Bourse Lavoisier » of the french Ministry of Culture, which afforded him the opportunity to move to New-York City.

During the 5 years he lived in NYC, Vincent played in clubs like The Blue Note, The Village Gate and Small’s with musicians like Reggie Workman, Ted Curson, Victor Jones, Peter Bernstein and other jazz greats. 

In R N’B settings, he played at « The National Black Theater » in Harlem and at the world famous « Apollo Theater ».

He returned to France in 1996, and played with the Ted Hawk’s trio, the Bob DeMeo’s trio, the Ricky Ford quintet and has recorded  with guitarist Idriss Kheroua, and singer Jerome Duvivier. He now leads his own quartet with saxophonist Nicolas Dary. 

From 1999 to the present, he has played keyboards at the world renowned cabaret : « The Lido de Paris ». 

As an educator, Vincent is currently the director of Jazz Studies at EDIM (, one of the biggest professional music schools in France.



Stjepko Gut - Masterclass Teacher 3

Stjepko Gut (also known as Stepko, Steve Gut, born 15 December 1950 in Ruma) is a Belgrade-based jazz musician. He studied jazz trumpet at the Swiss Jazz School in Bern, Switzerland, and at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. As a conductor, he won first place in the first Austrian Big Band Competition. He is one of the most famous jazz brass players from Serbia, others being Duško Gojković and Milivoje Marković. He was a member of the Lionel Hampton All Stars for two years, one of two white players at the time in that band. He made international tours, performances and recordings with Clark Terry, Wild Bill Davis,Curtis Fuller,Ed Thigpen, Benny Bailey,Horace Parlan, Mel Lewis, Johhny Griffin, Jimmy Heath, James Moody, Clifford Jordan, Ernie Willkins, Snooky Young, Joe Newman, Wallace Davenport, Jon Faddis, Nicholas Payton, Frank Wess, Alvin Queen, Sal Nistico, Vince Benedetti, Kenny Washington, Charlie Antolini and Dusko Gojkovic. He is a member of the faculty at the Graz Institut for Jazz since 1984 and a Guest Professor at the Jazz Department of Belgrade Music Academy.


Rino Cirinnà - Masterclass Teacher 3

Born in Hartford, Connecticut in the United States, he comes from a musical family of three generations and studied clarinet at the conservatories of Catania and Rome. In 1984 he won the competition as a soprano saxophone in prestigious National Band of the Carabinieri of Rome. The capital has the opportunity to attend and learn music and jazz environment confronted with the most important Italian musicians and predominantly M.Urbani, m. S. Satta, M. Giammarco, D. Terenzi, A. Salis, A. D'anna,  and studied with A. Galigani. Participates in some RAI TV broadcasts as part of pop music's tour of some of the most popular Italian singers (Nino Buonocore, Tullio de Piscopo). In 1989 he moved to USA where he lives for ten years, he studied at the Berklee College in Boston with teachers such as j. Bergonzi and c. Banacos. In the USA he attended the Blues, Jazz, Ethno and collaborates with Ibraima Camara t. Bennett, Y ' N'Dour, j. Loockwood.

Back in Italy in addition to his personal projects he collaborates with Peppe Arezzo and orchestra of twelve lands, Mediterranean jazz Orchestra that was conducted by g. Gruntz, g., m. Schneider, b. Mintzer. He made two tours in the United States and had the honorary citizenship of the city of Little Rock and took part in various Jazz Festivals in France. He has collaborated with: f. Boltro, p. Fresu, s. Aruda, f. Bosso, m. Rosa, f. Cafiso, b. Mintzer, g. Low, p. Jeffrey, s. Satta, g. Gruntz, d. Malo, t., l. Terzano, e. Intra, p. Birro, betão, t. Bennett, w. Nelson, j. Loockwood, m. Pellitteri, u. Maheshwari d. Wilson, d. Terenzi, a. D'anna, L S. Zerafa, n. Toscano, p. Tonolo, A. Beneventano, E.Rava. He studied with: Liceo Musicale Catania, Conservatory of Rome, Nicola Conte, Alfio Galigani, Jerry Bergonzi, Charlie Banacos, Ibraima Camara. He attended courses in conducting with Thomas Briccetti.