The drumbeat of Kathmandu
Mark your calendars. Drum Jatra 2022: Nepal’s Percussion Festival returns on 11 April with yet another bang. After a Covid hiatus of more than two years, the festival is back for a week-long in-person live concerts with a sonorous confluence of traditional and modern musical instruments, to the heartbeat of percussion.
The slogan for this year is ‘Rhythms of Unity in Diversity,’ and the festival will feature a colourful spectrum of percussion instruments performed by top drummers from Nepal and international artists.
“Drums are an integral part of any composition, whether it is jazz or Brazilian or classical,” says artistic director Navin Chhetri, organiser of the popular annual Jazzmandu festival in earlier years.
“The special part about this edition is that we are able to organise it this year, especially after Covid, and to finally bring the diverse music to our community.”
Indeed, drums will be on the forefront of the weeklong concerts, incorporating both solo and featured elements of percussion music.
Sultry pre-monsoon Kathmandu will reverberate from 11 to 17 April to the feet-stomping beats of tabla, dhimey, drums, singing bowl, didgeridoo, damphu, tungna, and sitar across six venues in Kathmandu Valley, seamlessly blending the unique musical tradition and culture from around the world.
Sounds from the Himalaya include Tamba Group, Kiran Shahi, Folkmandu Society, Dhimey Girls, Navin Chhetri, Cadenza Collective, Ashesh Rai, Bijay Shrestha, Mangal Man Maharjan, Salil Subedi, Kashish Shrestha and Nimesh Kapali.
Also playing are Eduardo Mendonça from Brazil and Guillermo Martín-Viana from Spain, adding a versatile sonic texture to the genre-bending polyphony of jazz, afro-funk, Nepali folk, Indigenous and classical music.
Keeping with the tradition of the festival, the first three days will offer free workshops by experts for aspiring musicians on the numerous percussion instruments and styles at the Kathmandu Jazz Conservatory, Jhamsikhel on 11 – 12 April and Music Room in Naxal on 13 April. The finale will take place at the Yala Maya Kendra at Dhokaima Café in Patan.
DRUM JATRA 2022
Cadenza Collective & Double Drumming
Afro- Nepali Funk
12 April, Tuesday 8:00pm to 10:00pm
Jazz Upstairs, Lazimpat
The opening night concert of Drum Jatra 2022 will feature Cadenza Collective & Double Drumming, creating infectious grooves with a spectacle of diverse percussion instruments at the one and only, Jazz Upstairs!
SOUNDS OF BRAZIL
Eduardo Mendonça Quartet & Samba Drumming Ensemble
13 April, Wednesday 7:30pm to 9:30pm
Featuring Eduardo Mendonça from Bahia, Brazil, the evening will resound with the rhythms and melodies of Brazilian music along with the Samba Drumming Ensemble.
DRUM JATRA JAM AT MOKSH
Cadenza Collective/ Afro-Nepali Funk
+Multi-Drummers & Visiting Artists
14 April, Thursday 8:00pm to 10:00pm
Cadenza Collective will bring their unique sound of Afro-Nepali Funk, and a special Drum Jatra jam session with multi-drummers and visiting guest artists to Moksh.
Musical Fusion & Subtle Sounds of Percussion
Featuring: Mangal Man Maharjan, Himalayan Duo, Eduardo Mendonça,
Snare Drum Quartet, Tabla Quartet
15 April, Friday 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Kantipur Temple House, Jyatha, Thamel
The beautiful and intimate setting of the Kantipur Temple House will come alive with the delicate and charismatic colours of diverse percussion instruments and the musical fusion of Brazilian melodies with Nepali folk rhythms, jazz fusion with sitar & drums, and the enchanting sound of gongs & singing bowls.
GROOVIN AT SUPPER CLUB
EDUARDO MENDONCA QUARTET / CADENZA COLLECTIVE & DOUBLE DRUMMING
Brazilian Music & Afro-Nepali Funk
16 April, Saturday 7:30pm to 9:30pm
Supper Club, Thamel
A night of grooves and moves for your ear and booty with West African influenced rhythms from the shores of Rio to the bustle of Kathmandu.
DRUM JATRA FINALE
Featuring: Tamba Group(Women’s Tamang Selo Ensemble), Dhime Girls, Folkmandu Society, Eduardo Mendonça Quartet, Cadenza Collective & Double Drumming, Salil Subedi, Snare Drum Quartet, Tabla Quartet, Samba Drumming Ensemble.
17 April, Sunday 7:00pm to 9:30pm
Dhokaima Cafe, Yala Maya Kendra, Patan
The Drum Jatra Finale will showcase some of the top highlights of the festival performers with high energy drumming traditions spanning from traditional Nepali drums to Brazilian rhythms and Afro-Nepali Funk at Yala Maya Kendra's ambience-filled courtyard.
DRUM JATRA 2022 WORKSHOPS
Kathmandu Jazz Conservatory, Jhamsikhel
11 April, Monday
10:00 am – 11:00 am | Healing with Singing Bowls – Mangal Man Shrestha
11:15 am – 12:15 am | Introduction to Madal Rhythms and Techniques – Naresh Prajapati
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm | Brazilian Rhythms on the Drum Set – Navin Chhetri
12 April, Tuesday
10:00 am – 11:00 am | Tabla Accompaniment and Understanding Tihais – Bijay Shrestha
11:15 am – 12:15 am | Brazilian Rhythms Section – Eduardo Mendonça
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm | Essence of Drum Solos – Navin Chhetri
Music Room, Naxal
13 April, Wednesday
10:00 am – 11:00 am | Fundamentals of Brazilian Percussion – Eduardo Mendonça
11:15 am – 12:15 am | Time, feel/ dynamics and progressive styles on the modern drum kit – Kiran Shahi