Watch: Five Eclectic Artists Perform For Backdoor Jam This February.
Joe Buttigieg, MARIO abela , Joseph Portelli, Ben Denny mo & MAWK PHOeNIX
Backdoor Jam is the new kid on the block when it comes to entertainment across the Maltese Islands. Filmed at Zeppi’s Pub on Gozo this weekly new series brings local performers together and showcases music, poetry, literature and more for a short 10 (ish) minute show every Monday evening.
Councillor Joseph Buttigieg, an Arts Enthusiast and Cultural Operator showcases his affinity for poetry and literature by choosing to recite two poems by local writers who have passed. The first Il-Kebbies tal-Fanali was written by Anton Buttigieg, ex-President of Malta. It describes times when the streets were without lights and one man’s job was to light the street lamps one by with his ladder. The poet elicits a sense of melancholia and equates that the light from the street lamps provided the only consolation during certain periods of his life.
The second poem Joseph has chosen is another of his personal favourites. Written by Hekk Biss Ikun Poeta in honour of Oliver Friggieri, a great contributor to Maltese Literature. The poem reflects on Friggieri’s life and explains the arduous creative process that ultimately leads to pain attributes to the human condition and existentialism.
Local artist Mario Abela, uses paintings, drawings, collage, video and sound that depart from the metaphysical, anthropological theories and history. Through a juxtaposition of images and chance during execution, what starts as storytelling, becomes an exploration into fantastic worlds. This puts concepts like time, memory and chance under analysis, to establish how these determine the interpretation of the past and sometimes forecast the future.
Joseph Portelli is no stranger to Zeppi’s and its’ infamous Jam night. His contemporary pop – singer-songwriter style harks back to the 70s with flavours of familiarity and warmth and a vocal range most would be proud of. His songs gently command your attention and it’s impossible not to draw comparisons with British songsmith James Blunt – though Joseph’s ever-growing allegiance of loyal fans around Melbourne will quickly point out that while “Blunt’s music swirls around the heart, Joseph’s songs will pierce it”.
BEN DENNY MO
Ben returns to Backdoor Jam after performing a cheeky little Christmas tune on our Christmas Special. His ties with Gozo are strong, having grown up here and we hope to have him back playing live really soon, but whilst away from the little rock he has been busy writing and wowing crowds in Norfolk. Influenced by Martyn, Zeppelin and the Butler crowd, he has recently been a favourite of the BBC, Glastonbury and The James Whale Show.
After spending two decades producing in Los Angeles with countless radio hits and music compositions featured on Blood Diamond, Little Miss Sunshine, Sex & The City, Charmed, Scrubs, and more, Mawk Phoenix was ready to transform his art as well as himself. His album ‘This Is The Sound‘ (Very Music) marks Phoenix’s solo debut as a singer-songwriter. “I realized that as a producer I was ready for evolution,” says Phoenix. He stepped away from mainstream success of producing chart-topping artists to consider his hopes and dreams. “I became inspired to define my authentic voice and sound. That time resulted in articulating my own story of growth and self-transformation”. We’re excited!
Backdoor Jam is proudly brought to you by the Cultural Heritage Directorate within the Ministry for Gozo and Gasan Mamo.