It is a huge pleasure for us to finally say: Welcome back to Surya Nepal Jazzmandu! In early 2020, soon after a spectacular Jazzmandu 2019, we were already dreaming and planning for another edition of Kathmandu’s beloved jazz festival. But then COVID hit and the world stopped, and the music stopped with it. We’ve all been through two crazy years of lockdowns and isolation, of too many lives tragically lost. And in the sudden silence we all learned a few things about what really makes life worth living. Today, together again, we honour all those we lost, and we come together to celebrate life and music—and live music!—again.
Jazzmandu 2022 is the eighteenth edition of the festival, and like all Jazzmandus before it this one would not be possible without our supporters and sponsors—especially our main sponsor, Surya Nepal, which has stood by the festival for over a decade now. We’re also blessed to have as partners a long list of great organisations and venues, many of them long-term friends and a few of them joining hands with Jazzmandu for the first time. We’ve been able to come back stronger after the pandemic thanks to the good people behind all the logos you’ll see on this flyer and on our stages, and also thanks to an incredible team of musicians, staff and volunteers who have worked hard to put the shows together. To all of them, and to all of you who come to listen, thank you!
Our program this year is packed with passionate, top-class musicians from across the globe and incredible, one-of-a-kind shows spread across the Kathmandu valley. We’re especially glad to resurrect the Jazz for the Next Generation competition, giving young local musicians the chance to showcase and develop their talents. The competition and the free show for school children that opens the festival every year are part of Jazzmandu’s long tradition of music education, part of our investment in the future of jazz and improvised music in Nepal. Our international acts this year include two returnees, Jamie Baum and Catia Werneck, who played at Jazzmandu many years ago and have long wanted to come back and play for the people of Kathmandu again. Jamie is here with her critically lauded sextet from New York City, and Catia with her Paris-based trio and its continent-spanning sound. From Switzerland, we welcome Yumi Ito and her trio, playing Yumi’s inimitable and deeply personal compositions. And we’ve got high-octane jazz-rock from Germany, brought to you by the rising stars of Jin Jim. Joining our international guests on Jazzmandu’s stages will be some of Nepal’s finest classical musicians, including the gifted Jonish Poudel, and the Nepali folk masters of Samundra Band. Plus, of course, the Jazzmandu stalwarts of Cadenza Collective.
So now you know who we’re bringing to the party. All we need is for you to be there too. Join us for seven spectacular days of music in this city unlike any other. We’ll see you out there!
The Jamie Baum Sextet (USA)
Catia Werneck (Brazil/France)
Born into a family of musicians in Rio de Janeiro, Catia began to sing and play from a young age before touring abroad and moving to Paris to further her career. Starting with an early collaboration in France with the Boto Novos Tempos collective, she has gone on to tour across the world and perform at major international jazz festivals, and to play alongside such artists as Touré Kunda, Patrick Bruel and Chico Buarque. She has also continued to perform and record in Brazil, showcasing her mastery and creativity in the styles of bossa nova, samba, jongo (a forerunner to samba) and more. She has composed soundtracks for multiple films, and released the albums Estrela do Sultão (1997), Saudades de Paris (2000), La vie en rose (2004), Naturalmente (2006), Catia Canta Jobim (2007), Obrigado Brasil (2009), Primavera (2010, in collaboration with Vincent Bidal), The Best of Caita (2011), Bossa Catia (2012), Tudo Bem (2014) and Jongando (2017).
Catia Werneck – vocals
Noé Chantraine – piano/keyboards
Benjamin Asnar – bass
Navin Chettri – drums
Yumi Ito (Switzerland)
The destruction of Earth, the committal of a friend to a psychiatric hospital, the death of her unknown neighbour from heroin use—Yumi weaves into her music stories about society that matter, no matter how large or small, how bright or dark they are. Her sound—an amalgam of jazz, art-pop, electronica, free improvisation and neo-classical music—might seem tricky but really isn’t: the musician, composer, producer and arranger navigates a clear stylistic path of her own making, always telling a story along the way. Based in Basel, with Japanese and Polish roots, Yumi performs regularly all over the world and has shared the stage with artists such as Al Jarreau, Becca Stevens, Nils Petter Molvaer and Mark Turner. She is supported by the High-Priority Jazz Promotion program from the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia.
Yumi Ito – vocals, compositions
Kuba Dworak – bass
Iago Fernandez – drums
Jin Jim (Germany)
“Vertical lift-off“ is how the broadcaster NDR described Jin Jim’s meteoric rise on the German jazz scene. In 2013, the same year Jin Jim was founded, the band was voted by the public into the finals of the JazzTube Festival in Bonn. The following year, the quartet won the “Future Sounds” competition at the Leverkusener Jazztage and released their debut album Die Ankunft—The Arrival. After tours and performances spanning Europe, Africa and Latin America, the band performed to a standing ovation at Jazz Baltica in 2017. That led to a record deal and the release in 2018 of Weiße Schatten—White Shadows—as part of the prestigious “Young German Jazz” series from the label ACT. Jin Jim’s sound is powered by a mix of latin, jazz and rock influences that create a rhythmically complex yet harmonically accessible whole. Strap in!
Daniel Manrique Smith – C/alto/ bass flute
Johann May – guitar
Ben Tai Trawinski – double bass
Nico Stallmann – drums