If it is October, it must be Dasain in Kathmandu. And it must be time for Surya Nepal Jazzmandu. This year, the 17th edition of the Kathmandu Jazz Festival returns with artists from all over the globe performing in the city.
International bands like Tropic Green, RSxT, Adrian Crookston & Palouse Forro, Paul Tynan & Jake Hanlon and Faby Medina, as well as The Blue Fret, Cadenza Collective and Jooni from Nepal will be performing from 17-23 October in different venues in Kathmandu Valley.
Jazz has come a long way from the African American communities on the cobbled streets of New Orleans in the late 19th century to different corners of the globe. It has evolved into latin jazz, gypsy jazz, Afro-Cuban jazz, and even Nepali jazz. But even though the blues and swing-inspired art form has branched out, improvisation — the essence of jazz — is still its heart and soul.
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“In Nepal, jazz has influenced and inspired lot of Nepalis into listening, learning and playing jazz. Surya Nepal Jazzmandu has promoted jazz in Nepal and has brought renowned world class musicians to audiences in Kathmandu” says Samir Chettri, an organiser of the festival and band member of Cadenza Collective.
The Collective with its eclectic Afro-Funk tunes, Nepali lyrics and jazz undertones have defined the diverse identity of Nepali jazz since its inception almost two decades ago. With the bass, keyboard, bansuri and sarangi. The Blue Fret band has also created its own jazz sound, combining the swing and blues roots of jazz with the traditional spin of Nepali instruments.
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Jooni, a quintet composed of artists from Nepal and around the world, embodies the sound of modern jazz and traditional Nepali music, giving life to a diversity of sounds and rhythms.
The variety of international and national artists this year will add music to the streets and halls of Kathmandu between the holidays, sprinkling their melodious magic.
Says Chettri: “Having musicians from different parts of the world brings cultural interaction and diversity. The fusion of Nepali classical music with jazz has also been one of the biggest highlights of the festival. The festival itself is a very inspiring and unique experience for visiting artists, Nepali musicians as well as the audience.”
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