You’re spoilt for choice this month as the Arts Festival continues, the Jazz Festival swings along, superstar Joseph Calleja returns and a wine festival makes it all even merrier.
Malta International Arts Festival, daily till 15th July
Malta International Arts Festival / Facebook
The annual festival continues this month with an exciting and eclectic programme of daily performances throughout Valletta. July kicks off with an unmissable concert by the superlative Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra on 1st July at the Manoel Theatre performing alongside the Malta Youth Orchestra. The 1925 classic horror silent film The Phantom of the Opera is screened at Fort St Elmo on 5th July with a new original soundtrack performed live by Minima music ensemble. Try to catch Aria by No Gravity on 8th July also at the Manoel Theatre where dance, music and song come together in a unique crossover show. And prepare to be wowed by the gravity defying acrobatic dance version of Dante’s re-imagined Divina Commedia from Hell to Paradise on 9th July at Fort St Elmo. For the full list of events and tickets click here.
Malta Jazz Festival, 16th - 21st July
Malta Jazz Festival / Facebook
Celebrated as one of the most important summer jazz festivals in Europe, the Malta Jazz Festival has been hosting some of the most iconic names in the jazz world for the past 27 years, and this year will be no exception. This will be the longest ever festival, spreading out to several venues across the capital with daily lunchtime concerts at 12:30pm outside the House of Parliament. The festival kicks off with a photographic exhibition “Jazz Island” by Joe Smith at the Phoenicia Hotel on 16th July. There is a free evening concert on 17th July at Palazzo de la Salle and the annual jam session at Offbeat Music Bar on 18th July. But the main event starts on 19th July at 8pm, with three performances in three different locations around the capital. The festival then moves to its traditional home at Ta’ Liesse right by the water’s edge in Grand Harbour on 20th July, starring Christian McBride’s New Jawn, The Blue Tangerine and Bokanté and closes on 21st July with none other than Chick Corea and João Bosco.
Joseph Calleja and Eros Ramazzotti in concert, 21st July
OK, so this is not in Valletta - it’s taking place at the Granaries in Floriana which is right on the capital city’s doorstep and walking distance from the Jazz Festival (in case you fancy mixing both music genres on the same evening). Malta’s much loved international superstar tenor (enough adjectives now) Joseph Calleja returns for his annual summer concert. This year he’s joined on stage by Italian pop sensation Eros Ramazzotti, and will be accompanied by the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra. It will be a big night with big songs, big voices, in front of a big crowd.
Marsovin Summer Wine Festival, 20th - 22nd July
While you’re in town taking in all that music, round off a perfect evening out in the capital with a glass of wine at this annual festival organised by Malta’s largest and oldest wine producer. The festival is held at Hastings Garden, which is already a delight in its own right commanding fantastic views from Valletta’s bastions. There will be over 30 DOK and IGT quality wines from locally grown grapes to taste. But don’t worry, a token system ensures you can sample the wide range of wines without over-consuming.
Maltese Nights at Valletta Waterfront, every Thursday
Head down to the water’s edge at the Grand Harbour on a Thursday evening from 7:30pm for a snapshot of Maltese folklore. You can enjoy dinner al fresco while watching traditional Maltese folk dancing, falconry displays and participate in local games. Listen to some old tunes played by the terramaxka, a 19th century musical instrument which was a mainstay of Maltese festas, carnival and everyday life in the days before radio. And it’s all set against the magnificent backdrop of a row of 250-year-old warehouses built in the time of Grandmaster Pinto. All events are free.