Ashesh Nekhvam
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Ashesh Nekhvam


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"Ashesh and Nekhvam - The Himalayan Hendrix is coming to the UK"

03 August, 2011

Nepal?s outstanding rock band ?Ashesh and Nekhvam? will bring their unique blend of retro blues rock to Britain for the first time as part of their New Spirit Europe tour this summer.

Ashesh, known as ?the Himalayan Hendrix??, and his band Nekhvam will play dates across the UK culminating in a headline appearance at this year?s Edinburgh Mela, the first rock band from Nepal to play in the UK.

Ashesh and Nekhvam are huge stars in their native Kathmandu and have an increasing international following. Lead singer Ashesh Dongol said: ?We are thrilled to be able to meet and play for our fantastic fans in the UK. The blues is always our inspiration and passion, but we try to add our own special element to our music.?

The band?s UK agent Janis Binnie said: ?Don?t try to imagine what a blues band from Nepal might sound like, just listen to them. They will amaze you.

?Their blend of retro blues rock and Eastern rhythms has everyone on their feet and the energy on stage is incredible.?

One of this year?s headline acts at the Edinburgh Mela from 2 to 4 September, one of the UK?s largest multi-cultural festivals attracting 34,000 visitors in 2010. Nekhvam kick off their UK tour in Edinburgh on the 5 August, followed by Glasgow on the 11 August before heading down to play a number of shows and festivals in the London area.

Ashesh and Nekhvam are returning to play several festivals in Europe this year including Norway and the renowned ?Fabrik? rock club in Hamburg, Germany but this is the band?s first visit to the UK.

Many of the group?s distinctive songs are written in English and Newari and they formed in 1994 as a blues trio - Nekhvam means ?crazy about music? or "addicted to music" in the Newari language. Their music has a deep vein of the essential blues spirit of humbleness and poverty that speaks of the many challenges the people of Nepal still face.

Their third album, ?New Spirit?, is due for release this summer and follows ?Free Spirit II?. The band members are Ashesh Dangol, guitar/vocal and songwriter; Suraj Lama, bass guitar and Rajiv Tuladher on drums. -

"Nepali Band Ashesh and Nekhvam European Tour"

Nepali Band Ashesh and Nekhvam European Tour

Written by: Thomas Colvin on November 1, 2011.

Nepali blues-rock band Ashesh and Nekhvam successfully mounted its third European tour this summer, returning to its native Nepal on 24 September. Ashesh and Nekhvam performed in Norway, Scotland, England and Germany, participating in several music festivals and appearing at a number of clubs.

Ashesh and Nekhvam was established in 1994 by brothers Ashesh and Sibesh Dangol. “Nekhvan,” incidentally, means “crazy about music” in the local Newari language. The band has now established a firm reputation in Europe, first touring there in 2007. The German press reports that front man Ashesh is already popularly known in Europe as “The Himalayan Hendrix.” The band has recorded three albums: Free Spirit, Free Spirit II and New Spirit. During its tour, promoted as ”The New Spirit Tour,” the band performed selections from its albums, as well as songs from Hendrix, Cream and the Blues legends.

Ashesh and Nekhvam started this year’s tour at the Blues and Balance Festival in Husvaer, Norway, located on a very beautiful Island. This was their second time at the festival, and the band has already been booked to return again next summer. Their invitations were arranged by a fellow Nepali, now residing in Norway, as a tribute to his brother, who died in a mountaineer expedition in Nepal.

The band was in Norway on the day of the tragic massacre of many Norwegian young people by a deranged gunman. At its performance the following night, the band paid tribute to the victims with a solemn, newly-composed blues titled Sound for the Innocence, which was captured and shared on YouTube. The band also wrote a commemorative poem Sound for the Innocence, which was published in the local newspaper in Sandefjord, Norway.

A chance encounter in a Kathmandu bar led to Ashesh and Nekhvam’s performance in a music festival in Loxwood, Sussex, England. Festival organizer Ian became friends with the band during a recent visit to Nepal, and he immediately booked the band for this summer’s event. In fact, Ian introduced the band as “the main headliner of the show.” More than that, Ian served as band manager in England, booking additional gigs in venues around the country.

The band also played at the Edinburg Mela Festival, one of the biggest in Scotland. Ashesh and Nekhvam is the first Nepali band, in fact the first Blues Rock band from Asia to perform there..

Included in its tour of the United Kingdom were a number of charity performances:

Alter Ega Bar, London, for the education of children in Nepal
Charity Dinner, Reading, England, for the development of sports in Nepal
Nice and Sleazy, Glasgow, Scotland, charity for Botanical Garden for the Nepali in Scotland
It’s All Gravey Festival, Sussex, England, charity for the education of the African poor
Ashesh and Nekhvam concluded its tour in Germany. It is the first Nepali band to play in the big German festival/venue Fabrik in Hamburg, where legends like B.B King, Miles Davis, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, and Nirvana have performed. This year’s appearance is the band’s second at the prestigious festival. Following its 2010 performance, Stafen, the press manager of Fabrik, reported that the band was a big surprise for organizers and audience, citing its amazing performance. This year Stafen said that the band’s performance was even more successful than that last year, with the audience shouting at the end of the set, “One more, one more, one more!” The band obliged with an encore, before yielding the stage to the next band. Reflecting later about this event, Ashesh said, “It was a great success in Fabrik, Hamburg. But to play in a venue like that is a tough job to do.” The band has already been booked for next years festival.

Added to the band;s itinerary was a performance at the Remember Jimi Festival in Fehmarn, Germany. This is the town where Jimi Hendrix played the last concert of his life. According to Ashesh, ”Being part of this festival, Remembring Jimi, and giving him a tribute performance made this the most memorable concert in this tour. We also went to see his stone marker carved with his name and guitar.”

With this tour, Ashesh and Nekhvam has proved again to the world that music can bring people together with Love, Peace and Harmony.

New Spirit Europe Tour 2011

23 July: Blues and Balance Festival, Norway

5 August: Leith Masonic Hall, Edinburgh

11 August: Nice n Sleazy, Glasgow

12 August: Alter Ega Bar, Balham, London, UK

14 August: UK NNRA Charity Event, Reading, UK

17 August: The Forester’s Arms, Kirdford, West Sussex

20 and 21 August: It’s All Gravy Festival, Sussex, UK

3 September: Edinburgh Mela 2011

4 September: Edinburgh Mela 2011

9 September: ‘Herzburg unterm Dach’ Festival, Fabrik, Hamburg, Germany - Blues Asia Net work

"Vivo en Espa?a"

When Spaniards aren't busy fighting bulls or enjoying a lazy siesta, they are most likely having a good time with great music thumping in the background. Or, they go one step further and organise huge international concerts, apparently in better style than most. One very talented Nepali band had the chance to see just how well these things go.

Nekhvam, one of the country's premier blues bands, played last month at the Almar Festival in Almeria, Spain. Every year the city of Almeria hosts an extravagant month-long musical extravegenza with musicians of the calibre of The Rolling Stones, Steve Vai, and Jethro Tull, to name but a few. And this year, also Nekhvam.

"That was the experience of a lifetime," shares says guitarist and vocalist Ashesh Dongol. "We broke the stereotype there. Most people from different countries played their native music, but we went straight ahead with the blues. And the crowd loved it," adds Sibesh Dongol, Nekhvam's bassist. The band was especially pleased that, although they were playing the blues, the crowd didn't expect them to sing in English or stick to covers of classics. "They wanted to hear our original numbers?those were the ones for which we got repeated encore requests. It was amazing to hear the Spaniards sing our songs which included Nepali numbers, with us," he beams.

On 27 June, Nekhvam pulled out all stops. "Initially our show run was allocated at one hour and fifteen minutes. When we finished after two straight hours, the crowd was hungry for more, and were still asking for encores," says Ashesh. After that, Nekhvam were the stars of the Almar Festival and media darlings for the rest of their tour in Spain.

But more than the interviews and rave reviews, Nekhvam takes the most pride in being asked to play at the famous Clasi Jazz Club. The club is a mecca for musicians and is very selective about who plays there. Its select schedule is sometimes booked for six months in advance. Nekhvam were invited to play at the club for a handpicked crowd of 300 people who were mesmerised by the quality of their music.

The tour was memorable, but the band deems the lessons they learnt along the way even more important. "The experience has shown us that Nepali artistes are as good as the international ones," says Ashesh. Now Nekhvam wants to get even better.
- Wave

"Nekvham and the Nepali blues"

The tunes by Ashesh and Nekvham are a throwback to the late 1960s to the mid 1970s, an era that consecrated the genre of blues rock. The 16-year-old Kathmandu band sampled numbers from its forthcoming June album New Spirit at the House of Music in Thamel last week.

Ashesh Dangol on guitar and vocal, Pujan Shrestha on bass, and Rajiv Tuladhar on drums make up the thunderous trio, whose original compositions in English and Nepali transcend the run-of-the-mill covers so prevalent in the valley.

New Spirit, the group's third album, sustains the definitive sound of their previous Free Spirit and Free Spirit II, fusing bluesy improvisation with experimental resolutions of psychedelic rock. Dangol's deftness with the plectrum edges on genius. His sets culminate in electric feedback and reverb, evocative of iconic performances by The Jimi Hendrix Experience and the Grateful Dead.

At its essence Ashesh and Nekvham echoes the earliest bellows of the blues, cried out in melancholic spirituals and work songs in the American Deep South. In his self-written "Broomstick Seller," Dangol sings about his former life as a peddler, while the lyrics of "In My Brother's Blues" by the band's Norwegian sponsor Jon Gandal pay tribute to the 56-year relationship between Gandal and his deceased twin brother, Sven.

Gandal, a published author and climbing enthusiast, stumbled upon the band in 2010 in Thamel months after his brother had perished in a tragic boat accident. The chance encounter engendered a melodious partnership that has brought the band to Europe last summer.

"When you hear Norwegian and European bands play the blues, it's superficial. But this band goes deep with a range of emotions and music much closer to the original roots of the blues," says Gandal. Roused by the success of its European tour that included a gig at the renowned Fabrik in Hamburg, the band is booked to headline in Scotland, Germany, and Norway in July.

"In Norway the organiser was skeptical about a Nepali blues band and gave us only 30 minutes to play," Dangol recalls. "We ended up jamming for five hours with the crowd on their feet playing air guitar."

Despite its warm European reception, the band has faced difficulty at home with an industry saturated in pop. Dangol hopes that their upcoming tour would spotlight Nepal on the international rock-music stage and gain them recognition in the local Nepali scene.

Ashesh and Nekvham's collaboration with Gandal yields spirited tracks true to the blues, resonating with the music of human struggle. Says Gandal: "My brother, my best friend and climbing mate, was addicted to the blues, and at the time, I didn't understand why. I was looking for him in the mountains, the sea and everywhere, but I found him in the blues." - Nepali Times

"The Jimi from Kathmandu"

The Jimi from Kathmandu

FROM ISSUE #575 (21 OCT 2011 - 27 OCT 2011) | TABLE OF CONTENTS

Ashesh and Nekhvam, a blues rock sensation from Nepal has just returned from its 70-day New Spirit Europe Tour 2011 in Norway, Scotland, England and Germany.

Ashesh and Nekhvam is the first Nepali band and the first blues rock band from Asia to play in the biggest festival and venues like Fabrik in Germany and Edinburgh. They also performed at the Blues and Balance in Husvaer, Norway, It's All Gravy Festival in England and the Remember Jimi Festival in Germany.

Their numbers like 'Leeches Blues', 'In Search of Freedom' and 'Sound of Innocence' got rave reviews from European fans. 'Sound of Innocence' was composed and written in Norway and was dedicated to the victims of the 22 July terrorist attack in Norway.

The exotic Nepali band got lots of media coverage with critics calling Ashesh 'the Jimi Hendrix from Kathmandu'. 'Last year it was a big surprise for Fabrik because of the amazing performance by Ashesh and Nekhvam,' wrote the German media, 'and this year again it's been one of the greatest surprise …the band from Nepal has amazing energy.' In Fehmarn in Germany, the Nepali band also played tributes to Jimi Hendrix to loud applause and shouts for an encore.

The Kathmandu-based band was started 17 years ago and has Ashesh Dangol on guitar and vocal, Pujan Shrestha on bass, and Rajiv Tuladhar on drums. New Spirit, the group's third album, fuses blues with rock.

The band's Norwegian sponsor is Jon Gandal, who first heard Ashesh in a Thamel bar and brought him to Norway for a concert in tribute to his mountaineer twin brother who drowned in a tragic accident.

Says Gandal: "Ashesh is an amazingly passionate blues player and you can sense his passion that harks back to the original African-American roots of this genre of music."
- Nepali Times


First Album " Free Spirit"

Track Song Title
1 Insearch towards Freedom
2 Yaklo Jeevan

Second Album "Free Spirit II

2 timi lai ma k bhanu (nominated in the best rock composition and group performance by group or duo in Hits fm 91.2)



Ashesh Nekhvam are Nepal’s premier blues rock band with a unique blend of rock, blues and Eastern rhythms. Nekhvam means “crazy about music” in the Newari language and started as a blues trio in 1994 by the two brothers Ashesh and Sibesh Dangol.
Hailed by the German press as ‘the reincarnation of Jimi Hendrix from Kathmandu’, Ashesh the front man of the band is also popularly known as the Himilaya Hendrix in Europe and Nepal.Ashesh Nekhvam’s mix of psychedelic blues rock has that essential blues spirit of humbleness and poverty performed live at a technical level that is simply unmatched by other bands today. Their growing international fan base brings them back to Europe and UK in 2011 for a follow-up to their successful 2010 tours of Norway and Germany.

Many of their distinctive songs are composed in English and Nepali. Currently working on their third album, “New Spirit”, tracks include “In my Brother’s Blues”, “The Wind” and “Listen”. Well known at home for their support of a number of charity projects in Nepal,Scotland and England, they have a keen following in their home city of Kathmandu and will share their magic again in 2012 with audiences across Uk.

Ashesh Nekhvam is the first band from Nepal to do the international tour in the Blues Rock category.They Have already toured in Spain, Norway, Germany, Scotland, and England. And is promoting Blues here in Nepal. Ashesh Nekhvam is the new sound for the Blues listener which can be heard in their first debut album song titled "in search towards Freedom". Ashesh Nekhvam has already been the Icon for coming up New artist here in Nepal and South Asia.Though Nepal is know out side as a poor and Mountaineering country now through Ashesh Nekhvam's music they have shown the new face of Nepal through Music.

Performances and Project of the band please log on to the following url.. address.