Jazz becomes Malta’s heartbeat mid-July each year. Now ranked with some of the most prestigious music festivals in the world, Malta Jazz Festival has become one of the Mediterranean’s premiere festival experiences, spread over several rhythm-loaded days.
The Phoenicia is an ardent supporter of Malta’s art and culture, delighted to host events and support developments of all kinds in this area, and will once again host the Malta Jazz Festival opening event on Monday, July 15 at 20:30 in its 7.5 acre fragrant garden under the stars with a performance by Stjepko Gut Quintet and an exhibition by talented photographer Darrin Zammit Lupi.
Stjepko Gut will be joined on The Rotunda’s stage by Rino Cirinnà, Yoni Zelnik, Dominic Galea and William Smith.
Serbian jazz trumpeter Stjepko Gut studied jazz trumpet at the Swiss Jazz School in Bern, Switzerland, and at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. He was a member of Woody Herman’s band, the RTB Big Band and performed with the Lionel Hampton All Stars in the early 1980’s. Stjepko is a member of the faculty at the Graz Institute for Jazz and a Guest Professor at the Jazz Department of Belgrade Music Academy.
The trumpeter has played with some of the world’s greatest jazz musicians including Clark Terry, Louie Bellson, Lionel Hampton, Alvin Queen, Melissa Stott, Charly Antolini and Mark Murphy, amongst others. He also made international tours, performances and recordings with Vince Benedetti, Sal Nistico, Clark Terry, Wild Bill Davis, Horace Parlan, Mel Lewis, Kenny Washington, and Dusko Gojkovic. Stjepko plays at festivals and clubs all over the world.
Darrin Zammit Lupi’s ‘Moments in Jazz’ exhibition will be held in the Palm Court Lounge from July 15 to July 20. Darrin has been covering the Malta Jazz Festival since its inception. He is one of four photographers whose work is extensively featured in the book ‘Portraits in Jazz’ which was published to celebrate 20 years of the festival in 2010. Starting from the memorable first edition, which hosted jazz legends Chick Corea, Michel Petrucciani and Elvin Jones amongst others, ‘Portraits in Jazz’ traces the journey of one of Malta’s top cultural offerings through photos of the Festival itself and through the paintings inspired by the Festival.
Darrin has been a contract photographer with global news agency Reuters since 1997. His work has been widely published in the international press, including TIME, Newsweek, The New York Times, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, BBC, Geo, Paris Match, and others.
‘Moments in Jazz’ is a special collection of Zammit Lupi’s finest jazz portrait work, all assembled in the beautiful space at the centre of The Phoenicia, Palm Court Lounge.
For those needing to refuel between sets, The Phoenicia has an elegant and well-stocked bar set up near the Rotunda, which serves refreshing cocktails, champagne and plenty of tasty treats.
Entrance is free to the general public, doors open at 20.30 and the concert that opens the Malta Jazz Festival will commence at 21:00.