Qatar is set to witness a jazz movement with the opening of Jazz at Lincoln Centre (JALC) at The St Regis Doha yesterday.
With its theatrical ambience of crescent-shaped banquettes, live performances and a spectacular sea view, JALC Doha is set to provide jazz aficionados a venue to look forward to six nights a week.
The setting recalls the roaring 1920s, when the top jazz performers played at St Regis New York’s rooftop ballroom.
Speaking at the unveiling ceremony, Tareq Derbas, general manager of The St Regis Doha, said: “Jazz at Lincoln Centre Doha is the new home for jazz in the Middle East. We know the region’s travellers and residents demand high quality, and we have put every effort to make JALC the finest live entertainment venue in the region. We are expecting high demand and encourage guests to reserve their tables as soon as possible.”
Amy Knapp, vice-president of NYC-based Jazz at Lincoln Centre International, who was present at the unveiling ceremony, said: “We continue the legacy of bridging cultures around the world through JALC Doha, the first Lincoln Centre-branded venue outside New York City. Opening this club enables us to extend the joys of jazz on a truly global level. Thanks to our partnership with St Regis, we would be bringing in a continuous line-up of world-class jazz artistes and educators to the people of Qatar and guests of St Regis Doha.” The opening act at JALC was by The Rodriguez Brothers, who have flown in from New York for the first set of performances until October 3. Not just music, the brothers will also impart some education on jazz music in general.
The Rodriguez brothers, Michael and Robert, have led their own band since 2002 and have also worked with a veritable who’s who in jazz music, including Roy Haynes, Charlie Haden, Ray Barretto, Eddie Palmieri, David Sanchez, Quincy Jones and others.
Their own group for JALC Doha features Michael on trumpet, Robert on piano, Carlos Henriquez on bass, Eric Doob on drumset and Paulo Stagnaro on percussion.
For the concerts in Doha, they will perform music from their latest album, Mood Swing, as well as new originals that incorporate Afro-Cuban and Caribbean styles.
The band’s first set of performances, which runs until September 29 will be under the theme of ‘What is Jazz?’ followed by ‘What is Afro-Cuban Jazz?’ from September 30 through October 3. The venue’s grand opening on October 4 will feature The Wynton Marsalis Quintet, led by nine-time Grammy Award winner Wynton Marsalis.
In addition to music, jazz aficionados will be able to enjoy a menu of New Orleans-inspired dishes, including fresh crawdaddies, mouth-watering gumbos and jambalayas, and a Jazz Age selection of beverages.