Mikiel Cutajar Is-Superstar

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Mikiel Cutajar Is-Superstar
Mikiel Cutajar Is-Superstar.
also known as Kelinu, is currently one of Malta's foremost folksingers. He was born in Żejtun on the 3rd September 1963.

He folk sang publicly for the first time at the age of nine, in the main square of his hometown Żejtun, together with Jesmond Galea tal-Kalora. His wife is the grand daughter of renowned folksinger Mikiel Abela l-Bambinu.

Is-Superstar organises various performances in several locations around Malta. These include Ġnien Kottonera in Bormla, Ħal Għaxaq parish square, together with the Santa Marija Band Club and Tarxien parish square, with the Banda tad-Duttrina.

Kelinu is proficient in the three main forms of għana – improvised verse, high pitched and the folk ballad. He has sung with the major folk singers of the older generation such as Ninu Galea l-Kalora and Żeppi Meli ta' Sika and his contemporaries, amongst them Frans Baldacchino l-Budaj.

Lining up for the improvised verse model, he regularly groups up with Jesmond Galea tal-Kalora, his son Ronaldo Cutajar tas-Superstar, Frans Cachia l-Budaj tas-Siġġiewi, Joe Busuttil Il-Bużu and Joe Grech ta' Raħal Ġdid.


Rare Xandir Malta file footage features Kelinu together with his Mikiel Abela l-Bambinu, Anġla Mifsud Iċ-Ċalija and Żaren Mangion Il-Folfol, all four hailing from Żejtun.

He also accepted several challenges for singing bouts with Frans Cassar Il-Bloqq, including those held at the St. Helen's Band Club in Birkirkara and in Qormi.

Cutajar has also written and sung several folk ballads, including two about prize horses Isard du Pont and Invetro de Burgh, one in honour of veteran folksinger Pawlu Seychell l-Għannej, another entitled It-Tbatija tad-Dinja and another poignant one It-Traġedja ta' Ħal Għaxaq, which recalls the fireworks factory explosion in Għaxaq on the 15th February 1970, which left five dead.

Mikiel Cutajar Is-Superstar performing at the Rialto, December 2012.

In December 2012, Cutajar released a folk ballad in memory of the former Labour Prime Minister Dom Mintoff, during a folk singing session held at the Rialto in Bormla and in 2013 he released a folk balld in honour of new Labour Prime Minister, Joseph Muscat.

Probably the most travelled għannej in history, Kelinu has visited Australia five times, his first time being when he was just eighteen. He did improvised verse bouts in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. He sang opposite Ġużeppi Camilleri l-Jimmy tal-Fjur, Żaren Attard Il-Bukkaċċ, Leli Sultana l-Moni and Ġużeppi Azzopardi Ras Il-Bagħal.

He has also visited Toronto and Detroit twice, where he folk sung with Karmnu Xuereb In-Namru. He was also invited by the Klabb tal-Maltin in London, where he sang with Fredu Abela ż-Żejtuni.

Cover of folk ballad on former Labour Prime Minister Dom Mintoff.

Folk music enthusiasts fondly remember Kelinu’s improvised verse bouts with three other folk singing greats, Karmnu Fenech Il-Ħandrolla, Frans Baldacchino l-Budaj and Salvu Galea tal-Kalora as amongst the most poignant in lyrical content.


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