When the Jazzmandu music festival was first held in Kathmandu in 2002, very few in Nepal had heard of jazz. The annual festival turns 16 this year, and will once again entertain music lovers between the Dasain and Tihar festivals. This year, six international bands will be performing in various venues across Kathmandu from 1-6 November: DACH, Nick’s Cousins, Groove Gang, Adrien Brandeis Quintet, Eduardo Mendonca, and Cynthia Abraham.
Jazzmandu put Nepal on the world jazz map, and brought jazz to Nepalis. While there were only a handful of jazz musicians 16 years ago, youngsters queue up to learn it at the Kathmandu Jazz Conservatory today. Like jazz music elsewhere, Nepali jazz also has a distinctive identity.