After a busy day of bustling Kathmandu, it was an absolutely pleasant diversion to turn up at a lush venue for some jazz entertainment. Jazzmandu, the biggest jazz party of the Himalayas, this year, started from November 1 and went on for six consecutive days.

The concept of Jazzmandu, which literally is an amalgamation of jazz and Kathmandu, was founded byChhedupBomzan of The Jazz Upstairs Bar and NavinChhetri, the drummer and vocalist of Cadenza. The Kathmandu Jazz Festival first began in 2002with the aim of bringing quality jazz to Nepal, transcend cultural boundaries, and spread the message of peace and compassion through music, and has been doing exactly that every year.

Quality music, bustling venues, and an air of excitement are at the core of Jazzmandu, and it has been successful in promoting jazz in Nepal and bringing in world-class jazz musicians to the audiences of Kathmandu. This year, for the kick-start performance, school students listened intently to the sounds of various artists like AdrienBrandeis, Dave Feusi, and The Groove Gang at Alliance Francais, Jhamsikhel. The ‘Concert for School Students’ continues Jazzmandu’s long tradition of promoting music education and cross-cultural understanding. Other shows of Jazzmandu were held at various venues, such as Yala Maya Kendra, Jazz Upstairs, Kantipur Temple House, House of Music,Moksh, Manny’s Eatery and Tapas Bar, Kathmandu Jazz Conservatory, Gokarna Forest Resort, and Hotel Yak & Yeti.

Over the years, the artistic quality of the line-up hasupgradedas Jazzmandu has chased audiences. Giants of the musicworld from around the globe, such asEduardo Mendonça,Cynthia Abraham, Nick’s Cousins, Abhisek and Maria, and DACHvisited and performed in Kathmandu. However, Jazzmandu not only promotes international musicians, but also, equally, gives importance to local Nepali musicians. Cadenza Collective, Rabin Lal Shrestha Duo, ManmohanThapaliya Sharma, DhanBahadur Gurung, and Project Sarangi Orchestra, all from Nepal, also showcased their music at Kathmandu Jazz Festival. It was a great platform for the local and international musicians to gather genuine fans and promote their music on a whole new level. Each of the artists played refreshing musicand reintroduced the latest jazz energy to Kathmanduites.

The most amazing thing about this particular music festival was how attentive and appreciative the audience was. It was such a delightful way of building engagement and excitement and gathering like-minded people in a cozy environment. Jazzmandu2018 was indeed a great retreat for the music lovers, and it will be back with a bang next year, as well.