Katjazz International Festival 2023 ready to kick off

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By Mannu Shahi,Kathmandu Jazz Conservatory (KJC) is a prominent music institution located in Jhamsikhel, Lalitpur advocating Jazz studies in Nepal since 2007. 

The institution’s collective aim is to train the next generation of artistes, musicians, producers, sound engineers, composers and songwriters to feed the increasing demand for music within Nepal's flourishing creative scene. 

Belonging to the vibrant Gyan Mandala Community, it facilitates the students with ample opportunities to perform and utilise the concert hall at Moksh as well as the recording space at Katjazz’s studio for a wholesome music-making and performing experience. KJC's faculty includes global instructors and popular Nepali creatives amalgamating to foster a nurturing environment for the growth and development of their recruits. 

Apart from its regular one-on-one classes, the conservatory has also extended its discourse with the addition of diploma programmes specialising in various generic studies. These courses help shape music aspirants into creative individuals equipped to comprehend the arduous industry standards.

And KJC, like each year, is all geared up to celebrate their month-long celebration of music via Katjazz International Festival 2023. Several performances and attractions have been scheduled over a 14-day period from April 17 to April 30.

These series of music concerts have been a part of the institution for quite a few years; however, with the hindrance in the live music industry during the pandemic, the festival was also halted post-2019 and is returning back livelier and more vibrant this year.     

The festival features global attractions like Nico Weber Kwartett (Germany), Juliana Rodrigues (Brazil), Michael Arbenz (Switzerland), Maximilian Shaikh-Yousef (Germany), Carlos Heredia (Ecuador), and Natasha Ejaz (Pakistan); collaboration projects like Wayne Shorter Tribute Project (Germany, France, Nepal, India), and Gyan KJC Residency (Nepal, Chile, Germany, Switzerland); and Nepali acts like A Sound From Void, Ghugu'Mugu, and Student Recitals.

Aside from the concerts, this festival will also be accommodating interested participants with free workshop classes facilitated by the performing acts and the in-house educators of the KJC. 

The series will kick off with KJC student recitals from the 2021-2023 batch happening at Moksh and Beers N' Cheers from April 17 to April 21. 

It is followed by the performance at Three By Four, Sanepa, on April 22, titled Jazz Across Borders, featuring Carlos Heredia, Juliana Rodrigues Trio, Tribute to Wayne Shorter and Ghugu'mugu. 

Two days later, on April 24, the series will continue at Electric Pagoda, Thamel, featuring a jam session – The Global Groove. The very next day, at Bass & Treble, a key workshop ‘The Piano Dialogues’ is scheduled for solo piano exploration featuring Michael Arbenz and Juliana Rodrigues. 

On April 26, the concert Gyan KJC Residency will be held at Moksh, Jhamsikhel, featuring an array of global and Nepali musicians, such as Ser O' Duo, Michael Arbenz, Maximilian Shaikh-Yousef, Shree Kc, Santosh Bhakta, Milesh Tandukar, Pushpa Palanchoke, Manice Gandharva and Prabin Lakhaju. The very next day, on April 27, a collision of jazz and pop featuring Natasha Ejaz and A Sound From Void will be showcased at Beers N' Cheers, Jhamsikhel. 

On April 28, Nico Weber Quartet featuring Maximilian Shaikh-Yousef is scheduled to perform at Dhokaima Café. Subsequent to this, on April 29, Juliana Rodrigues and friends will be performing at Gyanmandala fascinating the audience through a journey of Samba, Bossa Nova and beyond in a free concert titled Conexao Brazil. 

Nico Weber Quartet and Juliana Rodrigues will be performing at the concluding celebration of International Jazz Day, on April 30, at Moksh. For further info on the performances and workshops, you can check out KJC's social handles.

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