Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, March 10:

Gandharva and Prastar are the two other Nepali bands playing at the Jazzmandu Festival starting on March 11. The other one was Cadenza — the band who introduced Jazz festival in Nepal.Gandharva (Samundra): This band consists of five gandharvas — bandleader Sanu Kancha Gandharva, Buddha Gandharva, Ram Krishna Gandharva, Samsher Gandharva and Arjun Gandharva. They will be adding a traditional touch to the event with their sarangis and classical ragas.

Recently they released their album ‘Samundra Band’ which is available in two parts. Sanu Kancha runs the Gandharva Culture and Art Organisation in Thamel. He hopes to keep the gandharva traditions alive and popular. They are self-supported organisation carving sarangis and selling them to tourists to raise funds and teaching the sarangi.

Prastar: Hom Nath Upadhyaya and his six-member group Prastar throw together classical ragas and folk tunes, producing a very precise rhythmic variety that they simply term “fusion”. Their instruments are madal, sarangi, bamboo flute, tabala and santoor.

The music is the result of Hom Nath’s labour of love: the music he composes comes from the rare collection of ragas and folk tunes he has accumulated over 15 years of exploring and research. During his many years as a teacher at Tribhuvan University Fine Arts Campus, he wanted to offer something new and refreshing to the students. They developed a technique where the band begins with a classical song then things pick up with a Nepali song or rhythm and finish with something fast.