Under our Nepali sky

The Valley has been resonating with their music. Booming beats of drums, strumming of guitars, alluring sound of the sax, and awesome vocals. Some are here for the very first time, while some have brought along other musicians.

Abhilasha Subba catches up with guest artistes at Jazzmandu 2008 to get their musical


Global Unity, India: Global Unity was formed in 2004 by Sanjay Divecha (guitar), Adrian d’Souza (drums) and Karl Peters (bass). After Sanjay and Adrian returned from the States, they met at a friend’s place for jam-up and clicked instantly. Roping in Karl, they decided to play and compose together.

“We were aware of the festival as some of our friends had already performed here, but could not participate before as it got cancelled a couple of times,” says Sanjay.

They were impressed with the nice vibes they received during the show at Jazz School. “It was fantastic to see small kids playing and learning Western music and they appreciated our performance.”

They also loved the traditional music scene of Nepal. “We just heard Kutumba and those guys play groovy music. They are all so young and doing something new and different than others,” says Sanjay.

Wanny Angerer Latin Jazz Trio, Honduras: Wanny Angerer impressed all with her dynamic voice. After having lived in different countries, she believes in ‘Unity in Diversity’ and that’s the reason she has band members from different cultures and races — Svetlana Kadashkevich (piano) and Suchet Malhotra (percussion).

“Music is something that should be felt from the soul. I wanted a multi-cultural band with varied styles of music so that anyone from the audience could relate to our music. We believe in improvising and be honest with the feel and music,” says Wanny.

They were elated with the reaction they received from the crowd at Bhaktapur which Wanny calls “the magical city”.

“It was a beautiful place. People gave a nice vibe, good energy and it was a new experience,” adds Svetlana.

Greg Lyons Trio

(UK/Australia): Greg Lyons captured the attention of jazz audience not only with the sound of horns but also with the antique-looking rusty saxophone. The trio is a part of 10-piece band playing all genres of music varying from Latin, jazz, pop, fusion and many more. When the organiser got in touch with Greg, he got together Marcus Dengate (bass) and Darren Moore (drums to perform in the land of the Himalayas.

“I actually knew nothing about the country at all, but after coming here I found the mixture of various types of music very interesting. The reaction of the crowd is very positive and strong,” says Greg.

Inspired by the ambience and people, Greg feels when it comes to jazz he loves it because of the way it captures emotion and creates magic.

Mark Brown Band (England): The London-based Mark Brown Band was formed four days before making their way to Jazzmandu. Mark, who has been into two Jazzmandus, thought of playing this year too and invited Jerry Hagland (guitar), Dan Drury (bass) and Graham Fox (drums).

“We actually play for different bands back home, but we have known each other for more than a decade as we studied in college together. When this opportunity came, we created the band and here we are,” he says.

For other members of the band, this is their first visit to Nepal and according to them they were “blown away” by the whole experience of being in Nepal. About Nepali music and audience their view echoes each other’s. “Fantastic, the traditional music played here is a different experience and the way everyone of all ages have embraced our performance is heart warming.”

Catia Werneck Quartet (Brazil/France): “This is the first time we came to know about the festival and agreed to come because it was in Nepal,” says Catia Werneck who is here with band members of 10 years Vincent Bidal (piano), Christophe Bras (drums) and Carlos Werneck (bass).

The band has been globetrotting for a long time and stopped here not only for music but also for the fascination Catia had for Himalayas. “If I get a chance to come again, I will go to see the Himalayas up close.”

She came to Nepal with an open heart and mind. “This place has lots of positive energy because of the rich culture and spirituality, and people are so quiet, cool and smiling,” she says.

Terrence Bowry (Germany): Hehas been residing in Kathmandu since January. “My wife told me about the festival and I am more than excited to perform here,” says Terrence, who is known for his groovy music which varies from ambient to funky.

Having never heard Nepali music live, he was excited to hear traditional Nepali music at the festival. “The Nepali people are sensitive to kindness which make them very special,” he says.

He jammed up with Mark Brown Band and says, “Jamming is the best part as all musicians play different instruments in different styles yet making the same music.”

He plans to create a band with Nepali artistes.