Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Emirates Jazz Collective plays at Saadiyat beach

Finding out, with barely a day's notice, that Monte Carlo Beach Club Abu Dhabi has a jazz night on the first Wednesday of every month fortunately coincided with a planned overnight stay in the city. That pretty much set the night's plans in stone.

The club, located near the northern tip of Saadiyat Island, hosts the jazz night at the Sea Lounge, on an outdoor stage that has the beach itself as a backdrop. While the weather's still pleasant, the outdoor portion is much preferable to the indoor seating. The selection of beers and spirits is good, but the wines (at least the white wines) left much to be desired. It's a good idea to book in advance, especially for the outdoor seats -- the place was quite busy when we got there.

More luck: it turned out to be a surprise opportunity to attend a performance by UAE-based jazz band, the Emirates Jazz Collective. That night's quartet configuration of the band, comprised of bassist Lakshmi Ramirez, saxophonist Artur Grigoryan, pianist Artie Poghosyan and drummer Douglas Caskie, played mainly upbeat, swinging jazz tunes, lending the place a very lively mood for the night, with some even taking to the dance floor. The artists for jazz night are booked ad hoc, so they may not necessarily play there next jazz night; given their performance that night, though, I certainly hope they do.

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