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Malta mourns Vinnie Vella Sr. (1928 – 2024) - a leading musician, band leader and entertainer

melodija.eu wishes to pay it’s respect to the memory of Vinnie Vella Sr. who passed away on Tuesday, 26 June 2024, aged 96.


photo: Jamie Vella

Vincent was born in Valletta on 28 January 1928. From a young age he studied music on his own initiative and at a later stage received tuition from Fr. Vincent Caruana, Maestro Casapinta, famous clarinettist Wigi Bonnici, the American Guies Wilson and Maestro Carmelo Pace. Through a correspondence course he graduated and received a diploma, under the guide-ship of Leslie Evans.


From a young age Vinnie excelled as a clarinettist and in 1947 he was invited to play clarinet solo at Villa Bellini in Catania, Sicily. A year later he formed Vinny’s Blue Jackets, a twelve-piece orchestra, together with his brothers Sunny (who passed away in 1979) on drums and Dominic on bass. His orchestra became a mainstay at the main entertainment hotspots between the 1950’s and the 1980’s, performing every Sunday at the Phoenicia Ballroom and other venues such as Cafe Premier, Strait Street and Chalet in Sliema, amongst others. Vinny’s Blue Jackets performed alongside foreign artists including Albano Carrisi, Bobby Solo, Wilma De Angelis and many more. In 1956, whilst travelling abroad with Xercarm (a renowned sax tenor who performed in Vinnie’s band) they met Billy Haley, who encouraged Vinny to introduce Rock ‘n Roll music to Malta. His musical career, in Malta and abroad, extended well into the 1990’s.


photo: Mark Spiteri Lucas

In 1955 he married Josephine and they have three children, Antoinette, Carmen and Vinnie Jr., who followed in his father’s footsteps becoming a renowned pianist and forming his own band.


Sincere condolences to the Vella family for the loss of Vinnie Vella Sr. one of Malta’s leading musicians, band leader and entertainer.


More information on his life and career can be obtained from MP3.com.mt

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