Bio

Kutumba is a folk instrumental ensemble committed to the research, preservation and celebration of the diversity that exists in indigenous Nepali music. The word ‘Kutumba’ holds a special meaning in the Nepali language. It stands for a unique bond amongst community members. As their name, Kutumba is all about bringing together traditional folk tunes and instruments with new and improvised sounds and ideas. Kutumba is a folk instrumental ensemble, group of six professionals from Kathmandu. Having come together for the preservation of their culture and art, Kutumba wishes to spread love and joy of Nepali folk music throughout the world. Self motivated and self driven, Kutumba is a group with their own unique sound and vision.The seven members have different roots and backgrounds in music. Kutumba is the harmony of traditional roots, culture and new sounds.

Kutumba is

ARUN MANANDHAR on Tungna & Arbajo

Arun is one of the few musicians who play the Tungna today. Originating in the high altitudes of the Himalayas in the early 19th century, the Tungna is a string instrument that has a body carved from a single piece of wood and a resonating chamber made from goatskin. Arun learnt to play the guitar from his elder brothers when he was young and moved on to learning the Tungna when he joined Kutumba. Arun also sings during his free time. His favourite Nepali artists are Deep Shrestha and Deepak Kharel.

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KIRAN NEPALI on Sarangi

Kiran grew up with music at home. He is a third generation Sarangi player, and says he is greatly influences by his grand father, father and uncles who were all Sarangi players of their times. Last year, Kiran spend 4 weeks studying the Sarangi in the Batulechaur area, a well known Gandharva settlement close to Pokhara. Kiran also plays the guitar. Having recently joined Kutumba, Kiran says he feels great energy within the ensemble and is looking forward to future projects together.

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PAVIT MAHARJAN on Percussion

Pavit works magic on percussions and is a vital binding force in the ensemble. Kutumba was born when ‘the guys’ got together at Pavit’s shop. They wanted to show young people like themselves that folk music was fun. Pavit started playing the Madal since he was a child, but it was only after grade 12 and a friends’ influence that he decided to start taking music on professionally. It was then that he picked up the keyboards and has since moved on to playing in big events such as Shikhar tours, Kantipur TV, Taal, Shukrabar and more. Besides Kutumba, Pavit manages his shop, teaches keyboard at Shuvatara School and enjoys painting.

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RAJU MAHARJAN on Percussion

Inspired by his father, Raju is today considered one of the best percussionists in Nepal. From the Madal to the Khin, there probably isn’t a percussion instrument Raju cannot play. His specialty is the Tabla, in which he has a Masters degree from Allahabadh. Raju loves upbeat folk tunes but also enjoys singing slow melodious ones. In fact he recently recorded a few songs, but will we ever get to hear them? “It’s for my personal interest only” he claims. Raju teaches music at Shuvatara School and got married a year ago.

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RUBIN KUMAR SHRESTHA on Flute

At age 12, Rubin took a fancy to the way Lord Krishna played the flute. He began learning the instrument while in school. Today, at 20, he has completed his Bachelors degree in classical music. He plays about 15 other instruments and also composes and arranges music. He has toured in France, Norway, China, India and various parts of Nepal. Currently he teaches music to elementary school students for regular income and spends his remaining time with composing for and performing with Kutumba.

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SIDDHARTHA MAHARJAN on Effects

With a father who runs a record label and music shop in Thamel, Siddhartha developed a taste for music from a very young age. He joined Kutumba in 2005 and plays effects, that includes instruments such as the ghunguru, murchunga, bhushya, sishya, and so on. Besides music, Siddhartha also loves sketching and painting and firmly believes that there is great scope for art in Nepal. He is currently a full time student at Sirjana College of Fine Arts.

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ARUN GURUNG,  Manager/Technical Coordinator

Arun, who also plays Bass Guitar in the band, has been in the music industry for the last 15 years performing and organizing music events. Arun looks after all sound and technical requirements for Kutumba. His networks within the music industry is a great asset to any Kutumba initiative.

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