DJ Kinky D's nightlife guide

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

Jon Batiste and the band
Jon Batiste and the band
Dominick Farinacci Image #2
Dominick Farinacci
Jon Batiste Image #3
Jon Batiste
DJ Kinky D's nightlife guide Image #4
DJ Kinky D's nightlife guide Image #5
DJ Kinky D Image #6
DJ Kinky D
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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).


From the music vaults

This is what should be on our iPods, says DJ Kinky D

Artist: Chasing Kurt
Track: From The Inside
Record label: Defected
Release date: Out now
The deephouse group has re-released this anthem from last year with remixes by Lovebirds, Copyright and Konstantin Sibold. Piano chords bring the soul, as does band singer Lukas Polocze; his vocals rhythmic with the lyrics ‘Feel what love and soul can do’ and alongside a haunting violin. Plus the video is abstract to assist its PR factor. The best remix on the track, in my opinion, is given from Copyright with a bouncy beat and lively percussion. It’s another great addition to the outstanding label. Visit www.defected.com

Artist:
Evelyn King
Track: Love Come Down
Album: Get Loose
Released date: 1982
Label: RCA
Born in 1960, US-born Evelyn ‘Champagne’ King previously had a taste of success with  ‘Shame’ (1978) which became one of the first records to be inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame. She went on to duplicate the previous chart success of ‘I’m In Love’ (1981) which went to number one in both the US R&B and Dance Billboards. Taken from the album ‘Get Loose’, this particular track has a catchy hook and bubbly vocals. King manages to make heartache sound fun. This was the first 7’ tune I ever bought at the age of ten and I still play in my sets now.

The critic

DJ Kinky D has been a DJ since she was young, becoming successful in London and then gigging all over the world from Europe to Asia. She’s now based in Doha where she spins the decks at numerous regular and one-off events, including the Doha Mariott’s Late Brunch, Oryx Rotana’s Jazz Club on Tuesdays and new this month, The Doha Hustle.
To check out her mixes visit www.mixcloud.com/Kinkyd

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