Under the honorary patronage of His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and Founding Honorary Patron, the special 20th edition of Abu Dhabi Festival presented the highly-anticipated UAE premiere of two-time Grammy Award-winning jazz musician, Gregory Porter to a sold-out crowd at Emirates Palace on Saturday, 11 March.
Presented by the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF) and held under the theme “The Will for Evolution”, the headline programme of events continues until 20 March, featuring the world’s most renowned performers and musicians.
Joined by Chip Crawford on piano, Emanuel Harrold on drums, Tivon Pennicott on saxophone/horns and Jahmal Nichols on bass, the Grammy Award winner performed a set of his smooth original tracks from his albums Liquid Spirit (2013) and Take Me to the Alley (2017) as well as captivating renditions of jazz classics.
Her Excellency Huda Alkhamis-Kanoo, Founder of the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation, Founder and Artistic Director of Abu Dhabi Festival, said: "This year, Abu Dhabi Festival marks 20 years of bringing the most renowned international talents to the nation’s capital. The UAE debut of Grammy-winning jazz legend Gregory Porter is a testament to the calibre of world-class performances that the Festival presents to audiences in the country each year. The iconic star’s concert is a highlight of this year’s anniversary edition, showcasing his unparalleled talent and undeniable stage presence as he weaves together jazz, blues, and soul to create a truly unforgettable musical experience."
Known for his warm baritone vocals, Gregory Porter rose to acclaim in the 2010s with his earthy, cross-pollinated brand of jazz, soul, and gospel. The gifted American Jazz singer has earned favourable comparisons to his idols, Nat King Cole, Donny Hathaway, and Stevie Wonder, picking up a Grammy nomination for his 2010 debut, Water. After signing to Blue Note, he gained even wider notice for his third album in 2013, Liquid Spirit, which hit number two on the jazz charts and won the Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Album. Although his original songs are his main focus, Porter often returns to his roots, such as on his 2017 tribute album, Nat King Cole & Me.
Abu Dhabi Festival 2023 is held under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Shamsa Bint Hamdan Al Nahyan, Assistant to His Highness the President of the Emirates Red Crescent Authority for Women’s Affairs, and Chairperson of the Higher Committee for Ataya Initiative. The Festival is also supported by its Lead Partner Mubadala.
Abu Dhabi Festival 2023 will present exclusive commissions and productions, along with local, regional, and global premieres, in addition to a series of world-class events that include musical tours, panel discussions, and workshops. Additional information on the Abu Dhabi Festival programme and ticket booking details are available at abudhabifestival.ae/programme-2023/