|Jazzmandu 2014 - October 16-22, 2014|
2014 marks the 12th edition of Jazzmandu or Surya Nepal Kathmandu Jazz Festival, a week-long international Jazz extravaganza in Nepal’s capital. This year, the “biggest jazz party in the Himalayas” brings together a a refreshingly diverse and powerful line-up that will make the Kathmandu valley vibrate with jazz from 16 to 22 October. 2014 Jazzmanu will feature renowned international musicians from various cultural and musical backgrounds from Sweden, USA, Australia, Cuba, France, Brazil, Singapore as well as Nepal.
Since its early days back in 2002, Surya Nepal Kathmandu Jazz Festival has featured renowned international musicians from diverse cultural and musical backgrounds as well as traditional and jazz musicians from Nepal. The festival offers an exciting platform for national and international artists to meet and share their love of music with fellow musicians and with an ever-growing audience. Jazzmandu offers quality jazz to audiences in Nepal, and transcends cultural boundaries while spreading the message of unity, compassion and peace through the language of music.
Over the years, Surya Nepal Jazzmandu has successfully introduced jazz that has now permeated the fabric of popular music in the Nepali capital, exposing musicians to new techniques, styles and the freedom of improvisation that have encouraged and expanded their own creativity. The festival has also been instrumental in generating a growing genuine interest for music education and western music traditions as the numerous music and jazz schools in the capital can attest. The Jazz for the Next Generation competition, a now well-established feature of Jazzmandu, opens the festival and provides an opportunity for aspiring local young bands to showcase their skills and talents and interact with renowned visiting artists. “Every year we see with this music competition that there are more and more young Nepali musicians getting into Jazz, and many are very talented and passionate! It is great to see that the festival has had an important role to play in this!” says Navin Chettri, Jazzmandu’s Artistic Director.
During the past twelve years, the festival has provided free shows for the general public, jazz performances for school students, and master classes and workshops by visiting artists for music enthusiasts and students. Jazzmandu has introduced locals to many virtuoso performers from across the globe – Trilok Gurtu, Tito Puente Jr., Grammy Award Winner Marlow Rosado, Jamie Baum, Claudia Quintet, Dario Eskenazi, Gary Varsace, Jesse Van Ruller, Steve Barrios, Xiomora Laugart, Natalie Williams, Catia Werneck, Ari Hoenig, and Mike Del Ferro, Louis Banks and Don Burrows to name a few.
The international language of music dismisses narrow socio-cultural divides and defies the barriers of culture, color, faith, geography to promote peace and compassion in a world in great need of understanding, empathy, compassion and tolerance. Surya Nepal Jazzmandu provides an exciting platform for musicians and people of all walks of life to come together through their love of music. In turn, international artists have welcomed the chance to discover and appreciate Nepal, its rich culture, its natural beauty and spirituality, the warmth of its people, and the chance to meet and share musical experiences with renowned local musicians.
The Surya Nepal Kathmandu Jazz Festival is a unique blend of culture, people and improvisational music, creating a magical and unforgettable musical experience in the heart of the Himalayas. Even though jazz began as an American art form, it has permeated cultures all over the world. Jazzmandu strives to gather musicians from a variety of countries and musical backgrounds, and provides an opportunity for them to present their unique and refreshing approaches to jazz to a diverse audience.
For its twelfth edition, starting on 16 October, the festival brings no less than nine bands from various countries. “This year the festival will be even more diverse than before as more countries are represented. We have musicians coming from Australia, Sweden, Cuba, France, Switzerland, Brazil, Singapore, Japan, the US and of course Nepal”, says Navin Chettri.
JAZZMANDU 2014 ARTISTS
Kristian Persson Elements (Sweden) - Kristian Persson Elements consists of five of Sweden’s most colorful musicians and together they form a sparkling electro-acoustic quintet. With elements of progressive jazz, indie, funk and soul, the raw groove creates the foundation for an emotional quest for musical alchemy.
KJ Denhert (USA) - KJ Denhert’s performances move you to laugh, to dance and even to cry. Her voice is powerful, lyrics full of intelligent insight, and her musicianship impeccable. KJ’s eclectic, yet unified performances reach out to many different types of audiences without compromising her music and beliefs. KJ’s special blend of urban folk & jazz has earned her four Independent Music Award nominations.
Ange Takats (Australia) - Ange Takats has a voice that is able to coat with sugar, crush with sadness and cut through to the soul of a song. The Australian songwriter’s worldly adventures and her natural gift for storytelling have allowed her to develop a unique performance style – weaving light-hearted travel tales between darkly emotive songs. Her latest album ‘Arva’ blends the sounds of 30s jazz with 60s folk.
Pity Cabrera Trio (Cuba/France) - Cuban pianist Pity Cabrera’s musical versatility and surprising mastery of various styles like Jazz, Classical and traditional Cuban music make him one of the most promising musicians of his generation. Established in 2010 in Paris, Pity Cabrera has become a favorite amongst Europeans.
Eduardo Mendonça (Brazil) - Brazilian vocalist, percussionist, guitarist, composer and arranger, Eduardo Mendonça performed in many venues in Bahia – Brazil and in trios elétricos—brightly lit mobile soundstages for festivals and public dancing in Brazil —and toured locally and internationally as vocalist and percussionist with the folkloric troupe, Exaltação á Bahia. In 1991, Mendonça was featured in Paul Simon’s documentary music video, “Born at the Right Time.”
Tropic Green (Singapore) - Some of Singapore’s resident jazz and Latin stars from Cuba, Japan, USA and of course Singapore come together as Tropic Green to give you harmonically rich and rhythmically sparkling original compositions all written by band leader Susan Harmer. Harmer’s compositions have real depth of harmony, reflecting the tonal colors of the various instruments in the band.
Dhrupad Caravan (Nepal) - Dhrupad is the most ancient style of Hindustani classical music where two singers sing together, Jugal Bandi style. It has survived until today in its original form. The Dhrupad tradition is a major tradition of Indian culture. The nature of Dhrupad music is spiritual, seeking not to entertain, but to induce feelings of peace and contemplation is the listener. Vishal Bhattarai and Inoue Sou have studied Dhrupad music under The Gundecha Brothers in India for 6 years.
Cadenza Collective (Nepal) - Founded in 1992, Cadenza started experimenting with jazz in 1998 while playing regular gigs around Kathmandu valley, breaking the mould in a city then dominated by rock bands playing popular covers. Cadenza Collective is an eclectic mix of Jazz, Afro-Nepali funk, and Nepali folk influences, Cadenza is also famous for spearheading musical collaboration between Nepali classical and international jazz musicians.
KJC and N.A. Jazz Orchestra (Nepal) - The KJC-ARMY Jazz Orchestra is a recent collaboration between the Nepal Army Band and the Kathmandu Jazz Conservatory with the main purpose of promoting the big jazz orchestra sound, something unique in Nepal. Its directors and conductors, Rajat Rai, Amul Kharki and Mariano Abello, lead this 18-piece orchestra, which play blues, rock and Latin music arrangements.
For more details about the festival and complete artists profiles visit www.jazzmandu.org
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