Jazzmandu kicks of with Urban

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, March 11:

The Norwegian jazz band — Urban Connection — inaugurated Kathmandu Jazz Festival 2004 on March 11 at Patan Durbar Square. This was band’s first participation in Jazzmandu festival. The event is organised by Upstairs Ideas in association with The Himalayan Times.

The first day show was open for all and free of cost. The event attracted a huge number of listeners and viewers. Most of them were foreigners, young music lovers and of course the locals. Once again the event proved that music is a universal language as there were listeners from all cross section, some even not knowing what the jazz is about.

Frode Nymo in alto saxophone, Steinar Raknes in double bass and Hakon Mjaset Johnsen in drums exhibited the same kind of energy just like the electronic music and were able to win people’s applause. In a way their music had a flavour of rock and people appreciated their talent. “It was awesome!” Frode jovially stated, “I really loved playing here. The place is simply fantastic and the enthusiasm of audience is superb. I am sure people loved listening to us even though it is different. I hope to come back next year.”

Steniar also informed that it was a good place to play. “The audience is very friendly and we are lucky enough to come here and play. We are looking forward to participating in 2005 as well,” stated Steniar. Hakon said, “This is simply wonderful. We would love to come back again to play with Nepali musicians.”

The show ran for 40 minutes and it gave one a complete satisfaction. Sanjay, percussionist of 1974 AD, shared, “The Urban Connection are simply great, perfect! I believe that this kind of event should be organised continuously as it gives an exposure to new kind of music. The event is something different than the usual kinds and I am looking forward to attending the rest of Jazzmandu shows.”

Even after the show was over, people kept on thronging and one among them was Dev Rana, better known as guru of drums. Rana mentioned, “I didn’t know that this would be over so soon. I missed it but I won’t miss the rest.”

Urban Connection will be playing live at Shangri La Jazz Bar, Lazimpat today. The ticket is priced at Rs 350.

The first jazz concert in the country was held in October 2001 and was called ‘Jazz at Patan’. The first Kathmandu Jazz Festival was held in March 2002 and since then it is organised annually.