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The Back Roads Beat: Burning And Chilling At Jazzmandu 2005

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By Mark Sabbatini
AllAboutJazz.com

Most other places it'd be an ordinary night at a small jazz festival. Here it's culture shock in reverse.

The showcase event of Jazzmandu 2005 featured eight bands performing fusion-oriented jazz and Nepali music for seven hours on two stages. Roughly 500 listeners gathered on the lawn of a swanky golf resort on the outskirts on Kathmandu for the second day of the eight-day festival, clustering around smoky wood fires in large buckets constantly nursed by workers with diesel from small plastic bottles.

For locals, it was a pricey opportunity to indulge their curiosity about music never or rarely heard. For most foreigners - maybe all - it was a secondary diversion from long-distance treks, expatriate work and other primary reasons for visiting Nepal. ... [MORE]







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