Jazzing up DSF
Music, they say, is the universal language. And nowhere is this saying more evident than in Dubai, a city that thrives in the diversity of its cultures. With such a cosmopolitan mix of residents, it is no wonder that there’s a multitude of concerts and music festivals happening throughout the city. However, there is one that has really stood out – the Skywards Dubai International Jazz Festival.
Introduced in 2003, the annual jazz festival was first developed as a simple alternative proposition from the plethora musical events taking place in the city. It turns out the small idea had a big future. Since then, the annual event has become a must-attend entertainment event featuring world-class artists and performers covering all genres of Jazz music as diverse as blues, funk, swing, acid, rock, contemporary, modern, and fusion. It has likewise been one of the most popular events during the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF).
This year, DSF 2010 and the 8th Skywards Dubai International Jazz Festival have joined forces to bring Dubai residents and tourists the classiest act in town, providing an even stronger line-up of jazz artists for a truly memorable musical experience. Last year, the attendance over the 10-day festival topped 30,000 fans from across the region adding another success to the festival record. The 7th edition reaped the Favourite Festival and the Best Marketing of An Event honours from various reputable award-giving bodies in the region.
“The Skywards International Jazz Festival has become an annual entertainment icon in the region, and synchs perfectly within DSF’s platform of providing world-class entertainment to residents and visitors. This year, we are again working together with the organisers of the jazz festival to give everyone in Dubai the chance to enjoy the performances by legends, virtuosos, divas and musicians from all around the globe. We have also organised a mini jazz fest at The Walk to help create additional excitement for this truly fantastic musical event,” said Laila Suhail, CEO, Dubai Events and Promotions Establishment (DEPE).
The award-winning jazz festival gathers musical legends and icons for 10 days of exhilarating and uplifting jazz, soul, blues and R&B music from February 10 to 19, 2010 at the Dubai Media City outdoor amphitheatre. There will be a total of 26 international acts, starting with the Network Jazz Garden performances featuring breath-taking jazz shows to warm-up the festival’s first seven nights.
An exciting preview of the jazz fest at The Walk at JBR with the World of Jazz event and will end on February 9. Shoppers will be treated nightly to an amazing set of jazz performances and make their shopping experience even more rewarding and worthwhile. Apart from the amazing shopping promotions, families will also find a fun fair and an inflatable zone for entertainment at this unique destination for shopping, leisure, and entertainment.
Introduced last year, the Network Jazz Garden concept was meant to provide a venue for upcoming local, regional and international artists to share their music with an international audience; the side event also serves as a venue for after-show jamming sessions.
A big boost to this year’s line-up of performers at the Network Jazz Garden is the presence of a stunning ensemble of jazz bands from Hamburg, the home of the best European Jazz musicians and artists. Hamburg is increasingly becoming the centre for music in northern Europe. A fresh, youthful and authentic music scene has emerged there, comparable with the style-setting club scene of the 1960s, when it was there that the Beatles achieved their breakthrough.
The last three nights of the jazz festival will be headlined by legends and music masters like the Acid Jazz Pioneers The Brand New Heavies, the popular David Gray and the award-winning idol James Morrison.
Best described as the pioneers of the London acid jazz scene, the Brand New Heavies sparkled in the 1970s era of funk music; however they initiated a huge popularity for classic soul in an era dominated by hip-hop.
Another returning artist with a great fan base in the region is David Gray, whose latest album is a certified hit in Europe. Then there is the long-awaited stirring performance of jazz icon James Morrison, who is expected to provide the magnificent finale to the 10-day jazz fest. Best described as the British Stevie Wonder, Morrison’s music incorporates a variety of elements from the soul music maters such as Ray Charles, Bob Seger, Rod Stewart, and Joe Cocker.
Along with these inspiring names, chart topping Brett Dennen, as well as divas Jane Monheit and Laura Izibor will wow the crowd with breathtaking shows on both Skywards and Network stages. James Taylor Quartet and Loa Tizer are expected to add on to the festival’s excitement.
• The first Jazz Festival was held in Dubai in 2003 which drew a record crowd of 8000 Jazz fans to Dubai Media City.
• By the time the jazz fest was on its fourth year, the crowd that trooped to media city to experience and enjoy the performance festival had grown to more than 21,500.
• The sixth edition marked the first time that the festival had free concerts for all.