HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: Do you like it,” asked Eugene Montenero of bconnected, and the crowd went ‘Yeah!”.
All eyes were fixed on them and the heads moved to the beats. There were thunders of applause at the end of their performances but that was not it. In each transition and variation, the crowd couldn’t help but appreciate them more.
Such a scene takes place when dedicated musicians meet music lovers. And the Valley Jam, the second day of Surya Nepal Jazzmandu 2011 on October 22, was no
With three venues for the Valley Jam, jazz enthusiasts had their pick. Some made their way to listen to Cuban origin jazz at Upstairs Jazz Bar, Lazimpat while some made it to Moksh and some found themselves at the House of Music, Thamel.
At Moksh, the crowd had a great time with bconnected of Switzerland. With Montenero on guitar, Yoann Julliard on drums, Liva Boeglen on bass, Dominique Favre on keyboard, Daniel Ciccone on percussion and Xavier Nussbaum on saxophone, the jazz-world music produced by them didn’t allow the audience to rest. Each member was brilliant and their performance talked about their experience. The rhythm, harmony, melody, and tonal qualities of their original compositions were simply great.
“We travel a lot and are inspired by many places and people,” Montenero said. And yes, their inspirations could be felt in their music, which included African and Chinese influences. Along with the influences, their instrumentals also had a strong identity of jazz-funk roots. All combined, the groovy jazz-funk with electro and the world sound was guaranteed.
Meanwhile, the Neighbourhood kept the atmosphere at the House of Music, Thamel alive with their jazz, funk and soul inspired repertoire. All thanks to Kristian Persson on trombone, Jens Filipsson on saxophones and flute, Jonne Bentlov on trumpet, Edvin Nahlin on keyboards, Aleks Brdarski on bass and Sebastian Agren on drums.
Pouring in the jazz quotient to the fullest, the band performed their compositions from their album Maybe Tomorrow and Walk With Me. They had a very powerful and synchronised play of windwood instruments. So, were the bass and drums. The sound of the keyboard added all the melody. Persson also invited the audience to take over the floor with dance. “You can dance if you like,” he urged them.
Enjoying in the crowd was Suman Lal Shrestha from Talchikhel at Moksh. Pointing to bconnected’s performances, he shared, “I have heard people say that jazz music is boring, but this is great. This is like jazz rock for me.”
On the other hand, pointing to the craze of jazz that took place at Upstairs Jazz Bar, Lazimpat, Samir Chettri, media coordinator of Jazzmandu said, “The venue was packed. The door of the venue had closed after 8:00 pm and one Australian climbed and sneaked in to be a part of Jazzmandu.” At this venue, from locals to foreigners to musicians, they all got to taste the jazz melodies of The Cuban League of USA. Axel Tosca Laugart on piano, Yunior Terry on bass and Xiomara Laugart on vocals accompanied by Navin Chettri of Collective Cadenza on drums rolled out the Friday evening.
At first it was soft melodies and ballads. After the break, the crowd got into fifth gear when Xiomara performed fast groovy and pumping songs. The crowd could not help but stand up and clap along.
Highlighting their music, Xiomara said, “In the early 1940s, both Cuban and Jazz musicians developed an original style called Cubob, which is characterised by fast tempo, instrumental and improvisation skills based on the combination of harmonic structure and melody.”
The foreign audience were surprised to find contemporary jazz around town. “The local jazz bands in Nepal are contemporary with European counterparts,” Megan Dilly, a traveller from UK, said.