Do you like World Music?  Do you want to experience a vibrant and energetic festival with two evenings of great music by world-class artists?  Make your way to the beautiful Fort St Elmo on the 19th and 20th May for the very first edition of the Malta World Music Festival – a festival that will celebrate the beauty of cultural diversity, the encounter and exchange of people's different traditions and experiences expressed through the powerful medium of music.  Malta is perfectly located for this encounter – at the heart of the Mediterranean sea and at the crossroads of diverse peoples, Maltese culture is a mixture of different influences developed into unique customs.

What is World Music?

World Music is a category of music incorporating different styles from around the world; folk, ethnic, indigenous, neotraditional – music through which cultural traditions meet. World Music also combines Western popular musical styles with non-Western genres often described as folk or ethnic music.  However, World Music is not exclusively traditional folk and may also include pop styles. 

The Programme: 19th May

Brodu, an alternative Maltese band formed in 2011 and well-known for their single Iċ-ċimiterju, will open the first night of the festival.  Singing in our native Maltese language, Brodu will bring a local flavour to the festival.  The band will be launching their second album in a few months, and festival goers can expect some new tracks along with popular numbers. Brodu will be joined by various world-class artists, including Tsuumi Sound System – an eight-piece Finnish modern folk music band rooted in Nordic folk traditions and Tiwiza  - a Franco-Algerian group playing a fusion of percussion rhythms, nomad desert blues, powerful arrangements and engaged lyrics.

The Programme: 20th May

The second evening will be opened by The Khoury Project, a trio of brothers playing contemporary music which combines Arabic forms with globalized rhythms. Though faithful to the tradition of classical Arabic music, The Khoury Project have fused it with other genres such as opera, flamenco, Celtic, Indian and jazz. Sona Jobarteh will captivate the audience with her amazing voice.  She is known through her contribution in film scores such as Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, but is also the first female kora (a 21-stringed African harp) virtuoso, a male-dominated tradition which is usually passed on from father to son.  She has modernised the presentation of kora music, bringing a rhythmic edge to her compositions which are very up to date and fit her remarkable singing. The festival will close with BandAdriatica, a project in which music is created from the encounters and exchange of people and their traditional repertoires, contributing to the continuous development of traditional music and in keeping with the festival's aim of celebrating cultural diversity.

A Word from the Artistic Director

“I would like this festival to be seen as a celebration of cultural diversity and a dynamic platform for the exchange and dialogue of artistic ideas, the result of which is expressed so vibrantly through the powerful medium of music.  I am very excited to be the Artistic Director for the very first edition of the Malta World Music Festival. A fantastic line-up awaits our crowds this May.”

A Word from the Director, Festivals ACM

“Originally a folk festival which has now been streamlined, the Malta World Music Festival embraces award-winning international musicians and local emerging artists in genres that span from traditional to contemporary.  The inclusive nature and elasticity of world music as a musical category may have posed for a festival which did not have a clear identity.  However, this year, it has been given a rather tempting new look.  It is more fresh, trendy and carefully curated.” 

General Information

Venue: Fort St Elmo, Valletta

Time: 20:00 – 23:15
Early bird tickets (until the 15th April): single tickets - €10; block tickets - €18
Regular tickets: single tickets - €12; block tickets - €20
Tickets can be purchased from the Teatru Manoel box office or online from www.teatrumanoel.com.mt.

Brodu: “...a seamless display of styles and emotions.”

Tsuumi Sound System: “In Tsuumi's hands, crossing many musical boundaries is a work of sheer genius.” – Songlines

Soma Jobarteh: “tradition-busting female kora virtuoso”

BandAdriatica: “This is an interesting project that superbly integrates new composition with roots and demonstrates how easily music can cross national and linguistic barriers.” - Folk Roots 

The Khoury Project: “Their characteristic restlessness and desire to diversify goes beyond music.” - Songlines