Injecting New Life Into Malta’s Acoustic Music Scene

‘A Workshop in Klezmer’ set to be ‘a golden opportunity’ as participants will have the chance to form a band backed by the Klezmorimalta Foundation.  

The Klezmorimalta Foundation, with the support of the Malta Arts Fund, the Malta Society of Arts, and the Arts Council Malta, recently announced their first workshop in Klezmer music. Now, the NGO is proud to reveal that members who join the workshop will have the chance to be a part of Malta’s first-ever Klezmer band.

A Workshop in Klezmer Music will be a real first for Malta,” says Birgit Albrecht, the co-founder of the Klezmorimalta Foundation, “particularly as it focuses on Klezmer music. It will also be a golden opportunity for all musicians and music students who want to learn from, and perform with, three world-class acts who, together, have amassed a real wealth of experience.”

The workshop will be tutored by three internationally-known, professional musicians who are coming to Malta specifically for this event. These are the London-based fiddler Chris Haigh, who has performed with the likes of Morcheeba (known for their song Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day) and the traditional Irish troupe Riverdance; the lead of the Yxalag Klezmer Band, Jakob Lakner, who has performed with his band all over Europe; and the accordionist Basil Bunelik, who travels all around the UK performing French chansons with Affinitee.


Basil Bunelik

“Our aims for this workshop are very clear,” continues Birgit. “Firstly, it will serve as an introduction to Klezmer music, which is one of the oldest music types in Europe and which has developed into a musical style that is suitable to be mixed with other genres. Secondly, it will give participants the chance to learn the techniques of playing different instruments and the unique scales Klezmer music uses. Thirdly, it will also teach improvisation, performance, ornamentation and rhythm in music.”


Ralph Bulters & Birgit Albrecht, founders of the Klezmorimalta Foundation

Working together in small groups, participants will be given the chance to compose a new Klezmer tune and learn to play popular Klezmer songs. They will also get to know the other musicians, as well as their tutors, so as to develop new opportunities for their future.

At the end of the week-long workshop, participants will perform a concert open to the media and public. Then, following the performance, the Klezmorimalta Foundation will approach participants individually to find the best team to create Malta’s first-ever Klezmer band.

“We would like this band to be made up of different musicians from different backgrounds, including jazz, għana, folk, classic and blues,” explains Birgit. “This is vital because we want to create a band with a strong and unique Maltese identity that will appeal to both local and foreign audiences.

“On top of that, we’re very proud to announce that we have just been allocated an area for ten days at this year’s Farsons Beer Festival, between Friday, 24th July and Monday, 2nd August. Should this new band be successful, we would love to have them perform there.”

‘A Workshop in Klezmer’ will run between Monday 20 and Saturday 25 April 2015, from 9am till 4pm at the Malta Society of Arts Building. Participants are asked to attend all sessions. Anyone who wishes to join the workshops is kindly requested to send a short description of their background in music and a brief explanation of why they would like to join, to

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