Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Jazz Event Report




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).




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

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



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



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



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




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

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

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



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

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




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

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

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



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

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

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



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



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

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