JAZZMANDU (10 days)

Saxophonist

©iStockphoto.com/emre ogan

special(Departure September, October – annually)
The Only Jazz Extravaganza in the Himalayas!
Music and art allows us to learn about other cultures through its people’s observations, beliefs and self- expression. By exploring the world of music and art you also discover mankind’s fascination with portraying life through various medias as diverse as life’s experience itself. Only through understanding how people believe in the place where they live can we begin to understand their culture and that puzzle piece of the world as a whole. Past performers at JAZZMANDU have included Peter Rowan, country jazz rocker and Manose, a one of a kind flute player.

Day 1 – Welcome to Kathmandu
Arrive in Kathmandu, where you are met and transferred to your lovely accommodations. This evening enjoy a welcome dinner with traditional Nepali cuisine.

Accommodation: Hotel Manaslu or Hotel Tibet
Meals: JAZZMANDU Orientation, Dinner & Dance Performance

Day 2 – (October 23) Explore Kathmandu & Launch JAZZMANDU!
Today’s tour of Kathmandu includes the Temple of the Living Goddess, Durbar Square, the Hanuman Dhoka Palace, the 2,000-year-old Swayambunath Temple, and the colorful lanes and alleyways of the local market place. This afternoon travel to the southwestern end of the Kathmandu Valley to visit In the ancient city of Patan, the “City of Grace and Fine Arts,” famous for its exquisite temples and talented artists. See the historical Newari Temple Complex and visit a metal workers shop making religious statues for both Hindus and Buddhists. Evening launch party for JAZZMANDU!

Kathmandu is located at an elevation of 4,600 feet in a bowl-shaped valley in central Nepal surrounded by four major hills: Shivapuri, Phulchowki, Nagarjun and Chandragiri. Spectacular views of the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas from can be seen from the town as well as a magnificent view of Mt. Everest. The city’s rich history is nearly 2000 years old and its religious affiliations are predominantly Hindu followed by Buddhism. The indigenous people of the valley, the Newars, are known for their superb metal working and stone and wood carving. Swayambunath or “Monkey Temple” named so for the many “sacred” monkeys living around the temple occupies a central position in the valley and is visited by both Hindus and Buddhists. It is the second most sacred next to Boudhanath for Tibetan Buddhists.

Patan is a major city near Kathmandu and is known for its traditional handicrafts, and cottage industries. Patan or “Lalitpur” as it once called has produced the highest number of renowned artists and finest craftsmen ever recorded in the history of Nepali art. Even in the face of rapid urbanization and many social and political upheavals, Patan has maintained a culture of art and craft work and remains is less urbanized than Kathmandu. There are wonderful temples to visit, arts to learn about and now, JAZZMANDU!

JAZZMANDUof the only jazz festival held in the Himalayas –Kathmandu, Nepal. The idea behind the founders of JAZZMANDU, Chhedup Bomzan of The Jazz Upstairs Bar, and Navin Chettri, drummer and vocalist of Cadenza, was to bring quality jazz to Nepal, transcend cultural boundaries, and spread the message of peace and compassion through music. In a country such as Nepal which has been so impacted by its main industry tourism and drastic political transition this is quite a strong statement. Jazz musicians and aficionados come from all over the world to unite for 8 days and learn not only about jazz but about Nepal and one another.

The JAZZMANDU Festival also organizes free educational music programs, workshops and clinics for school students around Kathmandu. Students are invited from different schools to experience live and interactive performances of jazz performed by some of the world’s top musicians. This is a great opportunity for Nepali students to see artists from different parts of the world—an opportunity most of them would otherwise never experience. With the aim of giving a platform for up and coming musicians, there is also a music competition known as “Jazz for the Next Generation”. This music competition encourages and acknowledges the efforts and skills of budding Nepali musicians.

Accommodation: Hotel Manaslu or Hotel Tibet
Meals: Breakfast

Day 3 – Discover the Valley & Evening Jazz Performances
After breakfast travel to the outskirts of Kathmandu to see The Great Stupa of Boudhanath, one of the holiest Buddhist sites in Nepal and one of the world’s largest stupas. Visit a thanka painter to see how Tibetans preserve their ancient art of religious iconography. The tour continues on to the Pashupatinath Temple, Hindu’s holiest shrine on the banks of the Bagmati River. Here you will see real modern day sadhus who have renounced the world to live the life of an ascetic. The rest of the afternoon and evening will be free to attend performances of the 10th annual JAZZMANDU Festival.

The ancient Buddhist stupa of Boudhanath dominates the skyline and is one of the largest in the world. The influx of large populations of Tibetan refugees from Tibet since the 1950’s has seen the construction of over 50 Tibetan monasteries and centers in and around Boudhanath. Tibetans in exile have created a strong thriving and preserved Tibetan culture. Since 1979 Boudhanath has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Stupa is located on the ancient trade route from Tibet which enters the Kathmandu Valley through the village of Sankhu in the northeast corner, passes by Boudnath Stupa to the ancient and smaller stupa of Cā-bahī (often called ‘Little Boudnath’) and then turns directly south, heading over the Bagmati river to Patan. Tibetan merchants have rested and offered prayers here for many centuries. The Stupa is said to entomb the remains of Kassapa Buddha.

Pashupatinath Temple is the oldest Hindu temple in Kathmandu and dates back to 400 A.D. and was where the deity, Pashupati, gained great fame as the Lord of the Animals. The richly-ornamented pagoda houses the sacred linga or phallic symbol of Lord Shiva. Thousands of pilgrims from all over the world come to pay homage to this temple. There are many legends describing as to how the temple of Lord Pashupatinath came to existence here. One of the best known is the Cow Legend which says that Lord Shiva once took the form of an antelope and roamed unknown in the forest on Bagmati river’s east bank. The gods later caught up with him, and grabbing him by the horn, forced him to resume his divine form. The broken horn was worshipped as a linga but overtime it was buried and lost. Centuries later an astonished herdsmen found one of his cows showering the earth with milk. Digging deep at the site, he discovered the divine linga of Pashupatinath.

Accommodation: Hotel Manaslu or Hotel Tibet
Meals: Breakfast

Day 4 – Bhaktapur & Afternoon/Evening Performances
This morning’s tour takes you to Bhaktapur, once the ancient capital of Nepal during the great Malla Kingdom until the second half of the 15th century and now known for its traditional culture. Your tour of this historic city includes the Golden Gate and the Palace of Fifty-Five Windows. Visit a traditional wood carver and learn about his craft. The afternoon and evening will be free to attend performances of the 10th annual JAZZMANDU Festival.

Bhaktapur or the “City of Devotees” is the home of traditional art and architecture, historical monuments and craft works, magnificent windows, pottery and weaving industries, excellent temples, beautiful ponds, rich local customs, culture and religious festivals. Bhaktapur remains untouched by modernization as well as a preserved ancient city. This magnificent Palace of Fifty-Five Windows was built during the in 1427 A.D. and remodeled in the seventeenth century. Among the brick walls, with their gracious setting and sculptural design, is a balcony of fifty-five windows which is considered to be a unique masterpiece of woodcarving. The Golden Gate is the entrance to the Palace.

Accommodation: Hotel Manaslu or Hotel Tibet
Meals: Breakfast

Day 5 – Early Morning drive to Namo Buddha & Afternoon/Evening Performances
Visit the holy site of Namo Buddha (a 45 minute drive from Kathmandu) which has drawn pilgrims to this sacred spot for centuries. According to legend, Lord Buddha is believed to have sacrificed his own flesh to feed a starving tigress and her cubs. A carved stone slab depicts this Buddhist tale of selfless compassion and sacrifice. Explore the surrounding area before returning for performances of JAZZMANDU.

Namo Buddha is the third of the most sacred Buddhist pilgrimage sites in the valley after Boudhanath and Swayambunath. Located high on a hill its environment is very clean with no pollution, its air fresh. Namo Buddha is known also for meditation practice and retreats. Beautiful views of snow-covered Himalayan ranges are not to be missed!

Accommodation: Hotel Manaslu or Hotel Tibet
Meals: Breakfast

Day 6 – Himalayan Healers & More Jazz Performances
Discover Himalayan Healers and learn about the wonderful work that Rob, the owner, is doing. Himalayan Healers is a Healing Arts School and collection of Spa Boutiques, with branches in both Nepal and in the United States. It is the only project in the world that trains “Untouchables” in the Healing Arts. Receive a massage. Early evening performances at JAZZMANDU.

Himalayan Healers is a project from the heart of Rob Buckley. Because of Rob’s dedication people who may have not had a chance at an honest living are now working with an education and their dignity.

“The idea to create the Himalayan Healers project crossed Rob Buckley’s mind while he was attending massage school. Near graduation, while sitting in a circle at class, each student was taking turns sharing their hopes for their future in massage. The inspiration to open the first professional massage school in Nepal – and to have it focus primarily upon returning the power of touch to “Untouchables” – came as a surprise to everyone, including Rob. Luckily, he followed his heart, began trading massages for frequent flier miles, gave away most of his “stuff”, and flew out to Nepal to start building the project from the ground up. Rob has worked on a voluntary basis for the past seven years, taking out personal loans, turning down employment opportunities in the States, and generating support from family and friends, to build this project.”

Accommodation: Hotel Manaslu or Hotel Tibet
Meals: Breakfast

Day 7 – Lotus Gallery/Indigo Gallery & JazzmanduThis morning you visit the Lotus Gallery (Thamel) which promotes modern day Himalayan art and also visit the Indigo Gallery, also known for its Newari paintings. The Indigo Gallery is next to a well- known Ex-Pat restaurant called Mike’s started by a former peace corp volunteer in the garden of an old Rana house. Attend a mid-afternoon Jazz workshops, time permitting before an early evening drive to Nagarkot.

The Lotus Gallery is a fine art gallery specializing in contemporary art from Nepal and Tibet started in 2000 by Santosh Gupta and Jim Aplington. Their goals are in aiding Tibetan artists and developing new avenues to expose their art, exclusively represent Nepali master artists such as Lama Tenzing of Dolpo and Prem Lama of Kathmandu and continually work on collaborative projects to generate financial aid for underprivileged villages in Nepal. They donate warm clothing and services for those who are disadvantaged. Jim Aplington gives art presentations during his time staying in the United States.

Indigo Gallery was founded twenty three years ago to foster the traditional arts of Nepal, particularly the Newar school of painting as seen in the ancient scrolls known in Newari as “paubha”. An expansion into an old Rana/Newar private home has enabled the gallery to expand into another art media, the field of sculpture. The gallery director, James Giambrone, has 25 years of experience working with the traditional bronze casters of Patan. The gallery has hosted exhibitions of modern painting, sculpture, photos and textiles and also hosts a series of evening slide shows and lectures on diverse subjects pertaining to the art and culture of the Himalayan region.

Nagarkot is surrounded by lush forested hills of pine trees and agricultural villages. It is a rustic resort area high on a hilltop on the northern fringe of the Kathmandu valley which offers great views of the Himalayas especially of the Langtang range. Nagarkot is known for its sunsets and spectacular sunrises over the entire valley. There are short trails around the town and longer hikes for those adventurers. An overnight here offers a nice break from the vibrant city.

Accommodation: The Fort Resort
Meals: Breakfast

Day 8 – Nagarkot & Jazzmandu
Early morning sunrise over the great Himalaya snow- capped peaks. Early morning hike with guide to Sankhu (4 hours) where you will be met and driven to your accommodations (or you can opt to drive back from Nagarkot). Evening performances JAZZMANDU.

Day 9 – (October 31) Free Morning & Finale of JAZZMANDU
Your morning is free to shop on your last day in Nepal. Enjoy a farewell dinner before attending the last performance of Jazzmandu.

Kathmandu is known for its silver jewelry, endless patterns and colors of cotton clothing and elegant silks, carpets and rugs, thankas, religious statues and other cultural artifacts.

Accommodation: Hotel Manaslu or Hotel Tibet
Meals: Breakfast, Farewell dinner

Day 10 – Depart Kathmandu
Transfer to the airport for your departure flight.

This itinerary is subject to change in order to accommodate performances and events for Jazzmandu. The full schedule of events has not been released yet.

CALL NOW to BOOK 415-331-3791

Includes:

- Roundtrip airport transfers
- Accommodation as per itinerary with all taxes and service charges included
- Sightseeing as per itinerary with English speaking guide
- Breakfast daily with orientation dinner and farewell dinner
- All taxes and service charges included
- Performance tickets
- Massage

Does not include:

- International air ticket
- gratuity
- personal expenses
- visa
- trip insurance

CALL NOW to BOOK 415-331-3791