Surya Nepal Jazzmandu will celebrate its 17th anniversary with a week of world-class music from 17 to 23 October. Jazzmandu, or the Kathmandu Jazz Festival, is now an established part of the international jazz scene, and is recognised as among the leading music festivals in South Asia.
As always, Jazzmandu’s stages are filled this year with musical talents and traditions from all over the planet. The trio RSxT will keep alive a strong connection between Jazzmandu and the daring music scene in Hamburg. With Paul Tynan and Jake Hanlon, Jazzmandu has Canadian musicians back at the festival for the first time since 2004. The local acts Jooni, The Blue Fret and the Cadenza Collective will represent the great diversity of contemporary Nepali music. Tropic Green is returning to Jazzmandu from Singapore for a second time, having already made a mark here in 2014. From the United States, Jazzmandu 2019 presents Adrian Crookston with the Palouse Forro Experience, playing forro music from the North East of Brazil. And from France, the festival welcomes Faby Medina, an ambassador of the unique musical traditions of her native Guadaloupe.
There is also, sadly, an irreplaceable gap in the Jazzmandu line-up this year. The tabla maestro Rabin Lal Shrestha, who played at every single edition of Jazzmandu right from the first one, recently succumbed to illness, in what is a great loss to Nepali music. As Jazzmandu pays tribute to a special musician and friend, Shrestha’s son and students will perform in his honour at the Jazz Bazaar in Gokarna, and the Jazz at the Temple House event will feature a special piece in his memory.
Jazzmandu has helped introduce jazz to Nepal, and to seed a vibrant local music scene. The festival makes music education a large part of its mission. Jazzmandu 2019 will begin with a free concert for school children (all schools and individual students interested in attending the event should contact [email protected] as soon as possible), and will also host workshops and masterclasses for upcoming musicians and music enthusiasts. Besides these, the festival will feature a packed week of events, presenting world-class music in some of Kathmandu’s most atmospheric venues for both local and international audiences.