In the city: Salute to the King

Dubai-based musician Glenn Perry plans to host a free concert on August 7 in a tribute to the late King of Pop, Michael Jackson

By Mohamad Kadry

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Published: Sun 2 Aug 2009, 10:39 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 11:01 PM

When Dubai-based musician Glenn Perry was attacked and robbed in Johannesburg while on holiday recently, the only thing more devastating to the artist was the coinciding death of Michael Jackson, a long source of inspiration to the local music legend.

And after an outpouring of grief from fan communities around the world, Perry decided that it was only fitting to spotlight the Middle East’s fan base with a tribute concert in honour of the fallen King of Pop.

“Its unbelievable the number of calls and messages I’ve had requesting invitations.,” Perry told City Times.

“I can’t really believe there are so many MJ fans here.”

In addition to paying homage to Jackson, a man whose influence on music has transcended genres and cultures, Perry plans on showcasing local talent, who will all pay tribute to Jackson’s hit music, choreography and humanitarian spirit.

Around 75 young talented singers and dance performers from Dubai will participate in the Michael Jackson tribute concert.

“Its amazing to see the enthusiasm in these young performers,” says Perry, who is the producer, director and choreographer of the concert.

“The young singers are busy rehearsing Jackson songs. The dance performers are working hard at impersonating dance grooves through Jackson’s moves, including the famous moonwalk. Also billed to perform are The Dubai Children’s Choir who are all ready to rock with the song We are the World. A young adult chorus group called The Desert Chorale will belt out Jackson’s Heal the World.”

Perry, who has connections with the Jackson family through mutual colleagues, has visited the family estate in California many times. For Perry, working out of the home of America’s most famous music family was nothing out of the ordinary.

“Michael Jackson’s recording engineer Conley Abrams, who is a Grammy award-winner, has also been my personal recording engineer for the last 20 years. I’ve met Michael’s father Joe Jackson, and his brother Randy, and I’ve been to his family home in Encino in Los Angeles. His musicians, drummer Ricky Lawson and guitarist Paul Jackson Jr. have also performed with me, and I’ve also recorded at the same studio as Michael in Los Angeles,” Perry explained.

“But it felt very normal being there because I believe that we are all human in this world and no one is greater than the other. I never personally met Michael but I know a number of people who were close to him. They all said that Michael was a really nice guy. He was very quiet, a person of integrity, humour, compassion and very deep into his music,” he continued.”

Distraught by the negative media attention surrounding Jackson’s death, Perry is worried by the amount of industry people all trying to cash in on the pop stars demise.

“He just died and people are trying to cash in on him. I find it so pathetic,” Perry says.

The concert, which is being held at Mazaya Center, will host hundreds of patrons who manage to get hold of the free admission passes.

“Michael Jackson was a musical inspiration to many and we here in Dubai join the world in celebrating his legacy”.


WHAT: Tribute concert in honour of Michael Jackson.

WHEN: August7that 7 pm.

WHERE:Mazaya Centre

ENTRY:The concert is FREE. For invitations to the concert email (Tickets are limited.)

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