The best jazz nights in Dubai
From Louis Armstrong to Ben Webster, here are six places to get your jazz on.Neil Churchill November 10, 2014
It has come to our attention recently that there is an increasing number of jazz nights springing up across Dubai. Why this is the case we're not quite sure, but we're glad it's happening. With the Dubai Jazz Festival's cracking lineup of John Legend and Esperanza Spalding still three months away, we've rounded up the best bars and restaurants that can fill our jazz needs in the meantime.
Whether you enjoy a soulful number or something with a little more funk, here are the best places in Dubai for an evening of jazz. As musician J.J. Johnson once said: "Jazz is restless. It won't stay put and it never will."
With its New York heritage, graffiti-art brick walls and perfect view of the Dubai fountains, Serafina already has plenty to offer to entice the crowds of Souk al Bahar. Throw in live jazz on Wednesday nights from Afif Brothers & Abri & Funk Radius, and it becomes a must-visit venue. Expect rejuvenated covers of funk and blues classics.Details: Souk al Bahar, Wednesdays, 8pm-11pm.
Better known for its peaceful setting and organic produce, Al Barari's The Farm restaurant becomes a jazz venue two nights of the week from November, with the Desert Jazz band playing tunes by Paul Moutarde and Tamas Antal on the saxophone and piano. Probably your most unique setting for jazz in Dubai. Details: Al Barari, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 6pm-9pm.
Frioul Bistro de Luxe
Discovering this French-Mediterranean restaurant tucked away from the bustle of Souk Madinat is half the fun when visiting Frioul Bistro de Luxe. Going on one of their five weekly jazz nights makes it an evening you won't forget. Melisa La Rue kicks things off on Sunday evenings; Kerrie Anne takes over on Tuesdays and Fridays; Rachael Calladine plays Thursdays; with Nicky Mac rounding off the weekend. Details: Souk Madinat, Sundays Tuesdays Thursdays Fridays and Saturdays.
St Tropez Bistro
It's not often we direct you to a restaurant in a mall, but with its thrice-weekly jazz nights and portraits of Hollywood royalty, we can make the exception for Mall of the Emirates' St Tropez Bistro. Following the success of its Bistro Jazz Nights, the venue recently introduced two new performers for its relaunched offering. Yavor Penkov's sensational saxophonist skills and the dulcet tones of Alexandra Varakraine will smoothly transport you to a 1950s New York jazz bar, with sounds reminiscent of Stan Getz and Ben Webster. Details: Mall of the Emirates, Wednesdays Thursdays and Fridays.
The one we've all heard of due to its impressive marketing and word of mouth, [email protected] Express has become a local institution in Dubai. The JLT venue is thumping with funk, reggae and soul beats on a weekend with Abri & Funk Radius on Thursday evenings and Expressed after brunch on a Friday. Saturdays see Britain's Nashon Holloway and her band light up the stage, while Sunday nights have become synonymous with the open mic format, with undiscovered artists encouraged to break out their inner jazz souls.Details: Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Thursdays Fridays Saturdays and Sundays, 8pm and 9pm.
Jones the Grocer
Another organic eatery that you would expect to have a rather subdued atmosphere of an evening, but fool you if you never step into Jones the Grocer's Al Manara outlet on a Monday night. Talented saxophonist Manuel Kev fills the restaurant with some laid-back jazz, but don't be surprised to hear hints of classic and Latin music creep into this accomplished musician's grooves. Details: Al Manara, Mondays, 7pm.