Towards the Flame:

Scriabin in Jazz

2 NOVEMBER 2019 

Archaeology Museum, Valletta - 9:00pm


A world première of a project co-led by prominent French pianist Vincent Bourgeyx 

(whose collaborations include Bobby Durham, Jane Ira Bloom, Mark Turner, 

Matt Penman amongst others) and Malta’s renowned jazz ambassador 

Sandro Zerafa, inspired by the music of Russian classical composer 

Alexander Scriabin. This project evokes the common grounds

between jazz and Scriabin’s music. An evening which 

should  appeal to both lovers of 

jazz and classical music.

Programme Notes

Alexander Scriabin

“His music is super sensuous, super romantic, and super mysterious. Everything is super; it is all a little overboard.” This is how the great Vladimir Horowitz once described the music of Russian composer Alexander Scriabin. Scriabin was one of the most enigmatic and

controversial composers of all time. His early works often evoke comparisons to Chopin in their lyricism and delicacy. Later in his career, he moved into realms beyond traditional tonality, also embracing esoteric and mystical worldviews.


Scriabin always held a special fascination for jazz musicians. His influence is discernible in the harmonic language of Bill Evans, Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea and many other post-bop piano players. Born out of a shared love for the work of the great Russian composer, this project evokes the common grounds between jazz and Scriabin’s music. Sandro Zerafa and Vincent Bourgeyx explore the profoundly lyrical, darkly romantic and harmonically audacious universe of Scriabin in a jazz context.

Artist Bios

Vincent Bourgeyx

Vincent Bourgeyx was born in Bordeaux in 1972 and began studying the piano when he was 7. After studying musicology at Bordeaux University, he went to Berklee College of Music in Boston for 4 years. Vincent Bourgeyx became the first student to win the famous Billboard

magazine prize, which enabled him to complete his studies free of charge. After graduating from the College in 1997 he moved to New York where he became an active member of the New York music scene.


Whilst in the United States, Vincent worked with several musicians such as : saxophonists Ravi Coltrane, Mark Turner, Billy Pierce, Graig Handy, Donald Harrison, Eric Alexander, Richie Cole, Greg Tardy, drummers Bobby Durham, Ralph Peterson, singers Jane Monheit, Claudia Acuna and many other musicians like Chuck Mangione, Julian Priester and Joe Locke, with whom he participated in concerts and tours in numerous clubs and festivals. Vincent Bourgeyx also taught the piano at the Koyo Conservatory in Kobe in Japan and participated in Master Classes at the Berkeley College of Music of Boston with Jane Ira Bloom, and at the International Association of Jazz Educators in 1998 and 2001.


Since returning home, he has already performed with leading musicians such as Sylvain Beuf, Jean-Jacques Avenel, John Betsch, Méderic Colignon, Sara Lazarus, David Elmalek, etc., and won a soloist prize at the Jazz Competition of la Défense in 2003. He has also composed film music, notably that of the 1939 silent movie Blackmail, by Alfred Hitchcock.

Sandro Zerafa

Sandro Zerafa was born in Malta in 1975. Following classical guitar studies with Charlotte Smith he enrolled at the University of Malta, graduating in 1997. He moved to Lyons in 1998 and studied at the Lyons Conservatory. After graduating, he moved to Paris where he has

been living since then. Sandro quickly became active on the Parisian jazz scene.


He won several prizes at various editions of La Defense National Jazz Contest. His first album WHITE RUSSIAN 5TET received considerable critical acclaim. URBAN POETICS marked the beginning of a long collaboration with pianist Laurent Coq. In 2014 Sandro released his third album - THE BIGGER PICTURE. Critics described this album as a milestone in Sandro’s output. Together with longtime collaborator David Prez, Sandro is a founder member of the jazz collective / record label Paris Jazz Underground. He is also passionate about Brazilian music and has collaborated with notable Brazilian artists such as Chico Buarque, Marcia Maria, Catia Werneck, and Sergio Krakowski. 


Sandro has recorded 15 albums as a sideman and his latest album MORE LIGHT was released in 2017 on the French label jazz&people. He has collaborated with artists as diverse as Francesco Bearzatti, Chico Buarque, Manu Katché, André Ceccarelli, Yonathan Avishai and Stjepko Gut. He has performed, recorded and taught extensively in Italy, Malta, Belgium, Morocco, Poland, Germany, Switzerland, Serbia, Ireland, Austria, Brazil, Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, S.Korea, Canada, France and the UK. He is artistic director of the Malta Jazz Festival since 2009.


Vincent Bourgeyx: 

piano, arrangements


Sandro Zerafa

guitar, arrangements


Yoni Zelnik:



Donald Kontomanou:


© Festivals Malta - 2019