Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox Known for: Led by American composer and pianist Scott Bradlee, this troupe features a rotating group of musicians who perform covers of pop songs in alternate styles, including jazz, swing and ragtime. The group gained widespread public recognition when they posted their ’50s-style doo-wop cover of Miley Cyrus’ We Can’t Stop on YouTube in 2013 (the track went viral, with more than 15 million views). Jazz lovers will no doubt enjoy the retro set amidst the rock-fuelled line-up.
What to expect: A playful, lively set of pop hits with a vintage twist. Emirates Stage, 7.30pm-8.30pm.
TOTO Known for: The soft-rock band famous for their hits Africa, Rosanna, Hold the Line and I’ll Be Over You ruled the American charts in the late ’70s and ’80s. The four-piece are no strangers to Dubai, having performed a sold-out show at the festival in 2007. Their appearance falls a year short of their 40th anniversary.
What to expect: A mix of jazz, rock, power-pop and soul. Emirates Stage, 10.30pm-12.30am.
James Known for: This Mancunian rock band are known for their ’90s hits Sit Down and She's a Star, and have sold more than 12 million albums worldwide. Taking to the stage in Dubai will be singer Tim Booth, bassist Jim Glennie, guitarist Larry Gott, multi-instrumentalist Saul Davies, keyboardist Mark Hunter, drummer David Baynton-Power and trumpeter Andy Diagram. The band are set to launch their 14th studio album Girl at the end of their world tour on Friday March 18. Expect old classics mixed with new material.
What to expect: A classic indie sound that harks back to the ’90s. Emirates Stage, 9pm-10pm.
Day two Thursday February 25
David Gray Known for: The English singer-songwriter achieved critical success with his fourth studio album White Ladder in 2000, which featured hits such as Babylon, Sail Away and Please Forgive Me. The 47-year-old is set to perform a mix of his classics with material from his latest album Mutineers, which is filled with keyboard-led arrangements and haunting, minimalist sounds.
What to expect: Plenty of chart-topping melodic hits. Emirates Stage, 8pm-9.30pm.
Chris Botti and Sting Known for: While British artist Sting headlined last year’s Jazz Festival, this year will see him share the stage with Grammy Award-winning trumpeter Chris Botti – the highest-selling jazz instrumentalist in the US today – for a unique showcase of the duo’s hits. The set will see the pair perform arrangements of When I Fall In Love, Concierto de Aranjuez and a variety of Sting’s greatest hits including Desert Rose, Every Breath You Take and Shape of My Heart.
What to expect: Pop hits with an infusion of jazz arrangements. Emirates Stage, 10pm-12.30am.
Day three Friday February 26
Santana Known for: The artist first found fame in the late '60s and early '70s with his Latin rock sound. More recently, Santana has made a mainstream comeback with hits such as Maria Maria, The Game Of Love and Smooth from 2007’s album Ultimate Santana. He has sold more than 100 million records and has won ten Grammy awards.
What to expect: A fusion of Latin rock with blues, jazz and world music Emirates Stage, 10pm-12.30am.
La Bomba De Tiempo Known for: This percussion ensemble practises improvisation and rhythms through signs. Every show is unique as the music is generated live on stage between the musicians and director, who leads the improv using code containing more than 70 signs.
What to expect: An energetic set filled with drums, rhythm and percussion. Emirates Stage, 8.30pm-9.30pm.
Jazz and swing nights in Dubai Blue Bar Abri & Funk Radius take to the stage every Thursday with their energetic jazz sounds and soulful set, which includes a mix of cover songs and original material. Fri 10pm. Novotel Dubai World Trade Centre, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 332 000004 332 0000).
Delphine Restaurant & bar Armenian cover group The Mango Band play everything from jazz and soul to pop and funk. Guests can even make requests. Sun-Thu 7pm-11pm; Fri 7pm-midnight. The H Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 501 888804 501 8888).
Frankie’s Italian Bar & Grill Kevin Bassett and Donovan Rossouw play smooth jazz and soul five nights a week. Tue-Sat 8pm-1am. Al Fattan Towers, The walk, JBR (04 399 431104 399 4311).
Jazz@PizzaExpress Every Wednesday, The Swing revue, a local six-piece band, perform classic hits from the '50s with modern pop songs in between. Lindy-hop Dubai are also on hand to give guests a free introductory lesson after the band’s first set. Wed 8pm. Cluster A, JLT (04 441 634204 441 6342).
The Ivy's Jazz Lounge Irish performer Ciaran Fox casts you back to 1950s New York with his swing and big band sets. Expect to hear old favourites as well as reworked modern hits. Thu 7.30pm-11pm. Boulevard, Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 319 876704 319 8767).
Emirates Airline Dubai Jazz Festival: Dhs325 (regular), Dhs695 (golden circle), Dhs895 (fan pit), Dhs1,250 (VIP terrace). February 24-26, 7pm-12.30am. Dubai Media City Amphitheatre www.dubaijazzfest.com.