Jazzmandu Festival - Surya Nepal International Kathmandu Jazz Festival

Photos: Jazz at Patan, Photo by Astha Chitrakar; Jazzmandu Finale, Photo by Saif; and Red Hot Latin Jazz, Photo by Rahul Ratna Shakya
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Country and Region NepalCentral
Type of Festival Music
Location of Festival Kathmandu, Central, Nepal
Festival Contact Information

Bishal Nagar,
Kathmandu, Nepal
GPO Box No. 8975, EPC No. 4058
Email: info@jazzmandu.org

Festival Description

Since 2002 the annual Jazzmandu Festival has established itself as a hub for jazz aficionados. The event includes live performances, that include international stars as well as rising talents, a next generation competition, master classes and jam sessions with a roster that includes national and international artists.

Festival Dates October 23 - 31, 2013
Festival Links


Festival Story:

When a group of enthusiastic young Nepali musicians decided it was time to put Kathmandu on the international jazz map back in 2002, they could not imagine the long-lasting success of their initiative. It was all about a thirst for good music. The inspiration came from Cadenza, Nepal’s first jazz band, who had played at a music festival in Australia in 2000 and who decided to bring exciting new music from around the world to Kathmandu. In those days finding new music was difficult, and few Nepalis could afford to fly to established jazz centres such as New York and Paris to check out the latest bands. Since Kathmandu couldn’t go to Jazz, Jazzmandu brought Jazz to Kathmandu.

Jazzmandu was initiated in 2002 by Cheddup Bomzan and Cadenza drummer and vocalist Navin Chettri, building on the success of the first Jazz at Patan in 2001. Since then it has grown into an internationally recognised, week-long and multi-venue festival, bringing together Nepali musicians and many acclaimed international artists, while promoting music education and training for Nepali musicians.

Jazzmandu has been instrumental in the growing interest in Jazz in Nepal. The Kathmandu Jazz Conservatory was founded in 2007 to provide rigorous musical training to young local musicians and the jazz scene continues to grow, with more musicians, more bands, more styles, and more venues hosting jazz every year.

Besides providing jazz education to young budding musicians, Jazzmandu brings together artists from all over the world to showcase their own music and jam together with other Nepali and international artists. Some prominent international artists that have performed at Jazzmandu include Don Burrows (2002), Jesse van Ruller (2003), Trilok Gurtu (2003), Jamie Baum (2003), Steve Berios (2006), Dario Eskenazi (2009), Ari Hoenig (2010), Xiomara Laugart (2011) to name but a few.


Festival Events:

International Lineup 2013:
  • Claudia Quintet, USA
    • Formed by drummer, composer and leader John Hollenbeck, the Claudia Quintet explores the edge without alienating the mainstream, proving that genre-defying music can be for everyone. With six albums under their belt, appeal for this band goes well beyond the traditional jazz audiences. Another ‘must hear’ band for all Jazzmandu audiences.
  • Mike del Ferro, The Netherlands
    • Mike del Ferro, composer, pianist and arranger, writes and performs an impressive array of musical genres. Having travelled the world collaborating with musicians and building musical bridges between cultures, he combines elements of western music interspersed with jazz improvisation – playing tribute to Asian, South American and African traditional music. With this background and more than 10 albums to his name this is a performance not to be missed.
  • Eliane Amherd, Switzerland
    • Swiss-born singer, guitarist and songwriter, Elaine is one of the hottest forces in the New York music scene. Elaine and Mani Koch, keyboardist, pianist and composer, will bring a taste of what’s hot on the New York jazz circuit to Kathmandu.
  • Yaite Ramos Quartet, France/Cuba
    • Born in Cuba, Yaite is a singer and multi-instrumentalist who, along with the rest of the Quartet will be playing a mix of jazz, Cuban and RnB music. Having travelled round the world with prominent hip-hop and Salsa bands from France, Yaite Ramos and her Quartet promises music at its best.
  • 4th Element, India
    • Based in Shillong, the 4th Element is the only band in Northeast India that bends and blends four styles of music – funk, jazz, RnB and soul. Inspired by the likes of Earth, Wind and Fire and James Brown, the band plays music with spirit, soul and spunk. Lead singer, Sara Lee continues to uplift the music with her dynamic voice. This band promises a set full of soul gusto!
Nepal Lineup 2013:
  • Cadenza
    • first local jazz band and founders of “Jazzmandu”. Jazz, Afro-Nepali funk, and Nepali folk influences drive the band’s sound, bringing audiences to their feet.
  • Joint Family Internationale
    • winners of Hits FM best new artist, best performance by a group and best pop composition. In its current line-up, this band has been bringing people together through its music for fun, peace, love and happiness since 2010. Guaranteed to get everyone dancing.
  • Kathmandu Jazz Conservatory (KJC)
    • Established in 2007 this Conservatory trains students in the field of music. For Jazzmandu 2013, the line up includes Subani Moktan (vocals), Rajat Rai (guitar, Nirakar Yaktumba (bass), Hemraj Chettri (drums), Aid Ray (vocals) and special guests, Gianni Denitto (Italy), Mariano Abello and Juan Oritz (Spain).
  • Gandharva
    • Gandharva’s traditionally travelled around villages playing music. This group, formed in 2000, performs at festivals on instruments such as the traditional Sarangi, Madal and Kartal.
  • Dhime Girls Cultural Group
    • The first female group playing Newari traditional instruments performs at festivals and events to delight the crowds.


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