Pure Brass Quintet at London’s St James Church

The Malta High Commission in London organised yet another evening of musical extravaganza at St James’s Church, Piccadilly.

This concert was directed by Alex Bezzina, a Maltese trumpeter and arranger/composer who is making a name for himself and Malta on the UK musical scene.

Alex Bezzina is one of the first members of Malta’s most popular commercial ‘Big Band Brothers’ and co founder, together with Kevin Abela, of the Pure Brass Quintet. He composes extensively, including ‘Its Time’ premiered by the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra at Rockestra 2009. Since moving to the UK, he has graduated from the London Centre of Contemporary Music and subsequently became part of the same centre’s academic staff.

He has achieved many accomplishments in the UK. As lead trumpet player of the Big Swing Band he has performed at the renowned Yamaha Jazz Room in London; he’s played at Glastonbury with his alternative/pop band ‘6 Day Riot’; performed at the impressive London Jazz Cafe with his other band Funkshone; joined the Blam Jazz Quartet and together played at the celebrated Charlie Wrights International; and as a soloist performed and recorded in the most versatile of ways with leading pop, blues, funk, jazz, soul, reggae and flamenco artists. Together with Funkshone, he is also working on a forthcoming European Tour with Sir Joe Quarterman and the release of a new single in a weeks’ time.

The evening’s concert programme reflected Alex Bezzina’s own transition from the classical to the more jazz and funk genres.  As musical director, he invited two bands he plays with, Pure Brass Quintet from Malta and Blam Jazz Quartet from the UK to come together and collaborate musically for the first time ever.

For this concert, The Pure Brass Quintet played a number of musical arrangements from their repertoire and Blam performed some of their original compositions. Playing with both bands, Alex’s musical excellence culminated in the premiere of his own compositional piece ‘Il-Maltija’ - which was so warmly received by all those present.