x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Hamdan Al Abri is ‘honoured’ to join Herbie Hancock on stage

Emirati soul singer Hamdan Al Abri talks about joining Herbie Hancock on stage at the Abu Dhabi Festival.

The Emirati singer Hamdan Al Abri. Antonie Roberston / The National
The Emirati singer Hamdan Al Abri. Antonie Roberston / The National

He has supported the soul diva Sade and has performed in front of the music mogul Quincy Jones, but for the Dubai soul man Hamdan Al Abri, the chance to sing alongside Herbie Hancock is a real coup.

“This will definitely be the biggest one on the resumé,” he says.

“I am just honoured to be performing with this legend. It is really humbling.”

The Emirati singer has been invited by the Abu Dhabi Festival to duet with Hancock for a song.

With Hancock being in Abu Dhabi only a couple of days before Friday’s performance, Al Abri says the track will be decided during a rehearsal session.

“To be honest with you, I don’t know what it will be,” he says. “But it will probably be a cover. Maybe it will be John Lennon’s Imagine or something similar.”

Al Abri’s collaboration with Hancock is part of the festival’s focus on youth engagement.

The push has already seen members of the Emirates Youth Symphony Orchestra perform at Emirates Palace in support of the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela as part of the festival’s launch in January.

More collaborations between visiting artists and Emirati talent are set to be announced during the festival.