Monday, May 25, 2015
Java Jazz Festival 2013




After two days of total fun, we still got another day to jazz. The Java Jazz Festival 2013 delivered nonstop action on Friday and Saturday with nothing but the best stars from all around the world. So what’s happening on the last day? We’re going to spill it out for you.

The event ran early around 2:30 pm with at least 3 groups to start with. The Crickets took the Djarum Lounge, Soul Bridge at Masima Stage, and  Galaxy Jazz Big Band was also back again to the festival. This big band is unique not only because it comprises of expatriates mostly from Japan, but also since the band is like a festival specialist. It has performed in almost all big sized festival. Other than the festival you’re reading right now, they’ve been participating at JakJazz and Bekasi Jazz too, just to mention a few. The Galaxy Big Band founded in 1992 by 3 men: Kenji Murayama, Toshio Kataoka and Arimichi Handa. What we always love from them is the way they pour swing, blues, funk and beyond through well-known songs. Sing a long is always a must.

Soul Bridge, Butterscotch, Kaori Kobayashi came right after, also Aboda. Speaking of Aboda, this band of siblings was known as a Christian band but later extended their course to go outside the church wall to send the message of love to the society. Aboda is a Hebrew word means “working, praising and serving”, so you can take a guess what the Noya brothers: Timotius, Fanuel, Filemon and Clement have as their mission. Speaking of music style, they bring the positive message through smooth jazz and light fusion. God bless you guys for blessing others.


At the same time, a music teacher who has produced so many successful talents, Andi Wiriantono played under his group simply called Andi Wiriantono & Friends together with Franky Sadikin (Bass), Ossa Sungkar (Drums), Karty Rosen (Guitar), and Devian (saxophone), last but not least a young singer with amazing vocal quality, Nesia Ardi. Since at least 2 years ago he decided to emerge on the surface, pursuing his career as playing musician other than still continuing his service as a piano teacher. The last time we watched him was at the Jazz Goes to Campus 3 months ago, again we got entertained by his spontaneous jazz streams, backed by strong team behind him. David Helbock sealed his contribution in another ‘acrobatic’ jazz-fingers show.




Let’s carry on with the report to see the rest of Saturday’s great bash. The tremendous Miles Smiles project which consists of famous jazz cats such as Larry Coryell, Joey DeFrancesco, Omar Hakim, Daryll Jones, Rick Margitza and Wallace Roney re-appeared again after yesterday’s session.


Now think of this: ever heard of how the magic sprinkles of the music that we hear are able to touch our psychological condition, even able to heal? Truly, this one’s not to be missed! It’s out of the mainstream – Maya Hasan Classic Goes Jazz’s remarkable skills are gonna get through you by having the mighty harp accompany her performances. Since she’s digging deeply into the healing therapy by using harp ; something which gave her a conclusion that harp can heal sickness because harp produces perfect notes[ we do hope that the audience who got some problems with their health be healed. Unique, interesting, different.

Supratman street Bandung must be the place with many souls that fulfilled by desire in creating art works, especially since the late artiste Harry Roesli lived there. Luckily, the ninth Java Jazz is carrying half of those soul to the stage by putting 57kustik into their Indonesian Artist’ line up. Moreover, 57kustik had already performed on Java Jazz on the Move (JJOTM) as Java Jazz Festival 2013 pre-event in Bandung (16/2). This becomes their second year as a participant in Java Jazz Festival. In 2012, those street musicians got a very rare chance; they did an impressive collaboration with famous saxophone artist, Dave Koz. Consist of Ipan (violin), Negro (cajon), Yadi (guitar), Firman Ari (bass) and Andry Septa (vocal) now utilized their gifts to deliver a positive message, “For Better Life Movement.”

As Yannick Bovy repeated his session with Ron King Quintet, another tribute happened at the Djarum Lounge. “All My Love”, “Under My Skin”, “She’s Even More Beautiful”, and “I Wanna Be Around”. Indonesian music strongly has something to do with a big name, Elfa Secioria. This senior had influenced so many local musician; he also teached many young artists which later became superstar.


Tonight, this Tribute to Elfa Secioria was a piece of respect and appreciation for each and every form of knowledge he had shared. Netta, Monita, Jemima, and Yassovi Amalia were four young female singers who sang on Djarum Lounge as their admiration to this remembrance. In harmony they brought songs and beautifully presented some works of Elfa. It is one of ways to give honour for Elfa Secioria, because of his big contribution and positive influence for our music. As for Aimee Saras, some might recognize her from “After Hours” program in Metro TV. But today she wasn’t hosting, yet swinging away because Aimee Saras goes swing captivated the stage tonight! What a pleasant surprise.


For some of us D’Masiv might not be a band listed in the jazz list of performers. But hang on, they turned things around with a whole new concept, D’Masiv Jazz Project. The usual melancholic pop from this band were switched into a one-of-a kind performance proving that jazz is all about improvising and the intention of gathering all sorts of sources of music into one and making it worthwhile – “Diam Tanpa Kata”, “Apa Salahku”, “Rindu Setengah Mati”, and “Merindukanmu” were several of the masterpieces that they brought into the open. The help of other jazz musicians helped them to go out of the box, performing in a way they never done before, such as when they sang “Natural” with Benny Likumahuwa and “Pergilah Kasih” with Mus Mujiono. They also had Ali Akbar with them at the stage as well as percussionist Rejoz from “The Groove”.We have seen Slank, GIGI and KLa Project did this before, now D’Masiv is added into the list. At the end of their show tonight, they amazed all of us with something that none had expected before. Along the last song, illustrations of a disabled society was on screen, accompanied by a tragic-themed melody which took away the hearts of the audience and got tears falling down from their eyes. The atmosphere that they carried out was none other than extraordinary. Out of Ordinary took Citra Intirama Stage, Balance and The Travelling Sounds also spiced up Saturday night.


The combination of R&B, jazz, and funk once again delivered from this man best known as a very important inspiration of many musicians especially bassists, Marcus Miller. Not many people know this man, son of William Miller, is multi-instrumentalist, as well as composer and producer. Here, in this 2013 edition we finally heard this two time Grammy winner’s energetic walking bass which always has excitement within. Ask any bassist, who wouldn’t want to be able to play like him? Big name, playing big music. Yes right off the reel, his musical experiments with legendary musician such as Luther Vandross, Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis, Dave Koz, George Benson, and a lot more surely shaping his musicality. What a lucky chance to have this man who has become the inspiration of so many bassists in the world in this edition. Joining him is Adam Agati, an amazing guitarist graduated from Berklee who also works as the guitarist of Ludacris.


A single fighter lady singer and also doing the same beatboxing with who incorporate her musical background of piano, guitar and bass into her compositions and performances, named Butterscotch. She became popular on her perform as a finalist on NBC’s “American Got Talents”, then Ellen DeGeneres was so impressed with her skills that  she invited  Butterscotch to perform on her show. Though the music is a mixture of hip hop and RnB, but she was accepted the music program on classical piano major, and heavily influenced by jazz. Some of the songs she performed tonight were “My Favourite Love Song”, “Silver Lining” and “Sweet Harmony” and there was also “Hyptonized” which was performed featuring Magnus Lindgren. All in all, the highlight to her performance was the supercool beatbox, how on Earth can a girl sing, beatbox, and mimic musical instruments at the same time.  Eye catchy, ear catchy, all in an extraordinarily beautiful way, was the feeling we got from Butterscotch show.

Every year Java Jazz always provides an opportunity for newcomers to perform on stage. This year, Amanda and Friends got that ‘gold’. They knew how to use the ‘gold’ properly by delivering their very best performance to the audience. Somehow, this event could be a stairway to reach their higher floor in Indonesian music scene.


What’s the first thing you’ll think about after hearing the name Monday Michiru? Well the uniqueness of this Tokyo born woman stores many talents in herself, which was unleashed tonight on stage. She is a brand ambassador of PAC Martha Tilaar, a prominent Indonesian cosmetic brand. She has her own stream of talents sent down from both her parents who are a jazz pianist and jazz saxophonist. The Japanese-American Monday Michiru completes the tree with her genuine voice, style and music. She is best known as one of the pioneers of the acid jazz movement in Japan in the early 90s. Japan’s underground club scene is also a pace where Monday has uniquely created her music together with the glimpse of club music including various influences such as jazz, soul, latin, R&B and other elements. One of her songs “Sands of Time” can actually brighten up your days, the way it brightened up our Saturday. May this first appearance at the Java Jazz Festival mark her regular participation in the future editions.


Here it is for the very first time in Java Jazz, Chucho Valdes, from Kuba. He is the winner of the Grammy Awards and 3 Latin Grammy Awards and a son of the great Bebo Valdes. His first experiment with music happened when he was three; he played piano autodidact and was influenced by musical enviroment in his house since kid. In this hall we can see how his age did not decrease the young people to come inside and stood still watching him playing until the end of the show. Age really doesn’t matter when it comes to music. Valdes magically attracted the audience with his great performance. Hope we can see you again next time!


This is not the first time for Nengah Krisnarini a.k.a Sister Duke to perform in this prestigious event. She had performed with delighted acoustic concept in 2011 and back again with different stage-act concept in 2012. After she wrote a single, ‘MYOB’, last two year, she is back with a progression of her second album. She was supported by Donny Joesran, keyboardist of Barry Likumahua Project. Lovely to see Sister Duke on this event with her one of a kind stage-act and how she sang jazz with groovy broadway style. Hoping the best for her second album, can’t wait to grab it!

Then we moved to the session of fabulous jazz singer, Phil Perry, This smiley man started his career at the age of 15. After signed several contracts with several groups, he finally found his own track, right through his five strong solo albums that have highlighted both his ability in interpret classic soul songs as fine as his songwriting skills. His bright multi-octave voice brings the fantastical sense of soulful smooth jazz formats which made him one of the artist that demands a true solid compilation. Perry is not a stranger to Indonesian jazz scene, since he was involved in Karimata’s album in 1991, singing the evergreen “Rainy Days and You” and has been visiting this country quite often. This act featured the ‘in-house residence’, multi-talented keyboardist, composer, and producer Brian Simpson. He received the Java Jazz Festival Hall of Fame in 2011 and appeared in many stages in each edition of this gigantic jazz fest. In this period they played several times, giving more chance to jazz-goers to watch their show.


The English rose Lisa Stansfield has finally arrived at the Java Jazz Festival! We might not hear her news for quite some times, but actually she still has a lot of fans here in Indonesia. One of the undeniable proof is the big hype created after the announcement of Stansfield’s participation for this year. She rose to fame in the 80’s mostly with her soulful disco tunes such as “All Around the World”, “All Woman”, “Change”. Other than these mentioned hits, she also made success with his ballad from the movie Indecent Proposal entitled “In All the Right Places”. Her fine blend of soul, RnB and disco quickly gained popularity and established herself as a top star, but let’s not forget that she has shown her jazzy soul too occasionally, for example in her songs “Down in Depths” and “I’ve Got the World on a String” as one of the tracks of Mona Lisa Smile OST. Performing as a special show, Lisa Stansfield brought our memories back to the time when she was all over the scene with her hits. Numbers such as “Mighty Love”, “Stupid Hearts”, “Time to Move On” completed the list followed by “Make Love to Ya”, and “Change”. She’s still beautiful and sings as lovely as before. A medley of “People Hold On” and “What I did to You” mesmerized the audience, followed by “Someday”, “Conversation”. Lisa closed the performance with a double encore of “Down in the Depths” and stating how she likes Nasi Goreng and Bakmi Goreng and closing the statement with the finale, “Around the World”. Not only we tasted her songs in live act, she also showed her shining jazzy soul to her Indonesian fans. What a moment to remember. Lisa Stansfield, do come again, we love you!


One of the most rarely discussed when we talk about jazz was the different side of Latina music, especially in Indonesia. Well, this year we can enjoy this exotic fling from Flamenco Jazz which is initiated by Yeppy Romero. Speaking about the joyous sound of Flamenco, Yeppy Romero is one of the very few guitarist who can do it. However, even if it’s true that his major is Latin/Flamenco, as a son of Batak, he can never forget his root at all. It is proved through his project named Batakustik where he brings popular Batak songs in instrumental guitar. This time he brought the concept of jazz flamenco in shining light. Joining him in this session is his long time friend, pianist Nita Aartsen. Nita Aartsen is a kind of woman that anytime we would love to hear a classical, jazz, delightful, bossa and any other of Latin touch, she will give it to us.This act brought another flavor in Saturday’s schedule.

While Soul Rebels performed with trumpeter Maurice Brown as a special guest, Java Jazz Festival 2013 involves a Doctor in its main event. They even covered Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean”. It was crowded with people dancing off their feet and became more hype when they threw out free bling-bling gifts to the crowd. Yup! It is Teuku Adifitrian a.k.a Tompi. His productivity in Indonesia music industry can be seen by more than five albums since 2004. In the middle of his business as a doctor, solo singer, and member of Trio Lestari. The group Three Song was on the other spot at the same time.


So how about we move across the map and say hello to a vocal group from America? Yeah, New York Voices it is! One favorable special thing about them is that aside performing, they also give jazz clinics to school and universities. The New York Voices here amazed us with their collaborating performance with Ron King Big Band. It was absolutely fun to have this outstanding vocal harmony group again gracing this festival.


As one of the finalist of Indonesian Idol 2005, NINO (Wisnu Idol) established himself as a solo performer. But this year he will collaborate with the winner of Asian Beat 2010 in Thailand, Water of Life which consists of Arold (Vocal), Stefabus (Guitar), Nathanael (Bass), Kevin Dwi (Drum), Rhesa (saxo), and Alvin (keys). If we usually used to see him on the Indonesian Idol Stage, well he won our votes at the Kementrian Perdagangan Stage for tonight. At the D1 Telkomsel Simpati Hall, Fourplay splashed fresh smooth jazz/light fusion in front of their fans.

Many people gathered around Djarum lounge only to see Ipang, an energetic yet wild rocker with wide vocal range. Although it’s been said many times, but yes, Irfan Fahri Lazuardy is famous as the vocalist of BIP. Many pop-up questions emerged about how a rock star will perform in jazz event. Surprisingly, his rebellious style along with his superb voice locked all the spectators to only focus on his stage act. We cannot say Ipang ain’t cool, his appeareance always makes a good difference and point out the other side of him while singing in international jazz event. Next, Aiko. A vocal group of Athina Nelwan, Bianca Nelwan and Shinta Rosari known for their singles “I Love You” and “Bagaimana”. Their sweet yet energetic vocals plus their pretty performance captured a special moment in many of the audiences hearts.


If yesterday we got Roy Hargove Quintet picturing the bebop/straightahead scene with splashes of funk, on Saturday he blasted the hall with his RH Factor. With this group he blends hardbop and neo soul with infectious 70’s ‘blaxploitation’ funk and urban groove, erasing the lines between mainstream and underground, jazz and hiphop. Just like yesterday, no room for dullness in his show. Clearly this man loves his role, not only as a very talented musician but also as someone who never stops exploring the possibilities in music. Having this kind of stimulating and infectious sound, Hargrove has all the chance to show that jazz should never be stopped in just a small circle, but it can be used to bring wider music streams, which often created new hybrids. The fun factor once again rose above the roof!


Time to check a crooner. While some people like to compare him to Jammie Cullum due to his appeareance, quirky style, and crooning voice, he absolutely gets his own style. Eventhough he is counted as a young musician, but he actually had passed through many phases in his life as musician that produce lots of inspiration for him. Hamel had many process of separation with his close friends recently and faced many new beginning in his life. This phase became an inspiration for his latest album, Lohengrin. He said in his website that honesty and writing directly about what he was going through are the key of many songs he writes. From three albums he has, we can see the progress of his capability and he is more dare in doing his music. Wouter Hamel with his lovely appeareance got a terrific applause and shout from his crowd, mostly girls. Epically he slammed the stage with jazzy swing. Having no formal training as a producer, didn’t make his performance lack of technique. Freedom, unique, and gratified show sure we got. Songs such as “Useless Fraud”, “Demise” and “As Long As We’re in Love” captured the moment for this sweet Saturday night.


Ginda and the White Flowers which consist of Ginda Bestari as Vocalist and Guitarist, Gega Gageh as Bassist and Riyandi Andaputra as Drummer colored up the 3-day jazz fest with intense road blues. This newly elected semi-finalist at the Venetian in Macau went away captivating the stage with a mesmerizing performance.

The Jongens Quartet were from Jakarta. The band comprises of young talented musicians such as Elfa Zulham (drums), Dhani Syah (piano), Johanes Radianto (guitar), and Doni Sundjoyo (contrabass). The word Jongens comes from Dutch word that have a means as “Boys”. Formed on January 2011, Elfa, Johanes, and Dhani were in the same music of Conservatorium of Groningen, Netherlands. As they are ready to launch their album, now they hit the stage, providing cool straightahead with European jazz touch that easily landed in our hearts. A pure jazz band like this is needed in keeping the traditional jazz alive in this nation.


Here it is, one of the greatest guitarists in Indonesia, Dewa Budjana. He’s best known as personnel of GIGI band that accentuate the pop-rock style. We can find him playing from stage to stage carrying many genres, including jazz. He learned the principles and basic of jazz from Jack Lesmana. DewaBudjana has recorded some solo albums during his musical career. After releasing his fifth album, “Dawai in Paradise” in 2011 and recently released internationally by MoonJune Records. The latest one will be released soon in 2013. Supported by superb musicians and recorded in LA’s Firehouse Recording Studio, this album is probably going to be an incredible one. There’s one thing that we need to concern about, wherever we listen to his music, we would get colorful and artistic ambience.

First step in a new place is always exciting. Probably that was the feeling of Sweet Mouztache when they entered the First Media stage. This duo had already released their first video clip from first hits called “People Come and Go”. Now they want to expand their wings in new area. Yup, an international jazz event is absolutely the best place to see how people reacts to your music. Voila, they nailed it! R.G.P ended this helluva second day after midnight.

Still one day left, we are tired but still excited. What about you? Let’s push ourselves to the edge and release all the energy we have left for another day of jazz, brought by the amazing Java Jazz Festival.

See more pictures:

[flickrset id=”72157632897513110″ thumbnail=”square” photos=”” overlay=”false” size=”medium”]

Reporter: Riandy Kurniawan, Daniel Irawan, Khairiyah Sartika Syofian, Mellysa Anastasya, Ata Michaella, Sharon Patricia Kandou, Bintang Steffy Tania, Kenny Laia, Ghea Sagita
Photographer: I Putu Surya KB, Praditya Nova, Anggha Nugraha, Qaedi Fuadillah, Omar Arif Maulana, Alfi Widoretno
Team: Vierna Mariska Kurniawan, Muhammad Fadhly

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java jazz festival 2013




How was your Saturday night? Well ours was double thumbs up after a whole day at Jakarta International Expo Kemayoran with the Jakarta International Java Jazz Festival 2013. Day one sent us home with smiles and so did day two, so far with bigger smiles indeed!

Like yesterday, the second day bloomed fast with Diego Maroto‘s second session and a very special project which involved a lot of stars with Ambonese origin called Amboina. These two shows ran together with Mery Kasiman Project ft. Aksan Sjuman, Riza Arshad, but special for today, they had Monita Tahalea as guest stars at Semeru Garuda Indonesia Hall. Mery Kasiman found her passion in jazz/pop music instead of classic and has been active inside the squared jazz circle for quite some times. When we heard about her having a session at this festival for the first time, we felt happy because we know she deserved it. Aside of supporting her husband Julian ‘Joy’ Marantika’s upcoming album, she works hard on establishing herself too.

This project with Aksan Sjuman, the man whose ability in playing drums is undoubtedly acclaimed, and Riza Arshad, the unique musicians who loves the experiment in mixing jazz and traditional music brought a very interesting performance. This pairings might sound like a surprise to you, but actually they have been playing together many times. In fact, Mary also has a role in Aksan Sjuman and the Committee of the Fest and active as a copyist and movie scorer orchestrator with Aksan. As predicted, she played wonderfully tonight. Trust us, you will hear her a lot more often soon because this girl is really something.

A dear friend of Indonesia’s jazz scene, Jeremy Monteiro graced the soil again, this time with his electrifying new group, The Asian Jazz All-Stars Power Quartet. The name could sound heavy, but it’s exactly like that if you look at the personals inside. Other than the Singaporean virtuoso Jeremy Monteiro himself on the piano, the group features the internationally famous guitarist from Hong Kong, Eugene Pao, innovative drummer from Thailand Chanutr Techatana-nan and amazing sax-man from Philippines, Tots Tolentino. You could only imagine how the jazz would shape in the hands of big cats like this, but from our point of view, it’s the spectacular combination between colorful sceneric sound of piano, kaleidoscopic saxophone sound scape, the groovy swingin’ polyrhytmical drum pattern and daring guitar stunts. This group had huge success in their Asia-Europe Autumn Tour in 2012before they came back for an exclusive concert in Singapore. It’s impossible not to have this kind of supergroup in a festival like this, apparently the Java Festival Production seemed to think the same. Three South East Asian musicians plus one from the South-Eastern part of Asia joined forces with an excellent outcome. Having a players like this should make us all proud, because they have given such strong statement through their music that the South East(ern) Asian nations are not the second class in the world’s jazz scene.

Taking a step into a new adventure of soul and jazz is Lauren Kinhan. She is also a member of a few music projects such as Moss, Jalala and New York Voices which the latter is also on the list at this year’s Java Jazz Festival. Her latest album Avalon is another fine example of how she comfortably bridges the jazz and adult alternative worlds and how Lauren herself comfortably bridges her songs and her talent with the audience. She created a lounge-ish ambience, we felt like sitting in a comfy jazz club, relaxing with a glass of wine.

Speaking of Big Band in Indonesia, there’s a relatively new one that’s been doing really well. It’s the HajarBleh Big Band. It’s not easy to carry on the big band concept when the mainstream doesn’t go to that direction, yet this band has tremendous progress. Led by Robert Joko (Arranger, conductor, mentor and keys), this unique ‘crazy gang’ could shape themselves in various formations according to the needs. They bring the big band concept to a new phase, with the joy of playing, harmony, freedom and variety placed on top.

They delivered top jazz and pop tunes such as “Mercy Mercy Mercy”, “Sing Sing Sing”, “Bananeira”, “St. Thomas”, “Summertime”, “Incompatibilidade de Genios”, “Chamelon”, “Barcelona”, “The Best of Earth Wind and Fire” plus their new original song “Bulan Di Atas Teras Kota”. “It’s a blessing indeed, finally we got the shot to perform here!” said trumpeter Wildan Abdat in joy. We felt that too in their session. Not just a band that’s big which plays swing, they can widen their concept to give surprises. Just like the meaning of HajarBleh, an Indonesian slang which encourages people to just go for it and be brave, this gang of happy souls plan to paint the big band formation with more colors and possibilities. Keep up the good work, guys! Hope to see you again in the other festivals soon. “Playing music is not for showing off, but music is an expression. If you do something wrong, don’t be afraid, just try again.” Said Roberto Joko.

Indonesian Youth Regeneration (IYR) was another group that caught many eyes and ears upbringing the future of Indonesian Jazz into a broader stage of listeners in fun, groovy way. The current members of IYR are Dennis Junio (saxophone), Demas Narawangsa (drums), Albert Fakdawer (vocals), Reno Castello (guitar) and Ankadiov Subran (Bass). Meanwhile, huge bash in the great stage came from the Extra Large! Comprised by Davina in vocal, Pandu in bass, Agape in drum and Pandji in guitar, they are capable enough to perform and give different taste of jazz music colored with the fun beat. If they named their band by how they see the size of their members, well we’ll say they’ve got extra large talent and an extra large crowd loving them for sure.

George Duke and Stanley Clarke as Clarke/Duke 4 took place again, this time at the D2 Djarum Super Mild Hall, enabling those who missed their performance on Friday to finally got the chance. Kaori Kobayashi is the talented jazz saxophonist from Japan. She started play music on her very young age and played a piano before she was join on the band and start to play flute. She hanging for just four years on the flute, and choose to played saxophone. She got the learn from Bob Zangu how to play the saxophone in a jazz setting. If we have seen saxtress from the west such as Mindi Abair, Pamela Williams and Jessy J, now we experienced saxtress from the East who can play just as good. We had a quick interview with the beautiful Kaori where she said it is her first time at Java Jazz and she’s extremely happy to be here. Kaori played flute in an amazing “Loving You”, continued by covering “Nothing’s Gonna Change My Life for You” with her saxophone and a closing of “City Lights” which blew the audience away. She’s also happy that she’s with two other performers from Japan, Noon and Fried Pried and satisfied with the crowd and enthusiasm here at Jiexpo. Asking about other saxophonists in Japan, Kaori stated that now in Japan, the amount of saxophonists are increasing. So maybe hopefully for other performances we will be able to see more talents like Kaori Kobayashi.

The newcomer Yassovi marked her way big time by joining this year’s lineup. After we enjoyed her youtube videos; some were made in her room; now we caught her in person. Beautiful girl, beautiful voice with beautiful sets of songs, this girl will be the next Raisa.

Let’s check out what was going on at the other spot. Talking about Smooth Jazz on acoustic guitars, the name Earl Klugh must always come to mind. Known as one of the finest acoustic guitar players for many years, Klugh was founded by Chet Atkins on the Perry Como Show at the very young age. He has a remarkable style in fusing jazz, pop and R&B beyond a melodious contemporary music and speaks mostly about love. Through the years, Klugh has recorded over 30 albums with 12 grammy nominations, one OST recording from a sweet movie “Just Between Friends”, many collaborations with various jazz legends such as Bob James, Ramsey Lewis, Joe Sample, George Benson and also legendary divas like Patti Austin and Roberta Flack. Many songs of him still remains in our hearts such as “Living Inside Your Love”, “Magic In Your Eyes”, Al Jarreau’s “This Time”, “Crazy For You”, “Melrose Place’s Theme song”, “Wishful Thinking” and “If You’re Still In Love With Me.” In this year’s episode, Klugh gave something very special by collaborating with the other famous smooth jazz saxophonist, Nelson Rangell.

Although known as a famous smooth-jazz saxophonist, Nelson Rangell actually started with picollo flute. His success was sparkling on the late 80s when Rangell signed by Larry Rosen and Dave Grusin at the legendary GRP Records. In there, Rangell straightly gained success, joining other famous jazz saxophonists like Eric Marienthal and David Sanborn. Over 8 albums and many collaborations at GRP including with The Rippingtons, Patti Austin and Chuck Loeb, Rangell keeps himself on track with Shanachie Records until now. His most famous work in Indonesia is the instrumental version of Janet Jackson’s “Let’s Wait A While” which is listed in the album “Playing For Keeps” (1989). Two smooth jazz heroes shared the stage in one pleasuring session, we can’t help but wish them to come again. It was another memorable moment from the Java Jazz Festival 2013.

Soul Music System took over the Citra Intirama Stage, then Bandanaira and Mellow Motif launched their musics in the other corners. Mellow Motif were back on stage after gathering a large crowd on the first day. Continued with Bandanaira, a  duo of Lea Simanjuntak (vocal) and Irsa Destiwi (piano). They have been friends for a long time, since they both studied at FKIP Atmajaya University Jakarta. The name comes from the beautiful island in Maluku Islands (Moluccan Islands). They came up with the beautifully song from Indonesian traditional songs or maybe some of folk songs with the taste of jazz so they will make us proud of our traditional songs that wrapped with something awesome like jazz.

Eldar Djangirov, the so-called “Tiger Woods of Jazz” who put up another fascinating show in front of a great crowd, got his second performance today, then a group called Next Project jazzed the Masima Stage. Almost at the same time a legendary guitarist brought a swingin’ delight. Oele Pattiselano is the master of inserting moods in every strum to create one pure, natural swing. Often he sounds simple, his calm expression can be deceiving, but once you listen closely, it’s magical. Not often brought by him, this year he expanded his horizon by playing in the shape of septet. Not only we enjoyed a made-simple but lovely concert, we could also learn and taste the pure swing, came from the heart of this legendary guitarist with international reputation.

A masterpiece of eighteen members, Dutch Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw steps in to delight the fine night with their ear-pleasing flow of rhythms produced by the musical instruments trumpets, trombones, drums, guitar, double bass, reeds, and piano, conducted by the bandleader Henk Meutgeert. They are known as the current most talented jazz musicians around the Netherlands – exactly; all the way from the land of the Oranje to our very own Java island! A band called Next Project rest their case on the Masima stage.

Akira Yokota with virtuoso guitarist Norio virtuoso run in the name of Fried Pride, a duo who annually delivered album since their selftitled in 2001. “Street Walking Woman”, “Heat Wave”, “That’s My Way”, “Two, too”, “Musicream” and “Milestone”; those list in red line to recognize their existence in American music scene without omitting their tag as featured in Japanese Concord Label.

If this duo came from the Land of the Rising Sun, the other stage rocked with a fast-rising duo from our own soil, Bubu Giri. This dynamic duo which consists of Setia Giri Agung/Giri (guitar) and Ratna Dewi Anggraeni/Bubu (vocals) gave tasty groovy jazz blues with spontanity, the thing that makes them stand differently from any other players in the field. This time, in fact, they gave us some fresh stuff – beatboxing a Dave Koz cover! Moreover, they also put up a real good show when they passed us a Sundanese atmosphere with the bamboo flute. They come from Bandung and established good communication with the audience while singing and playing, resulting a very unpredictably entertaining session.


Tulus’ tender crooning vocals also lit up our Saturday night. He has been on many stages building his way up through the lists of top performers. He’s proven to us that hard work does pay off because he’s been through his own journey through music events and festivals like this. It’s always hard to let go of the romantic scene that he is always able to create every time performing on stage. But on the other hand, his voice was also able to get us off our feet and dance. His voice just never fails to please the audience. Tonight at the Java Jazz Festival 2013 Tulus had his performance accompanied by all his music pals who were also there during the recording for the making of his album. To top it off, it is also this time that he gladly sang every single song in his album, plus two other new ones. Now this has formed some real satisfied audience, hasn’t it? During Tulus’ show, Lee Ritenour and Dave Grusin once again gave tremendous highlights at the A3 BNI Hall, and Spyro Gyra changed their role, this time presenting a music clinic. It was such a surprising number of audience there at the area.

In the other side of the venue, we caught the very popular bassist especially among youngsters, Barry Likumahuwa with his group. For the fusion fans, the name of Weather Report will always ring the bell out loud. As one of the most important pioneer of American fusion back in the early 1970, the contribution of Joe Zawinul, Wayne Shorter, Jaco Pastorius, Peter Erskine, Narada Michael Walden, Alex Acuña, Omar Hakim and the other players who colored this group in various formations of the band are countless to shape the form of music; where jazz, rock, R&B, artistic to ethnic music live in harmony; into a new, innovative and challenging hybrid. The band is gone, but certainly not forgotten. Many musicians still inspired by them and carry their legacy, including Barry Likumahuwa who has this group as one of his important inspiration. So it’s about time for him to pay respect to the band with a special tribute. What’s interesting is he chose to launch the concept with his popular band which usually goes more into the funky, groovy pop jazz, the Barry Likumahuwa Project (BLP). While some of us might be surprise with this move, we have to know that the members are highly capable to bring this concept alive. Still keeping the intensity of the original Weather Report by playing their famous repertoires including “Birdland”, “Man with the Copper Fingers, “A Remark You Made”, “Black Market” and “Ellegant People”, they presented it chilled to meet the satisfaction of their fans, including the youngsters who might have never heard Weather Report yet. A smart decision executed at the best one can, BLP has moved further in cooking up their musical concept for the Tribute to Weather Report. Magnus Lindgren and Gregory Porter repeated their cool collaborative act, followed by B.D.G and Jose James at the other rooms.

Time to catch the Special Show! If you grew up in the 80’s and loved to listen to the radio, you should be familiar with this beautiful lady’s unique wide-ranging vocals. Basia Trzetrzelewska, best known as just Basia, has her own hits when she went solo such as “Promises”, “Cruising for Bruising”, “Baby Your Mine” and “Brave New Hope”, but let’s not forget that she already shone bright when she was still joining Matt Bianco, producing hits such as “Just a Minute” and many other ones. There were a lot of buzzes in 2009 about her participation in this festival, but we didn’t see her at all. Now she finally made it, delighting all of her fans with her popular songs. She jazzed us up tonight with “Cruising”, “From Now On”, “Olive Tree”, “Time and Time”, “Copernicus”, “Half A Minute”, and “Promises (Yearning)”. We have been waiting long enough for this gifted Polish lady, now the long waiting’s over. Basia did give a performance we will never forget for straight one hour. If you read this, Basia, you should’ve known by now that you have a lot of fans here in Indonesia. We hope you enjoy your visit and plan to come again in the near future.

It’s usual for a band to have a bassist, but it’s rare if we can find two bassists at the same time. Indro Hardjodikoro, the smiley bassist who has been pursuing his career for over 20 years has the idea to put the sound of walking bass on top in unique way. He started with three or four bassists at the same time, but now he settled down with two, himself and his former student Fajar Adi Nugroho. The contribution of keyboardist Andy Gomez and drummer, Yesaya ‘Echa’ Sumantri played a big deal in creating a strong concept. They have graced Russia three times and gained popularity in there, they have played with traditional musicians, now it’s time to see the Indro Hardjodikoro & the Fingers collaborating with the iconic Tompi. Their songlist was “The Fingers”, “Andong”, “Rambut Ijuk”, “Panon Hideung” and “Gadis Shanghai”. It was amusing and very interesting.

Dewi Sandra has received many awards as a pop singer in Indonesia and released six albums since 1996. Java Jazz 2013 was a distinct place for her to spread her jazz side out. That was a good challenge and people didn’t want to miss her show as a jazzy singer just for one night.

James Carter started playing saxophone at 11 years old, and now we can say that he’s one of the best saxophonists, clarinetists, and flutists of his generation. At his youth, he was a member of Lester Bowie’s quintet and it brought him to collaborate with other musicians. He has released countless albums and won Down Beat magazine’s Critics and Readers Choice Award as a baritone saxophonist, also received The Dr. Alaine Locke Award. At Java Jazz 2013, James Carter Organ Trio carried vigorous melodies and heated the ambiance of the hall.

Eyes still ready for more of Saturday night’s second round of day two? We’ve got ‘em listed for you!

See more pictures:

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Reporter: Riandy Kurniawan, Daniel Irawan, Khairiyah Sartika Syofian, Mellysa Anastasya, Ata Michaella, Sharon Patricia Kandou, Bintang Steffy Tania, Kenny Laia, Ghea Sagita
Photographer: I Putu Surya KB, Praditya Nova, Anggha Nugraha, Qaedi Fuadillah, Omar Arif Maulana, Alfi Widoretno
Team: Vierna Mariska Kurniawan, Muhammad Fadhly

photos of Hajar Bleh Big Band are courtesy of the band, used by permission

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java jazz festival 2013




As night went by, Jakarta International Expo Kemayoran kept filling up with people from around the nation just to see this valuable music momentum. The first day of Java Jazz Festival  2013 kept going till the hands of the clock kept ticking with enthusiasm because there were still many great performer to list through.

Then another taste of mixed acoustic soul, folk & RnB came from Bonita and the Husband, with Bonita distinctive vocal character with some heavy soul voice that powerful and very deep expression of songs with guitar accompaniment from Adoy, blowing saxophone of Jimmy and the drum beat of Eli. With one album spread in the market, they are looking forward to establish themselves higher and better in the music scene. Meanwhile, Vriidom represented Bale Jazz Community’s participation this year.

One of the legendary percussionist we attributed to Karim Suweileh. Born in Surabaya, he brings us a tremendous satisfactory in enjoying the jazzy swing sensation through his beats. Karim Suweileh, who also performed in many previous editions has already made many collaboration with some of the founding of jazzy soul in Indonesia such as Jack Lesmana, Nick Mamahit, Bill Saragih, Didi Chia and so on. Lately he carries on by forming a band named Karim Suweileh and Jazzy Quintet which can serves a lot of highly qualified music experience. With his richeous experience, and the talented other band members, we surely know that he would land his jazzy soul right in the heart of the audiences, yes he really did it.


Two special tributes were happening at the same time in two different spots. The first one was made honoring the late legend who passed away 2 years ago, Utha Likumahuwa, brought by the amazing vocal harmony group Jamaica Cafe and Dinni Budiayu. Had Utha still alive, we would surely see himself on stage, but his spirit still lives on inside our hearts especially when his fellow artists gave a big respect to him in a performance like this. Then another tribute took part at the other spot. Honoring the most influential jazz musician in 20th century which known as Miles Davis, Miles Smiles took a chance to gather all of star cast of Miles Davis alumni to create a project in remembering the legend. Last year, they held a European Tour throughout Spain, Italy, and Finland. The performance themselves was a satisfactory indeed. This united of big talented personels surely will give a big shot at their performance in the up-coming Java Jazz Festival 2013. Who were in it? Quite crazy names we should say. Larry Coryell, Joey DeFrancesco, Omar Hakim, Daryll Jones, Rick Margitza and Wallace Roney, all paid a respectful tribute to Mr Miles. Well, this major gathering of Miles Davis associates should not be missed at all. It turned out as a spectacular show.


Java Jazz Festival offered a smart collaboration between Indonesian jazz group LLw and a trumpet virtuoso from USA, Maurice Brown once again after the last year’s memorable action.  LLw now consists of Indra Lesmana on keyboard, Barry Likumahuwa on bass, and Ibnu Rafi on drums. They always put modern urban side in their jazz box. Tonight they performed “Friday Call” and “Stretch and Pause” with Kyriz Boogiemen’s energetic rap. The blend of LLW’s music met the thick R&B, soul, and jazz of Maurice Brown’s eventually led them to an attractive show. When Eva Celia showed up, “Love Life Wisdom” entertained the crowd elegantly.




The 9th Annual Jakarta International Java Jazz Festival 2013 has just arrived at the beginning of March marked right on your calendars, 1st 2nd and 3rd. Yes, a three day event at the Jakarta International Expo (JIExpo) Kemayoran to satisfy your love for an international jazz experience. It’s in store with a list of great performers from around the world with all-time memorable music moments never to forget. The first day has just ended and for those who missed out on the live performances, Jazzuality has got them all for you!

The first day was opened with a performance from Djarum Band followed by Mr. Sonjaya, this year was their first experience in an international event, big-single-stage, with a very wide-range audience. They describe themselves in music with simple tunes including acoustic folk. This band consists of Dimas Dinar Wjiaksana as vocalist, Rida Suhendar and Ridho Kurnia as guitarist, Heryanto Atse on xylophone/pianica, Andry Cahyadi as bassist, and Yaya Risbaya on percussion/cajon. Easy-to-remember lyrics, easy listening tunes, and acoustic concept were a very good combination to warm up ourselves in this very first day of three-day event. As a newcomer, there still a very long road for this band to ride, but as we saw from the crowd, we knew Mr. Sonjaya will be going for a long journey.

While IMI Band represented their well-established contemporary music school (Institut Musik Indonesia), the other stage showed something different. Carrying the journey all the way from Sumatra, Serambi Mekkah’s very own Rafly WaSaja arrived with his thick folk stream, creating a color of his own. Rafly is well-known for his spiritual-sense blend in music and this time he’s simply done it again, touching the hearts of the faithful listeners. As usual Rafly teamed with the all-rounder senior guitarist we know from Ligro, Agam Hamzah, also Agam’s musical soulmate from the same group, bassist Adi Darmawan. What a different nuance we got here, of course contained positive messages as Rafly always loves to do. Plus, it’s quite interesting to a lot of foreigners enjoy watching him play

Ron King Big Band was one of the early-starters too. Having performed last year at the Java Jazz Festival 2012, this time they arrived again with a spirit no less invincible. Simply one of the best trumpeters, composers and arrangers in the world – not in a million chances to be missed!

David Helbock once had performed in JJF 2010, he was still on a group named HDV Trio, coming from the Austrian Embassy where Helbock was on piano. This time, he got his own stage in JJF 2012. Like other genius musician, he started playing piano when he was six years old. At ayoung age, he already had an album; since then he produced several more. David is not only a pianist, he does the music composition too. Now, he is rising like a star and has many awards from time to time. Check out his own web to see more about him at The twang of the piano was relaxing the venue when he played, then some magic moment appeared when he let his fingers danced ellegantly like group of ballerinas above the keys. Lovely.



Inherited the spirit of jazz in the place where the music first spreaded, Noon, a Korean smooth jazz singer, indeed has something witty in her songs. With a colorful sounding of trumpet and band, along with her smooth vocal, Noon provided us a sweet and accessible taste of dixie, a new experience to jazz lovers. We have actually heard her name and listened to her songs at least since 2006, but at that time it was still difficult to know about her due to the lack of information found on the internet. Later on she made a surprising yet important decision. Fulfilling her ambition in gaining a high achievement in music, Noon took a big step in doing her recording in the New Orleans, the city where the jazz was born. With a soft touch from the master Leroy Jones (producer and arranger most of Noon’s songs), Noon did a brave move to include the song “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” with ther own arrangements. Her newest album “Better Than Ever” is well-suited for those who love a smooth jazzy with a touch of New Orleans style. Now she has put her signature at the Java Jazz Festival, a place that can always be a comfy home for her.

Maliq n D’Essentials has the frontrunner of the Indonesian soulful groove scene for almost 10 years. This is the group that almost always has to be included whenever there’s a music festival going on. Speaking of the music, they are infectious, and when you watch them live, you will catch the energetic vibe full with nonstop action. The brass section behind Angga Puradiredja and Indah always bring the jazzy touch into the soulful vibe. On February 10th 2013, the released their fifth album with the theme called “Sriwedari”. Even the process of the album only took three months but they seriously finished the album on Abbey Road Studio, England. As usual, we saw fully crowded stage, filled with their fans who wanted to groove and dance together.

As for Matthew Sayersz, some might’ve not known that he is a singer from Bandung. He has been a vocalist for bands such as Rasjidi Syndicate, Lopin Loop, Benny Likumahuwa & Young Jazzy Connections, Farabi Youth Big Band, Dwiki Dharmawan’s Project and Barry Likumahuwa Project. His participating in many moments has brought him to events such as Taichunk Jazz Festival, Bangkok Jazz Festival, Macau Revolution Festival and ASEAN Jazz Festival. This year’s JJF is another stepping stone for this young voice who made a stunning performance.


Are you crazy into rockin’ fusionesque guitar? Can you state a name crossed into your mind when we talk about the greatest one in this world? Say Jimi Hendrix! Very special in this 9th edition, psychedelic rock taste comes in the shape of jazz experimental by one and only Glen Dauna – Jimi Hendrix Experience. Flash back to the feeling imagine Jimi Hendrix on stage, Glen Dauna served his composition as he did in the previous event “I Kiss the Sky : Experience Jimi Hendrix feat. Glen Dauna Experiment” launched at the Atamerica together with Indra Dauna, Rega Dauna, Chaka Priambudi and Dezca Samudra in his team.

Sarita Fraya repeated her participation after her first one in 2010 then in 2011. At that time she was still a new prominent talent. Her jazzy voice and soothing acoustic guitar play was mesmerizing. The Java Festival Production found and believed her talent, she paid the trust back in full.

Some clinics had been going on since the fest’s opened. While Steve Thornton carried on after IMI percussion clinic session, at six o’clock sharp at the Djarum Lounge means Philomena Singers’ turn was on! Jazzy, Viska, Widya, Arby, Memey, and Oddy are the stars of this heart-taking Indonesian vocal group. How they succeed to create a harmony of sounds and fit them in to the jazz. We don’t find too many vocal harmony group in Indonesia lately, but now they are ready to fill up the empty spot and make it shine as never before.