The Ace of the Slade Family – Della Slade Live at The Christmas Markets

The Slade family are well known to the music scene in Gibraltar and have been entertaining us with their music for many years.

Now a 3rd generation musician, Della Slade, has proven that the Slade family had yet another ace up their sleeve.

Taking to the stage at the Gibraltar Christmas markets for her first solo performance, she kicked off the night with the song Exxs and Ohhs by Elle King with her Gibson SG 61 re-issue, changing it up for an Epiphone Joe Bonamassa Flyng V later in the set.

Then leaving the guitars behind, she belted out Somebody To Love by Queen, then the more festive Christmas The Whole Year Round by Sabrina Carpenter.

All topped off by a cheeky song Future Husband by Meghan Trainor.

This 12 year old young lady is sure to be on the scene for many years to come with her bluesy voice and guitar playing.


One Night Only…The Jazz Club

In the recently refurbished Ragged Staff Magazine, a stunning venue with its high arched ceilings and rugged charm, the 2nd event of the 5th International Jazz Festival is taking place.

Tonight there is a great line up of locals bands including Surianne and Peter Montegriffo (on guitar) but firstly the host for the night Daniel Guerrero introduced local poet David Bentata who opened the night with 3 of his poems.

Then to kick off the night musically is the The Jazz Club House Band featuring Atzuko Shimada, a 3 piece consisting of a piano, drums and stand up bass.

They warmed up the crowd by playing song such as Skylark by Ella Fitzgerald in Bosa-Samba style, All Of Me, My Ideal and even a composition of their own.

Next up, Paul Riley Big Band, they really got the crowd going with an array of guest vocalists including Jamie De La Rosa who wowed the crowd with his rendition of Feeling Good, and the Suzettes provided backing vocals for many of the artists. Other songs covered were ones such as Sway Me More, Afternoon In Paris (Big Band style), Lullaby On Broadway and Frank Sinatra’s New York New York covered by Dennis Beltran.

Following shortly after, Surianne & Peter Montegriffo on guitar took to the stage.

There was a rumbling of conversation going on in the background, but the second Surianne opened her mouth and that surreal and haunting voice came belting out of her, you could hear a pin drop in the venue; the silence of the crowd was deafening.

Peter who accompanied her on guitar is a very well known and talented local musician who has been around for years, and his playing was second to none on the night; he also provided Surianne with backing vocals.

She kicked off the set with She Flies, a beautiful song. Followed by the likes of Confessions, A Place Called Home and Something In Your Eyes.

At the end of the set, she asked the audience if anyone had a harmonica with them, and it just so happened that among the many musicians there that night there was a harmonica player who had his instrument with him. Philip Warne took to the stage and they jammed, to the crowd’s delight, for a while until the set ended.

Apart from being a very lovely and charismatic person off stage, Surianne proved that night that she is one hell of a singer-songwriter and performer on stage!

And the last act of the night was Saxomania which included local radio jazz DJ Raphael Gonzalez. They played a whole array of popular songs beautifully on sax. They were very tight and had the  audience engaged the whole gig and ended the night with a great vibe.




Matt Bianco & The New Cool Collective, Al Di Meola and Levanter Breeze

Set in the iconic and fairy-tale looking venue of St. Michael’s Cave, the 5th Annual International Jazz Festival is taking place.

The crowd began to stream in and along the aisles to their seats, soon after the host took to the stage, thanked all the sponsors and gave a short introduction for tonight’s opening band, locals Levanter Breeze.

The 4 piece band took their places and the guitarist Peter Martinez told the crowd that their set was dedicated to the late Tyrone Moya, local bass-player and musician friend.

They began with a couple of swaying jazzy songs, followed by a slower ”Sands of Time”

The rest of the set was engulfed with jazz fusion licks on guitar, fluid detailed drums, precision bass playing and a wizard on piano, who plays effortlessly.

The whole repertoire was tight and beautifully composed and they received a standing ovation.

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Next up was Al Di Meola.

He was accompanied by a rhythm guitarist and an accordion player.

They delved straight in to playing, and immediately enraptured the whole audience with their clean, elegant and soothing playing.

Al took a moment to tell the crowd how he had written a lullaby for his daughter Ava called Dream Sequence, and as the name implies it was a dreamy and sweet melody.

They then played Turquoise from his 2006 album Consequence of Chaos.

Al then began to speak about music originating in the UK in the 60’s, most notably The Beatles and how he was so lucky to record his renditions of their songs at Abbey Road, which he said made him feel like a kid in Disneyland. They then went on to play his rendition of Because.

They followed this up with a song for Al’s grandfather’s place of origin, Cerreto Sannita in Italy; where Al says half of the town were called Di Meola. It was a sharp and piercing piece with his fingers working the fret-board at the speed of light.

The accordion player deserves a mention as he was a master at his art, and even accompanied the songs with animalesque vocal sounds and whistling along to the tunes.

Finishing off his set, he dedicated a song to the legendary Paco de Lucia, and played Mediterranean Sundance which had the whole floor clapping along in unison and ended in an eruption of a standing ovation.

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After a short wait, The New Cool Collective bounced on stage and awoke everyone from the beautiful tranquil trance that Al Di Meola had left us all in.

They began with an instrumental, including instruments such as bongos, the triangle, saxphone, trumpet, flute and piano, and then introduced Matt Bianco’s singer Mark Reilly.

The songs had a cuban-latin feeling to them, and one of the songs had an African opening which had the crowd bewitched.

They had 2 musicians on percussion who would exchange instruments between songs and they both played the bongos and the timbales excellently.

Crowd-pleasers such as Whose Side Are You On? and Count Me In had the crowd singing and dancing in the aisles.

They also played More Than I Can Bear and Do The Right Thing, all topped off with the crowd’s favourite Don’t Blame It On That Girl, which had my mother, and many other people’s mothers, dancing in their seats.

The crowd gave their last standing ovation of the night and everyone danced on out of the cave.

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