Hailstorm adds excitement to Miles Music Fest finale

KATHMANDU: The last two days of the nine-day long Chevrolet Miles Music Festival came with various surprises. On March 28, the festival was celebrated at the very serene and close to nature surroundings of 1905, Kantipath. With various local and foreign musicians taking to the stage, the audience present enjoyed some quality music.

Beginning the show, the Kathmandu Jazz Conservatory (KJC) student ensemble performed and soon the stage was taken over by the band Poise and Fags consisting teachers of KJC performing a few peppy numbers for the crowd warming them up for more surprises to come. Next in the line was Astha Tamang Maskey, who played some of her numbers from her latest album.

While she had just finished her first song Hide and Seek, it started to drizzle making all run for cover. The concert was halted for a while but soon the rain stopped and everyone was back searching for a cosy place to sit down.

The musical enchantment continued with the mixed jazz band Baja Gaja comprising both Nepali and foreigner artistes. The band jammed up with the guest band Ozma. Two more musicians Eric Slaughter (guitar) and Nick Jost (bass) from USA performed in the festival for the first time jamming up with the featured and guest artistes. The show ended with a fabulous jam-up of saxophone between Marioano Abello and David Florsch.

The grande finale of the festival took place at the traditionally beautiful setting of Dhokaima Café, Patan Dhoka on March 29. The much awaited performance by the French jazz band Ozma along with Nepali classical and traditional musicians like Navraj Gurung (tabala), Suresh Raj Bajracharya (sarod), Santosh Bhakta Shrestha (ksraj) and Rubin Kumar Shrestha (flute) saw a huge turnout including locals and expatriates.

Being wary of the evening showers, the organisers had put up tents to keep the concert rainproof. The opening of the event saw classical band Loonibha play two of their original creations Loonibha and Blue Diamond. The band of two visually impaired musicians on tabala and flute received a huge round of applause. Soon the wait for the fusion music extravaganza was over as Ozma and the ensemble got on the stage. But the programme was yet again halted, but this time it was hailstorm instead of a pleasant drizzle. The tent was destroyed in no time but the musicians and organisers took the unfortunate storm in their stride and changed the stage from outdoor to indoor making it a cosy and personal affair and turning their misfortune into triumph.

The small hall was crowded with fans listening to the fusion jam of music from east and west. The evening was made memorable to all not only because of the the enticing music but also due to the exciting hailstorm and heavy rain all had been waiting for quite a while.

The Miles Music Festival was sponsored by Chevrolet and organised by Kathmandu Jazz Conservatory. The Himalayan Times and Annapurna Post were the media partners of the event.