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Grammy winners to feature at this year's Malta Jazz Festival

The Malta Jazz Festival, being held for the 25th time this year, will be spread on four days, from July 16 to 19.

The extra day will be the Commonwealth Jazz Day supported by CHOGM Malta 2015 and will feature saxophonist Soweto Kinch from the UK, who intertwines jazz with rap and bassist Richard Bona from Cameroon, who is well established in Paris and New York.

Legendary Cuban pianist Chucho Valdes.Legendary Cuban pianist Chucho Valdes.

This year’s festival features a number of Grammy award winners, including legendary Cuban pianist and five 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.

This year’s programme will also include gigs around the island as part of Jazz on the Fringe, free masterclasses and a competition for young upcoming jazz musicians through the Malta Jazz Contest.

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 €30 for a single-day ticket (seated), €75 for a three-day block ticket (seated) or €90 for a three-day block ticket + Commonwealth Jazz night (seated). Standing single-day tickets are also available for €20 (free seating available), a three-day block ticket (standing) can be bought for €40 (free seating available) and a three day-block ticket + Commonwealth Jazz night (standing) for €50 (free seating available).

An early discount is available for those who book by April 20.

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.

The full programme and line-ups can be seen at maltajazzfestival.org .

Malta Jazz Festival 2015 Line Up

July 16

Kris Spiteri Noir Project

Joe Cohn Quartet feat. Yutaka Shiina

Kurt Elling Passion World

July17

Anthony Camilleri Quartet

David Binney Avenija

Dave Holland, Chris Potter, Lionel Loueke & Eric Harland

July18

"The Fringe" Youth Jazz Ensemble

Danilo Perez, John Patitucci & Brian Blade: Children of the Light

Chucho Valdes Irakere 40

July 19 - Commonwealth Jazz Day

3rd edition of the Malta Jazz Contest

Soweto Kinch Quartet

Richard Bona

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