Good news – this year more than half of the Dubai Jazz Festival is free to punters. And here’s how to get it:
First up, there are four nights of free jazz and blues gigs taking place in the Jazz Garden area, from Saturday February 15 to Tuesday February 18.
The nights typically feature a smooth jazz instrumentalist from 8pm-9.30pm, following by a blues singer from 10pm-11pm – check the full line-up below.
To gain free tickets you first need to register online at www.facebook.com/DubaiJazzFest, select tickets for the nights you want, wait for an email, print them out and bring them to the Festival City gigs.
In addition, because of the last minute cancellation of Stone Temple Pilots, this year’s opening night gig has also been opened up for free to all existing main gig ticket holders, with Earth, Wind & Fire Experience parachuted in for the headline slot.
In other words, if you’ve bought a ticket already for any of the other main gigs – Santana, Olly Murs or Jamie Cullum – you can also get into the opening gig for free, simply by showing up with the ticket you’ve already bought. Tickets of all price brackets are accepted, including corporate or business invites – however the cheaper Jazz Legends tickets will not be accepted.
Check full details of all five free gigs below:
Thursday February 13 – opening night main gig with entry who holder a ticket to any other main gig
9pm-10pm – Juliana Down
The 12th edition of the Dubai Jazz Festival will open with a set from one of the UAE’s best known bands.
10.30pm-midnight – Earth, Wind & Fire Experience featuring The Al McKay Allstars
A celebration of funk-pop band Earth, Wind & Fire starring former guitarist Al McKay.
Jazz Legends stage:
8pm-9.15pm – Tony Lakatos feat. Kirk Lightsey
Hungarian saxophonist Tony Lakatos opens the brand new Jazz Legends concept joined onstage by legendary pianist Kirk Lightsey.
9.30pm-11pm – Al Foster ft. Wallace Roney
Legendary American drummer Foster is best known for working on 13 Miles Davis LPs, and is joined here by former Miles student Wallace Roney.
Standalone Jazz Garden tickets are also available tonight from Dhs225 from ticketmaster.ae
Jazz Garden events – open to anyone who pre-registers at www.facebook.com/DubaiJazzFest
Saturday February 15
8pm-9.30pm – Four80East
Canadian electro-jazz ensemble Four80East create melodic ambient grooves that push new boundaries of the genre.
10pm-11pm – Alex Schultz’ Soul Gift featuring Sax Gordon and Raphael Wressnig
An evening of organ-led jazz-blues, led by Austria-based duo Raphael Wressing and Alex Schultz, joined here by crowd-pleasing, flamboyant R&B honker Sax Gordon.
Sunday February 16
8pm-9.30pm – Jonathan Fritzen
Smooth grooves from upcoming Swedish pianist Jonathan Fritzen.
10pm-11pm – Tad Robinson and Band
Expect R&B from NYC blues howler blues howler and harmonica screamer Tad Robinson.
Monday February 17
8pm-9.30pm – Shilts
A former session player for the likes of The Brand New Heavies and Jamiroquai, expect smooth and funky solos from Brit saxophonist Paul ‘Shilts’ Weimar.
10pm-11pm – Deitra Farr and Band
Expect things to get down and dirty when barrelling Chicago blueswoman Deitra Far takes the mic.
Tuesday February 18
8pm-9.30pm – Matt Marshak and Le Bron
Two upcoming talents from the smoother side of things join forces here, with guitarist Marshak teaming up with reedsman Le Bron.
10pm-11pm – ‘Sugaray’ Rayford and band
Four nights of free concerts wrap up some classic R&B grooves from veteran blues belter Caron ‘Sugaray’ Rayford, a man who is six foot five and sounds every inch that tall from his barrelhouse delivery.
See our full Jazz Festival guide here.