Dubai gets ready for nine nights of fabulous world music

Tickets for the events are still available, and the full line-up of gigs is available at Dubaijazzfest.com. (SUPPLIED)

Tomorrow sees the beginning of nine exciting days of eclectic music with the launch of the Skywards Dubai International Jazz Festival 2010.

Taking place at Dubai Media City, the festival will treat music lovers to live performances by artists from all sorts of genres, including headline appearances by Brand New Heavies, David Gray and James Morrison.

Tickets for the events are still available, and the full line-up of gigs is available at Dubaijazzfest.com.

Emirates Business spoke to some of the artists appearing at the main concerts between February 17 and February 19.


JAMES TAYLOR QUARTET

Wednesday February 17 at 9pm

JTQ has evolved as one of the most exciting and popular touring bands in the UK. With 20 albums to the quartet's name, their recorded output is notable with albums touching genres as diverse as jazz, funk, soul, rock and even rap.


Is this your first time in the UAE?

Yes. I am really excited to be coming.

Describe your sound.

Funk.

Musical influences?

Jazz, soul, funk and some French classical like Erik Satie and Debussy.

Who are you listening to at the moment?

Lalo Schifrin and Black Widow.

If you could share a stage with any artist in the world, who would it be?

George Benson, because he's a seriously exciting player.

Which artist would you never share a stage with?

I have performed with a very wide range of artists including pop stars. It's always interesting.

What can we expect from your performance?

Energy, musicianship and entertainment beyond Simon Cowell.

Give us one album attendees should listen to before seeing you live.

Live at the Jazz Cafe, Starsky and Hutch.

What's coming up next for you?

More touring and recording a new album.

Visit: Jtq.co.uk


CHARBEL ROUHANA

Wednesday February 17 at 7.30pm

Winner of countless awards including the Murex d'Or, Rouhana is known for compositions for choreographer Abdul Halim Caracalla, as well as for Lebanese television shows.

Is this your first time in the UAE?

I participated in some festivals held in the Emirates before.

Describe your sound.

My sound is inspired by the Oud, which has an important history. This instrument was used by philosophers to explain their musical theories and by singers to accompany their voices and to improvise.

Musical influences?

At the beginning, I was influenced by Lebanese musicians such as the Rahbani Brothers, Zaki Nassif, and Marcel Khalifeh. Then I started to listen to Arab musicians, like Mohamad Abdel Wahab, Riad Sonbati, and Um Koulthoum.

Who are you listening to at the moment?

I am listening to Radio.String.Quartet.

If you could share a stage with any artist in the world, who would it be?

There are many musicians with whom I would really like to play. Should I have to choose one of them, I would say Renaud Garcia Fons, because I like his music – the double bass matches very well with the Oud.

And which artist is it that you would never share a stage with?

Let's say that my only condition to play with any other musician is to have a certain harmony between us – at least at the musical level!

What can we expect from your performance in Dubai?

We are preparing an exceptional concert. I hope to take our audience on a one-hour journey outside of time and away from daily stresses.

Give us one album attendees should listen to before seeing you live.

Mazaj Alani, Salamat or Khatira.

What's coming up next for you?

I am working on my new album, Oud Duo, to be released in the first week of March.

What is the one question you wish someone would ask you?

"Do you always like your music?"

Visit: Charbelrouhana.net


LAO TIZER

Thursday February 18 at 9pm

A unique artist captivating audiences of all tastes; and dubbed as "a torchbearer for the new generation of contemporary jazz."

Is this your first performance in the UAE?

Yes. We're looking forward to experiencing a new place and culture.

Describe your sound.

World fusion. It has got a lot of flavours from funk to jazz, Latin to world, and beyond.

Musical influences?

I'd say Herbie Hancock, Bruce Hornsby, Pat Metheny Group and Sting.

Who are you listening to at the moment?

Herbie Hancock's Possibilities. I have also been checking out my friend and often concert partner Chieli Minucci and Special EFX's forthcoming 25 Years album.

If you could share a stage with any artist in the world, who would it be?

As a pianist, to play alongside the likes of Herbie, Chick Corea and Lyle Mays would be special.

And which artist would you never share a stage with?

Ha, I'm gonna pass on this one. Murphy's Law!

What can we expect from your performance?

A high energy, original blend of world/jazz/fusion.

Give us one album attendees should listen to before seeing you live.

Passages or Golden Soul.

Visit: Laotizer.com


The Brand New Heavies

Wednesday February 17 at 10.30pm

They are the pioneers of the London acid jazz scene who translated their love for 1970s funk grooves into a sound that carried the torch for classic soul.

Is this your first time in the UAE?

No, we've played a few times over the years, but this will be our biggest gig yet. We love Dubai.

Describe your sound.

We love to make people dance. There is a jazz element to our sound.

Do you have any musical influences?

Disco, funk and sixties rock were always playing on my Sony Walkman.

Who are you listening to at the moment?

John Cage's Eurooperas, Amanda Blank, Artic Monkeys, Black Eyed Peas and Lily Allen.

You're performing at the Dubai International Jazz Festival, which is known for its eclectic mix of musicians. If you could share a stage with any artist in the world, who would it be and why?

I would love to jam with Lady Gaga and Prince. I love the glam rock period, and I'm sure there would be some intense music and fab costumes on that night!

And which artist would you never share a stage with?

I never say never.

What can we expect from your performance in Dubai?

A fab dance off! Sweat and crowd interaction is a big part of our world.

Give us one album attendees should listen to before seeing you live.

Brother Sister is the one.

What's coming up next for you?

More new music we hope. A new album in the summer is our goal.

Finally, what is the one question you wish someone would ask you, but you never get asked?

What I'm going to wear!

Visit:Thebrandnewheavies.net


JANE MONHEIT

Thursday February 18 at 7.30pm

Firmly established as one of the post-millennial jazz world's foremost vocalists, Jane Monheit has managed to make the trip in just eight years. She has built an impeccable reputation for her professionalism and undying passion for her music.

Is this your first time in the UAE?

I haven't been to the UAE before. I'm very much looking forward it.

Describe your sound.

I sing a lot of different types of music, which is the focus of my newest release, The Lovers, The Dreamers, and Me.

Musical influences?

Ella Fitzgerald, Judy Garland, Sarah Vaughn, Carmen MacRae, Bonnie Raitt, Joni Mitchell, Bernadette Peters and Ivan Lins.

Who are you listening to at the moment?

I'm mostly listening to talk radio, actually! There's a lot of music going on with my son… an awful lot of the Star Wars soundtrack – his favourite!

If you could share a stage with any artist in the world, who would it be?

I'm a lucky woman, because the person I most want to share a stage with is one I work with all the time – Ivan Lins. Working with him is the greatest joy and pride of my work.

And which artist would you never share a stage with?

There's always a way to make great music with someone, no matter who they are.

What can we expect from your performance?

We'll be playing a lot of old favorites, as well as tunes from the newest albums and some unrecorded music.

Give us one album attendees should listen to before seeing you live.

Over The Rainbow.

What's coming up next for you?

Lots and lots of touring, recording and lots of quality time with my husband, child and animals.

What is the one question you wish someone would ask you?

I've been asked absolutely everything over the years!

Visit: Janemonheitonline.com


BRETT DENNEN

Friday February 19 at 9pm

With an earnest magnificent voice, he is best described as the master of the new soothing music genre. His uniqueness in composing genuine lyrics attracts a huge audience securing him the title of the sensual and gifted artist by far.


Is this your first time in the UAE?

I have never been to the UAE before. I'm looking forward to walking around and getting a feel for it all on my own two feet.

Describe your sound.

An upbeat California singer/songwriter sound.

Musical influences?

Mostly Van Morisson and Paul Simon, but I like a lot of Latin music and South African music.

Who are you listening to at the moment?

I love the Walkmen. My favourite album of theirs is called Bows and Arrows.

If you could share a stage with any artist in the world, who would it be?

I would like to collaborate with Jorge Ben from Brazil. He is one of my favourites.

And which artist would you never share a stage with?

Corinne Bailey Rae. She's so beautiful, I'd probably fall in love and forget how to sing.

What can we expect from your performance?

A lot of hip shaking.

Give us one album attendees should listen to before seeing you live.

Ain't No Reason, Make You Crazy, and Heaven.

What's coming up next for you?

I will be making another record.

What is the one question you wish someone would ask you?

What is the first thing you think about when you wake up?

Visit: Brettdennen.net

 

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