The Malta Jazz Festival this year, which will be held on the 19th to 21st July at Ta’ Liesse, is a cocktail of different musical styles including vocal jazz, flamenco, hard-bop, fusion and latin jazz.

The main highlights this year are Al di Meola and Terri Lynne Carrington, whose album Mosaic Project has just won a Grammy Award for Best Vocal Jazz Album. Terri Lynne Carrington, featuring one of the premier jazz vocalists in the world Dianne Reeves, will be performing at the Malta Jazz Festival on Friday 20th July. Drummer Terri Lynne Carrington performed with Herbie Hancock, Marcus Miller, Yellowjackets and Dianne Reeves. The album she just released features Esperanza Spalding who was part of the Malta Jazz Festival 2011 and won a Best New Artists Grammy Award last year, Dee Dee Bridgewater, and Gretchen Parlato.

Al di Meola will return to Malta and will perform rhythmically-charged flamenco and tango inspired originals on Thursday 19th July. Grammy Award winning world class guitarist Al di Meola is one of the most well-known exponents of his instrument. His highly celebrated career has spanned a wide range of emotions into a unique style embodying the artists world inspired influences. The virtuoso pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba will feature with Al di Meola. With eight Grammy nominations under his belt, Gonzalo Rubalcaba has proven himself as established force in the modern Jazz world. The Jeremy Pelt Quartet will also perform on the 19th. Jeremy Pelt began his career playing with Mingus Big Band. He performed with Jimmy Heath, Frank Wess, Charli Persip, Keter Betts and many more renowned musicians. Pelt was voted Rising Star on the Trumpet five years in a row by Downbeat Magazine and the Jazz Journalist Association.

The Tigran Hamasyan Trio which will perform on the 20th July finds inspiration from traditional Armenian folk music as well as poetry. Tigran won the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition in 2006. He is considered one of today’s most vital and original young jazz artists.

Will Vinson Quartet will perform on the 21st July. Will Vinson is one of the most exciting alto players on the New York Scene. His last recording The World (through my shoes) was described as “marvellous” by Downbeat and “exhilarating, cascading…outstanding” by JazzTimes. Chano Dominguez will close the festival with his combination of flamenco and jazz. He will present his latest album which gives homage to Miles Davis. The group will feature a flamenco dancer, singer and cajon player. He just signed to Blue Note records.

The Maltese bands this year will be the Paul Giordimaina Trio that will introduce the festival on Thursday 19th July and Carlo Muscat/Alex Bezzina on Saturday 21st July. This year there will also be the Off fringe festival, coordinated by Andrew Alamango, on the days preceding the Malta Jazz Festival. This is supported by MIA. The Malta Jazz Festival is supported by the Malta Council for Culture and the Arts and the Ministry for Tourism, the Environment and Culture. Sponsors of the festival include Go, MSV Life, Switch, CyberPass, and Phoenicia Hotel.

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