Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 6 April 2020

Dubai Jazz Festival timings: when Lauryn Hill, Lionel Richie and OneRepublic will hit the stage

The popular festival is back for 2020, featuring performances by renowned acts and new talents

Lionel Richie will perform at Dubai Jazz Festival. Michel Porro / Redferns via Getty Images
Lionel Richie will perform at Dubai Jazz Festival. Michel Porro / Redferns via Getty Images

The Dubai Jazz Festival returns with impressive another line-up, spanning generations and various genres. Here are all the acts taking the stage this week.

Wednesday, February 26

Lauryn Hill

With singer and rapper Lauryn Hill, it is a case of quality over quantity. Hill, 44, has released only one proper album, 1998’s The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, but such is the project’s acclaim and influence over this generation’s RnB and pop acts that it deserves to be heard live, no matter what period it is.

Is she jazz? While Hill is more in the RnB and hip-hop mould, her album has plenty of jazz flourishes through its frequent use of horns. Hill’s live concerts are renowned for her reworking her material – another definite jazz trait.

Bruno Major

The British singer-songwriter is pegged as one to watch, courtesy of his fine 2017 debut A Song for Every Moon. Such is his pedigree that Major, 31, was a guest of Sam Smith for part of his 2018 UK tour.

Is he jazz? While Major’s songs are oriented towards radio-friendly pop, the classically trained guitarist’s surprising chord changes on a few songs will pique the interest of jazz heads.

Thursday, February 27

Lionel Richie

Get ready for back-to-back hits all night long, as Richie will perform tracks from his successful periods as a solo artist and as the frontman of the Commodores.

Is he jazz? Richie, 70, has been performing at international jazz festivals throughout his career. While his body of work may be firmly rooted in RnB and pop, when he plays the trumpet and piano on certain Commodores numbers you hear jazz influences on 1970s funk and RnB.

Spyro Gyra

The much-loved New York collective has been performing their brand of musical fusion since 1974. The have released more than 30 albums showcasing their adventurous blending of jazz, RnB and pop.

Are they jazz? Led by the great saxophonist Jay Beckenstein, the quintet are the most authentic act at the festival.

Friday, February 28

OneRepublic

The US pop group, led by affable frontman Ryan Tedder, have been consistently releasing chart-toppers over the best part of a decade. Get ready to end the festival with a night of soaring tunes such as Stop and Stare and their most recent hit, Rescue Me.

Are they jazz? Others seem to think so. Hop on YouTube and you can find some fine sax renditions of Apologise and Counting Stars.

Sammy Miller and the Congregation

The US collective are renowned for their upbeat and joyful sets full of soul and pop tunes.

Are they jazz? The band is made up of musicians, some of whom performed with jazz purist Wynton Marsalis. Enough said.

Dubai Jazz Festival runs from today until Friday at Dubai Media City Amphitheatre; tickets from Dh350 are available at www.dubaijazzfest.com

Updated: February 26, 2020 05:20 PM

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