It is with great sadness that we learned of the passing of National Artist Manrat Srikaranonda. Ajarn Manrat was a truly great Thai musician and a long-time friend of the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok. For decades, the Srikaranonda family has been an integral part of the Embassy’s musical outreach programs and Ajarn Manrat had been instrumental in using jazz to bring Americans and Thais closer together.
In remembrance of His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Thailand’s beloved “Jazz King,” the U.S. Embassy, together with Ajarn Manrat’s Kitarat Foundation, brought the New Orleans Jazz All Stars to perform concerts in Bangkok in July of 2017.
Ajarn Manrat was also an original member of His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s music band, Or Sor Wansook. A pioneer teacher of music arrangement in the Kingdom, he received a scholarship from the His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej to study music at Berklee School of Music in Boston, learning from many of America’s greatest musicians.
On behalf of the American people and the American Mission to Thailand, I extend my deepest condolences to Ajarn Manrat’s family. We honor his unique musical legacy. Ajarn Manrat’s marvelous melodies will inspire Thai and American Jazz lovers for generations to come.