Part-Time Lecturer of Percussion, Artistic Director World Music Celebration
Navin Chettri is a percussionist, vocalist, composer, educator and the Founder and Artistic Director of The Kathmandu Jazz Festival (Jazzmandu) in Nepal and the Artistic Director of the World Music Celebration at the Lionel Hampton School of Music in the U.S. Leader of the band Cadenza Collective, Chettri is considered to be a pioneer and a driving force behind the growth of Jazz in Nepal. His background and knowledge of music are a blend of Nepali folk music, Indian classical influences, West African sounds and jazz.
A Hampton Scholar, Navin received his undergraduate and Master’s degree in percussion performance and composition from the Lionel Hampton School of Music. As a music educator, Navin started teaching in 1996 at the Elites’ Co-ed School and was the head of the music department for six years. He has directed many Broadway musicals for high schools in Katmandu, including, Sister Act II, Sound of Music, Annie and Grease. He also started the Music for School Students program in Kathmandu, which has been running successfully in many prestigious schools around the Kathmandu valley since 2003. He recently opened a performing arts center for dedicated music students called The Kathmandu Music Room.
His band Cadenza Collective has recorded and released five albums, The latest album, Back to the Roots, released in February 2014, is further evidence of his interest in pushing boundaries. With their unique jazz, Nepaliafro-funk sound, far from popular mainstream music, the album was nominated in five categories for the 2014 Nepal Hits FM Music Awards. They won Best Pop/Rock Composition for their song “Namaste,” and Best Pop/Rock Album of the Year.
As a percussionist and vocalist, Navin has studied various styles of music from West Africa, Latin America and Asia, and has traveled around the world performing at prestigious venues, including the ELB Jazz Festival in Hamburg, Germany, La Baiser Sale in Paris, Shape Shifter Lab and Drom in NYC, Palmer Street Jazz Festival in Australia and other numerous venues in Asia, Europe and the U.S.
Currently in addition to teaching percussion at Lionel Hampton he is working on a recording project with his new ensemble “Goonj" based in NYC.
“Any band is only ever as good as its drummer and this one is surprisingly good.”
Sting, Walking on the Moon, Men’s Journal (England)
“Chettri is a gifted chant-and-scat vocalist and a creative drummer whose foundations constantly elevate even average performances from other players.”
Mark Sabbatini, www.allabout jazz.com
“Multi-talented Navin who with Cadenza has put Nepali jazz on the map, locally and internationally.”
Neal Sellers, Jazz Chord (Australia)