Saturday, November 15, 2014

Singing in the Himalayas: My Jazzmandu Festival experience


Concert for School Children

It is probably the closest I've come to feeling like a rock star (or should I say, jazz star). The Concert for School Children was one of my favourite moments during the week-long Jazzmandu Festival in Nepal - an opportunity for international artists to share their songs and stories with a ridiculously enthusiastic audience full of kids. I was delighted to sign my autograph on scrap pieces of paper, pose for photos and answer questions such as 'Are there really kangaroos in Australia?’.


With the legendary Bruno Schorp from Paris, singing Woodstock for the kiddies!


Jazz Bazaar Concert at Gokarna Forest Resort

I began my first gig of the festival on a stage surrounded by prayer flags and trees full of monkeys. My first words were, 'I can't believe I'm here in Nepal!' and I may or may not have let out a little monkey-type screech before launching into song.

The man responsible for all of the goodness - Festival Director, Navin Chettri
Traditional Nepali music wafting through the trees at dusk...magic!

My Jazzmandu family

I met so many phenomenal artists during the festival - from France, Cuba, America, Brazil and Sweden. We were all foreigners in Kathmandu - keen to soak up everything the city had for us (including copious amounts of momos!). 


Bruno and Alex from the Pity Cabrera Trio
The very-inspiring KJ Denhert - all the way from New York
Each artist at the festival had their very own 'helper'. I was lucky enough to score this dude - Riwaj. Not only did he lend me his guitar (so kind), drive me to my gigs, carry my gear and make sure I had hot water for my tea...but he also took the time to show me around his city - the tucked-away places far from tourists where I could soak in the magic of Kathmandu. For that, I am so very grateful.

The entire Jazzmandu crew!
The closing curtain

The Jazzmandu Finale took place in the garden of one of the most plush hotels in Kathmandu - The Yak and Yeti. I was the opening act and was lucky enough to be joined on stage for two songs by Bruno Schorp from Paris on bass guitar and Manu Koch from New York on keyboard...it was goose bump-city for me to be able to share my final performance with these two jazz legends!!




5 comments:

  1. Loved your singings..brilliant the guitar performance too..��

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  2. Oh, that's so lovely of you to say. Thank you Bikash! It was a wonderful experience. I can't wait to get back to Nepal ;)

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  3. have thoroughly enjoyed reading all your blogs & looking @ all your beautiful travel photos Ange...i even got a bit overwhelmed & emotional..so lovely..thank you for sharing xOx

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  4. ps. love your youtube clips too! :-)

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