Media Release

Award-Winning American Jazz Pianist and Composer, Justin Kauflin, Paints Pictures with Music for Abu Dhabi Festival

(Abu Dhabi, UAE: 12 March 2019): Abu Dhabi Festival, in partnership with Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi, hosted a spellbinding concert last night of swing and jazz, performed by award-winning American pianist, composer, producer and notable Quincy Jones artist, Justin Kauflin. Bringing his inimitable charm and unique musical style to the UAE capital for the first time, the intimate performance was part of an international tour of Kauflin’s latest album, Coming Home, and featured Evan Gregor on acoustic and electric bass, and Jimmy MacBride on drums.

Expanding on the idea of ‘home’, Kauflin’s latest album resonates with emotion and transports the listener across space and time. It ventures into new sonic territory by bringing in more modern influences of synths, electric guitar and bass.

Justin Kauflin said: “Ever since losing my sight completely, the way in which I experience my surroundings has been quite unique. Instead of everything going black, what I see in my mind’s eye is extremely colourful and textured. Every moment is filled with an almost psychedelic swirl of blues, greens, reds, purples and gold against an expansive, seemingly endless backdrop of blacks and greys.

“When I set out to write music for this project, my goal was to ‘paint’ a picture with sound. It’s my attempt at reverse engineering my visual experience into a sonic pallet, where the instruments and timbres are the different coloured paints. The title Coming Home deals with the many ways I’ve experienced ‘home’, globally, and the compositions serve to illuminate the various emotions attached to each unique location. The past few years have broadened my horizons considerably and each track is a glimpse into how the world has become so much more vivid to me.”

Running until 30 March 2019, Abu Dhabi Festival will continue to bring a line-up of globally renowned artists to the capital, including opera superstar and Welsh bass-baritone, Sir Bryn Terfel, who will be joined by Kristine Opolais and Vittorio Grigolo in Puccini’s masterpiece, TOSCA, on 15 March.

Celebrating the Special Olympics World Games being held in UAE’s capital, the Festival will also collaborate with Special Olympics Korea for a special concert entitled Stand Up For Inclusion on 16 March, featuring an eclectic performance by a specially selected group of people of determination from Korea and joined by famed soprano and Grammy Award-winner, Sumi Jo.

The headline programme will continue with an astonishing performance of Sombras by Sara Baras, the world’s most famous flamenco artist on 21 March and will conclude with two exceptional renditions of George Balanchine’s masterpiece, Jewels, by The Paris Opera Ballet on 29 and 30 March.

The Abu Dhabi Festival is presented and organised by Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation. ADMAF is an independent, not-for-profit organisation that seeks to nurture the arts, education, culture and creativity for the benefit of society and advancement of Abu Dhabi’s cultural vision.