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Reggae Ska festival in Kathmandu

By Mannu Shahi
image0015The event is the first of its kind Reggae and Ska Festival is to take place in Nepal organized with collaboration from Retro Media Nepal and GigExtra. Three gigs one Saturday after another starting from 9 December are held in different venues that will show case some of the local reggae/ska flavors experimented by the amazing line up of bands. All of the shows are free except for the finale gig at Purple Haze Rock Bar, Thamel, where pre-sales tickets will be charged Rs. 500 and at door the same will cost Rs. 700.
A Ska funk trio based in Kathmandu, Ka!Zuki JJ is coordinating with other prominent names active in this genre within the valley to offer a reggae/ska treat to enthusiastic audience. The band itself serves as the main highlight of the event as they will be performing in all the venues covered by the festival. The band has recently released their debut EP, ‘Bhaisi Ko Masu’, that describes the Newari experience of attending the religious jatras and ritual celebrations. During their initial years the band was led solely by the front-man JJ through various line-up changes until the current shit of members consisting of Jagdish Joshi (vocals/ guitars), Suzen Raj Bajracharya (bass/ backing vocals), and Rajiv Tuladhar (drums / backing vocals).
Similarly the second band to perform in the event is also a Kathmandu based reggae outfit, Joint Family International, very popular among the locals as well as the Kathmandu high crowd. The band has also represented Nepal in the Global Battle of Bands hosted in Thailand in 2013, while they have remained just as dynamic in the music scene back home. The most active line-up of the band was formed on 6 February 2010 to celebrate Bob Marley’s birthday at House of Music. They’ve released their first studio album ‘One Good Thing’ on 2013 which featured their massive hit single Neta Ji, that has crossed boundaries beyond the stereotypical reggae fan followings and have been well acclaimed by average Nepali people who could easily relate to the satirical message the song conveyed to our corrupted leaders. The current line-up features Sanjay Shrestha (guitars/ backing vocals), Anurag Zimba (vocals), Rajat Rai (guitars), Inap Raj Shrestha (Saxophone), Bijent Bikram Shah (bass), Binod Lama Tamang (drums) and Basanta Sunam (trumpet).
Finally, the third band to join the wagon is Cultivation and the Himalions who have been quite vibrant in the local Kathmandu reggae scene for the past couple of years. The band released their debut album on 2016 and has been well received by the critics and their fan followings. The band has created this massive hype among the Kathmandu high crowd that claim to enjoy their performances and follow their musical endeavors. Tashi Cultivation (vocals), Bimal Gurung (bass/ backing vocals), Subash Siwa (guitars), Bhusan Amataya (drums), Jaco Wacko (trumpet) and Pratik Baniya (trombone) together form the energetic and crowd appealing outfit Cultivation and the Himalions.

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