18 - 22 Jul 2017
All Day
Johann Strauss School of Music Malta


The Malta Jazz Festival, in collaboration with Valletta 2018 and the Johann Strauss School of Music, announced the list of distinguished educators from the international jazz scene who will be giving free of charge workshops and masterclass sessions between 18 and 22 July 2017 at the Johann Strauss School of Music, this being part of the Jazz on the Fringe activities.

Masterclass 1 (two sessions) – The Modern Rhythm Section by Fred Pasqua (France) / Yoni Zelnik (France / Israel)

Fred Pasqua and Yoni Zelnik

Dates: 18 July 5 pm, 19 July 5 pm

Fred and Yoni will discuss rudimental elements and also some modern concepts of the jazz rhythm section – sound, the importance of tradition, working with a metronome, different approaches to playing behind a soloist in ‘standard’ and ‘contemporary’ contexts. Soloists are welcome! The two masterclasses will treat different themes so participants are encouraged to attend both.

Fred Pasqua has collaborated with Logan Richardson, Nelson Veras, Walter Smith III and Seamus Blake amongst others, and is one of the most in-demand drummers in France. Yoni Zelnik is a regular member of the Avishai Cohen Quartet and has performed with Justin Brown, Nasheet Waits, Kendrick Scott and Johnathan Blake.

Masterclass 2 (two sessions) – Jazz Guitar by Romain Pilon (France)

Romain Pilon

Dates: 19 July 5 pm, 21 July 5 pm

Topics covered in these two masterclasses will include: articulation, vocabulary (bebop scales, pentatonics, triads, augmented scales, melodic minor, harmonic minor…), chords (drop2, drop2/3, modal voicings, open triads), rhythmic placement (metronome exercises, inner pulse, swing feel), comping and technique. All levels are welcome! The two masterclasses will treat different themes so participants are encouraged to attend both.

Romain Pilon is a jazz guitar player based in Paris. He graduated from the Berklee College of Music in Boston and has been teaching guitar privately for more than 15 years. A renowned educator, he has shared his passion for jazz guitar in many masterclasses worldwide. He has played and recorded with Seamus Blake, Ben Wendel, Walter Smith III, Esperanza Spalding, Christian Scott and Jeff Ballard.

Masterclass 3 – Rhythmical interpretation of the jazz language through the use of right syllables and the polyrhythmical approach to the rhythms of jazz by Stjepko Gut (Serbia)

Stjepko Gut

Date: 21 July 5 pm 

In order to play jazz, you must speak the jazz language. The purpose of this workshop is to involve participants in the proper way of interpreting the jazz language by using the right syllables. Different sets of dynamic ‘highs and lows’ (accents and so-called ‘ghost’ notes) will be created. This masterclass is recommended for all levels and all instruments.

Masterclass 4 – For brass players only!  By Stjepko Gut (Serbia)

Date: 22 July 11 am

This masterclass will tackle the interpretation of jazz language for brass players. It will look at improvisation, articulation and big band phrasing, the use of different syllables and ‘body huffs’ as well as the doodle tonguing system as a variation on traditional body tonguing.

Stjepko Gut is a highly-respected trumpet player and jazz educator (Graz Conservatory and Belgrade University), Stjepko has played with the greatest names in jazz: Lionel Hampton (All Stars Big Band), Louie Bellson Big Band, Benny Golson, Clark Terry, Johnny Griffin, James Moody, Jimmy Heath, Jimmy Cobb, Mel Lewis, Curtis Fuller, Tony Scott, Sal Nestico, to mention just a few. He is highly recommended as a jazz educator by Clark Terry, with whom he has performed and taught around the world in numerous festivals, concerts and universities.

Masterclass 5 – For sax players only! By Rino Cirinná (Italy)

Rino Cirinna

Date: 18 July 5 pm

This masterclass will cover: using the right set-up; the proper relationship between the reeds and the mouthpiece; the correct use of the tongue; mastering the jazz language; transcribing the masters and building jazz lines.

Masterclass 6 – Jazz for newcomers by Rino Cirinná (Italy)

Date: 22 July 11 am

A historical voyage through some iconic albums, this masterclass will teach you how to listen to jazz. It is an ideal introduction for newcomers and will cover all you wanted to know about jazz and were afraid to ask!

Born in Hartford, Connecticut, in the United States, Rino Cirinná comes from a musical family that spans three generations. He studied clarinet at the conservatories of Catania and Rome. In 1989 he moved to the USA where he lived for 10 years; there he studied at Berklee College in Boston with teachers such as J. Bergonzi and C. Banacos. In the USA, he immersed himself in Blues, Jazz, Ethno and collaborated with Ibraima Camara T. Bennett, YNDour, J. Lockwood. Rino is considered one of the most important figures of the Sicilian jazz scene.


Places are limited and pre-booking is required. All levels are welcome. Observers are welcome too.

Applicants should send an email to: ruben.balzan@artscouncilmalta.org, indicating which masterclass they would like to attend.

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