Item 49 - Gatt, Charles (City)

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MT NAM-RABAT PHO-2-49

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Gatt, Charles (City)

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Born at Zebbiegh in 1944, Gatt is popularly known as ‘City’. His interest in both music and painting started more or less concurrently. He joined the education department in 1961 and from 1966 to 1968 pursued a teacher’s training course at St Michael’s College of Education.
He taught art from 1968 to 1975 when he joined the staff of the school of music, teaching percussion. He was the principal of the same school from 1995 to 2005.
At Berklee College of Music in Boston, USA in 1978 and 1979, Gatt furthered his studies under Joe Hunt, Mike Metheny and Andy Jaffe. He formed part of the latter’s ensemble, played in David Kikoski’s trio and Joe Mahkolm’s Big Band and was also a regular percussionist with Boston’s Meirose Symphony Orchestra. He also recorded works for solo percussion by Charles Camilleri whose music he performed at the Unesco Sponsored North-South Encounter in the Netherlands, at London’s Royal Festival Hall and the Barbican Centre.
In 2002 Gatt toured several cities in the north of Italy playing vibraphone with the Jazz Fantasy Trio from Bergamo. In 2004 he played at Jazzmandu, the Kathmandu Jazz Festival in Nepal. He gave several master classes, workshops and performances at the Tollwood Festival in Munich in 2003, 2004, and 2005.
Gatt has accompanied artists like Albert Mangelsdorff, Bobby Shew and the National Youth Orchestra from Britain in formal concerts and in less formal situations played with Steve Coleman, Joe Lovano, Trilok Gurtu and Arto Tuncboyaciyan amongst others. He played at the Bratislava Jazz Days in Czechoslovakia and at other festivals of contemporary music in Greece, Spain, North Africa, in the former USSR and Australia.
He has composed music for jazz and percussion ensemble that have been used as dance routines in various musical situations and has also been the organizer of the Malta Jazz Festival in Valletta since its inception in 1991.
Gatt is a member of the European art group ‘Frequenzen’ and the local art group ‘Start’. Recent exhibitions and venues include in Ascoli Piceno, Italy (2004), Triumphforte, Innsbruck (2003), Galerie Hallman Strauss, Munich (2002-2005), Chongju and Gaya, South Korea, Tuchersfeld Frankishe Schweiz Museum, Germany (2000), National Museum of Fine Arts, Valletta (1999), and ‘Malta at War Museum’, Vittoriosa (2005), ‘Borders’ at Pinto Wharf (2004), ‘Escape’ at the Old Prisons, Citadel Gozo (2003), and ‘Cityspaces’ in Valletta (2002).
Gatt is married to Frances Mangion and they have two daughters, Carla and Ariana.

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