Joe Busuttil Il-Bużu

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Joe Busuttil Il-Bużu

Joe Busuttil Il-Bużu

is a folk singer from the town of Tarxien. He was born on the 29th of September 1965 and is a City and Guilds qualified Tradesman Carpenter. When still in elementary school Busuttil won a competition for writing the best quatrain in Maltese.

He recalls following għana as an eight year old either on Xandir Malta television or on the Rediffusion service. The Sunday morning routine was to hear the seven o'clock mass in the Tarxien Parish church and then call in a local traditional teashop, the Pretoria Bar, then known as Ta' Grabiel. This had a radio set with a speaker hanging in one corner. The timing was perfect, for as soon as he used to walk in, the weekly għana morning broadcast would commence.

When Busuttil was fifteen, he was encouraged by Salvu Pace s-Sulari and Fredu Abela l-Bamboċċu to folk sing and he did at the Vittoriosa Stars Football Club bar premises in Birgu, which at the time were tended by Ċensu it-Toto. The folksingers that made up the improvised verse set up were Fredu Micallef Il-Kampjun, Salvu Cassar Il-Ħamra and Żaren Is-Slejs.

When still at trade school he began participating in improvised verse bouts with more established folk singers, on Rediffusion and at the Bamboċċu Station in Marsascala, together with Joe Vella Il-Bokser, Ċikku Degiorgio tal-Fjuri, Salvu Galea tal-Kalora and Żeppi Meli ta' Sika.

He has also visited Australia on four occasions, folk singing in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. In Adelaide a folk singing event was organized at the residence of It-Tatux, originally from Floriana. Since there was a shortage of folk guitarists in this South Australian city, the folksingers Salvu Brincat Il-Ħajbru, Ċensu Abela tal-Fenka and Mattew Caruana tal-Għewdu, were aided by guitar played on cassette. Busuttil is currently one of the few active folksingers from Tarxien.

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