By Mannu Shahi
Drumjatra is an annual percussion festival celebrating the role of rhythm and foundation in music. Targeting the urban musically inclined audience, this seven-day festival aims to unify, celebrate, foster and share the joys of percussive timbres from cultures around the world.
The festival is re-operating after their previous debut event in 2019. This year marks only the 2nd edition of the celebration. The festival intends on catering their audience with workshops, jam sessions and evening concerts from April 11–17.
The featured artistes come from a range of genres thriving in the contemporary Kathmandu music scene and also a few international names sharing their own traditional nuances through the lens of percussive and rhythmic structures.
Navin Chettri, drummer and vocalist of popular jazz group Cadenza, is the artistic director of the event. The musician has always preached the values and importance of rhythm in any style of music. At workshops during Jazzmandu festival, also organized by Chettri, the younger followers are encouraged to acknowledge the role of rhythm, the sense of timing, displacement of structures and variations on creating rhythmic vocabularies.
And to further amplify this notion of highlighting the backbone of most musical settings, Chettri teamed up with other aspiring young drummers of Kathmandu to bring forth Drumjatra 2019 and is continuing the journey once again this year.
Featuring prominent local groups like Cadenza Collective, Dhimey Girls, Tamba Group, Folkmandu Society, Himalayan Duo, Kiran Shahi, Mangal Man Maharjan, Salil Subedi, Bijay Shrestha, Nimesh Kapali, Ashesh Rai and Kashish Shrestha, this years’ international line up comprises two musical virtuosos: the Brazilian guitarist, vocalist and percussionist Eduardo Mendonca and the Spanish drummer Guillermo Martin Viana.
The concert schedule for the event will feature Afro-Nepali Funk with Cadenza & Double Drumming on April 12 from 8 pm onwards at Jazz Upstairs, Lazimpat; followed by Sounds of Brazil on April 13 featuring Eduardo Mendonca Quartet & Samba Drumming Ensemble from 7:30 pm at Evoke, Jhamsikhel.
The next show will take place on Moksh, Jhamsikhel featuring a jam session of Cadenza Collective + multi-drummers and visiting artists. It will be followed by Ek Taal night at the Kantipur Temple House, Jyatha, featuring a musical fusion amidst Mangal Man Maharjan, Himalayan Duo, Eduardo Mendonca, Snare Drum Quartet and Tabla Quartet.
On April 16 the festival will take place at the Supper Club, Thamel, featuring Eduardo Mendonca Quartet, Cadenza Collective & Double Drumming from 7:30 pm onwards.
The finale event is at Dhokaima Café, Patan, with performing outfits: Tamba Group, Dhimey Girls, Folkmandu Society, Eduardo Mendonca Quartet, Cadenza Collective & Double Drumming, Salil Subedi, Snare Drum Quartet, Tabla Quartet and Samba Drumming Ensemble.
Likewise, the three-day workshop features Mangal Man Maharjan with “Healing with Singing Bowls” at 10:30 am; Naresh Prajapati with “Introduction to Madal Rhythms and Technique” at 11:15 am; Navin Chettri with “Brazilian Rhythms on the Drum Set” at 1pm held in Kathmandu Jazz Conservatory (KJC), Jhamsikhel on April 11. Bijay Shrestha with “Tabla Accompaniment & Understanding Tihais” at 10 am; Eduardo Mendonca with “Brazilian Rhythm Section” at 11:15 am; Navin Chettri with “Essence of Drum Solos” at 1 pm will also be held at KJC.
The third and final day for the workshop will be held at Music Room, Naxal, and feature Eduardo Mendonca with “Fundamentals of Brazilian Percussion” at 10 am; Kiran Shahi with “time, feel, dynamics and progressive styles on the modern drum kit” at 11:15 am. All workshops are free of cost and are only facilitated to enhance the possibilities and dexterity of aspiring percussionist and drum students residing within the valley.