Bossa Nova Superstar Sergio Mendes Kick-Start’s Abu Dhabi Festival

His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth & Community Development and ADMAF Patron, officially inaugurated the Abu Dhabi Festival 2015 Visual Arts Exhibition at Emirates Palace Gallery last night, before joining an upbeat crowd for an evening of bossa nova beats as Brazilian superstar, Sergio Mendes, made his Arabian Gulf Premiere at the Abu Dhabi Festival.

1His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahyan Inaugurates the Abu Dhab... copy 2

Kicking off Abu Dhabi Festival 2015’s main program of headline performances with a lively blend of Brazilian samba and jazz-infused pop hits, the charismatic Sergio Mendes took to the stage with his 10-piece band, performing some of his greatest hits – Mas Que Nada, The Fool on the Hill, The Look of Love, Magalenha, The Waters of March, and The Girl from Ipanema. Delighting his Abu Dhabi audience with his unique and eclectic mix of sounds, the three-time Grammy Award winner demonstrated why he has been loved worldwide for over four decades. Through the years, he has also collaborated with leading artists from across the world including the Black Eyed Peas and Justin Timberlake.

Preceding Sergio Mendes’s headline performance, His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahyan inaugurated this year’s Visual Arts Exhibition at the Emirates Palace Gallery. Open for a month-long public viewing until April 20, the Exhibition presents a trio of diverse and stimulating artworks through three distinct themes, entitled View From Inside: Contemporary Arab Photography, Video and Mixed Media Art, Emirati Insights, and the Abu Dhabi Festival Commissions. These exhibitions showcase a selection of artworks from local and regional artists thus channeling the complexity, beauty and contradictions of life in the Middle East in a raw as well as beautiful reflection on the region’s culture.

View From Inside, Emirati Insights and the Abu Dhabi Festival Commissions will be open to the public from 21 March to 20 April 2015 at Emirates Palace Gallery (Sunday – Thursday: 12:00pm – 8:00pm; Friday – Saturday: 10:00am – 10:00pm). Admission is free.

Further information on admission, schedules, venues and upcoming performances can be found at