Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Jazz Event Report

234

RamadhanBlues2014

 

Since the emergence of Blues at the end of the 19th century (historians tend to peg it around 1890), this highly influential genre which was developed in the Southern America and built from spirituals, work songs, field hollers, shouts and chants and rhymed simple narrative ballads has been evolving tremendously. Today we enjoy varieties of Blues either the pure ones or the crossovers. Happy to see that this ‘roots of all modern musics’ is still alive and kicking, grabbing more and more fans from the newest generations just like how it was in its birth. From Blues we got many other big genres like Rock, Rock n Roll, Jazz, Soul, RnB and so on, which not only still reflect the pure Blues forms but also amazingly found their way to create uncountable hybrids by being blended in with the good ol’ Blues.

How interesting it is to see that Blues has been taken as the theme for celebrating Ramadhan in Purowkerto, the capital of Banyumas regency located in Central Java region, for 5 years in a row already. Purwokerto is not really a big city, yet we can clearly see how well Blues live in the hearts of people in Purwokerto. For 5 years Gasebu UMP (Galeri Seni & Budaya, Muhammadyah University of Purwokerto) with Aziz No End of Demajors as the promoter do a lot of efforts to keep this annual event simply called RAMADHAN BLUES running. No sponsors, but still able to serve each edition free of any charge. Blues to celebrate Ramadhan? Why not. There’s nothing wrong to celebrate Ramadhan with Blues, as long as the essence and spirit of this holy month can still be kept alive. It was held without skipping the Tarawih (a special prayer muslims perform in the month of Ramadhan) plus involved Tausiah (religious guidance/sermon) as an intergrated package too.

Ramadhan Blues 2014 -Aziz No EndWhat was in it in the 5th installment, RAMADHAN BLUES 2014? This time Gasebu uMP decided to bring wider Blues coverage, inviting bands/musicians and gave them freedom to interpret Blues according to their own perceptions. That’s why they carried it with Cross Over the Blues as the theme.

According to Satria Ramadhan as the chairman of Gasebu UMP, every Blues musician has their own style to represent their music color. So Gasebu UMP wishRamadhan Blues 2014 - Kiki Bassmaned to facilitate that perception especially this year. What they are also manage to proof is that the assorted Blues meals are really tasty.

On last Tuesday (July 15, 2014) crowds started to fill up the Rectorate’s Yard of Universitas Muhammadyah, Purwokerto since the afternoon. The audience varied from campus students to officeworkers, even the parents who came to enjoy the show with their children.

 

 

The Ramadhan Blues 2014 which was divided into two sessions ran well and on time. The first session began at 15:30 with “The B”, a young bluesman that has made several singles. Jess Kidding, a jazz-oriented group presented another different taste as the second performer. Gaha & Teleskeblues from Banjarnegara brought in more people into the fest. Anak Hilang Blues Band came in with their Texas Blues style and Brewok & Bangblues that combined Blues with comedy ended the first session neatly. The drizzling rain that occured in this first session couldn’t stop the audience from staying in the venue.

 

 

The second session started right after Tarawih with Syarif Hidayatullah from Jogjakarta. This man brought the classy Delta Blues into the palette. This act directly followed by jam session by Syarif Hidayatullah, Bangkit Herlambang, Daniel and Gendit. All of them are guitarists from different generations.

 

 

Ramadhan Blues 2014 - Widhie-BluesmanLa Grange was the next band. They presented their new songs that played for the very first time in this Ramadhan Blues 2014. This very own Gasebu UMP band managed to grab more crowds. The night got hotter with a duo from Surakarta, Jungkat-Jungkit. Their single titled “Kuku” was very much loved by the crowds. The solo guitar playing by Aditya Bayu made this annual Blues fest shone bright. Like a wizard he spelled everyone to get deep into his beautifully poured melodies. Widhie Bluesman continued to steal attending people’s hearts. (Check this video out when he played “Last Horizon (Song for Rani)” here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?a=&feature=youtu.be&v=X5cQrspqQ8k).

The Project Officer of Ramadhan Blues 2014, Kartiko Eko Novandra (Noval) said that the musical passion of Purwokerto people has shown a really positive signRamadhan Blues 2014 - Booth Demajors. It can be seen from the enthusiasm of the Ramadhan Blues 2014 audience. The official CD and merchendise booth of Demajors Purwokerto was also crowded. That clearly shows much better appreciation to artits’ works. Since Demajors deals with independent artists, we can be happy to notice the fact that music can be a reliable profession too today, even if you choose to be an independent fighter. The wind is now perfect to sail! So you don’t have to be affraid to work your career as a musician.

At one corner of the venue, anyone can pose in front of the wall of fame that was already facilitated by the committee. This become one of the highlight of music fest since people can have some moments to remember from the particular event, including this biggest and baddest Blues event in Purwokerto.

The main eventer for this year’s edition belong to Tesla Manaf Effendi. He came there to play with his quartet formation featuring Khrisna Alda Radiansyah (bass), Desal Sembada (drums) and  Hadis ‘Hulhul’ (clarinet/sax), a format shaped according to his go-international debut under MoonJune Records, USA. We have heard his stunning, world-class jazz progressive acoustic experimental concept that should have pushed his brilliance and genius brain to the limit. So now, Purwokerto got the chance to experience his new, edgy move. In this event he collaborated with Endah and Ardi, both are the students of Indonesian Literature of Purwokerto Muhammadyah University. Together they interpreted poem into music. The duel between Tesla and Aditya Bayu was also stunning to watch.

One thing we know for sure, this young man originally from Bekasi but now resides in Bandung is going to be succeed in penetrating the international market with his crafts. An international star in the making? You bet. While his collaborative project with ITB’s Mahagotra Ganesha is still running well especially with the new released Reissue edition of “It’s All Yours” (http://jazzuality.com/jazz-news/tesla-manaf-feat-mahagotra-ganesha-its-all-yours-reissue/), he’s going to be busy with finalizing his international debut album right away. As we knew him from the beginning, we are proud to see where he’s at today. Purwokerto must have enjoyed his music as much as we do.

Ramadhan Blues 2014 wishes to trigger musicians to keep working productively. To support this mission, the committee required each band to play at least one of their original works in their acts.

Aziz No End as the promoter told us this: “What I wish is actually simple. I look forward to see is the time when music fans in Indonesia give appreciation to the works of our own musicians, when the sense of belonging have established between them. That will motivate musicians to create more pieces I also hope to see the music development be distributed evently, not centralized in the big cities but also being spread to the other cities in Indonesia.”

For the fifth time Gasibu UMP and Aziz No End of Demajors successfully graced the month of Ramadhan with assorted taste of Blues in Purwokerto. Looking at the positive response and achievement, we have no doubt to see the 6th edition next year. Who will be playing and what the concept will be? That’s for us to wait. But one thing for sure, you can thank them for keeping the Blues flame burning in this art and transit city. The HD quality of Ramadhan Blues 2014 is to be expected in the official Ramadhan Blues Youtube, so if you live far from it, you can still watch the highlight very soon. Blues on, Purwokerto, see you again next year!

Find all the photos taken from Ramadhan Blues 2014 in this Flickr album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jazzuality/sets/72157645341677728/

Reporter: Lusy (@lusya_liann)
Photographer: Adi, Dayu Sukma, Anggy (@StagePurwokerto)
Edited and translated by: Riandy Kurniawan

85

TerrazJazz-9

 

Think of how many varieties of genre/style can live harmoniously with jazz. Just in Jazzuality.com and Festival Citylink‘s regular event Terraz Jazz alone, we have got lots of them up to the eighth edition. From pop, French musette waltz, rebelious punk-cored attitude, blues, rock, heavy metal to Sundanese traditional music were captured on stage along with the hybrids of jazz. Not just the music but also the players gathered to have fun together. That suits the statement of ‘The spirit of jazz is the spirit of openness’, placing jazz and its virtues as an educational tool, the force for peace, unity and dialogue in enhancing cooperation among people, the way Mr. Herbie Hancock wishes to see. We always welcome players and fans from different music corners to blend in, simply because we believe it will give benefit to everyone. There are so many possibilities can be created in music – some are still untouched -, so a wide variation of showcases would surely allow these young talents to get more options in cooking up their meals. We don’t want to make Terraz Jazz as a closed and exclusive circuit. We don’t wish to create fanatics. What we wish to see are open minded players that can embed the real jazz spirit, including the openness, in pursuing their career. We want non jazz musicians/listeners to finally understand our point that jazz can and will always welcome no matter who they are and what they play with totally open hands.

 

 

In this Terraz Jazz #9 we extended our connection to meet the hip hop fans and community. For so many years jazz and hiphop have shown their strong blends that could create massive force when fused together. Jazz fits perfectly in the urban rhythm and rap. We still remember when Coolio told us this: “By giving the element of jazz, we’re trying to show the freedom, as freedom is the key to life music. Hip hop, funk, jazz… all need freedom. For me, jazz is like air, it’s so important that you can’t breathe without it.” Chuck D of Public Enemy said that it’s natural for jazz and rap (hip hop) to find the harmony, since they were both born from similiar circumstances. We are happy to finally be connected with the hip hop community and the artists who live and grow in it. For the first time we got hip hop collaboration on stage that has tasty jazz and soul all over. You’ll get to it shortly, but let’s see the how the show went from the beginning.

 

 

TerrazJazz9-Caberawid (4)An interesting collaboration between real life couple, keyboardist Widiyanto Sutanto and drummer Marissa ‘Ica’ Wiguna was the first treat. This side-project became our first time to showcase the drum-keyboard connection. A couple of month ago the electric duo project of Brad Mehldau and Mark Guiliana, Mehliana released an album called Taming the Dragon. We challenged Widi and Ica to go for it, and they took it seriously. Even making up a name for their experimentative duo called Caberawid. We were curious to see how they would provide the dialogues by using their own instrument respectively based on the chemistry and connection they both share in real life. And the outcome proofed that we’re right.

57

 rainforestworldmusicfestival2014

 

This is my seventh time at the Rainforest World Music Festival in Kuching/Sarawak, Malaysia, one of the top 25 world music festivals across the planet! (See some of my earlier articles here: http://jazzuality.com/jazz-event-report/rainforest-world-music-festival-global-jams-international-improvisations/).

One of the most creative features of the Festival is the afternoon workshops and jam sessions (http://rwmf.net/daytime-workshops/). They are of different kinds: instrumentals (such as all guitars, or all percussion), vocals (eg. traditional) or dance (mixed or by genre). Three workshops in parallel across three venues in three slots make for a good twenty seven sessions in three days – but also a tough problem in deciding which one to attend! And there were bigger challenges than that – how to juggle an already packed music schedule with the late night FIFA World Cup football games?!

Day One

I started off with the session on music of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. Author, filmmaker and music researcher Werner Graebner described the evolution of musical trends along with the country’s growth – starting off with the colonial era, the Cold War era and the liberalised economy after that. It used to be very difficult to import electronic instruments into Tanzania, and in the 1970′s and 80′s a lot of the local instrumentation was augmented by accordions from churches and tablas and harmoniums from Indian stores. Some drums were even made from large plastic water pipes.

The 1990′s onwards ushered in a new electronic music revolution spurred by keyboards and amplifiers, which added to the earlier layers of Arabic and Swahili music. The seven members of the band Jagwa Music brought the culture to life with two short pieces of live music.

 

 

The next workshop, appropriately titled Big and Round, featured a host of amazing frame drum percussionists from around the world: Manu Theron, Rodin Kaufmann, Denis Sampieri, Sebastien Spessa and Benjamin Novarino-Giana (Lo Cor de La Plana, France), Mauro Durante and Giancarlo Paglialunga (Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino, Italy), Iolo Whelan (Jamie Smith’s Mabon, Wales), Ahmad Ridwan, Kamarul Baisah bin Hussin and Dzafaruddin bin Zainuddin (Geng Wak Long, Malaysia), Onn bin Jaafar, Mohamad Amin bin Sarju and Anuar bin Md Salleh (Yayasan Warisan Johore, Malaysia) and Thierry Biscary and Jean-Michel Bereau (Kalakan, Spain).

73

NorthSumatraJazzFestival-2014-NSJF2014

 

As one of the well-known rock city, perhaps no one would think that Medan, the capital of North Sumatra and third largest city of Indonesia would have its own jazz festival. But in 2011 a Berklee Collee of Music alumni and proud Medan son Erucakra Mahameru took a brave step, making his long time dream a reality. Along with Gideon Momongan and his IndieJazzIndonesia, Erucakra and his WEM (Waspada EMusic) launched the first North Sumatra Jazz Festival that set a new height to the jazz development in Medan. It actually worked. From that moment on, Medan became one of the well-established jazz destination to both players and fans.

Reaching its 4th edition, North Sumatra Jazz Festival 2014 (NSJF 2014) has set a new level. This is their first International Edition, which not only featured top Indonesian jazz talents, but also well known names from Malaysia to USA and Norway. By having cross culture collaboration in different kinds of jazz treats, all of them blended into one theme called ‘X-Culture-X’ which stands for X-treme Cross Culture X-periment.

 

 

The festival started with a pre-event on June 20th, held with the official press conference in Marin Lounge, Karibia Boutique Hotel, Medan. This pre-event also featured a special performance from the newly formed North Sumatra Junior Jazz band. Erucakra Mahameru, NSJF chairman attended the conference as well as Gideon Momongan from IndieJazzIndonesia as the organizer, with Razak Rahman (Malaysia), Rieka Roslan (Indonesia), Espen Eriksen Trio (Norway), Lebanese native famous percussionist Jamal Mohamed (USA) and his compatriote in Drum N Wind, Jonathan Jones (USA) and a dear friend of Indonesian jazz scene, Steve Thornton (Malaysia). Along with introducing the participating artists, they explained the soul of this year’s cross cultural theme as mentioned above. They also proudly announced that NSJF is still commited to their consistency in bringing the annual jazz festival in Medan.

 

 

The main event took place at the convention hall of Hermes Place, Polonia. This grand jazz fest started with the North Sumatra Junior Jazz band, divided into two groups with the personnels selected through high school open auditions. Two bands from recent festivals, Youth Jazz Community & Etno Band from North Sumatra University (USU) reprised their cool appearances in a whole new form. While Youth Jazz Community played some of local and international famous hits such as Maliq n D’Essentials’ “Terdiam” and Pharrell Williams’ “Happy”, Etno Band explored their special skills in authentic Batak-tribe traditional music and rhythm. From compositions to the use of ethnic instruments like Taganing (Batak Toba’s set of tuned drums) and Hasapi (Batak Toba’s two-stringed lute). Their solid appearances were interesting and created good start to this year’s edition.

 

 

  Espen Eriksen Trio all the way from Norway drove the audience to smooth romantic jazz-mosphere which somehow felt fresh  after watching all the festival’s perfomers and their jazz subgenres in previous years. Consists of Espen Eriksen himself on piano, Lars Tormod Jenset (contrabass) and Andreas Bye (drums), this group could give rich sound even with just three players. Their musical explorations created some very melodic tunes, almost like movie soundtracks, on the other hand also representing European feels within their selected compositions. Playing the songs from their two albums, Espen opened their performance with “Anthem”, a smooth yet anthemic composition, followed by “On The Jar” and “Third Stop”. Surprisingly, they hit the audience with the jazz-instrumental cover of Tina Turner’s classic movie theme song from 1985 ‘Mad Max : Beyond Thunderdome’ titled ‘We Don’t Need Another Hero”. The last song was “In The Woods” which ended their first visit to Indonesia beautifully.

71

TerrazJazz8

 

Last week the the first Special Edition of Terraz Jazz was launched with unbelievable result. This event featured one of the best modern international jazz bassist who has worked with giants like Chick Corea and John McLaughlin, Hadrien Feraud, Balinese pianist Erik Sondhy, the drum prodigy Yandi Andaputra and the complete team of Indro Hardjodikoro and the Fingers. You can read the report, watch the video highlight and see the moments captured in 70 photos in this article: http://jazzuality.com/jazz-event-report/terraz-jazz-special-edition-the-report/. Full-packed house filled with loud crowd made this special concert ended with huge success in every aspect.

What’s next after that? Jazzuality.com and Festival Citylink, two parties behind this jazz community event were back serving the regular schedule, the Terraz Jazz #8. It wasn’t a special edition, yet there are so many things to talk about. It covered wide range of jazz from contemporary fusion, jazz-rock to Sundanese coated progressive jazz, it also featured musicians from local Bandung, Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This edition also showcased a collaboration between players who met and got to know each other from our previous event, and seemed to root in fusion in varieties. As one of our mission is to take the regeneration of jazz musicians much forward and wish this event to be the home of musicians where they can extend their contacts with new friends, we’re happy to see that it’s start working.

Just like always, we presented two sessions: the showcase filled by 3 bands and the open, free-for-all jam session all the way to the end. The bands were a trio named E.I.P, a newly established group OCD and an ethnic progressive fusion ‘badass’ band, West Java Syndicate. The show was packed in awesomeness right from the start with strong batch of talents.

 

 

The combination between Malaysian-based musician and his long time friends from Jakarta was the first to play. The name of the band? It’s OCD. For many, OCD was known as a personality disorder or a diet programme, but now it’s not just that anymore. Three cool, long lost guys decided to form a band by using that name. The name OCD could mean anything, from Over Confident Dudes, to Oranges Can’t Dance, or maybe an abbreviation of their names: DeO Karmawan (guitar), Choky Nainggolan (drums) and Demank (Rakhmat Demank Utomo, bass). Due to unknown reason Rizky didn’t come, but we still got a special performance by Puspallia Panggabean whom Deo met at Braga Jazz and Jam in a sudden project. Interestingly, these guys describe their music as contemporary fusion, or usually shortened as confusion.

Deo is an Indonesian boy who pursues his career in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He’s a member of TILU (a famous Malaysian-based band with over 70.000 followers) in Facebook page and also one of the newest members of a multi-nation, multi-race and multi-culture longrunning super b(r)and, the one and only AsiaBeat which is led by Lewis Pragasam. Demank was once in a band named 1st Impression (with girl-drummer Jeane Phialsa and saxophonist Damez Nababan), now stands as a highly-sought sessionist while Choky has been working as a producer of many singers and having a project named Sunday People which has released an album most recently. You see, they are not newcomers, but the band is newly formed.

40

TerrazJazz-SpecialEdition-Jazzuality

 

They cheered, they shouted, they yelled, they gave standing ovation. Some said,”I’m so satisfied!”, some told us, “Man, this is crazy. My musician friends, music teachers, everybody I know are here. It will take days for me to greet them all.” The number of crowds, the response, the appreciation and attention, all were fantasmic! And hey, they were loud. The first Special Edition of Terraz Jazz was a massive success.

Modesty is what lifted by Terraz Jazz since its first appearance in February 2014. Held at a food court at a shopping mall in a relatively small city in Indonesia, Terraz Jazz has been bringing in many respected, local musicians with international reputation such as Fusion Stuff, Indro Hardjodikoro and The Fingers, Erik Sondhy and many more. But at this very special event, Terraz Jazz managed to invite and import a very admired French musician and artist, Hadrien Feraud. In such a young age, Hadrien’s experience and exploration in the global music scene is indisputable, and his presence in Terraz Jazz is definitely very valuable for everyone involved. This event has set a benchmark to Terraz Jazz and the jazz scene in Bandung (and hopefully the nation). Indonesia can now only progress forward! Hadrien Feraud came with his girlfriend, a jazz singer from Los Angeles named Monica Gonzalez. Once again we remind you, Hadrien Feraud (backed by few Indonesia’s best musicians) and the full team of Indro Hardjodikoro and the Fingers  played at a food court inside a shopping mall. It seriously could not get any more casual than that.

Probably the best bassists local and international, but mind you that every other players have been doing their chores really well too. In full package, this show is about the awesomeness.

 

 

Even before the event started, we could see many musicians among the audience, not only from Bandung, but also from other cities as well. Madonna was right after all, music makes the people come together. The crowd was overwhelming. They could not seem to wait some greatest musicians of the country and the world to play. Musicians and audience were seemed socialising and hanging out with each other. A point of building a community has been reached. Achievement unlocked: hook ‘em musicians up.

Our special guest artist for the night, Hadrien Feraud, has been bouncing back and forth from Bali (at Warisan Resto) to Jakarta (at Indro Hardjodikoro’s Jazz Spot), Jakarta to Bandung, and then he will be ending the Journey at Warisan in Bali, back to where they started. Oh, we also would like to thank Warisan as the co-sponsor, Erik Sondhy and Muna Bunayati who have very supportive in making this happen in Bandung.

The event officially opened by Alia Putri Syahbaniar and  Bintang Steffy Tania at 19.00. A short opening speech was given by our founder, Riandy Kurniawan. “We are still minority, that’s true, but let’s show the world that we are loud minority!” he said.  It was good to say, so the audience would know that they could cheer or even scream as loud as they wanted eventhough it was served at the food court of the mall.

 

 

A local Bandung jazz band, Out of 7 opened the set with Sting’s “Englishman In New York”. People were starting to gather to see this attractive band. Vocalist Erick Gabe demonstrated how well he could go beyond singing. He mimicked the sound of bass, guitar, trombone and trumpet without problem. For the second song, “You’ll Be In My Heart” by Phil Collins (composed by playing pianist for the band,  Widiyanto Sutanto) was covered by Out Of 7 in a very eccentric-interesting way. The song was unexpectedly played with much richer harmonies, as if we listened to it in a different perspective. Not to mention the brave-overdriven guitar solo by Daniel Christy and polybeat drum solo by the cute but hyperactive female player, Marissa Wiguna. From that experience it was obvious to see that this band has been improving a lot, especially on their attempt in doing the third song, “Got A Match?”. It’s not an alien song for music lovers, especially jazz fans, and the song is famous for its complex-fast melody courtesy of Chick Corea. But Out Of 7 surprisingly nailed the song and leave an awesome moment to the audience, including the multi-climaxes. The new bassist Reinhard Woran showed a good example of how bass could communicate with interesting statements. It was a great set and it is agreeable they are crowd magnet. We rate them 7 out of 7.

 

 

Right after, a very experienced and well-respected Indro Hardjodikoro and The Fingers took over the stage. As a very experienced bassist and teacher, Indro has a huge name amongst musicians and music lovers, and we are very honoured to have him play at Terraz Jazz. And the rest of the band? The talented Andy Gomez on keys, the demonic fingers  Fajar Adi Nugroho also on bass, and the prodigy Yandi Andaputra on drums, who happens to also play for Hadrien as well. We once wrote about Yandi when he was in Ginda and The White Flower and we agreed that Yandi has rocketed in terms of playing and fame.

One fact about Indro Hardjodikoro and the Fingers: this fusion-based band managed to build their phenomenal status not only in their own homeland but reaching far to Russia. They have played 3 times in there and gained fantastic responses in each round. It’s indeed an honor for us to be able to bring them in. Not only because this band is brilliant, but also since there are so many things to learn from them, especially for young musicians who happen to be the regulars of this event.

20

penang-world-music-fest-2014

 

The Penang World Music Festival 2014 http://www.penangworldmusic.gov.my/ kicked off on a fine Malaysian summer weekend, at the Botanic Gardens’ Quarry Park. See my earlier coverage from last year’s festival and artiste interviews (http://jazzuality.com/jazz-event-report/global-showcase-local-heritage-penang-world-music-festival-2013/).

Day One of the festival featured bands from Malaysia, Uzbekistan, South Africa and West Africa. Day Two featured artistes from China, India, Brasil, Bulgaria and Spain. The lineup blended international and local musicians, performing a fusion of traditional and contemporary music.

The festival featured afternoon workshops and evening performances on both days, along with CD stores, local merchandise and the legendary Penang street food! The afternoon workshops and cross-cultural jams were a sheer delight for fans of world music and jazz, with improvisations and collaborations spanning the globe – especially by musicians meeting each other for the first time.

 

Artiste lineup: Penang World Music Festival 2014

Alvorada Pé Vermei (Brazil)
Bulgara (Bulgaria)
Carlos DjeDje and the Protecters (South Africa)
Culture Shot (Penang, Malaysia)
Davila Trio (Spain/France)
Dollu Kunita and Kacchi Godhi (India)
Ewa  Bulhak & Ple Ple Band (Poland)
Lin Na Guqin Arts Institute (China)
Mohram (Malaysia)
Nading Rhapsody (Sarawak, Malaysia)
N’Faly Kouyate’ & Dunyakan (West Africa/Belgium)
Oxus (Uzbekistan)

 

 

The opening workshop featured the music of Asia, with performers from Oxus (Uzbekistan) & Nading Rhapsody (Sarawak). Instruments from the Iban, Bilayu and Melanan tribes were showcased, such as the sape; Oxus showcased the chang (struck zither, like a dulcimer or santoor). Artistes from both bands said that they preserve traditional music and also adapt it to modern formats to make it appealing to youth and international audiences.

 

 

The chang also featured in the next jam with musicians from Uzbekistan, Spain and France (Davila Trio). Flamenco guitar, castanets, chang and cello blended together fluidly, with a rousing dance performance by Elena Cueto from France. Two vocalists joined the next workship – Ewa Bulhak from Poland and N’Faly Kouyate from Guinea, West Africa. Both vocalists had the audience singing along with them and learning the basic steps of African and Polish folk dance.

“In Africa, songs are performed everywhere – peace, war, birth, death,” said Kouyuate. “In Poland, parties last so long at night that the musicians fall asleep while playing,” joked Bulhak.

The last workshop of Day One was aptly titled Stomp, and featured all kinds of instruments and ‘non-instruments’ used for percussion! The artistes and audience joined in a noisy fun-filled jam – using cans, bottles, brooms, boxes, buckets, chopsticks and even road dividers.

28

TERRAZJAZZ7

 

Another great, or should we say spectacular round just being added to Terraz Jazz’s account. This Terraz Jazz #7 turned out to be an interesting edition after the blazing, burning previous special Blues Edition http://jazzuality.com/jazz-event-report/terraz-jazz-6-special-blues-edition-the-report/. In this episode we went back to jazz and its varieties, ranging from fusion, bebop/modern jazz to the monumental and rare sub-genre bloomed in 1930′s, the Gypsy Jazz also known as the Jazz Manouche. Yet as we never want to be exclusive, rock/metal was still existed, that in some ways became the redline to the previous edition. Held at the Terrazo Food and Venue (Foodcourt) of Festival Citylink, this is the report of our Terraz Jazz #7. Let us bring you to see what’s happening in this event.

Exactly at 7:00 pm we directly entered the time tunnel to feel the vintage scene of romantic Paris in the 30′s. That was the time when a lovely ‘hybrid’ of jazz was born, invented by the phenomenal Django Reinhardt that soon became a style played by other Romani guitarists/musicians during that period and soon after dominated the Paris clubs.

What’s Gypsy Jazz or Jazz Manouche? From what Django invented, it’s the kind of music with traditional swing articulation but carried the then-popular French Musette waltz with chromatic, mystical Gypsy flavor, at least that’s where it started. Unlike the way Americans played jazz at that time using drums and bass, Django delivered swing in a wicked rhythm section by using nothing but strings. In some ways it can bring a romantic flower scents of spring in Paris but it can also mystical when it contains fast melodies dipped in chromatic Gypsy flavors.

 

 

Back to the report, this time tunnel was brought to us by a dynamic guitar duo, Satura. In their gig the duo of Opik Bape and Dede Arief Ginanjar is often supported by two amazing vocalists, Puspallia Panggabean and Agis Kania. Both of them are really gifted and should already be at the top, but they do have slighly different style. Agis is more like a soulful powerhouse vocalist, as for Puspall, she is a natural born jazz singer. For us, this is one of the most interesting pairings we have seen so far.  Unfortunately Agis couldn’t come since his baby boy got sick. But hey, we still got Puspall in the house.

Opik and Arief delivered the scene of France in the old days with “Musette for Magpie” followed then Art Tatum’s “Tiger Rag”. How often do you hear these songs being sung on stage? Well, these guys pinned these gems beautifully. “Cezar Swing” was the last instrumental performance that gained big applauses from the audiences.  The cooperation between these two gentlemen was magnificent throughout this set with speed and style all at once.

Puspall joined the stage and they took a dancing tunes “Bye Bye Blackbird” then went deeply romantic with “Clouds (Nuages)”. A little story about this song, it was one of the most popular Django Reinhardt composition and stood as one of the most important gypsy swing repertoires. But then it got lyrics and translated to English as “Clouds”. Again, not a song you would catch in any performances, but Puspall and the two Gypsy guitarist captured all the beauty that lies beneath this composition. “How High The Moon” brought back the happy mood, especially when Puspall being so playful scatting all over the song like a cute little nightingale. “Sersan Mayorku” became a memorable end, where Puspall showed her precision in following the rapid multi-modulations/chord changings and danced in cabaret-like style. High degree of difficulties were executed nicely by them.

Well fellas, it was indeed superb. Not many musicians remember this golden French jazz era anymore, but they understand exactly how to bring it back alive in a very ellegant style. Mercy beaucoup messieurs et madame! C’était merveilleux!

 

 

Then came the time to got locked into a unique collaboration between a really playful group with a venomous rock guitarist. That’s Visco featuring Amo Chonka. While Amo was featured as one of the performers at the sixth installment (he’s the guitarist of Smokinghead), the members of Visco have appeared frequently, either as one of the participating bands or tasting the jam sessions.

Like they wanted to keep the redline, Visco started just by two, both were guitarists. Andre Fernando with acoustic guitar and vocal while Jerry on electric. John Mayer’s “Gravity” was the choice from the boys.

Visco is a band who’s just reformed. It was established in 2011 by three college friends: Jerry Gates (guitar), Yosua Setiawan (bass) and Yogie Arryaputra (drums). If you wonder why they use Visco as the name, it’s because of their vision that victory or success doesn’t come instantly or easily. Well, Visco is a shortened word for Victory is Coming. When they started sailing, they set course to instrumental jazz. But then in May 2014 some new players joined in. Joshua Adhitia is now the drummer, and the happy-go-lucky singing guitarist Andre Fernando earned a place in the band. Since the band has some new members, the course has to be updated. What they play now is modern fusion in accordance with their favorite Top 40 songs.

Yes they knew Chonka already, but how would the fuse sharp rock blade into their music? Actually we already got a teaser when they got together in the jam session before. But now we could enjoy them longer as they officially got a slot. Songs like Daft Punk Pharrell Williams & Nile Rodgers “Get Lucky” and “Have Fun Go Mad” were the songs, but it appeared edgy with Chonka who appeared like a ninja, slashing everyone with his rockin’ blade. For the last song they went mad with rock by covering the adrenaline pumpin’ “Crying Machine”, originally by Steve Vai. Of course, Amo Chonka was pushed to the front to lead. Tell you guys, it was wild!

Holding ‘Victory is Coming’ as a name shows that these folks have positive mindset. They know that victory doesn’t happen overnight. Maybe they haven’t reached the top just yet, but looking at the passion and skills, we know that they can make it. Visco, go get it! And for Amo Chonka, just know that you always have a place in this event. Thank you coming and playing, hope to see you in the upcoming ones.

 

 

For the final round we got Albert Suriadi Trio. Albert Suriadi is a top notch young drummer who’s studying in Jacobs College of Music in Indiana University USA and learns from so many jazz masters ranging from Prof. Michael Spiro, Prof. Steve Houghton, Prof Andy Smith, Michael D’Angelo, then took lessons or mastercalss with Dave Weckl, Peter Erskine, Ed Soph, Mark Guiliana, Ignacio Berroa, Jesus Diaz and Shawn Pelton just to mention a few. He’s started drumming since 12 years old and quickly developed his skills in jazz, rock, Latins and everything else in between. He became the third winner of Yamaha Asean Beat Band Competition in 2010 and already involved in many recordings. He also contributed big deal in establishing a drum community named Drummer for Jesus. As he’s currently back to his homeland, we are proud to have him in.

For this gig he was supposed to go with quartet, but unfortunately the keyboardist cancelled his participation at the last hours. So the team was down to trio, but they had no problem at all since the two players that Albert brought were high skilled players  Okki Jatikusuma (guitar) and Ferry Herry Heriyanto (bass).

Look at their set of songs. George/Ira Gershwin’s “But Not for Me”,  Clifford Brown’s “Sandu”,  the old song that became a jazz standard ever since Miles Davis laid his hands on it “If I Were a Bell”, Sonny Rollins “Pent-Up House” and Joe Henderson’s masterpiece, “Recorda Me”. These are not the songs today’s youngsters love to play, but Albert showed how far he’s into jazz by pinning them all nicely. He’s a steady, reserved and cool drummer, but his drumming style are just like the way experienced players from US would do. Okki was interesting to watch too as his facial expression was full of excitement, showing how much he’s drowned into his awe-inspiring play. As for Ferry, this man is clearly a great jazz bassist. Fine tradings were found, also thrilling improvisations. It was tight and neat, a 5-star quality of pure jazz delight.

Albert is still young, but he already has it all. The power, the time control, the steadiness, the dynamics are there inside him. He is an intelligent player who understands what to do in every bar. What’s also important to mention is that he brought his own drumset which was very fast to install and need no mike at all to sound great. Let’s not forget the substantial contribution by his team mates. There are a lot to learn from watching him, but at the same time the entertaining factor was high too. We asked him what advice did his teachers give him the most? He answered, “watch as much as possible, and never stop practicing.” As the internet opens up much easier possibilities for you to gain knowledge by watching the great ones in concerts, it shouldn’t be difficult for us to get. That’s a simple but important advice to keep in mind. Keep your eyes on this young man, because he is undoubtedly the Indonesia’s future jazz giant. And kudos to Okki and Ferry for playing remarkably.

 

 

As usual the jam session was open right after the whole bands rest their case. The first batch was taken by Albert Suriadi (drums), Okki Jatikusuma, Yosep Ikhlas Fadilah, Frank Navayo (guitars), Yosua Setiawan (bass) and Nicodemus Horrison (piano). This group played two classics, one was Sonny Rollins’ “Tenor Madness” and the other one was “Stella by Starlight”. They got their own solo runs respectively and made these two first picks classy.

 

 

Then the ‘naughtier’ batch came in. The bass and keyboard players stayed, but the others changed. Farrel Nayaga (drums), Andre Fernando and Jerry Gates (guitars) and a cool young vocalist Rizki Jonathan. They wished to give one last party to close this edition, so they took one of Tompi’s biggest hits, “Menghujam Jantungku”. Erick Gabe joined in and surprisingly splashed Sundanese twists together with Nico on the electric baby grand, also did beat tradings with Farel. Just a couple of minutes near the end, a rapper jumped in and added strong hiphop atmosphere in it. He’s Dule, a natural-born rapper who’s currently preparing his album which contains some crossovers with Soul and Jazz. You can expect him to bash this event some times near. For sure, it’d be great to have an urban hip hop into this event. We look forward to it!

 

 

Our tradition to end the whole show with group photo session sealed the whole programs.

7 edition with different charms, each has its own interesting stories to tell. We’d like to keep it that way. The more it goes, the more we are happy to see that our idea to make a jazz edutainment actually works perfectly. We always believe that the young and still-learning students can deliver good quality of entertainment too. You don’t always rely on big names to make an event success. Some of these young talents are already equipped with great skills, some shine through their bold spirit in sailing on stage, some by inventing unique crafts and odd formations, while some others are still in the process of learning but clearly show their strong love, passion and spirit to jazz.

 

 

This edition is outstanding due to the talents, varieties, unique collaborations, rare music gems and of course the amount of fire occured at the jam sessions. The number of audiences are impressive too. It was happening! Senior drummer/drum teacher Henky Suparjan was there too enjoying the show.

We always wish this event to be the home for everyone, from the musicians to music lovers, from the players, the students to those who seek for jazz-tertainment. Everyone can join in, everyone can have fun, everyone can party. Whatever your style is, whatever instrument you’re playing, whatever music that suits you, you can always be here with us anytime. Let’s make this regular event a success, so we don’t have to worry about the future of jazz development and regeneration, and so we all can have a reliable home to go to when we feel like jazz. We thanks the participating bands, musicians, the audience and everyone else who have supported the Terraz Jazz.  Special thanks to KPH Music for lending us that cool Yamaha Electric Baby Grand!

Watch the highlight of TERRAZ JAZZ #7 in Youtube

 

NEXT STOP IS A VERY, VERY SPECIAL EDITION!

hadrien feraud, jazzuality, terraz jazz, chick corea, indro hardjodikoro, indro hardjodikoro and the fingers, yandi andaputra, erik sondhy
Let us remind you that we are going to present the first SPECIAL EDITION of TERRAZ JAZZ on June 3, 2014. This edition will have not only national stars but also international. Said to be the best jazz bassist of the year and the most exciting new player, stands as the bassist of Chick Corea (& the Vigil) and John McLaughlin, this Frenchman is going to be there along with keyboardist Erik Sondhy and young 18 year-old drummer, Yandi Andaputra. His name is HADRIEN FERAUD. Indro Hardjodikoro & the Fingers will also be there in full team. The great thing about this is that the event will be, as usual, FREE OF CHARGE! So mark your calendar and make sure to be there! Musicians, prepare yourself to jam with these giants. See you then!

See more pictures:

[flickrset id="72157644840418153" thumbnail="square" photos="" overlay="false" size="medium"]

Reporter: Riandy Kurniawan
Photographer: Titus Firmanto, Harimurty Pradana
Video Editor: Vierna Mariska Kurniawan
MC: Erick Gabe

 

41

KL International Jazz and Arts Festival 2014 - Day 2

 

 

Here we come to the second and final day of KL International Jazz & Art Festival. If you need guidance to see the 1st day story, you can refer to our report here: http://jazzuality.com/jazz-event-report/kl-international-jazz-and-arts-festival-2014-day-1-report/. Today we found so many gems just like the Saturday schedule. Some sequels; meaning the bands that got another round of action; were still very interesting to see. Curious to know what’s happening in this final day? Allow us to share you the story.

 

 

Cool Sunday afternoon was opened with a band we have seen last year, Koolskool. This is a trio who loves to pin jazz standards and preserving the Malaysian evergreen songs with their own cool colors. The trio consists of Aznaff (sax), Jaya (electric upright bass) and Razey (guitar), plus Zaiyanis on vocal. All of them work at the same bank, the Maybank. All of them are music graduates on a mission. That is to give a homey jazz entertainment, giving up some kind of educational message during their session and the most important thing is keeping the essence of Malaysian song heritage alive.

They greeted us with “Nightbird” when we just arrived at the venue, then wowed us with “Winelight” by using Javanese pentatonic modes. Surprising indeed. We found a lot of exotic Asian modes from them in the improvisations and solo runs. All in a koolskool way, done by the kool-headed and fully experienced musicians. Right after pinning Dave Grusin’s song, “Masquarade” smoothly swayed from them. Shakatak’s other number, “Invitation” and Mezzoforte’s “Garden Party” ensured all the early attendances kept in pocket. This was just perfect to enjoy in the rain which occured during their performance. Razey does have the George Benson tonal color, and it was really nice. The solo run by Jaya was pretty and groovy.

 

 

A blues trio from the Klang Valley in Kuala Lumpur claimed the stage right after. It’s the Purple Haze Blues Band. This band consists of veterans who have been active for around 4 decades: Shaik Karim on drums/vocals, Hazizi “ZZi blues” on guitars/vocals and Jim Madasamy on bass/vocals, plus a harp player that’s being with them on and off, Alex Terry. Being fully equiped by skill and experiences plus the fact that Purple Haze Blues Band was established a decade ago, the pure, gitty sound of classic blues was so alive from them. It all clearly came natural from their hearts, both individually and as a unit. True blues musicians speak from the soul, and these guys are the ones. “Hoochie Coochie Man” and a piece from B.B King were found among their repertoires. “Blues can’t go wrong with B.B King”, said Naj Frusciante, the MC for Outdoor Stage right after the show. Just like a natural born killers, they nailed it. They completely burned the stage and wowed the audiences. Having cool blues-titude on and off stage, they just went at it. Imagine to get hit by a heavy blues truck in the late afternoon, it was really spicy.

 

 

On the other stage we found David Tughan in the middle of ‘chetting’ with the audiences. Tughan was born and raised in Northern Ireland but has been living in UK for 2 decades. Special for this show he took on interesting theme in rememberance of a legend called Chetting: A Tribute to Chet Baker. What he meant is that he sang the combination of Chet Baker’s songlist and some songs that Chet would have played or sung, placing it inside Chet’s spirit. But there’s something unique in this show. Normally when one tributes Chet, we would normally guess that a trumpeter would be involved. But David thought differently. He brought his combo comprised of Kirk Lightsey (piano), Ben Robertson (bass), Stephen Magnusson (guitar) and Daniel Firrugia (drums).

25

KLInternationalJazzFest2014-1

 

The KL International Jazz & Arts Festival 2014 aims to present performances by acclaimed international jazz stars and the best local talents! A world class jazz festival where contemporary jazz, smooth jazz, straight ahead jazz, classic jazz, jazz – rock, r&b, swing, funk, classic rock and blues converge!”

Quoting from the official website of Kuala Lumpur International Jazz and Arts Festival (KLIJAF) 2014, this time KLIJAF has grown into a festival beyond a normal jazz festival: it’s a fusion of music and arts where arts surrounds music and music surrounds art!

Organized by KL International Jazz and Asia World Events, KLIJAF 2014 was sponsored by Malaysia Airlines and AmBank Group. Collaborators were University Malaya, Dewan Bandaraya and Visit KL. This reflects, the seriousness of the committee, sponsors and collaborators and others involved to bring together music and art onto the Malaysian Jazz and Arts scene.

This year they had two festive days of full awesomeness! From the traditional jazz, blues, Be-Bop, straight ahead, jazz-rock, Latin sounds, world musics, dance beats, several levels of funks and everything in between. From duos, trios to big bands, from international legends to local legends, this year they provided music enthusiasts with an awesome artists line-up.

More than sixty international jazz musicians together with an impressive local line up took part in this festival. Once again, Lee Ritenour headlined the fest and his appearance was a total surprise but important since Diane Schuur couldn’t make it at the last hour due to health reasons. Other headliners included pianist, composer and arranger John Beasley and the lovely Asian pianist, composer and humanitarian Keiko Matsui. The international line up included Tizer Quartet, Jeff Kollman, Christy Smith, Kirk Lightsey, Phillippe Sellam, Ezra Brown, David Tughan, Patrick Terbrack, Dominique Di Piazza, Chris Ong, Roger Biwandu, Lisa Young, Keith Loftis and many others.

 

 

 

Other than serving some of the best international and local stars, the festival also featured an art exhibition for two days straight, starting at 11:00 am onwards. Artistes included Stephen Menon, Syed Thajuddin, Awang Damit, Samjis Mat Jan, Kelvin Chap, Ismadi Sallehudin, Jeganathan Ramachandran, Mat Ali Mat Som, Long Thien Shih, Juhari Said, Marvin Chan, Izan Tahir, Soraya Yusof, Zulkefli Talha, Anurendra Jegadeva, Dr. S. Chanthiran ,Lai Loong Sang ,Dr.Hushaidi, Abdul Halim, Dr Ruzaika Omar Basaree, Fatimah Bacik, Jailani Abu Hassan, Ramlan Abdullah, Mohd Faizal Md Suhif, Suzlee Ibrahim , Rafiee Gahni , Alias Yusof, Rahman Amin, Hanif Khairi ,Syed Faizal, A Hakam Hafiz Abdain, Jamil Mohd Isa, Mohd Saleh Dawam and others

 

 

 

The show on Saturday started as early as 3:45 pm at the AmBank Stage with UiTM Jazz Ensemble. Led by Patrick Terbrack, they performed a variety of formations, serving up well known jazz to entertain the audience. They knew how to play beautiful romantic lines in “You Don’t Know What Love Is” but also knew how to funk people’s ears with pieces like “Cantaloupe Island”. Even if you didn’t see it, you should be able to guess how good this ensemble is when Terbrack is in charge. Good job opening of opening the festival, guys! Hope you guys graduate soon and go to the future of jazz where no one has ever gone before.

 

 

Heavy stuff at early festival? Why not! Almost at the same time, at the Experimental Theater , Niccolo Faraci Trio from Italy started their show.As a double bassist and leader of many jazz projects, Niccolo, who has traveled to many countries from Switzerland to China and Montenegro to Poland, brought his expertise and proficiency to Malaysia in KLIJAF. His trio consisted of his fellow Italians Lorenzo Paesani (piano) and Francesco Miccolis (drums). This trio showed the audience how jazz could be experimented in any way. Classical elements was strongly felt in the playing, with a bit of post-bop particle in an intimate way. The music was neatly formed as well. It was such a treat for the ears and a good warm up for the whole festival.

 

 

At around 5:30 pm, 2 stages ran simultaneously. At the Experimental Stage Niccolo Faraci Trio was replaced by Lisa Young Quartet. Ever heard of Lisa Young? If you haven’t heard  about her yet, maybe it’s time for you to listen to her, because the lady has a very different music to share. This PhD of Music Performance holder from the land of Oz is popular among the world and jazz aficionados as a distinctive vocal stylist and brilliant improviser that loves to incorporate Indian and African elements in her crafts.

In our short interview with her, we found out that she masters the South Indian Music after studying it for 20 years, especially in Konnakol (the carnatic vocal syllables used to create rhytmical composition, in some ways like Indian way of scat singing) as she is a longtime student of maestro Karaikudi Mani in Chennai, South India. She literally reminded us to mention his name as a way to give respect. In short, Konnakol, the spoken component of solkottu, is a rhythmic language of South Indian music.

Her music can be described as world music and jazz. It was very ensemble driven, integrates jazz and South Indian music, but at the same time there is a subtlety of African music. Mostly wordless and contains complex -but enjoyable South Indian rhythms, her album Grace (2014) and The Eternal Pulse (2012) are as though they are back-to-back. Two words: artistic, mystical. If those are not enough, maybe the word magical can be added into her craft.