Malta Jazz Festival

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Malta Jazz Festival
Malta-jazz-logo.jpg
GenreJazz
Datesmid-July
Location(s)Valletta, Malta
Years active1990 – present
Websitewww.maltajazzfestival.org

The Malta Jazz Festival is an annual musical event held every July in Malta, organised by Festivals Malta (previously part of Arts Council Malta and the Malta Council for Culture and the Arts). It is held outside Our Lady of Liesse Church, on the Valletta waterfront.

History[edit]

Richard Bona at the Malta Jazz Festival 2010.

The festival was established in 1990[1] by Charles 'City' Gatt[2] and has featured world-renowned jazz musicians such as Wayne Shorter, John Patitucci, Diana Krall, Chick Corea, Al Di Meola, Natalie Cole, Betty Carter, Michel Petrucciani, Richard Bona and Mike Stern.

In 2006, the event was controversially removed from the artistic directorship of Gatt, a pioneer of Maltese jazz, and placed in the hands of private promotion company N'n'G, who attempted to style it into a more populist 'Rock and Jazz' festival.[3] Subsequent line-ups almost entirely bereft of contemporary jazz content and mainly featuring a host of passé rock musicians, reformed prog rock acts and tribute bands led the festival into a period of brief decline.

2009 saw the festival return to its roots under the directorship of Maltese musician Sandro Zerafa with a line-up of world-renowned jazz musicians.[4] Among the artists who performed at the 2010 festival were Bill Stewart, Ari Hoenig, Greg Hutchinson, Dave Weckl, Dave King, Mike Stern and Richard Bona.[5] The 2011 festival featured Lionel Loueke, Joao Bosco, Monty Alexander and Avishai Cohen.[6] The 2012 festival took place on July 19, 20 and 21 and included performances by Al Di Meola, Terri Lyne Carrington, Chano Dominguez, Tigran Hamasyan, Dianne Reeves, Jeremy Pelt and Will Vinson.[7]

Joshua Redman performing at the 2010 Festival.

The 2013 festival was staged on July 18, 19 and 20, featuring the Robert Glasper Experiment, Vijay Iyer Trio, Gregory Porter, Michel Camilo Trio, Gilad Hekselman Quartet, Charles 'City' Gatt Vibraphone Quintet, Gerald Clayton Trio (featuring Logan Richardson), Cusp and Walter Vella Quartet.[8][9]

Among the acts appearing at the 2014 festival were Warren Wolf, Tom Harrell (featuring Jaleel Shaw, Johnathan Blake, Esperanza Spalding, Wayne Escoffery and Ugonna Okegwo), Kneebody, Brecker Brothers Band Reunion (featuring Terry Bozzio), Laurent Coq's Dialogue Trio, Ada Rovatti, Barry Finnerty, Neil Jason, Brad Mehldau and Mark Guiliana. Mehldau and Guiliana performed as their synthesizer-oriented duo project "Mehliana". The festival took place between July 17 and 19.[10][11]

The 2015 festival took place between July 16 and 19. Among the acts on stage were Danilo Perez, John Patitucci, Brian Blade, Dave Holland, Chris Potter, Lionel Loueke, Eric Harland, David Binney, Chucho Valdes, Kurt Elling, Soweto Kinch, Joe Cohn and Richard Bona.[12]

For 2016, the festival moved away from Ta` Liesse for its opening night, which took place at Valletta's City Gate. Among the acts at the 2016 festival were headliner Mike Stern, Snarky Puppy, Omer Avital, Harold López-Nussa and pianist Marcus Roberts' trio. This 26th edition of the festival took place between July 21 and 23.[13]

The 2017 festival was staged between July 20 and 22, featuring acts including Mark Guiliana, Al di Meola, Antonio Sanchez, Nicholas Payton and Munir Hossn.[14][15] The 2018 Malta Jazz Festival was headlined by Chick Corea, John Patitucci and Dave Weckl. The festival took place between July 16 and 21.[16] The 2019 festival took place between July 15 and 20. Some of the main acts performing were Jazzmeia Horn, Kenny Garrett, Ozmosys (featuring Omar Hakim) and Chucho Valdés. The festival also featured local acts such as the William Smith Trio, Dominic Galea and Malta Concert Orchestra's Big Band together with Joe Cutajar.[17] Due to the outbreak of Coronavirus, the 2020 edition of the festival took place in a reduced format between July 13 and 18, including virtual masterclasses, an internet channel featuring rare broadcasts of concerts from the festival's archives and a virtual exhibition of photography.[18]

Lineups[edit]

Edition Year Dates Notable Acts
1 1990 Chick Corea, Michael Petrucciani, Elvin Jones [1]
2 1991 26-28 July Elvin Jones's Jazz Machine, Robin Jones, Michael Petrucciani, Alexei Kuznetzov, Chick Corea with John Patitucci and Dave Weckl, Esmond Selwyn Trio
3 1992 John Patitucci[19]
4 1993 Al Di Meola[20]
5 1994 Betty Carter, Jack Dejohnette, Bill Evans, Joe Henderson, Mike Stern, Joe Zawinul
6 1995 Paul Motian
7 1996 Mro Paul Abela with Alex Debono,[21] Coco York[22]
8 1997
9 1998 17-19 July Michael Brecker Group, Dave Holland Group, Diana Krall Trio, Bob Berg Band, Lee Konitz, Paul Bley[23]
10 1999
11 2000 Yellowjackets,[24] Joe Zawinul[25]
12 2001
13 2002 Arto Tuncboyaciyan
14 2003 18–20 July Calexico, Mint Royale, Wayne Shorter, Roberto Juan Rodríguez featuring David Krakauer , Diane Reeves, Tania Maria, Sandro Zerafa Quartet
15 2004 16–18 July Joao Bosco, Geri Allen, Yellowjackets, The Souldbop Band
16 2005 15–17 July Maria João, Greg Osby, John Zorn, Richard Galliano, Rosa Passos, Brian Blade and Dino Saluzzi
17 2006 21–23 July The Original Blues Brothers Band, Emily Bezar, Alan Parsons
17 2007 19–22 July Zucchero, The Wailers, Australian Pink Floyd, Nina Ferro, PP Arnold, Dr Robert
18 2008 15–17 July Sierra Maestra, Ray Wilson, Curved Air
19 2009 16–18 July Brad Mehldau, the Oliver Degabriele Trio, the Kurt Rosenwinkel Band, Eliane Elias, the John Scofield Piety Street Band, Miguel Zenon Quartet
20 2010 15-17 July Bill Stewart, Ari Hoenig, Greg Hutchinson, Dave Weckl, Dave King, Mike Stern, Richard Bona
21 2011 14–16 July Lionel Loueke, Joao Bosco, Monty Alexander and Avishai Cohen
22 2012 19–21 July Al Di Meola, Terri Lyne Carrington, Chano Dominguez, Tigran Hamasyan, Dianne Reeves, Jeremy Pelt and Will Vinson
23 2013 18–20 July Robert Glasper Experiment, Vijay Iyer Trio, Gregory Porter, Michel Camilo Trio, Gilad Hekselman Quartet, Gerald Clayton Trio (featuring Logan Richardson), Charles 'City' Gatt Vibraphone Quintet
24 2014 17–19 July Warren Wolf, Tom Harrell, Kneebody, Brecker Brothers Band Reunion (featuring Terry Bozzio), Laurent Coq's Dialogue Trio, Ada Rovatti, Barry Finnerty, Neil Jason, Brad Mehldau and Mark Guiliana
25 2015 16–19 July Danilo Perez, John Patitucci, Brian Blade, Dave Holland, Chris Potter, Lionel Loueke, Eric Harland, David Binney, Chucho Valdes, Kurt Elling, Soweto Kinch, Joe Cohn and Richard Bona
26 2016 21–23 July Mike Stern, Snarky Puppy, Omer Avital, Harold López-Nussa, Marcus Roberts trio
27 2017 20–22 July Mark Guiliana, Al di Meola, Antonio Sánchez, Nicholas Payton, Munir Hossn
28 2018 16–21 July Chick Corea, John Patitucci, Dave Weckl
29 2019 15–20 July Jazzmeia Horn, Kenny Garrett, Ozmosys (featuring Omar Hakim) and Chucho Valdés, the William Smith Trio
30 2020 13–18 July Main performances cancelled due to Coronavirus outbreak.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "20 years of the Malta Jazz Festival celebrated". Maltatoday. 6 July 2010. Retrieved 7 March 2020.
  2. ^ Reljic, Teodor (17 July 2013). "Malta Jazz Festival: an enduring tradition|Charles 'is-City' Gatt". Maltatoday. Retrieved 7 March 2020.
  3. ^ "Malta Council for Culture and Arts press release". www.maltaculture.com.
  4. ^ "Top Names for Revival of Jazz Festival in Valletta". Times of Malta.
  5. ^ "Malta Jazz Festival 2010". www.cityofvalletta.org. 2010.
  6. ^ [1] Times of Malta - Eclectic Jazz Festival Announced
  7. ^ [2] Times of Malta - Eclectic Array for Jazz Fest
  8. ^ [3] Times of Malta - Michel Camilo returns for 2013 Malta Jazz Festival
  9. ^ [4]Times of Malta - Malta Jazz Festival returns in July
  10. ^ [5]Times of Malta - Brad Mehldau, Mark Guiliana to feature at Malta Jazz Festival
  11. ^ [6] - Official Malta Jazz Festival Facebook Page
  12. ^ [7]Times of Malta - Grammy winners to feature at this year's Malta Jazz Festival
  13. ^ [8]Times of Malta - Jazz Festival opening night at City Gate; Mike Stern to headline
  14. ^ [9] Malta Today - Malta Jazz Festival Promises to be an Unforgettable Event
  15. ^ [10] Times of Malta - Star-Studded Line-up for Malta Jazz Festival
  16. ^ [11] Times of Malta - Jazz legend Chick Corea to headline Malta Jazz Festival
  17. ^ [12]Times of Malta - Big Names Lined up for Malta Jazz Festival
  18. ^ [13] - Malta Jazz Festival Official Website
  19. ^ Fsadni, Stephanie (15 July 2019). "Capturing Jazz Moments". Time of Malta. Retrieved 7 March 2020.
  20. ^ "Guitar Legend for Malta Jazz Festival". Time of Malta. 11 March 2012. Retrieved 7 March 2020.
  21. ^ Montfort, Eric (16 July 2015). "Malta Jazz Festival gets really vibrant". Malta Independent. Retrieved 7 March 2020.
  22. ^ "Masterclass in Voice and Improvisation". Times of Malta. 17 July 2003. Retrieved 7 March 2020.
  23. ^ "1998 Jazz and Blues Festival Guide". Jazz Times. May 1998: 171. May 1998 – via Google Books.
  24. ^ Farrugia, Massimo (27 May 2004). "Yellow Jackets return for Jazz Festival". Times of Malta. Retrieved 7 March 2020.
  25. ^ "2000 Tour Dates". Zawinul Online. 28 May 2008. Retrieved 7 March 2020.

External links[edit]