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Follow the Leader ...


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Doug Zacharias (Dr. Z) (Director/Soloist Saadiyat Big Band) has been a music educator for 38 years and a performer on Trumpet/Saxophone/Vocals for more that 45 years. Doug is a strong lead trumpet player with a great ability to improvise. Versatility, energy and passion are trademarks for Doug with the ability to play many different instruments at a professional level in a variety of musical genres with an authentic groove. Vocals are diverse and strong with a very obvious level of showmanship


Doug comes to us from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He has been a band leader with Big Bands for more than 20 years, Smaller ensembles for even longer, and a freelance musician performing with the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, Buddy Guy, Peggy Lee, Hugh Frasier, Bobby Shew and many more local and international artists. 


The experience he brings to the Saadiyat Big Band is invaluable and together they continue their passion for the genre coupled with a high level of performance. As well as this, they have a lot of fun along the way!

Welcome Doug

Our Musical Director / Band Leader

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Steve Kerr

Alto Sax




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Tracey Ramsey

Baritone Sax





Pierre Andrieu

Tenor Sax

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Sax to the Max

Mike Baccarra

Alto Sax & Flute

Amanda Webb

Alto Sax

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Bogdan Tepavcevic


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Sam Graden






Ali Bryce 
French Horn

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Bad to the (Trom) Bone

Arthur Lysek


Atze Schuiling


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Emmanuel Bacarra





Trumpets Kick Brass

Illia Fedorak




Lindsay Wilson



Kalana De Silva


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Joel Ison



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#musicproducer, #keys



We Destroy Silence

Lee Pophal

Bass Guitar

Janelle Bernado




Becky Faragalla


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Eric Bernabe


Thank you, Ron

Our Founder

We say Goodbye to Ron, who has been our bandleader for 3 years. Before moving to the Middle East, Ron set up the Cooper Big Band in the UK. This was a professional band based on the South coast. Over the years the band performed at many events and concerts over the 7 years it was together.

On arriving in Abu Dhabi Ron realized that there was a pool of adults who whilst working in AD full time in a non music-related profession, were talented players from their home country with many years of experience.

Whilst working in the music department at Cranleigh school, Ron was able to gather professional players who were interested in joining the band.


The core of the band are professional musicians either teaching in various local schools or instrumental players. However, after the difficulties with Covid, Ron and Tania decided to return to the UK. It was important to Ron that the hard work and camaraderie that was in the band, should continue and grow.

Tania and Ron are now based in Lincolnshire where they play with several bands.

We thank Ron and Tania for all their efforts and tireless enthusiasm for the Saadiyat Big Band. Hope to see both again in Abu Dhabi soon.

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