Monday, March 30, 2015
Jazz Event Report

279

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.

627

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

1314

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.

1341

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.

1213

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

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It feels like yesterday when we moved to a new venue after the old one didn’t wish to support our jazz community event any longer. It was the last week of September when, finally we rebooted the event in Braga CityWalk and changed the name to Braga Jazz Walk. We reset the count back to one but kept the rule of the game. Three showcases and one open jam session up to the end, until the mall ends its service. From one edition to another, all of a sudden we have come to the 10th edition. As usual, together with our partner in crime, the Braga CityWalk and KPH Music, the Braga Jazz Walk #10 showcased assorted flavors of jazz, played by mostly young talents. What’s unique is that in this edition one could find the connection and harmony between artists who grow in the communities: those who have taken the road earlier and the younger ones. These more ‘senior’ musicians began their musical path from jazz communities but look at where they stand now. The young ones can learn from them, how and what did they do to achieve success by having communities as the start point.

We once promised to bring special tribute once in a while. We began with a tribute to Joe Sample and the (Jazz) Crusaders a couple of months ago, courtesy of Chakraborty (read the report here). In this edition we highlighted a living legend, so unique in style as his music covers wide area from glam rock to pop to RnB. Plenty of his songs are evergreens (he has placed more than 50 top 40 hits), he has sold no less than 300 million albums, he won Grammy many times since 1972, one Academy Awards (Oscar) and 4 Tony Awards. He’s been in the industry for over 50 years without ever losing passion even a bit. His long time fans would remember him for his eccentric/wild stage costumes, but for us, it’s his signature baritone voice and ability to make beautiful melodious songs are the things that make him immortal. He is Elton John.

Braga Jazz Walk 10 - Christ Stanley (3)

But before the tribute appeared, a young but highly skillful and fully experienced pianist Christ Stanley gave his solo jazz piano recital. He was supposed to appear in a trio formation with Okki Jatikesuma and Puspallia Panggabean, but alas, they couldn’t make it. Showing a good professional musicianship and commitment, Stanley decided to keep going even alone, and it turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

Miles Davis’ “All Blues” launched first and directly showed his mastery specifically on jazz piano. Stanley began to embrace jazz piano since 20 years old. Interestingly, he began from a jazz community in Bandung, Klab Jazz. He grew there, gaining more and more experience while digging knowledge from mentors like Mochamad Yahya Salam, Henry Virgan, Nial Djuliarso and plenty of workshops. He’s been busy with many groups including the sensational Halfwhole Project, his trio, quartet, quintet and so on. He is the pianist for Danilla.

The Beatles’ classic “Blackbird” appeared nicely in complex composition yet natural with jazz and blues inside. “Gonna Be Alright” continued the high level structures and then he reached the end with Thelonious Monk’s masterpiece, “Straight No Chaser.” All the songs he played were standards, you thought you knew the songs, yet he could make it as if those were his own. Flowing naturaly, complex in high difficulty yet felt simple and easy to enjoy. What a nice first round.

Braga Jazz Walk 10 - Christ Stanley (6)

No one denies his awesomeness playing in any formation, but it’s rare for us to see him doing solo jazz piano recital. Performing alone often needs more than just skill. The player has to be able to carry the role, own the stage and bring everything full in order to meet the audience satisfaction. Does Stanley have it? Yes. We have seen him developing throughout the years, either at the community he grows, Klab Jazz and other events from small to big, prestigious ones. He has transformed to be a reliable jazz entertainer including a trustable one man show. He has the skill, he possesses good vibe, even his ability to sing could definitely steal your heart. As we don’t find pure jazz solo piano recital that often anymore especially in Indonesia, Stanley is the one to look for. Smooth and sweet swingin’ performance that worked perfectly for Valentine’s Day.

Braga Jazz Walk 10 - Andre Arizky (2)

Move on to the second act, the tribute. It’s not easy to find someone who could bring the cool impression of Elton John, since the person has to be able to play piano and sing at the same time, has to have the charisma and of course, the baritone voice. That’s why we were happy when we met Andre Arizky, who actually admitted to be highly inspired by Elton John. When we invited him to perform at Braga Jazz Walk #06, he delivered a couple of Elton John’s classic really well. So we thought, we don’t he just make a tribute to Elton instead? Andre agreed and happily took it.

The Academy Award winning song for Elton John fom Lion King “Circle of Life” opened up his session that directly showed how good he covered Elton John both in piano playing and the Barritone voice. Elton John’s gem from seventies “Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word” sounded really nice from him as well. Then he went back o the Lion King soundtrack “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” before picking another evergreen, “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me”. A song that we always dearly love, “Rocket Man” was perfect from him. As much as we enjoyed his performance, this lovely song was the final from him.

Braga Jazz Walk 10 - Andre Arizky (1)

Rizky was in Rising Star Indonesia 2014 and made it to Top 36 Wall Riser. He also competed in StarVoices season 3, and currently tries his luck in X Factor Indonesia 2015. As for Elton John, a legend like him should be placed above genres, especially since his songs are sung in countless of styles by artists/people all over the world over the years. We are happy to have a tribute to Elton John at Braga Jazz Walk and certainly proud to have such talent like Andre. Let’s wish him all the best for competing in X Factor. Based on his talent, passion, ability and effort, this man should be one of the serious contender.

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Another edition, another batch, another story, another result. The Braga Jazz Walk has reached its 9th edition which was served in wide variety. Three featured bands/artists had totally different style, different formation, different approach, different way of playing, but all of them were really entertaining and wonderful to watch. They gave a cool miniature of jazz and its richness. That goes for age too. A boy below teen-age to adult, all celebrated jazz with their own way. From the traditional, modern jazz to the marriage between jazz and traditional Sundanese music, together they created a small but rich package of a show.

Some jazz/music VIPs were found among the audience. The 2013 AMI Award winner for the Best Female Jazz Artist who once worked as the state pianist, composer/pianist/vocalist Nita Aartsen, also a piano teacher who has made many successful jazz pianists, Mochamad Yahya Salam. The senior guitarist Venche Manuhutu came too. The first performer, 10 year old Kafin Sulthan Reviera is Yahya’s student who takes lesson at Venche Music School (VMS).

Braga Jazz Walk 9 - Kafin (5)

We prepared something really special right from the start by presenting the kid prodigy, Kafin. He’s now a part of Mickey Mouse Club Indonesia, currently rehearsing and preparing for soon to be aired on Disney Channel. He is one of Erwin Gutawa’s ‘Above Average’ kids project which is also in the middle of recordings and concert, and he was also joined the gang of Mira Lesmana and Riri Riza’s Laskar Pelangi Musical Theatre a few years back. Amazingly, we are talking about a 10 year-old boy blessed with so many gifts. We met him last year when he was taking lesson at Venche Music School, we invited him to our event, he peformed with his teacher Mochamad Yahya Salam and he totally blew everyone away. From that moment on, this boy has grown fast. So it’s about time to have him back again.

If a year ago he still needed his teacher to be with him on stage, this time Kafin did it all by himself. Kafin egan swinging with a famous song “Lullaby of Birdland”. He kept the pace with with “Take the A Train”. “Moody’s Mood For Love” became a chance for him to demonstrate his ability.  Not an easy song to sing, not an easy song to play. But he did it all alone, along with connected improvisations which was spectacular. For the last song, he did a very, very lovely swingy Ismail Marzuki’s song, “Layang-Layang”.  When he’s done, our MC Erick Gabe teased him to give one more. With Erick’s mouth contrabass, he sang “Route 66″ and bagged loud applauses from the audience.

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It’s a wonder how a boy his age could do it, but as we said, he’s indeed a kid prodigy, meaning a kid with extremely early on age displays excellent capacity and expertise in one particular industry/field which is over their particular amount of readiness. We saw how fast he has progressing, how great he is now but at the same time still reflects the adorable look according to his age. Cute but unbelievably gifted, skillful performance. We’re just glad to know this amazing boy.

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Braga Jazz Walk opened up its second year of service with interesting theme. This first one in 2015 a.k.a 8th edition featured notable musicians/singers from groups which have participated in our events earlier who are currently trying to establish their solo career. As we are committed to the regeneration process of jazz (related) musicians in Bandung, channeling the potential talents becomes crucial. So we are happy that the first Braga Jazz Walk in 2015 actually highlighted this matter.  We are also proud to have Braga City Walk and KPH Music still fully supporting this regular program.

Three names, more than three players and many jamming participants were in. Each slot has its own persona where different styles successfully caught the attention of people spotted in the venue. Some came to watch, the others were mall-goers who were there during the event, they got sucked in to see the musical concept these gifted young artists wished to offer. There were blues, folk and rock/heavy metal found in this edition along with assorted jazz as the main dish. Some were joyful, sweet and cool, but some were sharp and rebellious, like a strike of slashing blade. The audience loved it, so did we.

 

Braga Jazz Walk 08 - Guntur Satria (2)

This 8th edition kicked off with a one man band, Guntur Satria. We knew him from his catchy naughty blues trio called the GFRtrio. With GFRtrio he appears as a wild, expressive (and explosive) bluesman who knows how to burn the stage with so many unpredictable moves. He’s much calmer when he’s all alone, yet his charisma still allowed him to shine.

Sam Smith’s “I’m Not the Only One” was first, followed by a gem from 1969,  “Across the Universe” originally recorded by The Beatles. The Beatles  presented it in psychedelic folk  with rich musical structure, Guntur respected it yet he infused his own soul into the song. Then he played his original song “Kala Rindu” which will be available when his EP’s finished. This song has the tasty indie content that’s loved by majority of young music listeners today in Indonesia, we believe this song has enough power to achieve success once it enters the market. Another The Beatles’ classic was perfectly covered by him, it’s called “Blackbird”. The freshness of country side was all over this one.  He then chose to seal his performance with a song that’s meaningful for him, “Englishman in New York.” The audience sang the reffrain several times together with him.

Braga Jazz Walk 08 - Guntur Satria (5)

You can visit his Soundcloud https://soundcloud.com/gunturblues to listen to some of his tracks. Currently he’s working on his EP titled “Pergi Keluar” which consists of 5 tracks. Billy Ramdhani is featured in the album, and Sarasvati’s said to be on one track too. We are happy to steal him again from his studio activities and get the update. All looks good. The way he let himself connected with the audience, the songs which speak about his real life story, the ability to write and compose, he has it all. Not many young lad could take the one man band road and have success, but Guntur surely can. No doubt about that.

Braga Jazz Walk 08 - Fearman (7)

The second session was taken by Fearman. This man is not an ordinary singer since he can sing all kind of styles as he wishes. He can go sweet and simple, he can give flawless manouvers in perfect pitch. He can climb the highest octave easily, he can reach the low keys without problem. He can climb the highest note like a rock star but he can also croon the way Michael Buble does. We have enjoyed his performance with his band Poinkustik a few months ago, but now he’s thinking of building his solo career as well, and we’re more than happy to provide him the ground.

Like we told you in the info article, he performed with a rock guitarist named TNT (Tinto Arief Anugrah). He was supposed to have a full band backing him, but since he didn’t get the available musicians, he decided to march on only with TNT. For us it was a blessing in disguise, since with minimalist concept we can enjoy his talent much clearer. Especially since both of them have bagged many achievements during their career and the good chemistry between them, their session was really enjoyable.

Braga Jazz Walk 08 - Fearman (5)

Andre Hehanussa’s “Bidadari” was the first song in medley with Koes Plus’ “Jemu”. TNT was done tremendous work on guitar by flying wild from country to blues. Next was “Esok Kan Masih Ada”, one of the signature songs of Utha Likumahuwa delivered in sweet, romantic mood.  Then they took surprising choice, “Kantoi”.  This funny song of Zee Avi with brilliant lyrics that’s written in Manglish (a cross between Malay and English) sounded cool from Fearman, TNT was kept busy with his country guitar playing. His original song “Demi Kamu” delivered sweet and romantic. For the last song he gave Michael Buble’s medley including “Home”, “Feeling Good”, “I Just Haven’t Met You Yet” and “Save the Last Dance For Me”.

As we said, this man can sing just about anything. But we are happy that he took the jazz lane for his solo debut. A voice like him would be great to sing with big band, but perfect too with minimalist concept like this one. He’s still at the good age, he’s like prince charming on stage with all the good vibes surrounding him. There are many guys can sing, but not so many have the singing skills like him. It was a nice collaboration with TNT, simple yet rich.

Braga Jazz Walk 08 - Amo (6)

The last session was filled with madness. This lad has never failed to surprise us everytime he appeared on our stage. He was called Conka by his friends before, but now he’s settled with Amo. His rocking spirit has been built since early age and grew up with such bands like Megadeth, Anthrax and Slayer. He likes to keep all the distortion and slashes his guitar like a metal pro yet jazz can be clearly captured during his play. Vicious heavy metal riffs complete with rebelious distortion now blended with jazz, the genre that he’s started digging not too long ago, about a year and a half. Can jazz go with rock distortion? Amo said why not. Tonight he gave a solid proof that it indeed works. Jazz with rock and distortion, we called it ‘Jazztortion’.

Together with his friends including Andi Pramudito (drums), Robert Daniel (bass) and Hadi (rhythm guitar), Amo roared right from the start with three songs:  Andy Timmons’ “Groove or Die”, Lee Ritenour’s “Rio Funk” and Eric Johnson’s “Zap”.  Amo still kept the heavy metal sound roared wild on stage but he clearly brought in some cool groove and good doses of jazz. His team mates Andi, Robert and Hadi gave such substantial work in supporting Amo’s attacks.

Braga Jazz Walk 08 - Amo (1)

Jazz and rock have been on of the most exciting adventurous style that we have had in last century and combined/fused until they created some hybrids. We have enjoyed it for many decades, but apparently there are still areas left to explore. What Amo does is simple. He tries to enter the ‘new’ territory while still keeping everything real, holding in his pure rock spirit. The result is somewhat interesting. Yes, playing jazz with electric guitar along with distortion have been done by some artists, but Amo still offers something fresh and different by pushing the jazz-rock holy matremony into the far edge. So edgy until you forget to breath. Amo is dangerous when he’s running loose. If he keeps doing this path, he may even create a new hybrid. Absolutely sensational and distinctively unique.

Braga Jazz Walk 08 - Jam Session (4)

 

Jam Session was open, but first it was taken by a young talented man who visited us for the first time. His real name is Rizky Ahmad Mudzakkir, but he likes to be known as Izky Mudza. This man is talented in singing and playing guitar, plus he can write songs. What’s also cool from him is the way he control his performance. He enjoyed every second of his moment and shared it to the audience. Oh yeah, he’s also cool when he put his voice into falsetto.  Just two songs but memorable, how happy it is to spot great new talent.

Then three players of Find Taste took position on piano, guitar and mike. Erick, Puspallia Panggabean and Andhika Caesar of Imagodeo did scat party and some mouth trumpet/trombone.  The photo session took place during this act, and that’s the end of the show.

Braga Jazz Walk 08 - Photo Session

 

Cool stuff was found right from the first minute. All headlines for this 8th edition has something in common: are the key player in their group, but now they take another further step to establish their solo career. They have skills, highly talented and full of charisma, the thing that’s urgently needed if one wishes to pursue a solo career. They can turn the game differently, they are passionate and have something different to offer. We are happy to be able to provide the reliable ground for them. For all the musicians who showed up, we really appreciate your coming, hope you will make this community event become your own home. And to the happening crowds, thank you so much and look forward to have your support furthermore.

Watch the highlight on our Youtube channel:

In two weeks from now we will feature more bands, including a very mind-bending project where you can find progressive jazz and mystical ethnics pulsing strong in every note. Until then, take care and keep jazzin’.

See more pictures:

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

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BragaJazzWalk-ChristmasEdition

 

“Speaking of jazz, of all season, I think Christmas is the best season for it.” That’s what a musician told us a while ago, expressing how happy he feels during Christmas season. Well, Christmas and Jazz have been buddies for many decades, probably right after the birth of jazz. Many people enjoyed it throughout the years, today we still enjoy it. Think of how many pop artists go swingy when they sing Christmas carols. Christmas and jazz, they are hardly separable.

Braga Jazz Walk has reached the 7th edition. What a pleasant coincidence that this year’s Christmas actually fell on the fourth Thursday of December, exactly on our regular shedule. That made us able to bring our Christmas Edition right on the special day. For this special edition, we set our mind towards the variety of jazz that would make the best of Christmas celebration. Smooth jazz, swing, fusion, bebop? Checked. Traditional, modern, soulful? Checked. Full band, instrumental, with vocals and just vocals in harmony alias acapella? Checked too. From adult to children? Yes, that too. Together with our partners in crime, the venue Braga City Walk and KPH Music, we, Jazzuality.com proudly presented this edition that suit the theme of the mall: The Oldtown Christmas. What made us even more proud is that we got to celebrate it with many audience. Some came to watch it, some were the mall-goers. Together they created a joyous atmosphere inside the big hall.

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The band consists of children age ranging from 12-16 called MY Kids were first. MY stands for Maulana Yusuf, the name of the street where their church stands. Billy (drum), Panji (bass), Adam (electric guitar), Korin and Miguel (acoustic guitar), Yugo (conga), Ferdi (keyboard), Louis Arnita and Syela (vocals) were found inside this team. MY Kids was formed from the GKI’s Sunday School who apparently have talents in music. They started only with acoustic guitar but then grew with more kids coming in. They have began their service since April 2011 and has been serving twice a month ever since.

Dream of cheerful Christmas celebration? The kids wanted to bring exactly that. “Allah Sumber Kuatku” was the first choice. This happy opening soon followed by “Sebab Tuhan Baik” and GMB’s “Tiba Saatnya ” which nicely included Sundanese music and singing style.  “Hark the Herald Angel Sing” was delivered in quite difficult rendition but executed perfectly by these kids.

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It’s always fascinating to see the kids play music. They are cute, but the way the perform, which usually are all out with ‘nothing to loose’ spirit can create surprises. The same with these kids. They are still at their teens, but they can entertain people already, as well as share the blessings. This is why we exist. The reason why we make Braga Jazz Walk in first place: to push the regeneration process forward, providing playground for the young ones to practice everything they learnt in front of real audience. We send love to MY Kids. Keep up the good work, kids! Don’t stop using your gifts to bless others.

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The second session was filled by one of the prestigious Jazz Goes to Campus 2014 consolation prize holder, 5th Avenue. This band consists of  a couple Chris Alfeus (guitar) and Stella Inke (piano), plus two more compatriotes AlbenOctorys (drums) and William Anthony (bass). Their playground is somewhere around jazz fusion and smooth jazz. Some of their specialties including brilliant arrangement and the scat singing along with guitar playing on the same note (or at the interval of an octave) by Chris. It brought Chris to win the Best Guitarist for Jazz Goes to Campus 2014 less than a month ago. They have some great original compositions, they do interesting covers of some famous jazz repertoires/songs. But here we got the chance to taste their Christmas menus. and man, it was delicious.

“Winter Wonderland” was served in GRP’s Smooth Jazz style. “Joy to The World” was served in more rockin’ style, Still keeping the groove but in slower rhythm, the band delivered “White Christmas” in medley with “Let It Snow”.  Chris demonstrated his scat-singing style while playing guitar in perfect pitch.  A lovely original song titled “Abba” was played sweetly before they ended up rockin’ on “Joyful Joyful”.

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A fusion style of Christmas was served classy by 5th Avenue. We have tasted their unpredictably complex arrangement over well known songs, we enjoyed it too when they take the simplicity road. They are not agressive on stage, but they know how to grab people’s attention and make them stay until it’s done. Speaking of Christmas, they took some of the most famous songs and put up fresh colorful outfit on it. Once again a solid package from them, being given just like a beautifully wrapped Christmas gift.

BragaJazzWalk-Christmas-Outof7 (1)

For the final act, we invited a band that delivers jazz with action, the Out of 7. The band places their feet in between secular and gospel. The personnels are active praise and worship musicians beside their daily works. We used to call them acrobatic band due to their ‘stunt’ attempt in exploring wide array of genres. The keyboarist Widiyanto Sutanto is the leader who is also in charge of composing the materials. Then, the young but hyperactive lady drummer Marissa Wiguna who has catchy appearance and rich punching variety, guitarist Herman Yulianto and Daniel Christy with their rock-blues colors over jazz and funky bassist Abet Darmaji. Last but not least, the man you’ve seen in every Braga Jazz Walk edition as the MC, Erick Gabe is the vocalist. This man has a magical vocal ability. Wide range, perfect pitch, extreme manouvers, scat-singing, mouth-trumpet,trombone, beatbox and so on, you name it, he does it. Today the band has original songs (including several contemporary gospel songs). They have won the Espose 2013 band competition and landed on JakJazz 2013.

BragaJazzWalk-Christmas-Harmony

Before the band appeared in complete team, first a trio called Harmony consists of  Norama Herty Yunieke, Mutiyani Repie and Lela Yuliantika Kawareh gave an acapella presentation titled “The Lord’s Prayer”.  A vocal harmony group is an important subject in making up Christmas Edition,  so we’re happy to have these three ladies taking on this part. After that, a duet between Lela Yuliantika Kawareh and Fredi Hendarman sang “What a Wonderful World” accompanied by Widiyanto Sutanto.

Then Out of 7 got their round. The band kicked off with “Gloria (in Exelcis Deo)”. Blues shone with “Amazing Grace” and then the swingy “Winter Winterland” with a little piece of Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t Worry Be Happy” in the middle. Their original song “Sang Penerus Dunia” with a sharp rockin’ style and then sealed it up with “Spain” . This last song was served in jamming mood with enough solo run from each of the players.

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We haven’t seen them for a while, but they are still carrying the same spirit in even more enhanced skills. Composition is still their forte while the manouvers created such attraction that’s fun and entertaining. Since they are building their career in both secular and gospel, let’s wish them the best. One thing for sure, with the way they play, surely they can really spice up both world.

BragaJazzWalk-Christmas-JamSession

The jam session was opened shortly after and quickly taken by some of the attending musicians. Chris Alfeus and William Anthony of 5th Avenue was back  again, also Widiyanto Sutanto and Marissa Wiguna of Out of 7. Then three members of Talking Jazz: Steven (piano), Billy (saxophone) and Jabez (guitar) also took part. On vocals were three men from the audience: Mr Simon singing “White Christmas”, Alex from Timor Leste took on “Karena Cinta” and Prof. Dr. Amri Amir, SpF, SH from Medan sang The Beatles’ “Yesterday”.  One singer from MyKids Louis was back too with “The Christmas Song”.  It was already 10:30 pm, still we got one more batch singing Michael Buble’s “Home”. Rizky Jonathan (vocal), Andre Fernando (guitar) and Yosua Setiawan (bass) were the last participants.

BragaJazzWalk-Christmas-PhotoSession

 

We started the jazz community event in the first month of 2014, now we have reached the last presentation for this year in Braga City Walk. We have run more than 20 editions and so far presented musicians from Bandung, Jakarta, Sukabumi, Bali and also from Malaysia, France, USA and Australia, plus the more recent, Timor Leste. There are many things we still have to work on, but so far we are happy and satisfied with the way things are. The regeneration process is on going. We have met and provided familiar playground to so many newcomers ranging from solo to full bands, welcoming the well established and experienced musicians/bands that wished to support the new players and presenting unique formation/combination that are rarely found in today’s stages.

It feels good to end our 2014 series with a joyful Christmas Edition. Such happening crowds, such joyful performers. The variation was on top since this edition contained many styles from swing, bebop, fusion, soulful to even rock, presented instrumentally, with vocals and acapella by adults and early teenagers. As for the age, this edition stood above all because the range was unbelievably wide, from 12 to 73 year-old.

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As the disintegration is taking place here and there by some people, we do hope jazz can stand as a great tool to promote peace and unity among people and nations, making it appears as an example of peaceful, full-loving and tolerance world. On behalf of everyone in Jazzuality.com and Braga Jazz Walk, let us wish you Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Happy Holiday to you all. Let there be peace on earth and joy to the world.

Watch the highlight:

See more pictures:

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