DJ Kinky D's nightlife guide

London-born DJ shares her views on Qatar's nightlife scene Discuss this article

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Jazz at Lincoln Center Doha is a live and intimate venue. The seats are in various arrangements, some  are less than a metre from the stage or there are tables and booths a little further away (which have the best view for larger groups but require a minimum spend). All are provided with great table service, which I think is very important to the success of a good evening out and sometimes lacking in other establishments.

Tasty bar snacks or a larger food menu are available. My two favourite dishes have to be The Real McCoy, a grilled Wagyu beef burger with foie gras, crisp onion and pickled vegetables on a fresh toasted brioche and served with cajun fries or the Jazz Doha seafood jambalaya  for those who don’t eat meat. On the beverage list, drinks have names like My Funny Valentine, Chan Chan, Besame Mucho and Girl from Ipanema – everything has an element of jazz to it. Although these are at some of the highest prices I have seen in Doha, the staff are so good it can be forgiven. This presentation of great service along with a vast menu of drinks (it even has a wide selection of teas), I genuinely find impressive.

Considering that I have been going to West Bay establishments for nearly three years, I was surprised that I hadn’t been to the Jazz at Lincoln Center Doha before. I previously thought I had but on entry to the lobby of the St Regis, I knew I hadn’t. With such a well decorated lobby that is both vast – almost monolithic – and engaging, it’s not the sort of place you would forget in a hurry.

Now I’ve been back twice. The first time was to go and see Jon Batiste and The Stay Human Band on a recommendation from a friend. In 2012 he was listed among the ‘30 under 30’ most influential people in the art world and at just 27 this year I could see why. Hailing from Lousiana, and from a long lineage of musicians, this guy certainly knows how to play an ebony and ivory keyboard. The band performed a set that was both engaging and entertaining. At one point, the drummer Joe Saylor jumped up onto the top of his kick drum and played until he eventually fell off, only to jump back up and continue playing. A sign of a true performer.

Then, just recently, I went to see six times Grammy nominated Omar Sosa. Omar, who is originally from Cuba, is a well known composer, bandleader and jazz pianist who derives his inspirations from a range of different genres of music. With a good selection of material to choose from (he has released 25 albums), the visiting Omar Sosa Quartet engages with their audience and goes through a selection of his tracks. Doha guests, during the time they were here, were also treated to an impromptu stage appearance by a Jazz at Lincoln Center Doha staff member who got up on stage and did his own improvisation of ‘Mis Tres Notas’, the renowned ballad taken from ‘Free Roots’, with his own interpretation of lyrics in both Arabic and French.

The bands and team here offer a truly one-off performance.

Overall, this venue is offering some of the highest standard of entertainment I have seen in Doha. It’s definitely the kind of place to visit if you desire high calibre live music, great service and good food... all the ingredients needed for a fully satisfying evening.
The Bruce Harris Quintet will be in Jazz at Lincoln Center Doha from March 2-23, followed by the Dominick Farinacci Quintet from March 24 to April 19. Open 7pm-2am. Sets start at 9pm and 10.30pm, with a third midnight performance on weekends. The St Regis Doha, West Bay Lagoon (4446 0000).

By Time Out Doha staff
Time Out Doha,

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