Spanish-Nepali Duo ‘Jooni’ Release Debut Album

Amidst the many trending waves hitting the music practice and learning style of urban Kathmandu, Jazz has been one of the most dominant forces. It has been reckoned as the primary tool for creating, incorporating and expressing musical ideas beyond the stereotypical imaginations of the rest of the music fraternity.

Institutions like Kathmandu Jazz Conservatory (KJC), with its initiation back in 2007, have been teaching their ethics to a countless number of alumni taking over the music scene with their hyper-harmonized chord progressions, ever improvising song structures, complex rhythmic patterns and scat singing incorporating vocal-gymnastic exercises.

However, tragically not many groups can withstand the testament of time and eventually dis-band before even releasing any original material, thus, only a handful of groups have actually came-up with something more significant and personal, and ‘Jooni’ is one such brilliant ensemble who are actually making some real changes with their actions rather than mere words.

Led by the directors of KJC, Spanish singer/songwriter Maria Fajardo Martin (Head of Vocals Department and Academic Coordinator) and Nepali pianist/composer Abhisek Bhadra (Academic Director), both outstanding musicians in their own fields, the band comprises of various artists and collaborations with individual musicians form around the globe.

They released their debut seven tracks self-titled album on 2nd May 2020 on all major platforms globally, featuring German bassist Hendrik Muller, Polish guitarist Jacek Chmiel, Korean drummer Sun Mi Hong, Swiss saxophonists Charlotte Lang and Niko Seibold, Chilean guitar/flute ensemble Ser O Duo with Moa Edmunds and Tomas Carrasco, Nepali flutist Sabin Ghising and Tabla player Ashesh Rai.

The duo explains their debut album as, “A collection of journeys; a journey through the city of Kathmandu, that intertwines with the journey that the musicians in this record had to make to find themselves here, the journey that bought them together.

The internal journey Abhisek and Maria made to find the music that spoke both of their truths. And a year later the band finally organized their physical album launch show at North Side Wine Bar, Bansbari, on the evening of 17th April, 2021.

Featuring Ser o Duo on guitars and flute, Sulav Maharjan on upright bass and Kasish Shrestha on drums, the group played some new tunes, their album’s physical copies were on sale and artsy projections were on display.