Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Jazz Event Report




What a showdown of talents. The team of Tesla Manaf and Gerald Situmorang Trio finally nailed their album showcase called “Duality” in two cities. Last Monday, September 8th, 2014 they successfully hit Indro Hardjodikoro’s Jazz Spot at Rolling Stone Cafe, Jakarta. Before they visit UPH Jakarta next week, on the beautiful but cold night of  September 12, 2014 Bandung got the chance to enjoy the package of these two brilliant young guitarists.

As we know, Tesla Manaf and Gerald Situmorang are young guitarists who have fought for their music since many years ago from one stage to another. The appealing point of this show was how two distinct styles and concepts of music could be cohered and blended harmoniously in one single concert. The collaboration of creating this concert occured since they both need to promote their new album, which, coincidentally or not, is being realeased during close period of time. Gerald and Tesla is around the same age, they have the same passion in music by playing the same instruments. Eventhough they are based in different cities, both of these guitarists have made big impact in Indonesia’s jazz scene. They gave a strong statement that a calling is worth fighting for. Look at how these boys struggle in their early career. But then, look where they are standing now, while they are still considerably that young. It surprised us when they announced this collaborative event, but it does make sense and should happen sooner or later.


Duality - Album Showcase - Gerald Situmorang Trio (5)

What Gerald brought into this event is his trio, simply called Gerald Situmorang Trio which has just released an album entitled “Time is the Answer”. Gerald started the show with him alone playing a sentimental composition “Natural Thinker”. This composition brought out the sensitive side of us. Actually, Lawang Wangi is a cafe and art space that located in Bandung’s high land. Since the event was set outdoor, a very beautiful scenery of sparkling Bandung’s city lights was the background that naturally made a perfect harmony with the music, especially in night hours.

Before we carry on with this report, let’s take a closer look at Gerald Situmorang first. This man is skillful as a guitarist, great in composing and also ‘restless’, in terms of never stop producing something. He’s been active with variety of bands where each of them has different concept. BAG Trio came out at the first time as a jazz band, then they added more flavor and changed the name into BAG+BEAT with more team-mates and urban sound. He also shaped Hemiola Quartet and of course, his probably most famous band to date, Sketsa. It was born nine years ago, mainly as a guitar-duo concept (that stays until today), a showdown between him and Dimas Wibisana. However since they always love to place more sounds and wish to avoid stagnation, Sketsa’s formation is made flexible. They can appear as a trio, quartet or even bigger with vocals, violin, contrabass, percussion, clarinet and accordion.


Duality - Album Showcase - Gerald Situmorang Trio (8)

Back to the concert, the second song was “P & L”. He called his team mates to play with, bassist Ankadiov Subran and a drummer Jessilardus Mates. They came out and brought a fun medium to fast beat. Jessilardus Mates was the spotlight on the third song, “Keeps Coming Back”. The syncopative drum beating, the long-duration solo run and cool dynamics made him gain applauses from the crowds. Gerald and Ankadiov gave him comfortable space to show off his ability. The next song was called “Debu” which allowed Ankadiov to set his bomb. Gerald played a pretty catchy melodious jazzy tune in it. “This song is a reminder that we’re all formed of dust, so arrogance should have no place in us.” Gerald said in explaining this song. This reflective song relaxed our minds.




How relevant is a big band today, especially in a far away country from the origin of jazz like Indonesia? It’s far from the current trend, we don’t hear or see it often on TVs or radios, yet you’ll be surprised to see how many audience a big band could get in a concert. This Salamander Big Band‘s 8th Anniversary Concert in Bandung again got huge crowds, at least around 500 people or even more. Many of the audiences had to stand since all seats were taken, and many of them were youngsters. Another huge success for Salamander Big Band. Well prepared, great choice of songs, wonderfully executed, all resulting an epic concert.

Let’s see the case of this highly successful Big Band in Bandung for example, the Salamander Big Band. They don’t make concerts that often, only two to three times a year. But once they make one, it’s always that good or even sensational. For us who have covered their concert since 2008, we have seen tremendous progress of it. They keep the traditional formation of a Big Band like Count Basie’s ensemble, they are absolutely great in swinging, but they can cover more musical horizons too like fusing in some traditionals or going European style. They have served many collaborations with legendary musicians from Europe like Dieter Mack or Thorsten Wollman. Not only have them in concert, but the Salamander Big Band has been fortunate to learn from them as well. This year once again they got the previlege to have it from a legendary Dutchman from The Hague/NL, Mr Ack van Rooyens. Organized by Goethe-Institut Indonesien in corporation with Erasmus Huis, Salamander Big Band’s 8th Annivesary’s served grand in 3 locations: Bandung (Bumi Sangkuriang), Jakarta (Erasmus Huis and GoetheHaus). The program is a part of the initiative “Culture & Development” which was set up by the Goethe-Institut in 2009, with the mission to provide professional qualifications and support the intercultural networks as well as to create cultural and social platforms.


Salamander Big Band meets Ack van Rooyen 2014 (5)


Maybe you don’t hear the name that often in Indonesia, but Ack van Rooyen is actually one of the most important names in European music scene especially in jazz. Ack van Rooyen was born on New Year’s Day of 1930 and already started playing flugelhorn since he was only 7 years of age. On a trip to US with brother Jerry van Rooyen and Rob Pronk, they heard jazz in New York and were among the first to introduce it to Holland. When he moved to Germany, Ack joined SFB Big Band in Berlin, also the SDR Orchestra in Stuttgart. He toured with Wolfgang Dauner and Albert Mangelsdorff all the way to Asia and South America. He’s also a charter member of United Jazz and Rock Ensemble plus Peter Herbolzheimer’s Rhythm Combination and Brass.

Not many of today’s generation know it, but Ack van Rooyen is closely related to Indonesia. In 1946 when the van Rooyens were members of a big band, interestingly they made music here in Indonesia. It was also here in Indonesia when Ack heard bebop for the first time. According to him, it became one of the most important milestones in his life, something that inspired him for the rest of his life. Speaking more specifically about one of the cities he’s going to visit, Bandung, this capital of West Java was the place where he made the acquaintance of Rob Pronk, the prolific Indonesian-born musician, composer and arranger who was later on working extensively with the siblings. A lot of nostalgia and memory must this be for him, therefore this year’s series of concert tour will also be used as a tribute or to pay respect to brother Jerry van Rooyen and Rob Pronk. A very important tribute to Ack van Rooyen’s life, could be the most important one, and Salamander Big Band is the ensemble for him to go with.


Salamander Big Band meets Ack van Rooyen 2014 (19)


We came to the Salamander Big Band meets Ack van Rooyen: “A Jazz Life” (8th Anniversary Concert) in Bumi Sangkuriang Bandung on the lovely night of Monday (September 8, 2014). The concert began a few minutes after 7:30 pm and sailed directly after the opening speech from Verena Lehmkuhl,  Coordinator for Culture & Development Southeast Asia. The famous song written by Frank Foster for Count Basie, “Shiny Stockings” was the first choice. The singing pianist Imelda Rosalin took it to the top, creating a glorious opening. The founder Devy Ferdianto himself stood as the conductor.

Then he called Ack van Rooyen that directly told the audience that he was here in Bandung for the first time in 1948. “There’s a song I played back then that I still remember until now,” he said, and it was the ever-lovely “Moonlight Serenade”. They were like setting up a time capsule, sending more than 500 audiences to the swingin’ era in the 40’s. It was magic!


Salamander Big Band meets Ack van Rooyen 2014 (1)


In “Walking Tip Toe”, Ack introduced the trumpeter to stand in front, Brury Effendi. This man matched Ack with his flugelhorn in the front row. They spread harmony, backing each other up and exchanged punch lines. Once again loud applauses were given to the team. Another Ack’s original song came next, “Autumn Bugle”. It’s a sentimental song, sweet and touching that could bring happy tears to those who hears it.

While Mr Ack took some rest, Devy Ferdianto introduced his vocal lines, the Salamander Voices. Four singers (Devi Remondi, Lia Amalia, Sekar Teja Inten and Adi Sigerra) joined the 18-piece big band. They covered an Indonesian evergreen song written by Maladi, “Di Bawah Sinar Bulan Purnama” very, very beautifully.  Since “Di Bawah Sinar Bulan Purnama” means “Under the Light of the Full Moon”,  something strange happened tonight. We don’t know if the musicians and audience realize this or not, but a shiny full moon actually graced the night sky outside the hall. Speaking of coincidence.


Salamander Big Band meets Ack van Rooyen 2014 (10)


A song from Rob Pronk, a legendary Dutch musician with Indonesian blood (he was born in Malang, Indonesia) was the next piece. It was a pentatonic-based song called “Sinta”. Not an easy repertoire, yet they all did very well in bringing it back alive. The sweet night continued on with Imelda Rosalin back on vocal. She sang another standards, “It Could Happen to You”. Then the first session reached the end with the song everyone know so well, “Route 66″. The guitarist Bramania Bachtiar did a cool rock n roll solo, while the Salamander Voices was captivating.


Salamander Big Band meets Ack van Rooyen 2014 (14)


The second session started with Matt Ashworth on flute stood right beside Ack. The ensemble played “Elusive” really well. Then Ack conducted everyone to hum along with some guitar lines, and that was the opening of the next song, “Sometime Ago” in swingin’ Blues. Bram once again showed his tasty blues line on guitar, but many other musicians got their own round too, from Imelda on piano, Brury on flugelhorn, Matt Ashworth on saxophone, Gallang Perdhana on contrabass, to Agustinus on drums, they all had fun with Ack’s flugelhorn who once again involved the audience’s humming sound brilliantly in this song. No wonder this song got the biggest applauses up to this point.


Salamander Big Band meets Ack van Rooyen 2014 (2)


“Day In, Day Out”, a 1939 song by Rube Bloom and Johnny Mercer took a fast swing lane with Imelda’s vocal plus Brury’s solo run in the middle, followed by a very old standard, “For Heaven’s Sake”. “Time to visit Brazil”, said Ack before the Salamander Big Band pinned Ivan Lins’ song, “Commeçar de Novo”. A piece written by Jerry van Rooyen “Tailspinning” took us back to the jazz path. Matt Asworth gave a cool improvisation lines in this composition which is probably the most difficult piece they play this year. “Because I Love You” brought back the sentimental mood to us. Devy introduced the whole players before serving up the last song, a Jimmy Dorsey’s piece, “Tangerine”. Trumpeter Egi Bayu who got promoted from Sangkuriang Youth Jazz Orchestra (SYJO) to Salamander Big Band did very well in it. More solo runs and energetic playing sealed the official show with an ace.


Salamander Big Band meets Ack van Rooyen 2014 (23)


Since it was very beautiful, the audience of course asked for more. So they brought one last song, Duke Ellington’s “Mood Indigo” by involving all players. One interesting thing about Mood Indigo, this was the song that made Rob Pronk fell in love with jazz for the very first time. Also because of this song, Duke Ellington became his role model). As much as we loved it, the concert finally reached the very end.

With Mr Ack van Rooyen, the Salamander Big Band sent respect to Jerry van Rooyen and Rob Pronk as well as treating the audiences with a very special and beautiful package. Last year they explored many difficult terrains, playing complex compositions that showed how far a Big Band can stretch its concept under the guidance of Dieter Mack (read the report here: This time they came back to the mainstream, embracing the true heart and real spirit of Big Band, just like the moment it was born and changed the course of music. Ack has taught them how to play as an ensemble. How they should blow the brasses to create an ‘alive’ sound. So tonight, we saw the whole team of Salamander Big Band involved their souls in creating a ‘warm’ tones with heartfelt dynamics on any given piece. We always know that Salamander can take up repertoires with high degree of difficulties but can make the more simple ones sound rich and majestic. Thanks to Ack, the Salamander has taken one step higher in producing lively dynamics throughout the performance.


Salamander Big Band meets Ack van Rooyen 2014 (6)


Ack is the perfect one to do it. He has a very long experience, more than 60 years at least. There are many flugelhorn players, but it’s rare to find someone who still can play it like Ack. The sound he produces with his flugelhorn is naturally beautiful, it feels like having a heavenly sweet caramel candy melts in your mouth. The brass section of Salamander Big Band should be proud to learn it from him. But Ack gave a lot of space to the rhythm section too to shine.

For you who live in Jakarta, you can catch their next performances on Erasmus Huis (Tuesday, September 9, 2014) and GoetheHaus (Wednesday, September 10, 2014). Both show will start at 7:30 pm without taking any charge. The first concert in Bandung was very beautiful, you people in Jakarta should not miss this one.


Salamander Big Band meets Ack van Rooyen 2014 (17)


We sincerely thank the Salamander Big Band, Ack van Rooyen, Goethe Institut, Erasmus Huis and everyone else (persons/institutes) behind this event. Happy anniversary Salamander Big Band! So happy to witness your tremendous growth for 8 years and look forward to see more updates from you. And long live, Mr Ack, may you be blessed with the best of health and keep bearing much fruits for many more years. We hope to see you again in Indonesia and give another unforgettable round with Salamander Big Band like the one we got tonight.

See more pictures:

Repoter: Riandy Kurniawan, Titus Firmanto
Photographer: Mia Damayanti




When we created Terraz Jazz, we planned something simple. What we had in mind is to push the regeneration process by creating a platform that’s free to use by any jazz oriented/related bands. They all can showcase their concept, skill either individually or as a unit, as well as getting experienced to play in front of the real audience and to taste how it actually is to stand on the real stage and be covered by the media. They can have the stage as a playground, the place where they can have fun while entertaining people at the same time, unleashing their passion and energy positively through music. And naturally, it should become a new spot for jazz lovers in Bandung to visit.

We make Terraz Jazz as a jazz-based program but open, meaning that we never close our door to any other genres as long as they are interested to play in a jazzmosphered show. We’ve also been trying to look up for unique formation that most people might never thought of. We have featured many special duos like drums-guitar, drums-saxophone, drums-keyboard and guitar-violin. We have invited full electric bands and acoustic ones. The younger musicians found on stage was 8 and 10 years old, many female drummers and percussionists, and speaking of location, we have had musicians not only from local Bandung areas but also from other cities like Jakarta, Bali, all the way to overseas like Malaysia, USA and France. And what amaze us is that all of these happened only in ten editions.


Terraz Jazz 11 - Titbits (1)


With no intention of building an exclusive community, so far there are many regular attendances especially young musicians. Eventhough they had no schedule to perform, they just came either to watch or to join the jam session. We wish to keep it that way, making everyone feel at ease when they are attending the show. As our tagline says: “fun jazzin, fun jammin’, fun learnin’, these three aspects that are all rooted in ‘fun has got to be there in any edition. What makes us happy is that many successful, well-established or senior musicians/bands have given their supports and blessings. Some have even showed it by playing together with these young ones. We hope this to grow and continuously give benefit to Jazz, its development and everyone living in it.

So, just like we predicted, the Terraz Jazz #11 stood as a strong, solid one with rich flavors. We say rich, because there were varieties of styles and cross-genres in it. We spotted jazz fusion, smooth jazz, Brit-pop, blues and a pleasantful folk.

For the first time we featured a solo performer. We’re glad to have it from a young fella named Guntur Satria. We knew him when he came and took part in the jam session in one of the early editions. We directly got hooked on him, his magic charm worked just perfectly to stun us. From there we’re connected with him and all his updates.


Terraz Jazz 11 - Guntur Satria-GFRtrio (7)


Guntur Satria has a trio called GFRtrio with bassist Farhan Faikar and drummer Raka Rizkyandi. This trio played at the 6th edition that was dedicated fully to Blues (read the report here: The trio was just finished their recording session and is looking forward to launch their album. We’re planning to bring them again in letting them promote their upcoming album, but first we thought it’d be cool to feature him first as a solo player because we believe he’s capable to carry it.

He’s eccentric, meaning that he can be on his own doing weird stuff and unpredictable, he’s energetic, attractive, expressive and interactive. He could stun everyone when he’s on fire on stage. But surprisingly, when he stands alone as a solo performer he actually got a different concept. We have heard some of his solo sessions in his Soundcloud ( and we just had to feature him in this format. He was a mad blues player when plays as a trio, but in his solo he’s a lot calmer both in gesture and music. He goes embracing the country side while still keeping his blues-rock tone in much smaller dose. But Guntur is always Guntur. He’s still fully connected to the audience and happily inserted some real-life stories during his show.

He started in folkish pop by covering John Meyer’s “Stop This Train”. Then he gave his newly written ballad, only 2 days old called “Kala Rindu”. “Blackbird”, a hauntingly beautiful song of The Beatles written by Paul McCartney came alive from him in fresh country style. This one is a winning song, the song that made us impatiently has to invite him to perform in this 11th edition. He sang another original song titled “Sabar” and then invited his band members to join his session. As Farhan Faikar (bass) and Raka Rizkiyandi (drums) came in, he delivered Sting’s “Englishman in New York” which included some solo runs and free improvisations.




Man, it’s good to be back! We’ve been missing our tight activity in selecting the bands to participate in this very event, the Terraz Jazz twice a month. But then came the month of Ramadhan when the Muslims had to fast during the daylight and pray at night to have a spiritual cleansing. Since we didn’t want to distract them, the Terraz Jazz was paused for a month. Entering the second week of August, Terraz Jazz was back in action again. There are still many bands we haven’t invited yet, while the already played bands are worth to have another shot. We have to do the balance as well as trying to find the best combination in terms of dealing with the variety of jazztertainment. Just like before, the Terraz Jazz #10 was divided into two sessions: the live performances of three bands and an open jam session all the way to the end. Curious to see how it went? Let us spill it for you.

This edition was dedicated to the Indonesia’s Independence Day which falls on August 17, 2014. Due to this theme, we asked the performing bands to include something that could be related to it, either in repertoires, concept or even dresscode. Whatever it is, we let them free to choose as long as it fitted the theme.


Terraz Jazz 10 - Owcindful (5)


The first slot was taken by Owcindful. Quickly this band of youngsters poured some classic funky disco style that worked very well to open this come back edition. Nicodemus Horisson (piano), Inez (vocal), Ariel and Anthony (guitars), Jere (bass) and Andre (drums) didn’t just play, they clearly prepared the materials to fit the month of Indonesia’s Independence Day. A little fact about this band, it was established first of all on Valentine’s Day last year at an event in Trans Studio Mall. Long story short, they saw the opportunity to keep going. After many gigs around Bandung, Owcindful’s finally landed on Terraz Jazz.

Without any opening speech from us, the Owcindful quickly opened up their session with a national anthem written by Ibu Sud entitled “Tanah Airku”. They carried on with interesting version of Kahitna’s “Takkan Terganti”. Starting like it was going to be a ballad, they suddenly sticked this song in 70’s disco style, complete with the wah-wah guitar sound. What an enjoyable presentation that created smile on our faces. Then they moved on to another national anthem “Indonesia Pusaka” again in party mood, playful chords and Brazilian splash. Then they gave a song that’s listed in their memory, it was Sandhy Sondoro’s “Malam Biru” and sealed their show with “Can’t Take My Eyes of You”.


Terraz Jazz 10 - Owcindful (7)


If before we knew Nicodemus’ valuable contribution to the jazz band Chakraborty, we’re glad to see his ability to lead a band with cool music form. This would perfectly suit the young listeners easily. What’s also great is that these young folks served it not like a wannabe but we could feel that it came out right from their souls. It was groovy, soulful and danceable, but at the same time contained jazz in nice portion. Watching energetic boys with strong passion in music like this is always cool. With more experiences that can be gained from having more and more gigs, Owcindful can go fly up high. They have potential, we’re happy to have them in.


Terraz Jazz 10 - Frank and Co (5)


The second slot was taken by a band with the name that could remind you of a jewellery company. It’s called Frank & Co. We heard this band from its guitarist, Frank Navayo who came and jam many times in this event. So it’s about time for us to feature him in a session with his band. Other than this George Benson-ish guitarist, the band has Josua Stephen (keyboard), Yeremia Liong (drums), Christopher Andika (flute & saxophone) and Ken (bass).


Ubud Village Jazz Festival 2014 - Day 2 (2)


The beatiful day of jazz already took place at Ubud yesterday, courtesy of Ubud Village Jazz Festival 2014. (read the report here: Now we are going to let you know what’s happening on the second and final day of this second episode of this annual party.


Ubud Village Jazz Festival 2014 - OpenMind Quartet (1)


Two bands started exactly at the same time: Openmind Quartet and Gustu Brahmanta Trio. The Openmind Quartet consists of musicians from the Universitas Pelita Harapan Jakarta such as Michael Setiawan (grand piano), Kevin Yosua (Electric Bass), Dion Jana Pria (Electric Guitar) and Joshua Setiawan (Drums). Once again reprised their great role in last year’s edition in pouring this event with cool swingin’ straight ahead. They played the traditional style of jazz, yet felt very fresh, something that we really needed while covering the event under the warm Bali temperature. Not only they cooled us up, but they also gave a beautiful start for the second day. Neat, tight and clean play from these very talented and skillful younger generation. They were playing originals by Michael and also some standards such as Rhythm-a-Ning by Thelonius Monk.


Ubud Village Jazz Festival 2014 - Gustu Brahmanta Trio (3)


For those who wished to enjoy jazz with authentic Balinese taste, Gustu Brahmanta Trio gave exactly that on Subak Stage. Think of this: a trio with the combination of western and Balinese instruments, you should get something different from it. The group which has Ida Bagus Putu Brahmanta (drums and percussion), Ida Bagus Indra Gupta (contrabass) and I Wayan Suastika (rindik, gamelan) served mystical pentatonic pelog scale with jazz as the foundation. What’s a rindik, you might ask? Well, a rindik is an instrument made from bamboo with 11-13 keyed xylophones tuned to a fairly even tempered scale.

Other than rindik, the trio also modifies the drumset with kelenang to add even more Balinese nuance. What’s unique is that, if the usual Balinese gamelan orchestra could have from 10 to 20 players with varieties of instruments, this three dudes dare to bring the Balinese jazz concept alive with just minimalist formation. From what we heard, they proofed it to work perfectly. This is the kind of jazz that we really want to see from jazz fest in Bali, thanks to Gustu Brahmanta Trio, we could get it very early on Saturday. The attempt of fusing traditional music of Bali with jazz has been done by so many musicians both from our own source and international, yet this trio is able to give something different while still rooting in the same spirit. Mind you, they are all native, so what we got from them was the authentic Balinese music with seamless jazz vibe inside. They showcased true Balinese ethnic music fused with modern jazz grooves, and they kept the rhythm in the pocket with just this formation. The show was simply educational, interactive, entertaining, magical, without having to lose the strong ethnic element. Ubud Village Jazz Festival just got defined.


Ubud Village Jazz Festival 2014 - Yuri Mahatma Astrid Sulaiman (5)


Then came the time to be entertained by the founder of Underground Jazz Movement also the founder of this very event, Yuri Mahatma. Once again he teamed up with dear wife, lady pianist Astrid Sulaiman. Using his weapon guitar, he led the quintet consists of Helmy Agustian on bass, Steve Bolton on drums, and Pramono Abdi Pamungkas on saxophone. One song that caught our attention is when they played “Hallucinations”. That song is always overlooked by many musicians but Yuri and Astrid nailed the song just right. Anyhow, the crowd seemed very relaxed from the cool grooves this band offered. This team opened up the Giri Stage just a few minutes after 5 o’clock in the very late afternoon.


Ubud Village Jazz Festival 2014 - Day  1


Imagine this: Horizons of paddy fields, hills, steep ravines, chilly weather, smiles of the locals, and a jazz festival. You read that right fellas, a jazz festival in the middle of those beauties. If few months ago we had a jazz festival up 3,000 meters high on a mountain (Jazz Gunung 2014), the annual Ubud Village Jazz Festival 2014 offers jazz-lovers-festival-goers another unique experience for the second consecutive year. Ubud is a small town in Bali island, and is regarded as the cultural centre of Bali. This town was even featured in a 2010 movie Eat, Pray, Love starring Julia Roberts for its natural beauty, artsy atmosphere, and spirituality. Now since jazz has been added in it, the area is surrounded by even more magic. It was truly a wonderful experience to feel the spirit of jazz and island of God blend in. It created such feeling that you won’t find elsewhere.

Ubud Village Jazz Festival 2014 came in handy in terms of providing great value of jazzertainment. Plenty of great acts, rainbow-like variety to choose, all packed in nonstop pleasure for 8 hours straight, for two days in a row. The face of Ubud would never be the same again after it got a jazz painted colors which was initiated by the founder of Underground Jazz Movement Yuri Mahatma and the owner of ANTIDA Music Productions, Anom Darsana.


Ubud Village Jazz Festival - Underground Jazz Movement 1 (4)


Divided into three stages (Padi, Giri and Subak), the festival started at around 3.30PM at Padi and Subak Stages, simultaneously opened by Underground Jazz Movement 1 and Underground Jazz Movement 2, two local community-based jazz projects. This community has the mission to introduce jazz to young musicians, especially those who reside in Bali. They gather mostly on Sunday afternoon until night and fill it with open discussion, talk and even play jazz. They went swinging in pure delight with tradings and improvisations included in every song . From what we saw, this Underground Jazz Movement already bear fruits, delicious ones. From now on you have to know this: if you are a musician living in Bali and wish to be familiar with jazz, all you have to do is come to their meetings. You can get a lot of information, knowledge, playing tips and many more regarding jazz. Jazz is very much alive in Bali, and there’s a community that you can put yourself into.


Ubud Village Jazz Festival 2014 - Seiji Endo (1)


Carry on now. Up next at Padi stage, Seiji Endo took his turn. Endo-san is an expert in straight-ahead jazz and bebop, but for this event, his concept is solo piano. Wanna know what was up? A piano recital in nature, that’s what! Heart-capturingly beautiful, mesmerizing, clean and accurate, he immediately caught people’s curiosity and attention, and made them fall in love with the performance. It was romantic, sometimes funny, cool, and intense. Overall, his performance was story-telling. Great experience.


Ubud Village Jazz Festival 2014 - BID Trio (2)


BID Trio consists of Balawan (guitar), Ito Kurdi (bass), and Deva Permana (drums). The funky Ito, the ethnic-rock-fused Balawan, and the ever-versatile Indonesian-born drummer but pursuing his career in the land of Oz, Deva Permana. Their concept was conversational-like performance. A lot of calls and responses, sometimes tempo-free, which formed the performance to seem like they are having conversations on stage: with their instruments. The use of effects from Balawan and his expertise in playing double neck guitar brings strong flavors to the band. They were also rhythmically strong with the combination of metric modulation and polyrhythm based on pure responding. From a composition inspired by the melody of “Gundul Gundul Pacul”, original songs Three huge names in one project, these guys really showed what we wanted to see from them. The unique collaborative performances that appeared as if it was a melting pot of three music wizards. Awesomeness overload.  Another interesting fact: eventhough this is some kind of experimental project, they move fast to even has an album already.




On the last day of July 2014, Jazzin’ Lebaran was successfully held for the 6th consecutive times at Pelataran Pasar Triwindu, Ngarsopuro, Solo. For 6 year in a row since 2009, the Lebaran (Ied Mubarak) in Solo has been painted with jazz colors by the Solo Jazz Society (SoJazz) through the existence of this event. “This event is made as a gathering event and built in the spirit of keeping up goodwill among musicians, from the local to those who live in another cities.” said Aditya Ong Permadi as the Chairman of Jazzin’ Lebaran #6. Since it was held near Lebaran, this event got attendances from local Solo residents and those who came back to their hometown to celebrate the Lebaran with their family.

To fulfill the audiences’ requests, SoJazz made a slight change in the concept than last year. Other than launching it in the new venue, this event ran longer than ever, divided into three sessions with more than 20 bands participating in.

The first session started early at 9:00 am with majority young musicians from local music schools. The Bengawan Chamber Orchestra (BCO) opened up the event with late maestro Gesang’s “Bengawan Solo” followed by “Solo di Waktu Malam” which was rearranged by Joko Sutrisno. They carried on with Central Java’s folk song “Cublak Cublak Suweng” that got a new outfit made by Aditya Ong himself. BCO which was conducted by Ganggeng Yudhana stands as a place to learn and produce some works for youngsters and serves those works in chamber music concept.


Jazzin' Lebaran 6 - Solo Jazz Society(4)

The next group was Music Nutrient, a representative band from a music school in Solo that’s focusing on Pop and Jazz with the same name. They played the late Elfa Secioria’s song “Pelangiku” and then standards “Fly Me To The Moon”. Many other bands filled up the first session slots including SoJazz Jr., Butterfly, Matthew Trio, Aracelli, Igna & Friends, Jeopardize, and Carmesha. All these youngsters’ performance bagged a lot of praises from the early attendances.

The clear, bright Solo sky that day gave some kind of extra energy for the bands to give their best. At 3:00 pm the second session began. This second round was taken by bands from out of town such as Sragen, Yogyakarta and Semarang. Side Project Sragen offered Charlie Parker’s “Donna Lee” and “Sunnyside Cruise”. One thing about this band, they are communicative while serving their fresh rearrangements, so they bagged a lot of cheers and applauses from the crowds.  Not only Sragen, folks from Etawa Jazz Jogja also spiced up the sunny afternoon nicely. With the group SHP Trio that played some jazz standards like Johnny Mandel’s “The Shadow of Your Smile”, Duke Ellington’s “Caravan” and Miles Davis’ “Nardis”, they even managed to stop some passers-by on the road, making them stepped aside and enjoyed the performance. How cool is that. This second session was also tight. Other bands in this part of the show were Souljazz Band, Asteya’s Project, Vill’s In, and IPO Trio.


Jazzin' Lebaran 6 - Solo Jazz Society(16)

The small lamps on the stage invited audiences to sat closer to the stage. After the praying break, Jazzin’ Lebaran #6 entered its third session. It was Daniel Hibrianto’s Project who opened it up. Daniel is one of  the SoJazz’s personnel that’s currently still finishing his study at ISI Yogyakarta. In that late afternoon along with his band he played Benny Golson’s “Whisper Not” and Hoagy Carmichael’s “The Nearness of You”. Then came the time for Cati who was accompanied by her Solo Jazz Society friends. As she was just back in playing music during the long holiday, Cati and friends gave one of Richard Rodgers & Lorenz Hart famous pieces, “Fallin’ In Love with Love”, Bill Evan’s classic “Waltz for Debby” and Miles Davis’ “Four”. These songs were rearranged together with Ignatius Yosef Andrianta, Aditya Ong Permadi and Laurensius Bob.




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:

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” (, 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:

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




Think of how many varieties of genre/style can live harmoniously with jazz. Just in 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.




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:

One of the most creative features of the Festival is the afternoon workshops and jam sessions ( 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).