After all the excitement of the 62nd Cannes Film Festival, it's just possible that it's time to take a break from celluloid. In fact, this week's cultural calendar offers a chance to give your eyes a rest completely. It's a week of predominantly aural delights. First off, to the next instalment of the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage's Music of the World series, an audience with the Azerbaijani musician Alim Qasimov, on Tuesday. The singer is known for his renderings of mugham, a traditional musical style from the Caucasus and the Turkic-speaking communities of Central Asia. The art form is hundreds of years old and incorporates both poetry and instrumental improvisation. Qasimov has released nine albums and won the prestigious IMC-Unesco Music Prize in 1999. Having listened to some of his recordings, we can confirm that he has a powerful set of pipes. Interestingly, he has worked closely with another singer who is constantly lauded for his technical vocal ability - the late Jeff Buckley, on whose Live à l'Olympia album Qasimov appeared.
Those who like their music a little less organic probably won't want to miss the globe-conquering electro-pop star Calvin Harris, at Dubai's trendiest haunt, Alpha Club, on Friday. The DJ, songwriter and producer has just scored a number one single in the UK with thumping disco number I'm Not Alone and has in the last few years worked with Kylie Minogue and Dizzee Rascal. It's good going for the 25-year-old, who was making music in his bedroom in the quiet Scottish town of Dumfries just a few years ago. Harris has been brought to Dubai as part of the Alpha Club's first birthday celebration and will be playing on the fantastically named Funktion 1 Soundsystem, alongside a host of resident DJs.
If you find yourself wanting a break from live music, you might want to check out the Indian/Canadian stand-up Sugar Sammy, at Dubai Community Theatre and Arts Centre. The funnyman, whose career highlight so far must surely have been an opening slot for the US comic Dave Chappelle, has notched-up an impressive number of TV and festival appearances in recent years. You might have even seen his Showtime Arabia special, called Minority Rules. At Ductac, he will be sharing a stage on the night with Malawian comedian Daliso Chaponda and the Arabic-speaking Korean comic Wonho Chung.
Classical music fans in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi will have something to look forward to as well, with a performance of Mozart's Requiem in both cities by the UAE Philharmonic Orchestra and the Dubai Chamber Choir. The Requiem Mass in D Minor is Mozart's final composition and one of his most popular works. It is also famous for the debate which surrounds it, over how much of the music the composer managed to complete before his death, and how much was written by his fellow Austrian Franz Xaver Süssmayr, or others. Conducted by Philip Maier and featuring the choir master Stuart Squire, both performances are free to those who register by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org