Valletta icon and saxophonist Joe Curmi ‘il-Puse’ has died aged 90

Jazz saxophonist who was a staple on the Strait Street musical circuit during wartime Malta

George Curmi (left) with father Joe Curmi
George Curmi (left) with father Joe Curmi

The jazz saxophonist Joe Curmi, better known by his musical sobriquet ‘il-Pusé’, has passed away at the age of 90.

The Valletta-born musician, who lived through the golden age of Maltese jazz bands during the wartime and post-war eras, was the father of violinist George Curmi.

Curmi was synonymous with the popular musical acts that worked in Valletta’s red-light district on Strait Street, known as ‘the Gut’.

By his own admission, Curmi’s nickname Pusé seems to have been earned when an onlooker saw him play football, calling out ‘C’mon Pusé, let’s beat them’.

His son George wrote on Facebook to say thank you to his late father, for all he had thought him, "Everything I know is down to you," he said.

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