x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Abu Dhabi jazz veterans take to the main stage

Cool's The Rule have put in the work and earned a good reputation - and now they're headlining at the Emirates Palace in the capital.

Titus Earle, the pianist with Cool's The Rule. Courtesy Greendot
Titus Earle, the pianist with Cool's The Rule. Courtesy Greendot

This weekend, a veteran group from Abu Dhabi's jazz scene graduates to the main stage.

The first notes of the Jazz at the Palace concert series will ring out at the Emirates Palace Auditorium on Friday, with Abu Dhabi's jazz collective Cool's The Rule headlining alongside the Russian saxophonist Vladimir Ossipenko and the Jordanian musician Kamal Mussallam on the oud.

The event was spawned when the promoter Quentin Curtis, who recently brought the Ele Ele flamenco dance performance to Emirates Palace, spotted Cool's The Rule earlier this year during their residency at Mood Indigo inside the Mercure Hotel.

"It was just really good jazz," he recalls. "And I thought, hang on a minute, these guys shouldn't be background music, they should be centre stage."

Curtis then devised the performance series, which will have Cool's The Rule headlining sets and supporting visiting artists. At present, the series will run on an ad hoc basis.

For Cool's The Rule pianist Titus Earle, the gig comes as pay-off after more than a decade of hard work. The group, which ranges from trio to a quintet, has performed in venues across the UAE including at the Dubai Jazz Festival.

"I think we have what it takes," he says. "We have a varied repertoire and we know each other's style of playing very well. We are confident to step out on to the big stage."

They will perform as a trio on Friday night with originals and standards interpreted in styles ranging from swing, waltz to funk. Earle, who sharpened his musical chops in the mid-1990s sitting in with visiting musicians at Hilton Abu Dhabi's Jazz Bar, says the UAE has a growing jazz community.

"Jazz is alive and well in the UAE," he says. "Hopefully we can do our own part in continuing that."

Jazz at the Palace, Emirates Palace Auditorium, Emirates Palace will take place on Friday at 8pm. Tickets are Dh195 from www.timeouttickets.com