The Malta Independent 22 August 2019, Thursday

The Malta Jazz Festival – A week of Tantalising Jazz Music is now on

Thursday, 18 July 2019, 14:09 Last update: about 2 months ago

The 29th edition of the Malta Jazz Festival, organised by Festivals Malta, is currently under way with a splendid line up across multiple venues.

This year's edition was launched with the opening of a photographic exhibition titled 'Moments in Jazz', by award-winning photographer Darrin Zammit Lupi. The exhibition features a number of Malta Jazz Festival iconic photos by Zammit Lupi, who has been capturing the essence of the festival since its launch back in 1991. This superb exhibition is set up in the lobby of the Hotel Phoenicia and is open to the public until Saturday 20 July.  

Joe Smith with Darrin Zammit Lupi (Photo: Joseph Agius Attard)

During the opening, Culture Minister Owen Bonnici highlighted the importance that such festivals carry. He said: "While the Jazz Festival has become a prominent platform to showcase local talent, it also serves as an outlet for jazz lovers, and definitely attracts festival goers. This festival has definitely become one of the most notable events in our cultural calendar, and it further enhances our local cultural product.

The exhibition opening was followed by the festival's official launch event - an energetic performance by the Stjepko Gut Quartet. "Monday's turnout, vibe and enthusiasm were highly encouraging, proving that the festival is seducing a larger audience," says Sandro Zerafa, the festival's Artistic Director. "The Malta Jazz Festival will gradually reach a climax on Friday and Saturday at the historic venue at Ta' Liesse, with a star-studded and eclectic line-up. I particularly look forward to welcoming Kenny Garrett to Malta for the first time."   

Stjepko Gut Quintet (Photo: Jason Borg)

Apart from Garrett, the acts at Ta' Liesse will include luminaries from the international jazz scene including vocalist Jazzmeia Horn, the quartet Ozmosys led by legendary jazz drummer Omar Hakim, and Chucho Valdés - the Cuban jazz legend. The venue will also feature some of Malta's foremost jazz musicians, including the William Smith Trio and jazz veteran Dominic Galea.  

"The events at Ta' Liesse, the festival's flagship venue, will bring to an end a week that will see various local and international acts performing at different venues across Valletta, Mdina and Vittoriosa," says Festivals Malta director Annabelle Stivala. "It is a week that will also feature daily lunchtime gigs outside Parliament to keep passers-by entertained, and a series of free masterclasses at Offbeat. In short, we are promising a jazz-infused week to tantalise and tickle music aficionados' taste buds and give them a very enjoyable time."  

Annabelle Stivala, Sandro Zerafa and Hon Minister Bonnici (Photo: Jason Borg)

Seated tickets for Friday's performances at the Malta Jazz Festival at Ta' Liesse are sold out. There are some 2-day seated tickets and some seated tickets on Saturday left; while standing tickets are readily available for both nights. For more information, visit 


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