Diana Yukawa Opens Jam Dubai

London, United Kingdom, August 02, 2010 --(PR.com)-- When other people are going on vacation, Diana Yukawa’s going to work.

“Heathrow’s particularly busy today,” comments Diana Yukawa, down the phone from London, as she waits to board her Dubai flight for tonight’s show.

“There’s huge groups of teenagers on the floor all over, you can’t walk anywhere,” continues Yukawa.

You can’t walk anywhere in Dubai either – it’s 45 degrees outside at the moment.

Yukawa has performed in the UAE before, so she’s familiar with the extreme heat, but she isn’t going to be staying too long because she needs to be back in the UK for a major show next week.

“But I’m really excited about the show. I’ve played in Dubai a few times before, and around the region, and I love to visit, because the energy is so different there,” says Yukawa.

“People in Dubai generally tend to be open to new experiences.”

Yukawa is in town to launch Jam Dubai, a new live music event being held at Media One Hotel on the last Wednesday of each month.

Raki Phillips, the impresario behind the shows, tells Emirates247.com he saw a gap in the market for “an intimate live concert series” and that he wanted to create a unique sort of cultural event that would offer an alternative to the club nights and cocktail evenings this expat haven is known for.

“The idea of JamDubai came about as many of my friends were getting tired of the after work routine of drinks followed by dinner and a late night at Dubai’s latest hot spots,” he says.

“We wanted to create an experience that combined live entertainment in a very unique venue, such as unconventional areas in new and funky hotels, hence the partnership with Media One Hotel located in Media City.”

Over the course of the series Raki hopes to involve local talent, while bringing in recognisable international names.

Yukawa in many ways fits that bill.

The Anglo-Japanese recording artist may not be as well known as other violinists yet (“She plays the violin and she’s pretty,” says a city music aficionado when when I ask if he’s headed down to tonight’s Diana gig), but the 25-year-old has performed with the likes of Jeff Beck, Paul Oakenfold and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as to sold-out crowds at the Hollywood Bowl and next door in Qatar, to a crowd of 60,000 people ahead of the 2009 Emir’s Football Cup Final.

“That was incredible, so much fun,” she says now of the performance last May.
“I was only on stage for about five minutes, but it was very high energy. I didn’t know how people would react, because they were obviously waiting for the game to begin, but it was amazing. I performed Robert Miles’s “Children,” which I think was the right thing to do.”

“Children” will be on her playlist this evening, too, as will the club hit “Stereo Love,” A R Rahman’s “Jai Ho” and Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi.”

If that seems an unconventional playlist for someone whose foundation is in classical music and whose debut album peaked at No1, that’s because Yukawa consciously pushes the boundaries of her art.

After two classical albums with BMG Japan, her third, 2009’s “The Butterfly Effect”, ventured into crossover territory, what she describes as a modern, contemporary sound. “It was an introduction to what the violin can do in the modern environment,” she says.

It’s an experiment Yukawa says she wants to take further with her next album, which she hopes to begin work on in the fall.

“The Butterfly Effect was the first step on a long path. One big area I want to look at exploring now is collaborations, preferably with lots of different writers and musicians,” she says. While she does expect to work with a lot of instrumentalists, she’s particularly keen on collaborating with vocalists.

“Particularly male vocalists, because I think that would be a great contrast with the feminine sound of the violin.”

But that freewheeling attitude does not stretch to her wardrobe. Although she’s performing Lady Gaga tonight, she says audiences shouldn’t expect her to dress like the famously controversial style icon. “I’m not going to go that far just yet,” she laughs.


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Diana Yukawa