Jazz up your holiday
Malta - Summer’s on its way and life on the island starts to head outdoors making the most of the lovely weather. The season brings with it various outdoor festivals, music and general joie de vivre. My favourite is the international Malta Jazz Festival, after all is there anything better than a seaside soundtrack to your holiday?
The festival was started In 1990 by Charles Gatt, a pioneer in Maltese jazz and personal friend of my family. The event has in its 29 year history 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.
This year’s festival (15th to 20th July 2019) promises to be a great one. The festival will be held in various locations in Valletta. Some of the events are ticketed and others are free. Here are some of the big names up on stage:
Inspired by trumpeter Marcus Belgrave, Garrett is a product of the flourishing jazz scene in Detroit. His work on the albums such as Amandla and Dingo with Miles Davis brought Garrett's work to an international audience (1989/ 1990).
American jazz singer and songwriter of African ancestry. She won the Thelonious Monk Institute International Jazz Competition in 2015. She sings both jazz standards and other genres such as Stevie Wonder. At age 23, Jazzmeia "Jazz" Horn had already earned a reputation in New York City as a dynamic music artist.
Drummer Omar Hakim has collaborated with artists such as Miles Davis, David Bowie and Madonna. He managed to bridge many styles of music in a way that no one else had done. He'll be playing with band Ozmosys, a friendly open jam format band.
Chucho Valdés - Jazz Bata
Cuban pianist, bandleader, composer and arranger whose career spans over 50 years. An original member of the Orquesta Cubana de Música Moderna, in 1973 he founded the group Irakere, one of Cuba's best-known Latin jazz bands. Both his father, Bebo Valdés, and his son, Chuchito, are pianists as well. He has won six Grammy Awards and three Latin Grammy Awards.
For more information and a full programme, please go to www.maltajazzfestival.org