The Sound of Art

Posted On March 2, 2023

The hands of Ic City Gatt, they were know for the music he played, but in this exhibition 134, Old Bakery street, Valletta, we see another part of his life, his art. Charles “City” Gatt was known for his contributions to the development of jazz music in Malta. He was a skilled saxophonist and clarinetist and was considered to be one of the leading jazz musicians in Malta during his time.

Gatt was born in Malta in 1944 and began playing music at a young age. He started his career playing traditional Maltese folk music before discovering jazz and becoming enamored with the genre. Gatt went on to become a prolific composer and arranger of jazz music, blending elements of Maltese folk music with jazz to create a unique sound.

Gatt was a founding member of the Malta Jazz Association and played a key role in organizing jazz festivals and concerts in Malta. He also performed extensively throughout Europe and collaborated with many renowned jazz musicians. Gatt’s contributions to the development of jazz music in Malta were significant, and he is remembered as a pioneering figure in Maltese jazz.

As a member of the local Art Group ‘Start’ his installations were part of exhibitions at ‘Cityspaces’ in Valletta, Blitz in Vittoriosa (2005), ‘Borders’ at Pinto Wharf (2003), curated by Rapheal Vella, and ‘Escape’ at the Old Prisons, Citadel Gozo (2003), curated by Austin Camilleri. In 2013 he took part in ‘Re-Visit the Contemporary Face of Faith’, curated by Vince Briffa.

Here we see a composition of his paintings. Painting, as installation, an essential facet of his visual vocabulary, was very close to his heart. The motif of his work was never too far from his essence: music.

“We try to infuse our work with adventure” Charles Gatt

‘Untitled’, Acrylics on board, 91x91cm

‘Untitled’, Acrylics on board, 95x85cm


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