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Artists for Katjazz 2023

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Nico Weber Kwartett

The Nico Weber Kwartett is a young german jazz ensemble with Maxim Burtsev on piano, Jakob Jäger on double bass, Leo Ebert on drums and is lead, by the trumpet player Nico Weber. The bandleaders compositions show personality in its own signature. Distinctive melodies intertwine with interesting band textures and create interesting multi layered and vast compositions. The idea of connecting the tradition and new ideas create a large variety of soundscapes and emotions on stage.


Juliana Rodrigues

Juliana Rodrigues is a pianist and composer with a Bachelor's degree in Jazz from Newpark Music Centre. She has released two albums, "Vive" and "Mnemosine," showcasing her unique and diverse influences. Juliana's trio performs with excellent cohesion, bringing her compositions to life with a repertoire of rhythms, phrasing, and collective improvisation developed together. Juliana is also a member of the women-only samba group Dona da Rua, which recently released singles "Filha da Luta" and "Que Venha em Mim" and is working on their first album. Juliana has performed at important stages such as Sala São Paulo, Festival Jazz al Este, Instrumental SESC Brasil, Savassi Festival, and Sonamos Latinoamérica. In addition to her artistic work, she is a music teacher and producer, and her talent and diverse musical background showcase the depth of her abilities.

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Michael Arbenz

A classically-trained pianist and jazz performer, Michael Arbenz brings the passionate curiosity of his self-directed investigations in jazz to the rigour of his classical performance practice. After studying classical piano in Basel, Michael Arbenz’s international classical career has included collaborations with Pierre Boulez, Heinz Holliger, Jürg Wyttenbach and the Swiss new music ensemble Contrechamps. Discovering a love of jazz as a child, his self-guided exploration of both the techniques of improvisation and the history of jazz was fresh and personal, and his approach to improvisation is multilayered rather than linear, using the piano as an orchestra. His jazz influences are very eclectic and include major jazz pianists across the history of the music, as well as colours and ideas from classical music. He has performed widely with the acclaimed VEIN trio, and has collaborated with international stars including Greg Osby, Glenn Ferris, Dave Liebman, Marc Johnson, Wolfgang Puschnig, and Andy Sheppard. Michael Arbenz also works as a composer and arranger and is head of the Institute of Jazz and Folk Music at the University of Applied Sciences in Lucerne, where is is teaching piano students.

Maximilian Shaikh-Yousef

Bio German-Arab composer, arranger, and instrumentalist Maximilian Shaikh-Yousef has cultivated a diverse musical language over the past ten years with which he tells his urban fairy tales. His latest project – The Mini-Maxi-Orchestra – brings to life a blend of jazz tradition and orchestral music of the nineteenth century. His sense of dramaturgy and motivic development is influenced by composers such as Bob Brookmeyer, Kenny Wheeler, Stan Kenton, Igor Stravinsky, and György Ligeti. In his 10-piece large ensemble SH4iKH 9 extended, Maximilian combines broadlyorchestrated modern jazz with the classic style of a singer-songwriter. In collaboration with the Austrian singer Veronika Morscher, he has created a new programme for the 51st German Jazzfestival 2020, dealing with a diverse array of topics, from social-cultural concerns to delicate emotional tale. In the fall of 2021, a week-long collaboration between the ERT Contemporary Music Orchestra Greece and Amsterdam based jazz-trombonist Charalampos Chronis paved Maximilian’s path to orchestral jazz. He arranged the band’s debut album "When Gray Shines the Brightest", which will be broadcasted in the fall of 2022. As one of the founders and leaders of the German-based big band Projekt Orion, Maximilian composes and arranges music exclusively for artists such as Julian Argüelles and Frederik Köster. Meanwhile, he has had productions with the hr-Jazzensemble and worked as composer and arranger with The Bremer Chamber Orchestra, NSJO, Bundesjazzorchester of Germany, in addition to working with various soloists like Harmen Fraanje, Fay Claassen, Bart van Lier, Christoph Lauer, John Schröder, Sebastian Sternal and Gerald Clayton.



Carlos Heredia

Carlos is a jazz guitarist and educator from Riobamba, Ecuador. He got his B.A. in Contemporary Music Performance from the Universidad San Francisco de Quito in Ecuador; and his M.M. in Jazz Performance from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. He has performed and recorded as a collaborator in several places around the world like Boston, MA; Jacksonville, FL; Quito, EC; and New Delhi, IN; and he’s been featured in albums like Chris Mondak’s “Eternal Youth” (2019) or RichArt!’s “The 8bit love song”, and he’s been part of jazz ensembles like E-Jazz, The Chris Mondak’s Jazz Quartet, KHQ Trio, Silver Jazz Trio, among others. At the moment he is located in New Delhi, India teaching guitar at the Global Music Institute.

Natasha Ejaz

February 2023's Spotify Equal Ambassador for Pakistan, Natasha Humera Ejaz, is a recording artist, music producer, actor, dancer, educator and entrepreneur from Islamabad Pakistan. Her career started at the tender age of 7 as a performer with the Pakistan Television Network and by 15, Natasha had learnt the guitar and was

writing her own music. After playing an active role in music, culture and theater in her teens and early twenties locally, Natasha made the decision to pursue an education in music, moving to Kuala Lumpur in 2010 to enroll at the International College Of Music. With a focused study on Jazz and Broadway (voice), Natasha completed her

time at ICOM with a certificate in audio production. Today, her musical endeavors include everything from experimental electronica monikers to film soundtracks (OSTs and scores) to collaborations with various artists locally and internationally. Her most recent releases

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A Sound From Void

"A Sound From Void" is an independent contemporary music band formed by scholars at Kathmandu Jazz Conservatory with Luckey Sherpa on Vocals/FX, Sajan Lama on Bass, Prajwal Ghimire on Drums and Saurav Shrestha on keys. "A Sound From void" combines songwriting, hip-hop, poetry, and jazz, metaphorically depicting human emotions. Only a year and a half old band is creating their original works in both english and nepali language. The band is always focusing on bridging the gap between pop music and jazz and improve culture.


An answer that renders diversity through their captivating music, “ghugu’mugu” is a promising trio of like minded musicians having sarod player Anurag Thapa, guitarist Kishor Maharjan and percussionist and drummer Ajay Shrestha. The trio’s receptiveness, observance and understanding of what life beholds embodies an array of influences ranging from local and folk music, western classical, jazz, indian classical, etc. Based in Kathmandu, the trio intends to take their music on a global stage remaining aloof and distinguishable from mainstream music. As they proceed to push their potentials through their distinctive set up, ghugu’mugu is sure to give a refreshingly original music that will leave the mass in awe.

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