Jazz may not be for everyone but I find it to be soulful and romantic. Even Wikipedia has a hard time defining it with its broken rhythms, off beat music and loud instruments. You can also call it a controversial which has a long going debate on its origin and traditional form. For a country which has had only two international concerts ever, Jazz seems to pick up in Kathmandu.
If you are into Jazz and happen to be in Kathmandu then we have an annual festival “JAZZMANDU 2013” happening right now. Scheduled to perform on different dates and venues featuring various artist from around the world from 24th to 30th October (Scheduled dates). The artist featured this year are: The Claudia Quintet – USA, Yaite Ramos Quartet, Mike del Ferro – The Netherlands, Eliane Amherd – Switzerland, Cadenza Collective – Nepal, 4th Element – India, Joint Family Internationale – Nepal, KJC Faculty – various places, Dhime Girls – Nepal, Gandharva – Nepal (Artist Info).
This is the 11 year from when it began in 2002 and has seen a lot of artist from around the world come and go like Trilok Gurtu, Don Burrows, Jesse Van Ruller, Louis Banks, The Latin Jazz Allstars, Natalie Williams to name a few. I don’t think I need to stress on the impact music has in getting people together. Jazzmandu hopes the same and aims to introduce quality Jazz in Nepal that transcend cultural boundaries, and spread the message of peace and compassion through music. It is not only creating buzz in the local newspaper but also in the international scene like CNN iReport, EF News International, Bluezog, KadmusArts, All About Jazz/Jazz Near You and Jazz Online Greece.
Photo Courtesy: Jazzmandu.org
Jazzmandu has also become a tourist attraction for many foreigners and have included the festival as a part of their itinerary. The venues include some of the world heritage sites in Kathmandu that showcases Nepalese art and culture and supports tourism in Nepal. For most Nepalese, tourism is their means of earning. This musical event not only supports it but has inspired innovation amongst the Nepalese people to get foreigners to the country.
An event that not only unites people but also has the capability to inspire the youth. By providing free educational music programs, workshops and clinics for school students around Kathmandu every year they aim to give a platform for up and coming musicians. They have also organized a music competition known as “Jazz for the Next Generation”. This not only promotes Jazz but also creates a new culture of its own. So, we can expect our future generation to carry on the tradition for years and years.
What may have started out as a jam session of people with common music interest has now transpired into an event that is one of the biggest music festival in Nepal. You never know what a group of talented musicians and the language that needs no understanding can do. As for me I am looking forward to the ‘Jazzmandu Finale’ on 30th October at Alliance Francaise. You can expect me with a chilled beer and my husband wrapped around my arm, tapping my toes to the beat. So, why don’t you join me on this musical journey in Nepal? If not this year I hope to see you at Jazzmandu 2014.
Details of the event are available at http://www.jazzmandu.org
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