From world music, to Maltese folk song, to artistic performances and jazz, Festivals Malta has proudly launched four varied festivals to be held across the summer months.
Adding to the islands’ Capital of Culture celebrations will be four grand festivals, namely: the Malta World Music Festival, Għanafest, the Malta International Arts Festival and the Malta Jazz Festival.
While each festival boasts its idiosyncratic attractions, the four festivals find common ground in one of the primary aims behind them - which is to increase local audiences. All four also bring to fruition Festivals Malta’s vision of nurturing creativity, professionalism, participation and cultural education in festivals of the performing arts.
The season opens with the Malta World Music Festival (MWMF), on 18 and 19 May, which will be held in the stunning Fort St Elmo. Under the artistic direction of Renzo Spiteri, the festival has become an important addition to the country’s national cultural calendar as it celebrates the beauty of cultural diversity, the exchange and dialogue of people’s roots and the vitality that is borne out of such experiences and expressed through the powerful medium of music. This year’s line-up promises to impress, featuring the likes of Afro Celt Sound System, The Refugees for Refugees Band, and Cushion, to name a few.
Malta’s folk music heritage is given deserved attention thanks to Għanafest, which will be held on 22 and 23 June at Argotti Botanic Gardens, Floriana. In addition to serving as a platform for local folk musicians to perform għana - Maltese folk song – the festival is also a fairground for local bands and artists as well as foreign bands from Mediterranean countries, all celebrating the Mediterranean identity On the culinary aspect, this festival also offers its patrons a delectable gastronomical experience.
Site-specific curation, music, visual arts, theatre, dance, opera, installations, films, community projects, interactive and participatory events, are just some of the various highlights of the Malta International Arts Festival, which opens on 29 June. Highlights of this festival include the grand concert by the world-famous Royal Concergebouw Orchestra at the Manoel Theatre on 1 July and the literally gravity defying Aria by Italian dance company No Gravity at the Manoel Theatre on 8 July.
Cool jazz and breezy tunes will waft through the air from 16 to 21 July as the Malta Jazz Festival brings some of the finest musicians in contemporary jazz to the Maltese Islands. Big names such as Chick Corea, Christian McBride and Michael Lee make this year’s line-up shine bright, and don’t forget to look out for the jazz on the fringe events held in various locations around Valletta.
Early bird tickets for MWMF are already available. For more information, visit www.festivalsmalta.com.