The Dubai Jazz Festival has delivered the best possible riposte to its critics by announcing a program devoted entirely to internationally renowned jazz, blues, and soul legends during next month’s eight-day musical extravaganza.

The likes of  Larry Carlton, Al Foster, Billy Childs, Sean Jones, Kirk Lightsey, Wallace Roney, Nestor Torres, and Tony Lakatos will entertain crowds at Jazz Garden – The Legends Edition on February 14, 15, 19, and 20, running in parallel with the main stage. Tickets are sold separately at Dhs225.

“The Jazz Garden will provide an additional offering for residents and visitors to Dubai to enjoy,” said Hamad Bin Mejren Executive Director of Business Tourism for Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing. “Emirates Airline Dubai Jazz Festival once again cements Dubai’s position as a leading destination for great events.”

The festival itself came in for criticism when the initial line-up was revealed for the main stage, as it included Olly Murs and The Wanted, neither of whom are traditionally associated with the genre.

However, the later announcement that Santana would take the headline slot put most fears to bed. The multi-award winning group behind songs like ‘Into The Night’, ‘Why Don’t You & I’, ‘The Game of Love’, ‘Maria Maria’ and ‘Smooth’ will top the bill, which already includes Jamie Cullum, Stone Temple Pilots and Colbie Caillat.

Led by Carlos Santana, their back catalogue stretches back more than four decades and maintains a universal appeal. They have sold more than 100 million records, including the best-selling album by a Latin artist ever, ‘Supernatural’, which sold 27 million copies.

Tony Lakatos (February 13, 8pm) One of the most respected saxophone players in the world.
Al Foster (February 13, 9:30) Master drummer and major innovator in the world of jazz.
Kirk Lightsey (February 14, 8pm) Voted among the top pianists in the world.
Larry Carlton (February 14, 9.30pm) 19-time Grammy nominee, 4-time Grammy winner, world- renowned guitarist and recording artist.
Steve Grossman (February 19, 8pm) One of the last heroes in the idiom of straight ahead hard bop jazz, replaced Wayne Shorter in Miles Davis’ fusion band.
Sean Jones (February 19, 9.30pm) Trumpeter/composer featured on the 2007 Grammy Awards.
Nestor Torres (February 20, 8pm) Latin Grammy award winning flautist.
Billy Childs (February 20, 9.30pm) Guggenheim award winner, 10-time Grammy nominee, 3-time Grammy winning pianist, composer and arranger.

 The festival runs from February 13-20 at Festival Park – Dubai Festival City. Visit for more information.