Monday, January 4, 2016

Continuing the Tradition: 'Dubai Jazz Fest' Ain't Got no Jazz

Happy New Year folks!

I wanted to discuss this issue as my first post of 2016 because frankly, it STILL fucking bugs me.

It is said you should let things go, to leave people be, to let them do what their own thing; and that you shouldn't let anyone bother you.

But in our case, I cannot let the Dubai Jazz Fest debacle go. The sidelining of jazz music at a show that's supposed to be it's namesake keeps going on, with no end in sight.

I wrote about this many, many, MANY times. If you are unfamiliar, let me quickly break it down for you:

In 2012, I posted a news update about Deep Purple headlining the Dubai Jazz Fest ('DJF' from now on), and at my unhappiness about that. Later, and in several posts, I showed how bad the organizers handled criticism towards them, like by deleting posts or telling people to 'deal with it'. Also, I mentioned how they were trying to broaden the scope of the event without giving us the 'jazz' portion.

In 2014, they had  jazz artists finally, but were shoved in the "Jazz Garden", a separate venue from the main stage where the 'big' artists will perform, and gave them short playing time.

So, back again this year, LOOK WHO WE HAVE:


Before you guys go apeshit on me, Chris Botti (headliner with Sting) is a jazz trumpeter, however most of his music is based on pop music. Plus Sting is with him so that doesn't count.

And Postmodern Jukebox, who mainly got famous for making viral Facebook posts on their covers of modern songs, while talented, if not gimmicky, are not hardcore enough for real jazz fans.

In 2003, Dubai Jazz Fest had FUCKING ARCHIE SCHEPP,  BILLY COBHAM, & STANLEY JORDAN for fucks sake. That is the kind of jazz we want to see. 

If I, a self-proclaimed blues and jazz fan, wants to dish out hundreds of dirhams to see such an extravagant event, it would be pretty much against what I would want out of a jazz event. 

My rant might be getting old and redundant, and falling on deaf ears. But the DJF is doing the same. 

The official website of the DJF is [here]. But until then, the real home of Jazz in the Middle East is at the Jazz at Lincoln Center - Doha, and the small hotspots in Beirut. 

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