The jazz bug hits Notte Bianca
Fusion jazz musician Mike Del Ferri will hit the Manoel Theatre on the capital city’s busiest night. He talks about how the music bug kick-started his career.
Dutch pianist Mike del Ferri will perform at the Manoel Theatre during Notte Bianca on September 29 and on September 30 at the Manoel’s Studio Theatre with a jamming session that explores jazz techniques and encourages the audience to join in with their guitars, drum sticks and voices.
The jazz pianist is also a highly sought-after composer, pianist and arranger who writes and performs in an impressive array of musical genres. He is also credited with managing to combine elements of the revered canons of Western music, interspersed with the audacity of jazz improvisation that pays tribute to the ancient structures of Asian, South American and African traditional music.
When did you first visit Malta?
In July 2003 when I was invited by Charles ‘City’ Gatt to play at the Jazz Festival. It was a lovely experience.
This time round you will also be taking part in an educational workshop. What will be covered?
I will tackle harmony, improvisation and the way that different sounds can be created with your instrument, as well as how to project the music to the audience and so forth.
How did you start your career?
As a child I studied classical music. I switched to jazz when I was around 17. I started playing concerts professionally when I was about 20.
You have also recorded a CD that includes some operatic repertoire. What inspired this?
The CD is actually dedicated to my father, Leonardo, who was a great opera singer. He instilled in me a love for arias and Neapolitan songs. The project is called Opera Meets Jazz and I will play a few arrangements while in Malta.
Which other artists have you performed with?
I have been blessed to work with world-class musicians like Toots Thielemans, Jack DeJohnette, Randy Brecker and many others. Playing with Toots was a particularly amazing experience; he is a true pioneer.
What are the essential characteristics you feel are common in jazz musicians?
Craziness and obsession... once you succumb to the jazz bug, you don’t go back.
Mike del Ferri will be performing at the Manoel Theatre in Valletta, on September 29 and 30.