Surya Nepal Jazzmandu 2023 is the nineteenth edition of the festival, and like all Jazzmandus before it this one would not be possible without our incredible supporters and sponsors. 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.

A big thank you to all the good people at our many supporting organisations, and also to the incredible team of musicians, staff and volunteers work so hard to put the festival together. For all of us involved in Jazzmandu, this is a labour of love – and now it’s time to share the love with Kathmandu! Join us from 2 to 8 November for another unforgettable week of music, Jazzmandu-style!

To everyone who stands by us, to everyone who comes to Jazzmandu to hear and celebrate music – thank you!

And happy Jazzmandu!

Plurism (Switzerland/South Africa)

After three album releases in the ensemble’s previous avatars—Fufu Tryout, More Fufu! and Azania in Mind—the latest iteration of Plurism sees Swiss drummer and bandleader Dominic Egli combine forces with the esteemed South African trumpeter Feya Faku and a stellar cast of musicians with a shared friendship as well as musical sensibility. As before, Pluralism remains anchored in Egli’s intense curiosity about the many colors of African rhythm, melody and groove. The nostalgic sensitivity of his playing is grounded by the bass of Xaver Rüegg, with Faku displaying his uncanny temperament on the trumpet, Mthunzi Mvubu his prolific vocabulary on the alto saxophone and Sisonke Xonti his audacious yet vulnerable style on the tenor saxophone. This time around, each member brings his own compositions to the collective. Plurism remains complex yet simple, explosive yet tender, down-to-earth yet otherworldly, with the musicians always drawing out more from each other and the audience.

Feya Faku – Trumpet and flugelhorn
Mthunzi Mvubu – Alto saxophone
Sisonke Xonti – Tenor saxophone
Xaver Ruegg – Bass
Dominic Egli – Drums and cymbals

Lucile Chriqui (France)

Lucile Chriqui, a prize-winning young singer-songwriter, is one of the brightest new talents in French jazz. Blessed with natural musical and vocal flair, she honed her craft training under the American jazz singer Sara Lazarus and the French violinist Didier Lockwood, among others. Her list of collaborators includes rising names in international jazz such as Philippe Baden Powell, Munir Hossn and Nils Frechilla, and she has shared the stage with the renowned French singer Camille. Performing with the group Alba Neiva, Lucile won first prize in the vocal jazz competition category at the 2019 Jazz en Ville festival in Vannes, France. She has also worked on numerous stage and film productions, including a collaboration with the composer Chassol on music for the Netflix series “En place”. Lucile’s music melds influences from Cuba, Andalusia, Brazil and more, with daring harmonies that define an inimitable style

Lucile Chriqui – Vocals
Bruno Schorp – Bass
Arthur Links – Guitar
Gaetan Diaz – Drums

Under the Surface (Netherlands)

Under the Surface is an extraordinary combination of three generations of Dutch musicians seeking communion in improvisation. Sanne Rambag’s voice rhymes, whispers and sings over the melodic lines of Bram Stadhouders’ guitar and the subtle percussion style of Joost Lijbaart, transporting listeners into an almost dreamlike new reality. Their music offers both intellectual and emotional pleasure, springing from unshackled improvisation yet far from abstract, adopting surprising forms akin to thoughtful composition. Their eponymous debut album, released to great acclaim in 2017, was nominated for the Edison, an annual Dutch award for outstanding musical achievement. The group’s live album Trinity, from 2019, captures the essence of a sound they have shared with audiences at major festivals across Europe, Asia, South America, Africa and the Middle East.


Joost Lijbaart – Drums and percussion
Sanne Rambags – Vocals
Bram Stadhouders – Guitar and electronics


Nick Aggs & Cadenza Collective (Australia/Nepal)

The Cadenza Collective, headed by the drummer and composer Navin Chettri, is one of the most unique and eclectic bands to emerge from Kathmandu. The group moves seamlessly across jazz, afro-funk and Nepali folk music, creating a genre-bending sound that’s irresistible to the ears and the booty. In addition to pumping vitality into the improvised music scene in Nepal, Cadenza has played across the world and collaborated with a long list of both Western and traditional Nepali musicians. The Cadenza Collective has seven albums of original music already to its name—the latest is Himalayan Songlines—and is working on a new single due out soon after Jazzmandu.

The Cadenza Collective is joined by the Australian saxophonist and composer Nick Aggs. Hailing from Brisbane, and a key member of the acclaimed Australian fusion band Afro Dizzi Act, Aggs has fronted numerous musical ensembles and performed around the world, collaborating with esteemed musicians such as percussionist Trilok Gurtu, guitarist Jesse Van Ruller, kora virtuoso Jali Buba Kuyateh and many others. Aggs is presently based in Singapore, where he heads a jazz program at the Australian International School and leads his ensemble Space Direct.

Navin Chettri – Drums, percussion and vocals
Nick Aggs – Saxophone
Rajat Rai – Guitar
Samir Chettri – Bass

Palouse Forro(USA)

Drawing its name from its home base in the Palouse region of the northwestern United States and the forró music of northeastern Brazil, the Palouse Forró Experience brings to the world a much-beloved Brazilian genre that is yet to get its international due. The band is led by American accordion player Adrian Crookston, who has played with forró ensembles such as Gente Boa, Xaxado Mission and Forró de Quintal, and has taken his music to audiences across the United States, Europe, South America and Asia.

Adrian Crookston – Accordion and vocals
Navin Chettri – Drums
Rajat Rai – Guitar

Himalayan Highway (Nepal)

A Nepali-American instrumental fusion band formed in Kathmandu, Himalayan Highway weaves together American Bluegrass and old-time Nepali folk music. Inspired by unexpected similarities in the two traditions, the band’s members put a fresh spin on traditional tunes, with infectious harmonies and catchy beats that bring a unique new collaboration to the global music scene.

Prince Nepali – Sarangi
Zoe Levitt – Mandolin
Anish Tamang – Guitar
Yuson Maharjan – Percussion

Samundra Band (Nepal)

Formed in 2004, Samundra celebrates and safeguards the Gandharba community’s long tradition of performing Nepali folk music. Holding firm to typical folk instruments, the ensemble plays age-old Nepali tunes recomposed in new forms, updating cherished old music for contemporary tastes.

Anil Gandharba – sarangi
Subash Gandharba – bansuri
Pujan Gandharba – madal
Ramkrishna Gandharba – arbajo
Buddha Gandharba – kartal

Dhrubesh with Friends of Sukarma (Nepal)

Hailing from one of the country’s most illustrious musical families, Dhruvesh is today recognised as one of the foremost sitar players, musicologists and music educators in Nepal. After first learning to play at home with his father, he completed his training at prestigious academies in India and received lessons from such maestros as Pt. Uma Shankar Mishra. Dhruvesh is a founding member of the popular musical group Sukarma, and has been honoured with various awards and prizes. He is a long-serving professor of music at Padma Kanya Multiple Campus, the head of the department of fine arts at Tribhuvan University, and a founding president of the Nepal Classical Music Society.

Eastern Classical Musicians (Nepal)

Jonisha Poudel – Vocals

As a gifted exponent of khayal, the preeminent genre of Hindustani classical music, Jonisha Poudel has already made a deep mark at a young age. Trained under the guidance of Shree K.C., one of Nepal’s most respected khayal and dhrupad vocalists, she has won multiple honours and performed at many prestigious classical music festivals. She has also studied with Pt. Vishnu Acharya, the renowned Nepali dhrupad singer, and the decorated Indian vocalist Pt. Rajeshwor Acharya. In 2017, she performed a solo concert organised by the Sanskritik Sansthan (National Cultural Corporation). Her talent ranges beyond classical music as well: she has recorded hit songs for the Nepali film industry and been the lead vocalist for the band Vastu.

Santosh Bhakta – Ishraj

Santosh Bhakta Shrestha has dedicated himself to the ishraj for two and a half decades, and has achieved tremendous mastery on this classical instrument. A pupil of Mohan Joshi, Shrestha has performed and toured in Nepal and abroad, and has contributed to hundreds of recordings.

Dhan Bahadur Gurung – Flute

Dhan Bahadur Gurung began his training in the flute at the Kalanidhi School of Music – the same school where he is a teacher today. He has honed his skill with the legendary Ustaad Hariprasad Chaurasia, and was selected the best flautist in the Shastriya Sangeet Samiti competition in 2008.

Nimesh Kapali – Tabla

One of Nepal’s most promising young Tabla players, Nimesh Kapali began his journey in music learning the nadal with his father at the age of three before starting on the tabla at the age of six with his guru Nhuchhe Darshandhari. He went on to study for five years with the late Nepali tabla maestro Rabin Lal Shrestha, and has received instruction from the Indian master Pt. Gourishankar Karmakar. He has won multiple prestigious awards and performed at numerous