Malta Jazz Festival 2015
The Malta Jazz Festival 2015 will celebrate its 25th year this summer with a varied programme of events that will keep the jazz aficionado and layman enthralled. For this special anniversary, the festival will take place on four days, from 16 till 19 July, instead of the usual three-day line-up. The extra day will be the Commonwealth Jazz Day supported by CHOGM Malta 2015 and will bring two important artists to the island – saxophonist Soweto Kinch from the UK who intertwines jazz with rap and bassist Richard Bona from Cameroon, who is well established himself in Paris and New York.
“The 2015 line-up is a celebration of diversity. Some jazz pushes genre boundaries. Some other jazz keeps its feet firmly planted in the tradition,” said Sandro Zerafa, artistic director of the Malta Jazz Festival. “At the Malta Jazz Festival we honour this diversity through a program full of contrasting outfits. Jazz bridges the gap between the popular and the savant and the 2015 line-up should appeal to the layman and the erudite jazz buff as well.”
This year’s festival features a number of Grammy award winners, amongst whom legendary Cuban pianist and 5 time Grammy award winner, Chucho Valdes who will perform for the first time at Ta’ Liesse with Irakere 40, a tribute to the cult band founded in 1973 by Chucho himself.
Other Grammy winners are Danilo Perez, John Patitucci and Brian Blade, known collectively as ‘Children of the Light’ and best known for their work as part of the Wayne Shorter quartet. They are considered as one of the main highlights this year.
Grammy award winner/bass legend Dave Holland will team up with Chris Potter, one of the major saxophone players today, for a new project featuring the unique guitar voice of Lionel Loueke and drummer extraordinaire Eric Harland.
Kurt Elling – another Grammy Award winner who will bring his concert of love songs collected from all around the world to the Grand Harbour – is the most celebrated male jazz singer of his generation. The Washington Post said that “he has come to embody to creative spirit of jazz”. Guitarist Joe Cohn, whom Pat Metheny described as “an unbelievable improviser”, is one of the most respected guitar players in New York, whose deep sense of jazz tradition is remarkable. His quartet will feature Japanese pianist Yutaka Shiina.
An added novelty is the first edition of “The Fringe” Youth Jazz Ensemble, which is part of the Jazz on the Fringe initiative, to create networks with the international jazz scene. The young ensemble will perform for the first time at the Malta Jazz Festival under the direction of saxophone player Gabriele Comeglio, one of the most renowned musical arrangers in Italy and pianist/ arranger Claudio Angeleri, director of the Centro Didattico Produzione Musica (CDPM). Both will be teaching at the Summer Jazz Camp. This initiative will be pursued in future editions of the Jazz on the Fringe and will involve the participation of different countries.
Furthermore, this year’s programme will also include gigs around the island as part of Jazz on the Fringe, free masterclasses held in the Malta Summer Jazz Camp and a competition for young upcoming jazz musicians through the Malta Jazz Contest. This year the masterclasses will include classes in piano, guitar, drums, bass, saxophone and musical arrangement. Jazz on the Fringe is supported by Valletta 2018.
Tickets for the Malta Jazz Festival 2015 are at €30 for a single-day ticket (seated), €75 for a 3-day block ticket (seated) or €90 for a 3-day block ticket + Commonwealth Jazz night (seated). Standing single-day tickets are also available for €20 (free seating available), a 3-day block ticket (standing) can be bought for €40 (free seating available) and a 3 day-block ticket + Commonwealth Jazz night (standing) for €50 (free seating available).
Those who book until the 20th of April can avail themselves of an early bird discount:
€25 instead of €30 for a single-day ticket – seated; €60 instead of €75 for a 3-day ticket – seated; €75 instead of €90 for a 3-day block ticket + Commonwealth Jazz night – seated; €15 instead of €20 for a single-day ticket – standing (free seating available); €30 instead of €40 for a 3-day block ticket – standing (free seating available);€45 instead of €50 for a 3-day block ticket + Commonwealth Jazz night – standing (free seating available).
The Malta Jazz Festival is organised by Arts Council Malta and supported by CHOGM Malta 2015, Valletta 2018 Foundation, Phoenicia Hotel, Cyberpass, MTA and TVM.