Saturday, May 23, 2015
Jazz Event Report

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bragajazzwalk13-jazzuality

After one full month, Braga Jazz Walk was back again. Reaching the number 13, this edition featured variety of styles brought by wide range of talents, from high school to university students, from the new rising star to the name who has achieved respect inside the independent circuit. Two bands, one vocal group and one solo, that was the list in terms of format. Speaking of crowds, we are happy too that we got many visitors, from the jazz lovers, active musicians (some of them enjoyed the jam session), and we even got jamming participants from the audience.

Braga Jazz Walk 13 - Puella ft Marvel (3)

This edition started with a vocal group consists of high school students: Ervita Fauziah, Luis Anastasia S, Astiani Dewi A, and Cynthia Prilly P. and the only boy helping them on music, Marvel Timothy. This group appears as Puelle ft Marvel served pop jazzy vibes with soothing vocal harmony. They are still high school, but this group actually has begun 4 years ago and already bagged many prestigious achievements.

Since the first song, “A Whole New World” from Aladdin OST, these young girls have shown their maturity of singing. They have good control and lovely harmony over any song they choose. And the selection of songs are interesting too, ranging from Kahitna, “Cerita Cinta” and “Cinta Sendiri”  to U2’s “With or Without You”. They did it really good, so good that we felt these were too easy for them. Marvel on piano did very well too in providing sweet melodies to the girls. Nice opening.

Braga Jazz Walk 13 - Puella ft Marvel (1)

There are not so many vocal group today in our music scene, especially in the jazz corner, so Puelle is actually important to stand as the ambassador of jazz vocal group, especially since they are good. The audience seem to love them too, as they attracted many passers-by to watch the whole performance. It won’t be easy since they still have to pursue their formal education, but if they keep going, we believe they have the chance to fly high. You go girls!

Braga Jazz Walk 13 - Frank & Co (7)

From high school to college students. The second round was taken by Frank & Co. The name would remind you of a big jewelery company, but they are not associated in any way. Having said that, their music is as precious as a jewel. Guitarist Frank Navayo led his team consists of Josua Stephen (keyboard), Yeremia Liong (drums), Christopher Andika (flute) and Ken (bass) to drive us into the contemporary, smooth jazz horizon. For half an hour straight we enjoyed good stuff from them under high skill of playing.

The sound of flute made their music richer, and Frank in front did really well in leading the show. The rest of them gave stand out contribution too from start to finish. This was like more enhanced Frank & Co. They have risen the bar much higher by playing more complex compositions comparing to the last time they played for us at Terraz Jazz. Al Jarreau’s “Mornin'” got a modern jazz treatment. Then Frank presented his own composition inspired by the early swing years which has some Dixie inside titled “Humble Girl”. From there, even more difficult one came out, still original song titled “Try to Find Someone”. And they went funky on the last song, Jaco Pastorius’ “Chicken”.

Braga Jazz Walk 13 - Frank & Co (1)

We don’t find many pure jazz band in Bandung anymore, so we cherish the moment when we meet one from the new generation. Frank is undoubtedly a fine young guitarist that loves to explore. He told us that he’s into Kurt Rosenwinkel at the moment, and we can see how he’s upgraded himself much higher than before. Having skillful companions make this band sharp in presenting the concept. They play tight and neat too. In the midst of pop jazzy bands, a pure jazz band like Frank & Co should carry the mission to preserve jazz in its true form, along with the tradition and so on. Frank & Co speaks jazz fluently, we like it.

Braga Jazz Walk 13 - Pangeran Muda (7)

Next is the next big thing. A smiley, cheerful and humble young man who soon will dominate the industry. A man who has bagged more than 200 achievements and graced so many prestigious stages in and out the nation before he even reached 30. He is none other than Pangeran Muda. Recently Panda, his nickname, is working hard in establishing his position stronger than ever by preparing his debut solo album. Last month just a week after the Java Jazz Festival 2015 he released his single carrier titled “Terpaku” as well as launching the Crowdfunding GO PANDA! campaign. If you don’t know what it is, it is a creative move made by him that openly involves the fans and wider society to support local musicians (http://jazzuality.com/jazz-news/pangeran-muda-panda-single-launching-and-crowdfunding-go-panda-campaign/). If this works, this can be a groundbreaking alternative for newcomers who want to make their own album. Believe it or not, Panda wishes for that. “I wish to present a more real forms of art that can be enjoyed at any time. And my dreams won’t stop there. I also wish to motivate young generation in Indonesia to be fruitful. Despite anything they lack of, they should know that they still have the chance to make something according to their calling and gain success.” he said.

We have had him performing in Braga Jazz Walk #5, and since he has made new moves, it’s about time to have him back again. If last time he brought all-star cast to back up his performance at Braga Jazz Walk, this time Panda gave more intimate session, featuring Andi Rustandi, the pianist of a famous band T-Five and his producer, Yabes. Yabes is the bassist of Bams (ex Samsons), but for tonight he played guitar in one song.

Braga Jazz Walk 13 - Pangeran Muda (1)

Pangeran and Andi greeted everyone with a famous song “Love Me Harder”. He directly demonstrated how high he could climb the scale without problem. He took time to give his single CDs to three lucky people right after he sang “Dibawah Sinar Bulan Purnama”. Then the single carrier “Terpaku” that has all the ingredients to be a big hit, and Yabes joined in to serve one last party with Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj’s song, “Bang Bang” in funky blues style.

Since he’s inspired by wide range of artists; from Soimah (Soimah Pancawati, a presenter, singer, sinden, comedian) to Amy Winehouse, he likes to call his music as ‘complicated pop’. But his songs are not difficult to digest at all. He writes lyrics that speak about what we experience in daily basis and use it to send positive messages. The melodies are made ear-catchy but rich. He’s appeared in television musical series, he’s won some competitions, he’s been everywhere. But now is the time to establish himself as a major force in the music world. By looking at what he has, we have no doubt that he has all the chance to succeed. He has good vibes, the medias seem to love him and of course his works, and the wind is currently perfect for him to sail. It’s certainly fascinating to see a star in the making like this. And we are happy that he has left his marks in Braga Jazz Walk. Pangeran Muda a.k.a Panda can be a good source of inspiration for those who are still working to establish their spot in music.

Braga Jazz Walk 13 - Galant (3)

A manouver happened when the third session began. Galant Yurdian, better known as just Galant took over the stage and performed all by himself. Allow us to tell you more about this cool dude. First of all, this man is no stranger in Bandung, especially in the indie communities, from jazz, folk and blues. He’s originally a bassist, but he plays guitar amazingly well. Plus, he sings just as good.

Speaking of bands, this man has quite colorful sound. He goes deep into blues with 70s Orgasm Club, he embraces folks with Deugalih & Folks that just released an album “Anak Sungai”: https://itunes.apple.com/id/album/anak-sungai/id965589936), and in duo Gallia he shows his jazzy side. Other than that album, he has released his debut “About A” in 2010 and also “Live at Eksperimentasi Akustika 3″. Tell you folks, Galant can play any genre, from jazz, blues, RnB, alternative, rock and so on just as good. You can access his albums and find out more about him by log on to http://inmyroom.us/galant2/ and http://inmyroom.us/galant/.

If in last edition we had him playing as Gallia (http://jazzuality.com/jazz-event-report/braga-jazz-walk-12-the-report/), this time he appeared all by himself, singing some of his songs from his two albums. Some has jazzy vibes, the other got blues, folk even grunge/alternative fashion. A strong start with “(Don’t Let Me Say) Goodbye”, he carried on with his version of “Di Bawah Sinar Bulan Purnama” and his own composition picturing a beautiful site from his homeland, “Tanjung Sopan”. The last song is his new, unrelease song titled “Sing It”.

Braga Jazz Walk 13 - Galant (2)

If you notice, we have featured so many solo performers in our own created events. We believe it will enrich the music scene, especially since not many event would love to have solo players. We are, however, happy to have at least one in every edition if possible, especially when realizing how many talents Bandung has that can carry on the concept of appearing just alone. Proud to have Galant and his artistry, and hope to see him back again in other editions.

bragajazzwalk13-jamsession

At the jam session we got so many young singers. Andi T-Five was kind enough to provide music from piano. First his own student named Diva sang two song, “” and “”, then a young man who apparently enjoyed the show while having dinner with his friends. He sang John Legend’s “All of Me” with good soulful style. Then the attending musicians had their own party, mostly from Owcindful plus Ayu Sara and Ocha in front. They sang Raisa’s “Could This Be Love”. And with this song, the 13th edition was wrapped.

Braga Jazz Walk 13 - Photo Session

The Braga Jazz Walk #13 was fun. Each session offered different side of jazz, different format and wide age range. Tonight the audience got solo acoustic, vocal group, one instrumental jazz band and one pop jazz artist with full band. The jam session was lively too, thanks to participating musicians.

Watch the highlight of Braga Jazz Walk 13 on our YouTube channel

Next month we will be back with a fresh new batch. There will be male solo artist that will definitely hook you up and a female jazz singer who loves to sing standards. We will let you know more later, in the mean time, keep supporting your local jazz community, because it won’t be able to exist without you guys. See you next month!

See more pictures:

Reporter: Riandy Kurniawan
Photographer: Titus Firmanto
Video Editor: Vierna Mariska

1263

KampoengJazz2015

 

2015 must be a blessing for The Executive Student Board (BEM) of the Law Faculty of Padjadjaran University because this year fortunately they could held their annual jazz event, the biggest in Bandung, The 7th International Kampoeng Jazz, without any postponed agenda like previous year. Located at their own campus, Universitas Padjadjaran Dipati Ukur, for about twelve hours in last Saturday, the visitors were spoiled by various artists, lots of food booth, and bazaar. Couple of hours before the show the committee held Press Conference for all media partners at Sheraton Bandung Hotel & Towers. Jizue, Syaharani, G-Pluck Beatles, and Beben Jazz were some musicians who met us there. Back to the main event, at the punctual time as scheduled, Kampoeng Jazz Project Officer, Frero, gave his speech as the event was officially begun. After that, Kama Soekarno, Chief of BEM Fakultas Hukum UNPAD, and the Chief of P2K2M also welcomed the visitors and finally the fun had begun.

KampoengJazz2015-Auditions

With a lot of musicians to perform, Kampoeng Jazz got two stages for them to explore, Main Stage and Lounge Stage which was sponsored by Nescafe Coffee. Just like before, Kampoeng Jazz always gives the chance for amateur/newborn bands to participate via auditions. For this year, three bands were selected by the judge. One, Chakraborty delivered a tight package in the name of jazz. The band was established a little bit more than a year ago but they have played hundreds of times in front of public. They have played in prestigious festivals like JakJazz, they have bagged quite many achievements too. “Kepahitan Termanis”, “Soul Shadows”, and “Sabda Alam” were their creation specially delivered to us. Then, a trio from Jakarta named MEP Trio was really solid in exploring the funky jazz terrain. These guys played like a pro, sharp but smooth. MEP stands for Madra, Eky, and Pandu. For this event the drum position was given to Afi because Pandu couldn’t make it. That was from Lounge Stage, while for Main Stage, Salty Sugar was the first who tasted it. This band is a large ensemble consists of young guns who have been friends since junior high school. They served funky party that would fit everyone. Knowing how today hits could easily attract the crowd, the band closed their performance with upbeat “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk ft. Pharrell Williams and Coldplay’s “A Sky Full of Stars”. So there, three audition winners did very well in setting up the fire early.

KampoengJazz2015-REB (2)

Bell Bottom Blues Trio consists of Ruzan as singer and guitar player, Fahmi as bass player, Dhana as drum n percussion player. Starting the journey worked on Jimi Hendrix’s songs three fellows from different genres fuse under blues and epically entertained us with their skills and shared their souls. Hope their motto, “kami akan bermain di mana saja dan kapan saja dengan 200% effort dan soul” goes well with their musical journey. Continued with Dadung and Friends played today’s hits “Love Never Felt So Good” by Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake. Then, Russel and Electric Band (REB) came up and hit the stage with “Leaving on the Jet Plane”.

KampoengJazz2015-BebenNFriends (2)

Beben Jazz and Friends made a visit to this fest. As you probably know, Beben Supendi Mulyana – better known as Beben Jazz- is an important figure in Indonesian jazz. His community, Komunitas Jazz Kemayoran has performed hundreds of regular gigs and still running well until now. It’s always interesting to see how he introduces jazz to the society. He knows how to make it acceptable to all segments in the society without having to lose the jazz traditions. Jamming mode, improvisations, call and response, all that jazz, plus communicative as Beben likes to share knowledge during his show. A joyful treat full of lessons, that’s what it was. Not only beautifully entertained us with Ella Fitzgerald’s “Summertime”, Duke Ellington’s “Take the A Train”, “Just the Two of Us”, Beben also got a Hall of Fame achievement by Kampoeng Jazz Project Officer.

KampoengJazz2015-Mocca-ft-Yura (2)

One of many things we like about Mocca and Friends is how their melodious tunes never get us bored, both live and recorded. Charmed and swept everyone with Arina’s soft voice and the beat from all band players really couldn’t stop us from singing along with them. Greeted their listeners with “Secret Admirer”, continued with Frank Sinatra’s “My Way”, “Bandung”, and then Yura joined the gig in “Balada Sirkus” and “Butterfly in My Tummy”.

KampoengJazz2015-DriedCassava (1)

Dried Cassava started their musical journey since high school at South Jakarta. Baskoro Adhi Juwono as vocalist and one of the guitarists, Nandie Daniel Febryan as lead guitarist, Bana Drestanta as bassist and Kago Mahardono as drummer, these talented fellow gave us another experience in jazz event with their alternative funk rock and blues. “Paradox” was one of many songs they brought up on stage and you can get this song from their debut album ‘Mind Thieves’.

KampoengJazz2015-AdhitiaSofyan (2)

As rain was pouring, Adhitia Sofyan just came on very proper time, marking his second participation in this event after last year. His voice blended with his guitar produced perfect ambience. “Adelaide Sky”, “The Stalker”, “Tik Tik Tik Bunyi Hujan”, “Blue Sky Collapse”, “After the Rain”, and “Tokyo Lights Fade Away”, a song from ‘How to Stop Time’ album were the list at that noon.

2188

NorthSumatraJazzFestival2015

 

“We want to make it different than other festivals in Indonesia.”  That’s what Erucakra Mahameru told us in April 2011, just a couple of months before he launched his brainchild, the first-ever jazz festival in Medan city called North Sumatra Jazz Festival (NSJF). By saying different, actually Erucakra meant to uphold the idealism in presenting high quality of jazz-tertainment, without forgetting the rich traditional music from different tribes living in that particular area.  It was in 2011. Since then, we have been witnessing rapid growth. It now stands as an international festival. Many spontaneous collaborations indicates the fact that jazz is indeed a universal language. That’s not an easy thing to do in Medan, but it does work. Jazz penetrates Medan in the way never happened before. They have jazz communities, good regeneration and better and better acceptances from the societies. If Medan was once known as rock city, one must admit that it is jazz city too now. And North Sumatra Jazz Festival plays a very vital part of it.

Just a couple of days ago, the North Sumatra Jazz Festival as the fruit of solid collaboration between Waspada emusic (WEM) and Indiejazz Indonesia as the organizer has reached its 5th anniversary. At the press conference held in Marin Lounge Karibia Hotel on Friday, April 10th, Erucakra said that he’s ready to bring more jazz subgenres into the mix of cultures which has been seen as the city’s distinct scenes for years. This new theme’s called Jazzversity Culture. This year’s edition once again showcased spontaneous collaboration among performers from various countries.
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Along with the official home band Erucakra C Man Band, from South Korea we got Phil Yoon Group consists of Phil Yoon (drums), Lee Jongwon (Saxophone), Lee Myeonggeon (Piano) and Heo Jinho (bass). From Malaysia, Razak Rahman and friends featuring Professor Hanafie Imam, Rosita Rohaizad (vocal) and Adrienne Pallikat (drums). From our side were the girl-wonder from Bali, 15 year-old VK a.k.a Vickay joined Emerald BEX’s Roedyanto, and the Indonesian progressive rock-fusion band, The KadriJimmo (Kadri Mohammad  & Jimmo) took us back to feel the atmosphere of 90’s Indonesian music scene together with Keenan Nasution. Keenan’s lifespan carreer as a drummer, pianist, guitarist, writer and also famous singer, from the member of God Bless to Guruh Gipsy (with Fariz RM & Chrisye) and Gank Pegangsaan, has made him a living legend in our music industry. To add more excitement to the younger audience, Indonesian Idol’s alumni Teza Sumendra stood tall in the lineup.

North Sumatra Jazz Festival 2015 - .Rio Riezky (1)
The 2015’s edition started early with the performance from Medan’s local bands Elnino from University of North Sumatra,  Candle & Moonlight and UNIMED’s Kalila, with some Melayu/Malay and South Tapanuli (Mandailing)’s traditional dance to describe more of this year’s cross cultural theme. The night’s got stronger jazz ambience with Rio Riezky & the Band who sang their own compositions and Gugun Blues Shelter’s “Turn It On”.

North Sumatra Jazz Festival 2015 - Vickay-Roedyanto  (6)

Vickay then jazzed up the stage with her amazing performance. Being only 15 year old, this jazz girl-wonder came up with her own songs from her first album, “You Don’t Know Me.” Not only great in singing, she also demonstrated her ability in playing multi instruments including keyboard and guitar. With Emerald BEX’s Roedyanto, Vickay sang ‘What’s Going On?”. the bluesy “Beggin” and “Bahagia Lagi”.

North Sumatra Jazz Festival 2015 - Razak Rahman  (4)

Time to check out the jazz icon from our neighboring country: Razak Rahman and Friends. Razak and his team offered jazz tunes with the ellegance of Malay traditional sounds, even included a Malay monologue. The wonderful chemistry of Razak’s saxophone and Prof. Hanafie Imam’s  bass flew smooth over the Malay rendition of Duke Ellington’s “Don’t Get Around Much” presented in a translated Malay format: “Kini Aku Sendirian”. This song was sung by Mazlina Abdul Manan. The treat didn’t stop there, because then they brought in two of P. Ramlee & Puan Sri Saloma’s classic hits “Asmara” and “Mahligai Kahyangan”,  sang by Rozita Rohaizad. Rozita is the niece of Puan Sri Saloma (wife of the late maestro Tan Sri P. Ramlee) and daughter of the legendary actress Mariani. Not only in carrying the legacy, Rozita suits perfectly with the song too, as if she was born to sing it.

 Erucakra then joined them. Together they ran wild with John Coltrane’s “Impressions”.

North Sumatra Jazz Festival 2015 - Erucakra Mahameru - Eru Cakra C Man Band (12)

With Rheinhard Tobing (one of the founder of Medan’s famous Session Band before forming his own Rheinhard & His Combo) as their new additional personnel on keyboards, Erucakra C Man Band seemed to have new power. This time with the formation consists of Brian Harefa (saxophone), Rusfian Karim (drums) and Okky Pendawa (bass), their compositions felt more variative and melodic than ever. The y played Miles Davis’ classic “So What” in acid jazz variations, Chick Corea’s “Blue Miles” in strong blues touch and Dave Brubeck’s  “Take Five” in Al Jarreau’s version with lyrics, which became the highlight of their performance. This quite complicated composition was nicely sang by Erucakra. He also showed his scat-singing ablity which surprised the audience. They ended their part with The Beatles’ classic “Come Together” in a quite unique variations.

North Sumatra Jazz Festival 2015 - Phil Yoon Group (5)

Phil Yoon then came up on stage and gave everyone a different flavor. He let us enjoy the  taste of South Korean jazz which is a rarity to many jazz audience here. Their highly attractive playing clearly reflected on the repertoires which were mostly taken from their albums like from the 2007 album “E.J. (Homage to Elvin Jones)”, “Nardis”, “Jindo Arirang”, “The Ride” and from the 2012 album “The Reminiscence of Mom”, “Joshua”, “Bull’s Eye” and “Boston Blues”, where they collaborated with Erucakra Mahameru’s masterful guitar sound and techniques.

North Sumatra Jazz Festival 2015 - KadriJimmo - Keenan Nasution

As the night got even hotter, The KadriJimmo (formerly The KadriJimmo The Prinzes of Rhythm) got their shot. KadriJimmo is a duo vocalist group consists of Kadri Mohammad and Jimmo (known from Melly’s duet hit ‘Pujaanku’ from the hit movie ‘Eiffel I’m In Love’). Along with the band, these guys knocked the audience out with their progressive rock-fusion repertoires. Some was taken from their album ‘Indonesia Hebat’ like the uniquely titled “Secangkir Teh Sebelum Kau Pergi (A Cup of Tea Before You Leave)” and the upcoming single “Energi Cinta (Love Energy)” composed by Kla Project’s Adi Adrian & Bemby Noor. After the majestic medley of “Badai Pasti Berlalu” which also featured Popo the keyboardist on vocals, the most awaited Keenan Nasution joined them on stage.

North Sumatra Jazz Festival 2015 - Keenan Nasution and Vickay (1)

Accompanied by The KadriJimmo’s Noldy (guitarist), Soebroto (bass), Popo (keyboard) and Hayunaji (drums), Keenan swept the audience with his classic hit from Gank Pegangsaan, “Dirimu”. Then he took Guruh Gipsy’s “Indonesia Maharddhika” which also came from  2014 all-star thematic collaboration album featured many Indonesian famous musicians including The KadriJimmo and  Keenan. Then finally, the one that started it all in Keenan’s carreer, “Nuansa Bening” came from him in a surprise duet with Vickay, who gave cool improvisations by flying over wide range of notes. It was really, really beautiful.

North Sumatra Jazz Festival 2015 - Teza Sumendra (1)
NSJF 2015 wrapped the event with Teza Sumendra in his ever attractive performance, mostly for the young audience. He sang RnB’s latest hits like Jay Z’s “Show Me What You Got”, Beyonce’s “Drunk In Love”, Jessie J’s “Bang Bang”, Mark Ronson feat Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk”, his own single “Real Love”, “Tonight”, “I Want You, Love”, “Girlfriend” and the festive Earth Wind & Fire’s classic “Let’s Groove”. Teza’s performance successfully brought the audience came closer to the stage and dance.

North Sumatra Jazz Festival 2015 - Press Conference (2)

This festival is fully supported by the city’s government and proudly stands as an international-scaled annual that should be able to attract tourists to visit Medan, as said by Medan’s vice governor HT Erry Nuradi in  his official speech. The collaboration between Erucakra Mahameru’s Waspada Emusic and Dion Momongan’s IndieJazz Indonesia isn’t just successfully introduced jazz and its various subgenres to the wider audience, it also gives more opportunities to the local jazz bands and musicians. In a hope to see more and more success story in years to come, let’s never stop giving our support to North Sumatra Jazz Festival.

See more pictures:

Reporter: Daniel Irawan
Photographer: Ferry Rumahorbo
Editor: Riandy Kurniawan

2231

BragaJazzWalk12-Jazzuality

As a community-based jazz edutainment program, Braga Jazz Walk was once running as a two weekly event, but right after the Java Jazz Pre Event which featured artists from three nations, the venue Braga CityWalk informed us the cut down due to some reasons. We still don’t know if this is going to be permanent or until when, but what we do know is that we should still focus in providing the local young guns a reliable platform to grow. Either they need promotion, wish you try out their concept, need to gain experience or simply love to perform in front of real audience in public places, this event is totally free for them to use.

While for the well established musicians, this event should be able to stand as a meeting point between them and the younger ones. They can share their knowledge and experience, they can give feedback, or they can let the youngsters learn through live performances. We provide jam session too in every edition to accomodate just about anybody who want to taste the jazzy stage. For musicians or singers who still has no band, this session can be useful. For the band members, this could freshen them from routines. And for the audience, they can always taste it anytime they want to. So far we have receieved many positive feedbacks and still have to work better on several issues. But generally, so far this event is still running on the right track with plenty of success stories to tell.

Braga Jazz Walk 12 - Tidbits (3)

After a long one full month, Braga Jazz Walk #12 was back again in action on April 9, 2015. For this edition we prepared 3 bands plus one special session. The special session featured a still 8 year-old girl that seems to know her destiny from such early age. Her name is Nadine. Nadine is currently studies at Venche Music School (VMS) under the guidance of a female jazz pianist we know very well, Nanet Ken Asri. She brought her mom and came to the previous 11th edition, where she directly approached us in order to ask for joining the jam. She amazed us directly from the first note. She could already play on stage like a pro and even joined much older players in jam session without any problem. This event is for talents like her. We invited her to have a slot in this edition, she grabbed it excitedly.

Braga Jazz Walk 12 = Find Taste (6)

Before Nadine had her first ever gig in life, Find Taste was the band to start the night. The band’s called Find Taste with Billy Likumahuwa (vocal), M Rizky Pratama (guitar), Joe Bastian (bass), Anthony (guitar) and Andre (drums). The vocalist Billy who constantly appears and jams almost in every edition of Braga Jazz Walk has a unique deep baritone voice and loves to sing no matter what genre he’s being given. Since last year he’s been placing his interest in jazz singing that’s perfectly accomodated by having reliable compatriotes in Find Taste.

Speaking of song choice, they selected 4 songs with really different backgrounds. First, Antonio Carlos Jobim’s gem “Wave” in pop bossa, then they caught everyone off guard with Ismail Marzuki’s “Panon Hideung”. From there they visited The Beatles by singing “Come Together” in jazz-rock spirit then sealed their session with “Biru”.

Braga Jazz Walk 12 - Find Taste (1)

As they have been showing their support by attending our event at regular basis, We’re happy that finally we can give one full slot for them. Unique baritone voice and young but capable musicians are found inside this band. As they are still pursuing the formal education in music, we are glad to be able to support them. Since Find Taste’s filled with passionate boys, we know they still have many things to offer. If this event still runs, we will invite them again and see their progress.

Braga Jazz Walk 12 - Nadine (4)

Then came the time for us to see the adorable little girl, Nadine. She was there alone, playing all by herself. She was very brave to do so. Look at her repertoires: “Take Five”, “Over the Rainbow” and “Night in Tunisia”. Sweet and simple, with all the innocence and purity of a child, Nadine mesmerized everyone as she gained loud applauses from one song to another. How could a girl her age handle the pressure of performing in front of the audience? Not something that’s easy for them, but the adorable Nadine overcame all of her nervousness and came out as a winner.

Braga Jazz Walk 12 - Nadine (2)

We always feel happy to meet new talent, especially a rare talent like Nadine. Imagine, while girls her age are still playing with dolls and starting to learn how to develop skills in activities they love, Nadine already found what she destined to be specifically. We are thinking, if she can already play like that today, how amazing will she become in the future. She has all the chance in the world, especially since her parents are supporting her fully. We are proud to be able to feature/introduce her, and hope she will take Braga Jazz Walk as home and come more often.

Braga Jazz Walk 12 - YD Nafis Trio (6)

Next was a trio, YD Nafis Trio. First, meet YD Nafis, an all-round keyboardist highly respected by many young guns in Bandung. About 6 months ago when the Braga Jazz Walk was just started, he told us about his plan of establishing his own group. It wasn’t easy to find the perfect ones to fill up each line, but instead of waiting, he started directly with whatever available. The drummer was already there, the young Alman Naufal who’s currently absorbing drumming knowledge and skill from Elfa Zulham and proudly is working as a drum instructor at the Venche Music School. With a very minimalistic format they have graced some stages, including some appearance on our own soil. Later on we heard that he has found a bassist. Then we invited him and his trio to fill up this edition’s slot. He took it and told us that he just got a new bassist, Robby Tribuwono Saksono.

For the first time YD Nafis Trio rest their case in our regular event, and according to Nafis, it was their first ever gig too as a trio. “All the Things You Are” was first, but then they served a surprise by pinning Nirvana’s classic “Smells Like Teen Spirit” into a soft but free jazz outfit. Throughout the songs Alman tranced behind the drums, showing how much he’s dwelling into it. Nafis let his soul go over the terrains, freely, happily. As for the newest member Robby, he is remarkable in guarding these two and keep everything intact. For the last song, they gave a cool cover of Robert Glasper’s song titled “FTB”.

Braga Jazz Walk 12 - YD Nafis Trio (2)

YD Nafis is not only a remarkable jazz pianist. He’s also a leader that expressively spreads positive vibe and happiness that can be felt by both fellow players and the audience. He leads and serves at the same time, thus make the trio stands solid. Alman as usual was into his trancing mode as a reflection of how much he’s into his play. And Robby is indeed an excellent bassist who really knows what to do. We predicted earlier that this session would be interesting and enjoyable, and yes it actually was. We enjoy YD Nafis’ keyboard playing in Tesla Manaf ft Mahagotra Ganesha and West Java Syndicate, now we see the other side of him in more central position. According to Nafis, Robby completed the core. His group may expand with more than trio, but the three will always be the core. Playing as a  trio is tricky and never easy, but Nafis should feel lucky to have Alman and Robby around, vise versa.

Braga Jazz Walk 12 - Violin Project (2)

The final showcase was a band, consists of young guns, that places two violins in front. The band’s called Violin Project. It’s still new, established earlier this year when two young violinists, Kiki Abdul Haqi and Raga Dipa wished to hold an internal concert that finally took place at the Auditorium Indra Music last month by the name of Violin Night. The violin duo are strongly supported by their friends such as Pandu Watu Alam (piano), Marsha Oktora (guitar), Satria Tri Buana (bass) and the talented drummer who has played at our event quite many times, Andi Pramudito.

Andi told us earlier that Funk/Fusion is the main style of their music. Since Raga is the personnel of Bandung rock band named Restless, some rock pattern is alive and kicking too in their music. They opened up with Chick Corea “Spain”. Jazz rock sounded majestic from them, plus some samba beat and other twists enriched this opening song. As they attracted more and more people, the threw more songs including Secret Garden’s “Poeme”, and Clean Bandit’s “Rather Be”. They do have original song too, written by Didi entitled “Journey”. For the last song, they played UZEB/Didier Lockwood’s “The Kid”.

Braga Jazz Walk 12 - Violin Project (1)

6 players connected and shone bright. The rich, strong and steady drumbeat, fine guitar line and melodious rhythm from the bass, fired up keyboardist and of course, two brilliant violinists in front created one solid package of music. Violin is not the usual instrument to find in jazz and rock, therefore a band like this is important in terms of enriching our music with colorful varieties. It feels good to be able to feature this in our event. Hopefully more people could see that there are so many possibilities in jazz and certainly, you can use any kinds of instrument to bring out the jazzy soul in you.

Braga Jazz Walk 12 - Jam Session-

Jam session started afterwards with Nadine and YD Nafis. They shared one piano and played “Take the ‘A’ Train” and then “Autumn Leaves”. Interestingly, Nadine’s grandfather who came to support her took the mike and sang. A golden, round baritone voice of the grandpa gained loud applauses and cheers from every one in the venue. Frank Navayo (guitar) joined in.

Nafis’ dear wife, Misty then took over the mike and sang “How Insensitive”. More players rushed in: Omega (piano), Rio (bass), Rizky (guitar), Anthony (guitar) and Alman (drums). Misty led them and sang Raisa’s “Could This Be Love”. Billy took the other mike and sang too. The photo session happened during this song, but there was one last batch: the whole YD Nafis Trio plus Billy (now on guitar) with Fauzan Razak (vocal). They made a spontaneous but stand out cover of “Feeling Good”. That became the end of this 12th edition.

Braga Jazz Walk 12 - Photo Group

Three groups in various formats and styles plus one special solo performance by an 8 year-old girl were the story of this 12th edition. It’s great to see many young players are already capable to bring good music in the name of jazz. We are satisfied with the variety of instruments being used, the wide age ranging and colorful sounds. Oh yeah, the jam was cool too. There are many bands still waiting to be featured. We will bring another fresh batch next month. If the event still runs, you can be sure to get something different. That’s all for now, see you again next month.

Watch the highlight of Braga Jazz Walk #12

See more pictures:

Reporter: Riandy Kurniawan
Photographer: Titus Firmanto
Video Editor: Vierna Mariska Kurniawan

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Pasific 2

The journey finally comes to an end. BEM KEMA Fakultas Ekonomi dan Bisnis Universitas Padjadjaran (FEB UNPAD) finally completed their series of events, PASIFIC (Padjadjaran Music Festival and Culture). Started with the first event in February 2014, committee auspiciously held the gig with numerous big names in music such as NAIF, HiVi, Project Pop, Sheila On 7, Afgan, The SIGIT, Glenn Fredly, and Tulus. Continued to PASIFIC 2 First Event in last month of 2014, FLOAT, Pandai Besi, Senandung Taman, Tiga Pagi, and the remarkable Daniel Sahuleka were up on stage playing their music. At last, the second and third events of PASIFIC happened in this March. While the former spotlighted green activities at Taman Hutan Raya Djuanda, the latter we attended recently presenting Mocca, Maliq & D’Essentials, Sheila On7, and DEWA 19 feat. Ari Lasso. These pretty much summarize the whole sequence of PASIFIC.

Now, let’s pay attention to the last event we covered, which is the third event. Centering the importance of green life, PASIFIC consistently acknowledge their visitors about taking care of our nature surrounds and cleanness in Bandung. Therefore, they brought up “Experience the Soul of Nature” as second event theme and “We Are the Soul of Nature” as third theme. Located at Sasana Budaya Ganesha, last Saturday became one of many memorable music events in Bandung. The gate was opened from 1 p.m. and one distinguished thing about this event was their punctuality. Committee had proved that time and pleasantness of their visitors are important so they surely did the best in time management. In addition for our pleasure, they provided us with many tenants consisted of foods, beverages, performer’s merchandise, and sponsor’s items to choose. No worries of getting hungry or bored.

Pasific 2 - Mahesvara

As usual for college events, PASIFIC 2 was officially opened that noon as the Vice Dean gave his speech and followed by P2K2M. Months ago the committee had held band audition and the result was five groups who played in third event. Our biggest applause for many young yet talented fellas from Summer Breeze, Lebanon, The Mahad, Happy Man, and Mahesvara. They all deserve the spotlight at big stage as in PASIFIC because joyful they served to us through their tunes. Mahesvara is one of those bands closest to us and as much as we are happy to see they develop this far, great to see they continually spread the traditional Sundanese to many crowds. Fun to see they blended the latest hits with their traditional arrangements well just like within their first song, Sia’s “Chandelier”, continued by Titi DJ’s “Ekspresi”, and a Sundanese song from Pupuh Kinanti, “Budak Leutik Bisa Ngapung”.

Pasific 2 - Mocca (1)

Right before break at dawn, one of four main stars was ready on stage, Bandung sweetheart, Mocca. We had mentioned within Java Jazz Festival 2015 report that last January Mocca released their newest album called ‘Home’. By saying home, it refers to Bandung as their hometown, where the creative Mocca was born and belongs. ‘Home’ is an album full of their stories about the long journey to come back home and special for this event, Mocca played several songs from that album. “Changing fate”, “Home”, “Somewhere In My Dreamland”, and “Bandung (Flower City)” were their new pieces, added with the old “I Remember” and “Swing It, Bob” which were beautifully sang by Arina Ephipania, Riko Prayitno, Toma Pratama, and Indra Massad.

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Braga-Jazz-Walk-11

After the blazing Pre Event Java Jazz Festival for Bandung region two weeks ago (http://jazzuality.com/jazz-event-report/braga-jazz-walk-special-edition-pre-event-java-jazz-festival-2015-the-report/), we are back to the regular community event in supporting local jazz/jazz oriented musicians to showcase and socialize their music to the public. In this edition we invited variety of bands/musicians. By saying variety we mean age (from junior high school students to senior drummer/famous drum teacher), experience and the flavor of their music.

Braga Jazz Walk 11 - Hexatonix (2)

The show kicked off just a couple of minutes after seven pm. To open it up, Hexatonix, the junior high school students from Kalam Kudus Christian School stepped up the gear and drove some fusion out from the stage. Jenny Meijelina (vocal), Kirana Ariel (bass), Karel Kwee (rhythm guitar), Errick Salibana (melody guitar), Cecilia (keyboard) and Sigit (drums) were all the students of young guitarist who’s also a regular faces in our events, Jerry Gates and his friend, Andreas (drums). They are still new to this, only got the chance to learn two months, but the spirit are there already. Thomas Sylvester and Billy Likumahuwa are helping to shape them up too.

The combination of today’s top 40 and jazz standards became their choice. Jenny and Cecilia started first with “If I Ain’t Got You”. Not only playing, Cecilia sang too. After that, the rest of the band joined in. “Autumn Leaves” was the song, followed by Maroon 5’s “Sunday Morning” in much slower tempo. The soulful Jenny then pinned Raisa’s big hit “Could It Be Love” and then served the last party with Bruno Mars’ “Treasure”.

Braga Jazz Walk 11 - Hexatonix (8)

These kids are still in their mid teen, yet look at how good they are progressing in playing jazz. Not easy, since they have responsibilities to do the best on their formal study, but they seem able to share some of their time to play music especially jazz. We are happy to see the birth of new jazz souls like this, and we are excited to see their progress. We know the board of teachers/mentors are good musicians, but now we also know that they are good in teaching the kids. A good musician should also be able to teach too, don’t you think? Passing the knowledge and skill to the next generation will create fresh new players that we need in order to keep it alive. In other words, the future of jazz is in their hands. Thank you Andreas, Jerry, Thomas and Billy, may you never stop in making and finding more potential talents. And kids, keep up the great job!

Braga Jazz Walk 11 - Gallia (7)

Different menu was served on the second round. It was a duo of Galant Yurdian and Puspallia Panggabean, together as Gallia. Well, both of them share the same passion and most probably calling. Puspall is active in several groups and often goes back and forth from Bandung to Jakarta, Galant achieves success as the bassist of Deugalih & Folks and 70’s Orgasm Club. With Puspall however, Galant switches his weapon with guitar and proves that he can play it just as good. They have been supporting each other for quite some times and stood tall as one of the Duotone teams at Klab Jazz’s special event last August, 2014. Just based on this fact alone we could already feel that this pairing would give interesting things. And yes, they actually did.

Throughout the session, Puspall who looked cute with Indian ‘bindi’ on her forehead demonstrated the solid vocal quality that has attracted many seniors in Jakarta. Galant did very, very well not only in playing but also in the arrangement post. Basically they served a unique, acoustic tribute to the great, great American legend, Cole Porter. Except one song from Frente, “Cuscutlan”. Not an ordinary song choice perhaps, but they took and played it beautifully. “I just love that song,” said Puspall, giggled. As for the Cole Porter songlist, they didn’t just take them but rearranged them differently.  “Anything Goes” served grand, just like the way Kate Capshaw did at the opening scene of “Indiana Jones and Temple of Doom”. Amazingly, they did it by two, not with a big band like Kate. After the sweet “Night and Day” , Gallia demonstrated how good they could rearrange and execute songs with “Let’s Fall in Love” and “In the Still of the Night”.  The first mentioned song got heavy blues treatment. In a way, we could feel Galant’s soul and spirit in this one. Then, the last song began with minus one before Galant painted the song even more with his colorful play. So different, so fresh, creatively crafted.

 

Braga Jazz Walk 11 - Gallia (6)

There are several factors that make this pairing works. First, they have been supporting each other for quite some times. They know each other closely and share the strong chemistry. Then, this duo share the same passion in music. Eventhough their music reference and channel might be different, but they surely know what to choose. Another important thing to mention, both of them are remarkable artists. Equipped with skills, heavily gifted and fully experienced, they can create something new by flying wide, stretching the border to find broader musical horizon, without leaving each of their style and taste behind. We had been wishing to invite them for a couple of months, but only now finally we got the chance. In the midst of big sized bands, a duo like this can be really refreshing and should be kept going, especially when the duo is as good as this couple. Bravo, Gallia!

Braga Jazz Walk 11 - Olteje (1)

The last performing band was Olteje. Stands as O Learns to Jazz, this group interestingly has a fully respected drummer in it: Henky Suparjan. On the other corners this band also has experts consists of jazz experts: Caroline Tjhi (piano), Okki Jatikusuma (guitar) and Leo Hansen (bass).

They began the journey a couple of years ago, establishing the connection fast and keep digging more and more repertoires, from simple jazz standards to the complex ones. That’s why they like to spread their wings wide on stage, reaching swing, bossa, fusion and other kind of jazz horizons. In performing, they often add more bites with vocalist and/or percussionist.

For this event however, Okki couldn’t make it at the last minute. But worry not, Dicky Ampouw, one of the saxophonist of Salamander Big Band stood tall replacing him. A song written by Joe Zawinul for Cannonball Aderley Quintet, “Mercy Mercy Mercy” gave a grand start. From there, they moved to the second checkpoint, playing Dizzy Gillespie’s “Night in Tunisia”. The classic Latin jazz standard “Mambo Inn” took us into a cozy, breezy beach mood. After “Cheek to Cheek”, Olteje gave a completely relaxing ending in bossa style by taking Jobim’s gem, “Look to the Sky”.

Braga Jazz Walk 11 - Olteje (6)

A pure jazz extacy were produced by this amazing jazz quartet. They made it so simple, but you could really hear that they played in master level. Challenging and fascinating, refreshing. Special thanks to Henky Supardjan who’s willing to play with electric drum in order to play in this event.

Braga Jazz Walk 11 - Jam Session (1)

Jam session served right on. Tonight we got a special participant. Not a senior, but on the opposite, an 8 year-old girl named Nadine. She studies at VMS with Nanet Ken Asri, once an active jazz pianist. She came, approaching us asking to jam, and actually played very well. Accompanied by Jerry Gates (guitar), Billy Likumahuwa (vocal), Farrel Ong (drums) and Yosua Setiawan (bass), she played “Autumn Leaves” flawlessly. The bass guitar changed hand to Nicodemus Horrison and guitar to Adya Amru. “Misty” was the song. Imagine an 8 year-old girl in a jazz event, not just watching but performing! How wonderful is that? We are happy to find another wonder little girl who rises so early.  She knows what she likes already and sticks with it. Amazing.

Braga Jazz Walk 11 - Jam Session (4)

The photo session took place in the middle of that song. But after that, the jam session still carried on. This year’s X Factor participant, Andre Arizky ran to the stage and sang “Route 66″. Nicodemus on piano, Amru on guitar and our very own photographer, Titus Firmanto on drums.

Braga Jazz Walk 11 - PhotoSession

Another good round that has many stories to tell. We are happy with the result, and we love the variation served in this one. From junior high schoolers to today’s success artists to respected musicians. Positive energy and happy vibes were all over. We thank everyone who came to support us, the playing and jamming musicians, the audience and mall-goers, salute to you all.

Breaking News: Braga Jazz Walk will only be a monthly event from now

Allow us to announce that due to some circumstances, Braga CityWalk has decided to cut off one of the regular schedule. If before we run twice a month, from now on we only run once, on the second Thursday of the month. So, until further notice Braga Jazz Walk becomes monthly. There are many bands still to showcase, but unfortunately the call is not on us. Whoever fill the 4th Thursday night won’t be from us, and we get nothing to do with it at all. This is why jazz lovers and musicians have to keep supporting local jazz community. No matter where, many jazz community struggles to maintain its show. Your support is always counted and appreciated. We’ll see you again next month with another batch, another style and another story.

Watch the video highlight from Braga Jazz Walk 11

Reporter: Riandy Kurniawan
Photographer: Titus Firmanto
Video Editor: Vierna Mariska Kurniawan

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Java-Jazz-Festival-2015-Day-3

After two days of jazzsensation, here we come to Day 3, the final day of Java Jazz Festival year 2015. Great opportunity to spend our first weekend on March in this tenth edition of the festival. You can choose to come one day or three days in a row, and when you miss one of your favourite artists, there is still another day to choose. Some artists have two or three times to perform. These musicians had showed up on Friday or Saturday, and yes they came again today. There are Ron King Big Band, Blue Note Tokyo All-Star Jazz Orchestra, Naturally 7, Bobby McFerrin, Lisa Ono, Ramsey Lewis, Alain Caron, Harvey Mason’s Chameleon (Fred D. Jr. Chris T., Kamasi W., John B.), Iriao, Joshua Ledet & Ron King Quintet, Anthony Stanco and The Crucial Elements, Richard Bona, Michael Lington, John Primer & the Living History Band, Chris Botti, Mehliana (Brad Mehldau & Mark Guiliana), Etienne Charles, Snarky Puppy, Jumaane Smith & Ron King Quintet. On the other hand, there are many bands/projects/performers who just got their shot here on this day.

Java Jazz Festival 2015 Day 3 - Anthony Stanco Ensemble (1)

Just like yesterday, Day 3 started with swing. If Salamander Big Band was the band on day 2, this time it was Galaxy BigBand Jazz Orchestra. The Galaxy Big Band is a regular in this fest, filled with Japanese (and other countries’) expatriates who are still happily spare their valuable time to maintain their passion in music, particularly jazz.

It’s been great to see Warren Hill back again to Indonesia after 20 years. This man redefined the contemporary smooth jazz to be both sexy, relaxing and energetic at the same time way back then in the 90’s. He still has it all today.  Warren Hill plays every note with passion, up to the point that his music somewhat has spirit and alive. Action packed show, energetic and romantic. Bravo Warren!

 

Java-Jazz-Festival-2015-Day-3---Warren-Hill-(1)

The Salamander junior, Youth Jazz Orchestra ensured us that the future of swingin’ big band in Indonesia is on the good hands. Still around the future stars, Margo Rising Star made a blast at the outdoor stage. Once again, these young guns made Margo Jazz community proud. Harvey Malaiholo was back but this time in supporting the Malaysian orchestra, probably the oldest one, the RTM Big Band Jazz Orchestra, and he sang “Dara”, “Enggo Lari”, and also did several featuring. The senior jazz, blues, rock guitarist Donny Suhendra show came early this year. Fusion flowed naturally from his stage.

 

Java-Jazz-Festival-2015-Day-3---Ananda-Sukarlan-Repsody-Nusantara

Ananda Sukarlan has made Indonesia proud in the international music scene. He is prominent in the field of composing, he has involved in so many international commissions and performances. He has played and recorded with more than 50 renowned composers. Mostly embracing classical, Ananda Sukarlan surprisingly brought his solo piano recital, Rapsodia Nusantara and fitted the selected numbers in jazz outfit.  A wonderful package from the genius.

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Java-Jazz-Festival-2015-Day-2

 

After a full loaded Day 1, here we come to Java Jazz Festival 2015, Day 2. Just like before, plenty of attraction, mouth watering big names, today’s giants, rising stars and potential newcomers served their crafts on almost 20 stages.

Java Jazz Festival 2015 Day 2 - Lantun Orchestra (2)

Just like yesterday, the party started early. Lantun Orchestra opened up on Outdoor stage. This ensemble wishes to (re)introduce the richness of Indonesian traditional music especially the Batavian like keroncong, tanjidor and the likes. But what’s unique, in order to bring it they use jazz elements not only nin notations but also improvisations, solo runs and call & response. Keroncong appears modern with splashes of jazz without neglecting the original spirit is made possible, thanks to Chaka Priambudi on bass, Nesia Ardi on vocal, Kenny Gabriel on trumpet, Arman Chaniago on drum and kendang, Windy Setiadi on accordion, Armia Husein on flute, Tio Alibasyah on guitar, and Donny Prasetyo on keyboard. The interesting part was their mixing appearance where they wore traditional clothes from Betawi with sunglasses and sneakers and sang Betawi songs such as “Ondel-ondel”, “Jali-jali”, and Titik Puspa’s “Gang Kelinci”. Smart!

Java Jazz Festival 2015 Day 2 - Tesla Manaf (1)

While Hendrik Meurkens gave a nice jazz harmonica package early in the afternoon and Ron King Big Band treated the audience with swingin’ sensation, Tesla Manaf showcased the magic of music he called progressive acoustic experimental. This is his latest craft that made him go international under MoonJune Records. Hadis Hendarisman (clarinet), Khrisna Alda (bass) and Desal Sembada (drums) are his team mates. For us who know Tesla’s struggle in establishing himself inside the industry, we are more than happy to see him make it at this year’s edition. As usual, masterclass play just like a jazz veteran.

Java Jazz Festival 2015 Day 2 - Emerald BEX

The bassist of legendary group Uzeb and Se7entrion, Alain Caron heated the festival early with his fusion fire, and the Indonesian gem Emerald BEX set the fire exactly on the opposite side of the venue. Live at Wonderland, a group of musicians who frequently play their music in several jazz events and support its community finally arrived at the biggest jazz event and Symbiosis got their chance too around the same time. Symbiosis, a jazz band, with special composition and well-served jazz standards has Chris Dragotta on sax, Michael Kruge on bass/cello, Gary Fredriksen on drums, and Boris de Vries on guitar behind it all.

Java Jazz Festival 2015 Day 2 - Salamander Big Band

Ever since we know Salamander Big Band since 2007 they have been showing the life like wine, getting better with age. They consistently bring guest stars from Europe each and every year, learning new things from them and perform together. Getting more knowledge and experient shape them to be a big band with international quality. This year they are back again to this fest. From the facial expression they were proud and happy, we are also happy for them too.

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Java-Jazz-Festival-Day-1

The Java Jazz Festival 2015 has reached the 11th year. As usual, this largest annual jazz meeting in the world runs for full three days, presenting more than 50 acts per day (that’s hundreds of artists), spread over almost 20 stages for straight 8-9 hours. For this year there are many new names and interesting new projects, special tributes and so on. From legends, big names, today’s headliners to promising newcomers, all shaped each edition to stand strong both for jazz lovers and music fans in general.

Several stages started early in the first day. Farrah Di ; once a cute little girl but now 18 years old ; played with Jei Angklung in collaboration with Sol Project BPJS. Three more shows running almost at the same time were trumpeter Etienne Charles who represented Trinidad music vibe in jazz, UPH Conservatory Orchestra and the band from Yogjakarta consists of brave young lions, Rekoneko. Just like Farrah Di, Rekoneko got young players when the band was born in 2009. Ido (piano), Andreas (bass), Luke (guitar) and Mahesa (drums) is still the core of this band. The beauty of fusion shone from them, with some ethnic spices here and there.

 

Java Jazz Festival 2015 Day 1 - Akiko

First performance at Semeru was so much as expected. Labeled “Straight Ahead Venue”, the artist brought strong jazz bebop, uptempo swing with aggressive solo for real jazz aficionados at this festival. Straight way ahead! Her name is Akiko. Imagine that fused with Joey DeFransesco and Jimmy Smith, then voila! We have Akiko. Teamed up with a guitar, drums, and a trumpet, the band was full of energy and attractive. Not only that, Akiko included gimmicks such as playing “Circus Charlie” in her solo and also included a little bit of “Whiter Shade of Pale”. One of the song they played was called “Johnny Comes Marching Home”.

During a little speech in between her songs, she said that this year is her 50th year in music career, right after that speech she played a beautifully organ-ized cover of “How Deep Is Your Love”, which got the audience to sing along. Great vibe! The show was satisfying. Semeru is definitely THE place for straight-ahead jazz, thanks to its excellent acoustic settings.

The harmonica and vibraphone virtuoso Hendrik Meurkens made his comeback to this festival. Just like in 2011, his passion in blending jazz with Brazilian music (bossa, samba, chorinho and many more) is captivating especially with his quartet, the Hendrik Meurkens Samba Jazz Quartet. Meurkens doesn’t bring just Brazilian music flat; instead he infuses lots of bop. What a way to enjoy Brazilian music-bop style.

Java Jazz Festival 2015 Day 1 - Andre Dinuth

Some more shows ran on different stages. Four On A Swing, a band started by pianist Pradyumna Manot with William Walters (bass), Aniruddh Saha (drums) and French Emmanuel Simon (percussion) featuring New Yorker Megan Powers on vocal lightened up the B2 stage. At the same time, Andre Dinuth, the name behind Glenn Fredly, Afgan, Rossa, Sandy Sondoro, Once and one of the Six Strings (with Dewa Bujana, Tohpati, Aria Baron, Baim and Eross Candra) who recently appeared in front by releasing his solo album heated up the other spot. From fusion to progressive to rock, it’s about time for him to make his own story. Meanwhile, the Institute Music Indonesia (IMI) Soca Project gave a tribute to a legend who passed away not long ago, Rinto Harahap. Beautiful arrangement was heard through several hits by him, such as “Ayah” and “Benci tapi Rindu”.

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PreEvent-JJF-BragaJazzWalk--

Chinese New Year had passed, so had Valentine’s Day. it is already last week in February, get yourself ready to welcome the new month. Before that, close this lovely month with something special in accordance to the biggest jazz meeting in the world that’s amazingly made in Indonesia, the Java Jazz Festival. For jazz aficionados, the month of March must be the most exciting month of the year.

This year the Java Jazz Festival is going to celebrate its 11th aniversary, as usual with hundreds of shows and thousands of players.  Jazzuality in collaboration with Braga CityWalk, KPH Music, and Java Festival Production gave the best serving for you people who adore music, especially jazz. Bandung, a friendly city with its cool atmosphere, has not so many jazz events compare to Jakarta, but this year, Java Jazz has its eyes on Bandung, most especially at our own regular community event, the Braga Jazz Walk.  looking at the increasing rate of excitement Bandung people have for jazz gigs. Surely it is an honor Jazzuality and all the partners to be chosen as a partner in hosting the Java Jazz pre-event. Speaking for the venue, Braga, one of well-known areas in Bandung with its vintage yet sophisticated ambiance absolutely is an exact place to hold this event. Thankfully Braga City Walk and KPH Music continuously place themselves as our partners in crime serve the best for you who long to see jazz gigs in public places.

Pre Event Java Jazz Festival 2015 - Braga Jazz Walk Braga CityWalk- VAC ft Yeppy Romero Marcello Alulli (14)

At the very last Thursday on February 2015, Braga Jazz Walk had its special edition as one of Java Jazz pre-event. Not only you could feel Java Jazz vibes early, but also you had the chance to see some musicians who will participate at Java Jazz Festival 2015. It was also a good opportunity for the artists because they could warm themselves up before the main event next week. What a good luck for people in Bandung.

Pre Event Java Jazz Festival 2015 - Braga Jazz Walk Braga CityWalk- Drum Clinic (2)

It was 5 pm. not too many people yet, but it increased as the night came and this event was totally free charge, no wonder many people did not want to miss this opportunity. The show was started with a drum clinic with Israel Varela. If you haven’t heard his name just yet, you should now, since this man has a very unique way of drum playing, rich in variations and of course , dare to take any risks. Such quality brought this former student of Dave Weckl to play alongside big cats like Pat Metheny and Mike Stern.

For fifteen years he has played Flamenco Jazz as drummer and uncountable best players already he played with. It is not easy to start doing something new and so Flamenco Jazz did to him. The hard long journey started when he moved to Andalucia and stayed at some gypsy camp, a small remote area but it was similar to his hometown. Varela said the key to his success now is to respect the music and just start playing it. There is no shortcut in music and no one say it is easy, but you absolutely can nail it when you put full effort and pratice everyday. He already proved it, and it was the time for him sharing it to Indonesian audience at Braga.

Pre Event Java Jazz Festival 2015 - Braga Jazz Walk Braga CityWalk- Drum Clinic (5)

Speaking about Flamenco Jazz, Yeppy Romero and Israel Varela gave us some important pieces about it. Flamenco was originally formed in Andalucia, Spain and it is absolutely not Latin. Flamenco Jazz parts into two categories:  traditional and modern. The former is a little hard to understand, but we will see a lot of percussion and traditional dance if we refer it to Indonesian culture. The latter consists of guitar, dance, and song with upbeat style like Rhumba (dance). As Romero said, he cannot claim his group as the first Flamenco jazz, but they continually try to socialize it so more people know about this rare genre. Varela added that beat or rhythm is the most important part in Flamenco and second one is hand clap so it can harmoniously go along with the dance. Playing music like doing conversation is also important, Varela shared his experiences while working with some great musicians that your musical skill go after your listening comprehension because you have to be a good listener to produce some good musics.

Pre Event Java Jazz Festival 2015 - Braga Jazz Walk Braga CityWalk- Kafin (1)

No pause, the concert began. Kafin, young body with many wonderful gifts started sailing. He is only 10, he has long way to explore the other side of him; guess there are many hidden talents he hasn’t showed us. For tonight, this participant of Mickey Mouse Club Indonesia, Gita Gutawa/Erwin Gutawa’s  Above Average project and Laskar Pelangi team  showed us the beautiful voice and awesome piano playing through sets of difficult songs including “Lullaby of Birdland”, “Take the ‘A’ Train”, “Moody’s Mood For Love” and epically closed with Ismail Marzuki’s legendary song, “Layang-layang”.

Kafin, a living proof that age doesn’t matter, he is so young compare to another musicians, but you couldn’t take your eyes off ever since he was on stage. Right before he played, Kafin gave his thought about jazz. He got his heart on jazz because he loves how jazz gives so much freedom. He breaks the stereotype people think of jazz, for Kafin jazz is not hard, instead it is a playground where he can fully play the imagination and sharp the skill. Maybe you are wondering how difficult it is to play a piano and sing at once. For Kafin, it is not difficult, it is more a challenge and he takes it in fun way where he can challenge himself. A boy wonder he is.

Pre Event Java Jazz Festival 2015 - Braga Jazz Walk Braga CityWalk- Hariring (1)

Then the stage went warmer in different tone courtesy of  Hariring, Originally, this band consists of everal skilled craftmen show their talent with various genres of music and the blends between modern and Sundanese tunes completely chilax our senses. But since around half of them couldn’t make it, the number decreased to three, with Ringga Hardika (bass, angklung), Asep Everbeat (cajon, karinding) and a substantial help from Alfariz (guitar).

With Fariz, the rule of the game changed. If they usually served Sundanese ambient music, this time the course moved to sharp rock funk. But hey, as mentioned above, they used angklung and karinding too. The result is somewhat unique.  The aroma of Borneo traditional music was locked around their music, thanks to Fariz’s homeland. Experimental, jam mode with combination of instruments you probably never thought of. Well, the three pax Hariring is actually still groundbreaking. Not many people realize, but actually the work of Hariring is important for Indonesia, our music and our industry. We’re just happy to be connected with them.

Pre Event Java Jazz Festival 2015 - Braga Jazz Walk Braga CityWalk- Batavicada ft Yeppy Romero and Marcello Allulli (3)

Then, we got Java Jazz gets “Exploring Indonesia” as its theme for 2015, and as expected, both international and national musicians have all their supports to expand Indonesian culture through music then make it known worldwide.  Interesting experience it was, where we can see the blending between Indonesian culture and other countries in tunes. These two bands are multi-national but showcased the magic when East and West (and Middle East) collide.

First, the completely different genre, Batavicada, an acoustic band who cleverly mixed jazz with several traditional instruments like Marawis/Kepak from Batavia (Betawi) and Darbuka from the Middle East/Turkey. According to Nita Aartsen, Batavicada originally has guitar player, but this time Nita took charge in producing the melody. With Wisnu (acoustic bass) plus Erick, Roby, Graha (marawis and darbuka) , Batavicada proved that music including or especially beat is borderless but somehow connected from one side to another parts of the world.

Pre Event Java Jazz Festival 2015 - Braga Jazz Walk Braga CityWalk- Batavicada ft Yeppy Romero and Marcello Allulli (1)

The Middle-Eastern beat from Graha, Robby, and Eric made the crowd cheered enthusiastically. The crowds popped several times, and the number of audience suddenly jumped high. They popped several times, some were caught dancing and tapping according to the beat. It was when the ethnic tunes met jazz. The first time ever they tried to collaborate and the result was amazing. The blending between street music and jazz was naturally delivered to our ears and broke the image of exclusive and segmented jazz music. Soon after Yeppy Romero joined the others at front and spoiled us with his guitar play.

Pre Event Java Jazz Festival 2015 - Braga Jazz Walk Braga CityWalk- Batavicada ft Yeppy Romero and Marcello Allulli (17)

Continued with Marcello Allulli and his saxophone and smoothly went into the melody along with piano and marawis. Though it was rarely played together but the harmony was surely there, you could feel it and it was so much exciting. They played “Caravan” and the mixture between flamenco, jazz, and gypsy music were clearly heard.

A blazing showcase that flew miles higher than the ordinary, a breakthrough and magical beat and rhythm showdown. Batavicada opens up a new dimension that shows the unlimited possibilities as well as the unity between rhythm and music from different corners of the world. Very rich and solid. Magnifico!

Pre Event Java Jazz Festival 2015 - Braga Jazz Walk Braga CityWalk- VAC ft Yeppy Romero Marcello Alulli (8)

The number of (loud and vibrant) audience jumped over the roof – as  the main eventer  VAC grouped on stage. This band consists of trio Israel  Varela as drummer (Mexico), Nita Aartsen as pianist (Indonesia) and Daniele Cappucci as bassist (Italy). Three countries in one stage, you can see the riches through their unique Flamenco Jazz music.  Nita served as the state pianist for 15 years and known as a pianist who bridge classical, jazz and Latin. While Daniele Cappucci is a wide explorer, reaching from classical to jazz and beyond.

Pre Event Java Jazz Festival 2015 - Braga Jazz Walk Braga CityWalk- Batavicada ft Yeppy Romero and Marcello Allulli (8)

In order to add more colors to their performance, Yeppy Romero, a guitarist, showed up on stage. This MURI record holder (for playing guitar 10 hours straight, featuring 150 songs in 4 languages and 10 music genres, also collaborating with 100 top class musicians aside of his monumental Batakustik)  is in fact the frontliner in Indonesia when it’s about Flamenco Jazz. He’s been socializing this for some years, and now we finally got his performance in Bandung.

Pre Event Java Jazz Festival 2015 - Braga Jazz Walk Braga CityWalk- VAC ft Yeppy Romero Marcello Alulli (23)

As Nita Aartsen said in beginning, they will play together with Marcello Allulli and Yeppy Romero at March 7th, 2015. Luckily, here people in Bandung, had the opportunity to taste their performance live on stage and got a little preview about how they will perform later at Java Jazz Festival. For free. Totally a dream come true isn’t it?

 

Pre Event Java Jazz Festival 2015 - Braga Jazz Walk Braga CityWalk- VAC ft Yeppy Romero Marcello Alulli (11)

“Madrid”,  a song from Marcello’s first album became the opening and immediately jumped to second song from Nita Aartsen’s first album, “Blue Rondo” . Next song was the well-known hits by Beethoven “Fur Elise” played in interesting arrangement but still the classical touch was there. Then, Yeppy Romero and Marcello Allulli once again joined on stage and entertained the increasing crowd with exotic romance in “La Fiesta” and Mozart’s “Symphony 40″. Nita’s charm which lies in between classical, jazz, Latins and Flamenco naturally flew throughout their repertoires. The colorful Flamenco beat, the jazz-classical-Flamenco piano playing, and of course, the wild, wild fired up contrabass runs were hand in hand in creating a new musical dimension. Plus, Yeppy and Marecello’s fine works made everything even merrier. It was tight and delicious. Sharp like a dagger but also enchantingly exotic. Surely, the jazz fans who came to see them last night would already have something to remember for a long, long time.

Pre Event Java Jazz Festival 2015 - Braga Jazz Walk Braga CityWalk- Jam Session (1)

The musicians must have been tired already, but they still happily agreed to have some of the audience to jam with them. Marcello, Daniele, Nita Aartsen stayed on stage, the Batavicada percussion trio came back to the stage, and from the audience: Widiyanto Sutanto, Alman Naufal and Frank Navayo joined the party. Nita distributed the chance for each player to get their shot while making sure that the jam session worked as how it should be.

Pre Event Java Jazz Festival 2015 - Braga Jazz Walk Braga CityWalk- VAC ft Yeppy Romero Marcello Alulli (12)

The scene happened on this special edition of Braga CityWalk was simply unbelievable with that size of crowds. They were enthusiastic, responsive and lively. What a joy for us to see it. Thank you very much to you who came. And for the musicians, we send you huge respect. Many, many thanks for supporting a small community in Bandung like this. We feel honored and proud, we’re sure this brings wonderful benefits to jazz development in Bandung.

Pre Event Java Jazz Festival 2015 - Braga Jazz Walk Braga CityWalk- Photo Session

Finally, a serious reminder.  The day comes nearer; have you already bought your tickets for Java Jazz Festival 20155, fellas? As you can see from this event’s report, Java Jazz surely has many more things in order to satisfy your musical needs. Braga Jazz Walk had already tasted it, and once in a lifetime, you should feel the ambience of the biggest annually jazz event in Indonesia. So, mark your dates! It is on March 6th until 8th, 2015. See you there jazz lovers!

Watch the highlight of Pre Event Java Jazz Festival at Braga CityWalk on our Youtube channel:

See more pictures:

Reporter: Mellysa Anastasya, Riandy Kurniawan
Photographer: Titus Firmanto
Video Editor: Vierna Mariska Kurniawan
Special thanks to Nita Aartsen and Yeppy Romero