Jazzmandu beckons


In less than a week, one of the most extravagant musical festivals that the Capital has been celebrating for the last five years will begin. Yes, people we talking about none other than the ‘biggest Jazz party in the Himalayas’ the Surya Classic Jazzmandu 2006 that is scheduled to kick off with Upstairs Jam on October 11.

With musicians coming in from all over the world from countries like Canada, France, Norway, the US, Germany, Israel Spain, Venezuela, Australia and, of course, Nepal, the Jazzmandu week (from October 11-18) promises to be truly international not only musically, but in every way.

Jazzmandu aims at bringing together the powers of jazz music from all over the world to the Himalayas and spread the message of peace. So, let’s get to know our messengers of peace from the different corners of the globe a little better.

Inexhaustible improviser François Carrier has captivated critics and audiences

alike with his intense and original playing. Inspired by the vibrating and

dynamic power of sounds, Carrier is interested in exploring what he calls the

“emotional atmosphere” in music, and in celebrating ephemeral beauty of

the passing moment.

With the formation of the François Carrier Trio in 1990, Carrier increasingly devoted himself to composition and in that realm, the pursuit of his musical identity. Soon after, he launched his first album, Poursuite, composed entirely of original pieces.

François Carrier Trio received a nomination at the Gala de l’ADISQ (Québec’s Music Awards show) in 1998, in the category ‘Album Jazz de l’Année’. They flew to Europe for a tour to play, among others, at the Festival de Jazz de Montreux.

Carrier founded NoEMI (Nouvel Ensemblede Musique Improvisée), which unites a diverse array of musicians and composers. His third recording Compassion was awarded the Juno Award for ‘Best Contemporary Jazz Album’.

On Play, their newest album released in December 2004, these “advanced musicians who refuse to settle forthe status quo” have documented the raw exuberance of their live performances on record,with seven improvisations and two compositions from their 2000 Canadian tour. In February 2006, François released an outstanding live recording titled Happening with Mat Maneri, Uwe Neumann, Pierre Côté and Michel Lambert.

Judy Lewis and Orr Didi’s duo project

Judy Lewis is known as the most in-demand Israeli Jazz artiste. In her eight short years in Jazz (after leaving an illustrious 18-year-career as a classical pianist), Lewis has produced and released four albums of original Jazz music, the last of which was ranked at number six in the

‘Critic’s Choice Top 10 Jazz Albums of the Year’ by New York Times critic Stuart Nicholson.

Lewis started with Bebop and more traditional mainstream styles, but her passion for Rock and deep love for classical music soon got the better of her. She has succeeded in creating a unique and innovative contemporary Jazz sound, one that has been described by The Guardian as “no clone of anybody else”.

Lewis joins forces with 18-year-old blind guitar prodigy Orr Didi. Each with their own distinctive style and eclectic influences from Jazz to Progr-essive Rock, this pair bri-ngs a unique new sound to the duo genre. By creating layers of interweaving melodies and freely interchanging the conventional roles of their instruments they completely exploit the possibilities of this exciting combination. Didi discovered the guitar only four years ago, and within a year he was recognised as a virtuoso by the Israeli media.

Norwegian Musos

Hilde Marie Kjersem is a Norwegian jazz vocalist, known from various bands and recordings. Her musical career started at age 14, when she toured Rikskonsertene (Norwegian Concert Institute) with the group Møremusikarane. Two years later, she played with several rock and rap bands in San Jose, US.

From 2000-04, she studied at the Norwegian Music Academy with Norwegian jazz masters Jon Eberson and Solveig Slettahjell. Subsequently, the ‘TUB Quartet’

was formed with Anders Hessen Schei (piano), Pål Hausken (drums) and Magne Vestrum (bass). Their first album, Red Shoes Diary, with Kjersem’s own compositions, was published on Curling Legs label in 2004. Kjersem is currently producing her third album, the Newpaper Strike, along with Lars Horntveth.

Andreas Hessen Schei is a Norwegian pianist. He studied at the Norwegian Music Academy from 2001-2005.

In 2002, he toured the world with bands such as Jaga Jazzist, Tub Quartet, Bertine Zetlitz and Shining.

He has participated on albums such as Red Shoes Diary (TUB Quartet), What We Must (Jaga Jazzist), and In the Kingdom of Kitch you will be a Monster (Shining).

Afro Dizzi Act

Anchored in a variety of roots music — from drums and bass to soul funk, crisp hip-hop to spirited rock and improvised jazz — Afro Dizzi Act have built a reputation as one of the most flexible bands in Australia. Their ability to craft a live performance for a particular audience and space is second to none and it’s for this reason amongst others the group has been able to attract such a wide ranging audience and an equally diverse array of gigs.

Originally playing in and around Brisbane, Afro Dizzi Act came into existence in 1997. Word spread quickly and it didn’t take long for the band to make their way onto the Australian touring circuit. Landing a secession of slots on festivals such as the annual Byron Bay Blues and Roots Festival (alongside Ben Harper, Michael Franti and Jack Johnson), Livid Festival, the Pinnacles Jazz festival, the Townsville Jazz festival and a headlining set at Brisbane’s illustrious Valley Fiesta, Afro Dizzi Act found themselves on the receiving end of countless support slot and tour offers.

Following the Townsville Jazz festival in 2000, Afro Dizzi Act were invited to attend the Jazzmandu. Within moments of taking the stage, the band had won over the Nepali audience.

Directly following their set at Jazzmandu, they received two other unexpected post-gig invitations. One to attend a jazz festival, this time in Dubai and the other to tour North-east India.

Afro Dizzi Act’s debut release Audio Cookie was issued in 2003 to glowing reviews. Afro Dizzi Act have also released three live CD’s Go with the ‘fro and Go with the ‘fro Vol 1 & 2 stemming from live performances at the Woodford Folk Festival 1999 to 2003 as well as music captured from North-east India and the Valley Fiesta.

Dhupia’s hi-profile US commercial

BEVERLY HILLS: Bollywood actress Neha Dhupia has just finished doing a high-profile American television commercial for a new line of luxury skincare products. The commercial was shot over several days in Beverly Hills and features the glamorous Neha, with the glitzy Hollywood as the backdrop. However, the name of the product is still under the wraps.

The commercial was directed by Tim Mewton, who is known as one of the most innovative and creative directors in television. “This is the best example yet of the huge crossover movement

taking place between

Hollywood and Bollywood,” Mewton said in a press statement.

Apart from the commercial, recently Neha became the brand ambassador for Police — the international eyewear and watch company. Speaking about her association with the brand, Neha said: “Police and I have a lot in common. We both are young, hip and upcoming.” Dhupia joins the famous list of brand ambassadors for Police including Bruce Willis, George Clooney and David Beckham. — HNS