Jazzuality.com - Indonesian Jazz News Get Your Daily Dose of Jazz! 2015-03-04T14:54:36Z http://jazzuality.com/feed/atom/ WordPress Riandy Kurniawan http://jazzuality.com <![CDATA[Musi Jazz Sriwijaya]]> http://jazzuality.com/?p=15547 2015-03-04T14:45:54Z 2015-03-04T14:45:32Z musijazzsriwijaya

Attention jazz lovers in Palembang and South Sumatra in general, you must be excited to hear this! Palembang finally have a jazz festival that features international musicians. This big news arrived earlier today on our desk. The event is called MUSI JAZZ SRIWIJAYA, scheduled for March 10, 2015 from 3:30 pm until 10:30 pm at  Palembang Sport and Convention Center (PSCC), Jl. Angkatan 45, Palembang. This event will surely spoiled jazz lovers living in the capital city of South Sumatra, because other than the shiny lineup, the event is totally free from any charge.

MUSI JAZZ SRIWIJAYA is brought to you by Palembang Jazz Community in cooperation with South Sumatra Tourism & Culture Office and The Consulate of the United States of America for Sumatra. “The appearance of Anthony Stanco Ensemble from USA would surely boost the spirit of local jazz musicians in Palembang, especially in terms of creativity and improvise”, said Zaenal Hanani, the chief of Palembang Jazz Community.

Musi Jazz Sriwijaya will also present collaboration between jazz and ethnic/traditional art of South Sumatra. Irene Camelyn Sinaga, the head of South Sumatra Tourism & Culture Office believes it would push the potential of South Sumatra arts much forward. Meanwhile, Trevor Olson, the Deputy Consul of United States of America to Sumatra Trevor Olson looks forward to see this event as an interesting cultural exhange program between Indonesia and USA.

Anthony Stanco Ensemble consists of Anthony Stanco (trumpet), Marcus Elliot (tenor sax), Paul Bratcher (piano), Sam Copperman (bass) and Jordan Otto (drums). They are going to play South Sumatra folk song in collaboration with Palembang Jazz Community. Other than that, the virtuous guitarist who’s famous with his lightning speed touch-tapping style and often called The Magic Finger, Balawan is confirmed to play in trio format. Joining him are Ketut Tarmadi (bass) and Warman Adhi Sanjaya (drums). The legendary female jazz singer Ermy Kullit is set to perform with local jazz musicians under BSB Band and CON BRIO Orchestra. Another interesting info, Nana Lee will host the whole event and also play saxophone plus sing.

More on the traditional music, the festival is going to present Sanggar Tradisional Kreatif Gema Suara and the South Sumatra traditional play by SD Yayasan IBA and Fashion Show in jazz. Other bands to participate are The ABC feat OP, 3 Ball Porta, HEI feat Nesia, Teguh Project, Celeste Voice, Espresso, Jazzyndicate and Staccato.

The Program Division of Musi Jazz Sriwijaya, Eko Adji Soebijantoro promised that the collaboration between Anthony Stanco, Balawan, Ermy Kullit, Nana Lee and the jazz musicians under Palembang Jazz Community will certainly bring surprises. This event is also plan to be held regularly every year.

It might be a bit difficult for you guys in Palembang to be in Jakarta for the Java Jazz Festival, but hey, now you have the chance to see some of the brilliant performers. Coming at you just two days after the biggest annual jazz meeting in the world (http://jazzuality.com/jazz-events/jakarta-international-java-jazz-festival-2015-exploring-indonesia/) and a day before the coaching clinic with Anthony Stanco Ensemble (read the info here:  http://jazzuality.com/jazz-events/palembang-jazz-community-coaching-clinic-with-anthony-stanco-ensemble/), this is a golden chance for Palembang jazz fans to have something special without having to spend even a dime. If you are in Palembang and you love jazz, mark your calendar and be there.

Riandy Kurniawan http://jazzuality.com <![CDATA[Braga Jazz Walk Special Edition: PRE EVENT JAVA JAZZ FESTIVAL 2015 – The Report]]> http://jazzuality.com/?p=15535 2015-03-02T05:19:16Z 2015-03-02T04:53:37Z 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

Riandy Kurniawan http://jazzuality.com <![CDATA[Palembang Jazz Community Coaching Clinic With Anthony Stanco Ensemble]]> http://jazzuality.com/?p=15526 2015-03-04T14:54:36Z 2015-03-01T09:29:34Z coachingbaru


If you’re one of our regular readers, you should have known by now that jazz has been happening bigger and better in the capital of South Sumatra, Palembang. It’s true, just like in the other cities, jazz is not the mainstream. Yet the growth is promising. If concerts, shows or even festivals have existed, the educational matters still need to be pushed much forward. According to the chief of Palembang Jazz Community Zaenal Hanani, Palembang indeed needs school of music, conservatorium or at least special clinics that can upgrade the technique and the playing of young talents.

Based on that, Palembang Jazz Community in cooperation with The Consulate of the United States of America present music clinic which will be hosted by American arranger, musician and teacher: Anthony Stanco. He will share his knowledge with his group called Anthony Stanco Ensemble. The clinic will take place at Kedai Iphoek Thea, Jl. Hang Tuah no 5, Palembang on March 11, 2015, from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm.

As mentioned earlier, the tutor Anthony Stanco is a trumpeter who is also famous as composer and lecturer. Anthony Stanco began his connection with trumpet when he was still at 5th grade of Fraser Public School System. He joined Detroit Symphony Orchestra Civic and Civic Jazz Orchestra under the direction of Marcus Belgrave and Rodney Whitaker. Stanco carried on by studying at the Manhattan School of Music right after his graduation in 2007. In 2014 he finished his postgraduate education at the Michigan STate University. From that point he digged more lessons from the likes of Rodney Whitaker, Reginald
Thomas, Michael Dease, and Etienne Charles.

In 2008 Anthony released his debut “Kenya Revisited Live!” by collaborating with Manhattan School of Music Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra. This album got Grammy nomination for Latin. Anthony Stanco also released his first album “The Crucial Elements” with his ensemble.

Anthony Stanco who also sings will play with Marcus Elliot (tenor sax), Paul Bratcher (piano), Sam Copperman (bass) and Jordan Otto (drums). They come to Palembang under the cultural exchange program between Indonesia and USA, said Trevor Olson, the Deputy Consul United States of America to Sumatra.

This event is brought to you by Palembang Jazz Community and The Consulate of the United States of America, plus Trijaya 87.6 FM Palembang.

The event is open for all genre. Free to register, and you will get certificate.

According to Eko Adji Soebijantoro, the Station Manager of Trijaya FM Palembang, this event will be recorded fully and then will be aired on the radio. You can also find the audio file on the website http://trijayafmplg.co.id. The Palembang Jazz Community’s program can be accessed at https://www.facebook.com/groups/180517225216/https://www.facebook.com/groups/180517225216/, you can follow their twitter at @paljazzcom.

If you are in Palembang on March 11, 2015 and happen to be a musician, no matter what your genre is, you are welcome to join. A golden chance this is since this doesn’t happen every day, so make sure you won’t miss it.

Daniel Irawan http://danieldokter.wordpress.com/ <![CDATA[JAZZINEMATOLOGY : WHIPLASH (2014)]]> http://jazzuality.com/?p=15529 2015-02-25T07:41:23Z 2015-02-25T07:31:43Z whiplash

It’s the music. It’s the movie. It’s how Jazz colored-up the whole visual experience. It’s our very own recommendation to you. It is JAZZINEMATOLOGY


Director: Damien Chazelle
Production: Sierra/Affinity, Bold Films, Blumhouse Productions, Right of Way Films, Sony Pictures Classics, 2014

What’s with this year’s Oscars with jazz drums? Even not straightly a musical genre, through a long journey as Hollywood’s 2012 ‘Black List’ to 2013’s Sundance’s acclaimed shorts and then becoming a feature, Whiplash’s mastermind Damien Chazelle (also wrote ‘Grand Piano’ which blended music and thriller) has made its plot closer to a psychological thriller, but with a solid jazz blend.

Psychological approach between a harsh drill sergeant and his young trainee is also not new in film context. From ‘An Officer and a Gentleman’ to ‘Training Day’ and the hauntingly memorable ‘Full Metal Jacket’ has been there. But being different, Chazelle, who was inspired from his personal experience as the part of high school music ensemble in Princeton, projected jazz drums into an extreme sport with adrenaline pumping over bullying issues and misconducted education.


Crafting it as a whole fresh idea, no wonder if ‘Whiplash’ got rave reviews, even harsh critics still come from jazz experts to drummers. Then again, as a movie, this is very relative depends on various point of view.

Getting into the prestigious Shaffer Conservatory, New York, a young and talented drummer Andrew Neiman (Miles Teller) didn’t need much time to drew attention from Terence Fletcher (J.K. Simmons), an old-crack conductor of a jazz ensemble and influential person in recording business. Entered the ensemble as a replacement to a core drummer Carl Tanner (Nate Lang), Neiman later realized Fletcher’s way to push his best ability is far from what he’s imagined. The psychological warfare between these two is on, breaking the wall of each ideology.


Not that Chazelle didn’t made his genious script with reference and respect to the music genre, no. Like the title, referring to the title of Hank Levy’s classic jazz number that also related to its main premise, ‘Whiplash’ also has other legendary ‘Caravan’ from Juan Tizol and Duke Ellington as the strongest core to the whole ensemble’s music partitures. With these compositions, Chazelle aimed drum skills as his main conflict, in the matter of speed and tempo as two main conditions every professional drummer should have.

There, Chazelle also packed another jazz reference from big names such as Jo Jones, Charlie ‘Bird’ Parker and mostly Buddy Rich, a legendary jazz drummer known famously for his speed-play, and some historical background about their carreer. Okay, the historical tale about Jo Jones that almost decapitated Parker’s head with a drum cymbal, what made Parker became Bird, might not be as accurate, also some protest that consider Buddy Rich is not overall received that big recognition and other characters’ relevance in terms of musical genre, but these were obviously a choice of Chazelle as a storyteller. Clearly, Chazelle wasn’t look like betraying its own genre.

The bombastic attempt to push the intensity of the psy-war was another thing, that every drummer should’ve known. But call it necessary roughness, what Chazelle did with the goryness in drum practicing, which happened to work for those intentions, by any means, not being far different than what Sylvester Stallone did with boxing in ‘Rocky’ franchise. It’s often hyperbolical, but in terms of cinematic dramatization could be very much relevant.


And way beyond the smart dialogues, full of punchlines, too, Chazelle’s script has great relevance to the subplot and side characters, ones that played by Glee’s Melissa Benoist, Paul Reiser, Nate Lang and Austin Stowell, which successfully built the significance among their existence, making the pace moved as fast as the drum speed along with adrenaline pumping which in jazz, almost like an inversion. On the other hand, this made us realize that Chazelle really knows music and thoroughly can translate the music, mostly its drum elements, into film language.

Presenting the right play of an ensemble might not be as difficult as building detailed mistakes, to talk deeper about rushing and dragging in drums technique, along with the tempo-errors and other aspects. But with his team, mostly the sound mixing department, director of photography Sharone Meir and editor Tom Cross, Chazelle succesfully handled these matters into a perfect musical scenes. Every ear that has more ability to spot musical details must have known that level of difficulty in scenes-building. And there, the emotional intensity really had the right setups to be blown at anytime.


However, the best highlight in ‘Whiplash’ was obviously J.K. Simmons. Playing Fletcher over a very detailed character design includes gestures, voice and costumes, the astounding intensity of his acting, unpredictably wild and nerve cracking at times, was a perfect treat. Even just in seconds, with that shake of the head conducted the ensemble, he made us easily believe that he was really a professional conductor. This also went with fine contrasts to Neiman’s character, played beautifully strong by Miles Teller, in his first right use in movies. The intensity of their chemistry was really an ace, making ‘Whiplash’ whiplashed.

So, there might be many movies about mentor vs protege’s psychological warfare, also jazz elements as a strong background. But playing it like a metronom in the right tempo, setup every conflict so psychologically thrilling, through the hell and back and ready to be blown at any times, without ever being predictable to the closing scene that has more depth than you could ever imagined, just like jazz, it’s improvising. Mesmerizing, astounding, exhilarating, electrifying or anything you want to mention. ‘Whiplash’, in every pounding rhythm of its drum beats, is a one of a kind-extraordinary masterpiece. Masterpiece.

Written by : Daniel Irawan (https://danieldokter.wordpress.com/)


Riandy Kurniawan http://jazzuality.com <![CDATA[Braga Jazz Walk Special Edition: PRE EVENT JAVA JAZZ FESTIVAL 2015]]> http://jazzuality.com/?p=15497 2015-03-02T05:20:08Z 2015-02-18T14:29:35Z PreEvent-JJF_BragaJazzWalk

Jazz event is not a new thing for Bandung people and we can see they crave for more. This is a trigger for more innovations and the born of new talents. Since 2014 Jazzuality has embarked a new mission, working on jazz regeneration by establishing regular jazz community event. Edutainment is what we have been carrying, meaning that not only thinking of presenting jazztertainment to the society, but educational matters are also weighed very significantly in our consideration. Since September 2014 we have moved to an even better crime scene, Braga CityWalk, a happening renewed mall located in the historical Braga street in Bandung. So far the event has found many potential talents and attracted musicians from Bandung and nearby cities to showcase their crafts as a part of the community.

2015 is a special year for Jazzuality because we got this opportunity to start the year with collaboration with the biggest jazz event ever in Indonesia, big welcome for Java Jazz International Festival 2015. Braga Jazz Walk sees this chance as a good momentous to expand the glorious of jazz and together with Jazzuality Community, the very supportive Braga CityWalk and KPH Music this regular two weekly event becomes the PRE EVENT of JAVA JAZZ FESTIVAL 2015 for Bandung region. The date is 26 February 2015 in accordance to the regular schedule of Braga Jazz Walk.

It is an honor for Jazzuality and Braga Jazz to host one of Java Jazz pre-events and will be the only gig in Bandung. Get yourself ready to receive the extraordinary talents presenting highly nutricious concert at Braga CityWalk before you jump up to the main event at JIEXPO, and for your information our musicians below are going to perform at Java Jazz 2015 too!


vac trio, yeppy romero, nita aartsen, jazzuality, israel varela, daniele cappucci


VAC Trio is a multi-international trio consists of Isra Varela (Mexico, drums), Nita Aartsen (Indonesia, piano) and Daniele Cappucci (Italy, contrabass). They have visited many countries around the world and received amazing responses, not only for their master-class playing but for brilliantly bringing the unique combination as a new, exotic and magical hybrid, Flamenco Jazz.


Israel Jesse Varela is an amazing rhythm master from Tijuana, Mexico, with a long history of professional recording and performing with big names such as Pat Metheny, Mike Stern, Key Eckhart, Diego Amador. Varela is a rare talent, mixing super dynamic flamenco rhythm into contemporary style. He has released 3 solo albums to date.


Nita was the state piano player for Indonesia for a period of 15 years. She is a virtuoso pianist, specializing in the connection between classical, Latin, Jazz and contemporary music. She has performed all over the world with some of the best Latin and Jazz musicians. She is a regular performer at Java Jazz Festival and many other prestigious festivals inside and outside her homeland. Nita has released 3 international solo albums to date and is well known for her own unique brand of high energy, contemporary Latin Jazz.


Capucci studied music at the conservatory of Foggia, Italy, New Orleans Jazz University, Columbia College Chicago and the Royal Conservatory of the Hague, Netherlands. This genius Italian double bass player is an expert cross over musician, from classical to contemporary jazz.


This guitar virtuoso can play in any genre, but he’s specialized in Flamenco Jazz which is rarely found in Indonesia. Yeppy holds the MURI Record for playing guitar 10 hours straight, featuring 150 songs in 4 languages and 10 music genres, also collaobrating with 100 top class musicians (March 16, 2008). His Batakustik project claims many praises. He also supports and establishes many events in Jakarta.



batavicada, marawis, jazz marawis, darbuka



Batavicada is an acoustic band that blends jazz with some traditional instruments like Marawis/Kepak from Batavia (Betawi) and Darbuka from the Middle East. Played by 5 talented musicians: Wisnu (acoustic bass), Nita Aartsen (piano), Erick, Roby, Graha (marawis and darbuka), this unique ensemble is going to present Latin Jazz standards like Dizzy Gillespie’s composition, Juan Tizol, Chick Corea for the Pre Event Java Jazz Festival 2015. For the show in Braga Citywalk Bandung, Batavicada is going to present beautiful collaboration with saxophonist from Italy, Marcello Allulli.


Allulli is a prominent saxophonist prominent in the Italian national jazz scene, Marcello Allulli is leader and member of many ensemble including MAT-Marcello Allulli Trio, Maria Pia de Vito e Rita Marcotulli 5et, Glauco Venier ensembles, Israel Varela duoi, RAJ trio, Ettore Fioravanti 4tet. He graduated from Berklee College of Music in Boston. In 2011, 2012,2013 and 2014 he was voted at the italian JAZZIT AWARD as one of the best saxophonists.

The main feature that distinguishes the artist is the versatility to play different styles, his music is a result of a total fusion and no boundaries between neo-bop, funk, folk music, avant-garde and Mediterranean melodies. His concerts testify to the will of a direct relationship with the public, actively involved during live performances.

DRUM CLINIC by Israel Varela

drum clinic, isra varela, israel varela

As stated before, educational matters are important in our mind. Therefore there will be a Drum Clinic by Isra Varela, open for all-genre drummers and totally FREE from any charge. The clinic will start at 5:00 pm. If you are a drummer and wish to learn some Flamenco Jazz beat and all the twists, we invite you to attend this. Make sure you come on time.

All those, plus some cool Opening Acts you don’t want to miss! They are:


hariring, ethnic jazz, sundanese jazz, world music


The Hariring is project that plays collaboration between modern and traditional music and influenced by any kind of music. Jazz, Blues, Rock, Fusion, Dance, Soul and Sundanese music. Sometimes you’ll hear traditional musical instruments such as angklung, peking, kendang and goong mixed by modern instruments. Ambient, relaxing, dreamy and pleasuring.

Members: Ringga Hardika (bass, keys, sampling), Ares Rudhiansyah (kendang, bamboo flute, ethnic percussions), Resya Firmansyah (kolintang, kacapi), Asep Everbeat (cajon, karinding) and Awenk (djembe, tarompet penca).


hariring, ethnic jazz, sundanese jazz, world music


A rare 10 year old boy prodigy. 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. He sings and plays piano just as great.


Since Java Jazz Festival is right around the corner, the jazz fans in Bandung can feel the early flame by attending this party. Especially if you can’t be there at JIExpo, you can have a taste of it by watching some of the Java Jazz Festival 2015’s lineup.

So mark your calendar on February 26th, 2015, free your noon time and come to Braga with your lovely ones and enjoy the jazzy night. It is surely a rare opportunity for us to see musicians with exceptional skills performing freely at public place, so make sure you don’t miss it.Four performers in one stage plus jam session for all you drummers out there, it is totally open for everyone who interested in exploring their music and joins the festive of Java Jazz Festival 2015. We will wait you there and together with other Bandung folks let us be the front line of jazz supporter.


Date: Thursday, 26 February 2015
Time: 06:30 pm – onwards
Location: Braga CityWalk
Jl. Braga 99 – 101, Bandung

DRUM CLINIC with ISRA VARELA starts at 5:00 pm, open for drummer all genre



Riandy Kurniawan http://jazzuality.com <![CDATA[Braga Jazz Walk #10 : The Report]]> http://jazzuality.com/?p=15495 2015-03-02T05:21:21Z 2015-02-14T11:19:12Z BragaJazzWalk-10

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.

Braga Jazz Walk 10 - In and Out (2)

The last shot was filled by young guns who are all active as praise and worship team in their churches. The band’s called In & Out, with guitarist Andreas Johan brought in his friends including Cakra Khan’s bassist Reinhard Woran and two Out of 7 members: Widiyanto Sutanto (keyboard) and the sensational girl drummer Marissa Wiguna (drums). True, we never heard this team play before, but we do know the members very well. We know they are highly skillful and capable to bring out action. We believe they would be surprising and it turned out to be true.

In & Out showcased top notch jazz rock rendition with well known standards including Dave Brubeck’s “Take Five”, Herbie Hancock’s “Cantaloupe Island” and Chick Corea’s “Got a Match”.  As you can see, these are not easy songs to pick. And for your information, the band is just a week old, built especially for Braga Jazz Walk. Yet these brave young lads and the fearless lady took all the risk in bringing these masterpieces.

More than enough rooms for each of them to do the solo run, their facial expression glowed happily.  Widiyanto as usual let his fingers danced some free jazz, Marissa on drums gave no mercy, Reinhard let out some unpredictable walking bass and Andreas rocked his way on the surface. It was a thrilling joyride from start to finish.

Braga Jazz Walk 10 - In and Out (1)

We are always excited when a new jazz-oriented band is formed, and even more excited when we know the quality of the players inside the band. In & Out is still a week old, but these young guns are fluent in playing jazz rock. They are fun to watch, ear and eye catchy. Since the band is promising, we hope they keep the band alive and look for opportunities to go higher. What can a week-old band do, you say. Well, In & Out proved that it can go further than you think. It was refreshing, a stunner.

Braga Jazz Walk 10 - Jam Session (2)

Jam Session took place immidiately. The team of Jerry Gates (guitar), Joo Yang (drums), Yosua Setiawan (bass) and Billy (vocal) went bossa with “Girl from Ipanema”.  Shortly after Andre Fernando joined Joo Yang and Yosua and delivered one song. Since it was already late, the photo session wrapped this 10th edition.

Braga Jazz Walk 10 - Photo Group

This edition interestingly featured all young players serving variety of jazz with their own ways. There was player who have taken the road earlier, hatched and grew in jazz community and then achieved success, then there was a very potential rising star and a group of skillful musicians, playing jazz tight and clean. Then, we also have to mention the jamming squad, consists of those who regularly come and participate in the jam session. They all created a good run in this 10th edition.

Watch the highlight of Braga Jazz Walk 10 on our Youtube channel:


Featuring Multi-National Artists (from Indonesia, Mexico and Italy)

pre event java jazz festival 2015, israel varela, nita aartsen, vac, daniele cappucci, batavicada, marcello allulli

Before we wrap up this coverage, allow us to have your attention. The next stop of Braga Jazz Walk, on February 26, 2015 Braga Jazz Walk is going to become the Java Jazz Festival 2015 Pre Event for Bandung. This speical edition will feature multi-national artists including Israel Varela (Mexico/drums), Nita Aartsen (Indonesia/piano) and Daniele Cappucci (Italy/bass) as VAC featuring Yeppy Romero (Indonesia/acoustic guitar), then the marawis/darabuka ensemble Batavicada featuring Marcello Allulli (Italy/saxophone) plus some local performers. There will be Drum Clinic by Varela, former student of Dave Weckl and played with Pat Metheny and Mike Stern among others. The clinic and concert are both totally FREE as always. It’s time to show that jazz is really happening in Bandung and we are loud minority!

See more pictures:

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

Riandy Kurniawan http://jazzuality.com <![CDATA[Braga Jazz Walk #10]]> http://jazzuality.com/?p=15483 2015-02-16T18:20:34Z 2015-02-09T06:06:26Z bragajazzwalk10-web

It’s not easy to keep an event like this running continuously, but we are happy to make it still on the wheel, moving and growing from one edition to another, thanks to all your support: our partners in crime, music fans and most especially the musicians, who, not only take part in the showcases but also come regularly, either to jam or just to enjoy the jazzmosphere. Speaking of jam, many people doubted us when we decided to put jam session regularly in every show. But now, we have done it twice a month for more than a year. We give credit to the talents in Bandung and nearby for proving that Bandung does jazz indeed. It still feels like yesterday when we just rebooted this regular community event at the new venue, Braga CityWalk after the old one no longer wish to support this movement. But now, look. We have come to the Braga Jazz Walk #10.

As 10 is a special number, we have prepared special theme for this edition too. This 10th installment turns out to be an edition where you can 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.

There is another interesting catch and let’s begin with it. following the first tribute to Joe Sample and the Crusaders by Chakraborty a couple of months ago (http://jazzuality.com/jazz-event-report/braga-jazz-walk-06-the-report/), once again there will be a tribute to an artist who has sold no less than 300 million albums, more than 50 top 40 hits (many become evergreens) throughout his career which spans for 50 years. Who? It’s Elton John.


elton john, andre arizky, braga jazz walk, jazzuality


Many people relate Elton John with rock, from his glam rock eras during the 70’s, some rock n roll, pop rock, pop or even RnB. But someone as talented as 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. He’s famous with his eccentric/wild stage costumes, but his ability to make melodious songs, piano playing and most importantly his baritone voice are his signatures would be difficult to match.

There’s a young male vocalist in Bandung that has been following many talent search shows named Andre Arizky. He 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. He took one of the showcases in Braga Jazz Walk #06 where he sang a couple of Elton John’s classics. We say, he did it great. Since Elton John is one of his biggest sources of inspiration, he sang and played the song with his heart. We loved it and asked him to take a full round of Elton John. He agreed, and the chance’s here.

So, any of you fancy Elton John and some of his golden hits? Andre can do it all alone, playing the piano, singing with the exact Baritone voice and spread the joy.


in and out, braga jazz walk, jazzuality


Next, a band consists of praise and worship team who also utilize their talents in the secular world. The band’s called In & Out. It consists of guitarist Andreas Johan, Cakra Khan’s bassist Reinhard Woran and two Out of 7 members: Widiyanto Sutanto (keyboard) and Marissa Wiguna (drums). This is the first time we heard about the band, but looking at the members inside, this is a very strong team who could bring surprises. Widiyanto told us that he likes playing with Andreas. “Andreas is a good player and he plays neat. I like playing with him.” he said. Well, it’s always interesting to see new bands. When it has great players inside, we get curious even more. It’s time to check them out, what they are going to offer, how they are going to serve it. Fusion can be expected to come from them. You love fusion? Don’t miss this one.


christ stanley, braga jazz walk, jazzuality


Last but not least, there will be a solo piano recital, starring a young, but stands as one of the jazz frontmen in Bandung today, Christ Stanley. he entered the local jazz squared circle very early not long after he turned to jazz at the age of 20 by being actively involved in Klab Jazz’s events. 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, also stands as the band members of Danilla.

He was supposed to perform with Okki Jatikusuma and Puspallia Panggabean, but unfortunately they both cancelled their participation due to some reasons. Stanley decided to sail alone. Well, it could be a blessing in disguise. We know how good he is in bigger formations, but we haven’t seen him doing solo piano recital just yet. The skill, the good vibe, even his ability to sing could definitely steal your heart. You don’t find pure jazz solo piano recital that often anymore especially in Indonesia. If you want to have the jazzy good times with only one man and piano, if you like the way Bill Evans, Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk and Nial Djuliarso did their solo sessions, come to see Stanley. Come early because most likely he will be the first performer.

Jam session will be available after the showcase as usual. If you have no band but wish to join, you can use this segment. Or, if you have no schedule but wish to unleash some jazz from your soul, you are absolutely welcome.

On February 26, 2014 Braga Jazz Walk is going to become the Java Jazz Festival 2015 Pre Event for Bandung. This speical edition will feature multi-national artists including Isra Varela (Mexico/drums), Nita Aartsen (Indonesia/piano) and Daniele Cappucci (Italy/bass) as VAC featuring Yeppy Romero (Indonesia/acoustic guitar), then the marawis/darabuka ensemble Batavicada featuring Marcello Allulli (Italy/saxophone) plus some local performers. While we are preparing and cooking this up, make sure not to miss this 10th edition of Braga Jazz Walk. Three showcases, one tribute, the combination between highly talented young guns and those who have started from jazz communities and achieved success, plenty of actions and multi jazz genres can be yours in one single shot. It’s totally FREE as always. Do join us if you are in Bandung on February 12, 2015. Come to Braga CityWalk and let’s have a jazzy good times together!


Date: February 12, 2015
Time: 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Location: Braga Jazz Walk
Jl. Braga 99 – 101, Bandung



Andre Arizky (piano/vocal)

:: IN & OUT ::
Andreas Johan (guitar)
Reinhard Woran (bass)
Widiyanto Sutanto (keyboard)
Marissa Wiguna (drums)

Christ Stanley (piano)

Mellysa Anastasya <![CDATA[Jakarta International Java Jazz Festival 2015: Exploring Indonesia]]> http://jazzuality.com/?p=15517 2015-02-16T18:27:45Z 2015-02-01T17:15:17Z JavaJazzFestival2015

Time flies so fast, after the special show of their 10th edition last year, Java Festival Production is back again with a promising and outstanding event for you jazz lover out there. Yes fellas, it is already 2015 and less than one month from now, the biggest annually jazz event ever in Indonesia is going to happen again three days in a row. Prepare yourself to welcome Jakarta International Java Jazz Festival 2015 at JIExpo Kemayoran.

Java Jazz Festival reaches the 11th edition this year and it promotes Barong, which is a character from Bali’s mythology, as the main design. The committees do a little improvisation with the color and it will be seen mainly in black, gold, and red in order to attract youngster attention but still highlight the beauty of Indonesia. The design itself goes along with its theme. Java Jazz Festival 2015 is going to use “Exploring Indonesia” as theme and we will see how the musicians also contribute in maintaining Indonesia culture with their music, special arrangement, and unexpected experiment. As clear as it sounds, the theme and design that Java Jazz Festival use is exactly to spread Indonesian culture worldwide and a couple days ago they provide an artwork competition publicly with Barong and Jazz as theme for those who want to take part in publishing good name of Indonesia through art.

Java Jazz Festival will be held on March 6th until 8th, 2015 at the same venue for couple years back, which is Jakarta International Expo, Kemayoran. For this year there will be seventeen stages, around sixty shows per day, and over a hundred artists are freely for you to choose and enjoy. Big event with big goal, actually there is no big difference conceptually compare to last year but Java Jazz Festival already set a target with 130 thousand visitors for three days and to reach this aim, as usual, Java Jazz on the Move and Java Jazz Pre Events is on their way to twelve different places in order to greet as many people as possible and spread the big news.

One new thing for 2015 is the publishing of Java Jazz Coffee. This idea started from a simple daily thing where many urban people love coffee and coffee shop. Using the well-built brand since ten years ago, Java Jazz Coffee uses the best quality of Indonesian coffee. What a smart way of expanding Indonesian heritage. On the other side, you can get the benefit from this program. Go get your daily pass ticket via Java Jazz official website or Java Jazz Outlet, then you can redeem one free cup coffee for each ticket you purchase.

The upcoming Java Jazz Festival 2015 has already received official confirmations from some of the legends and great ones both national and international including Jessie J, Christina Perri, Blue Note Tokyo All-Star Jazz Orchestra, Bobby McFerrin, Chaka Khan ft. Incognito, Chris Botti, Chris Turner, Lisa Ono, Harvey Mason ‘Chameleon’, Marc De Clive-Lowe, Iriao, Mehliana Featuring Brad Mehldau and Mark Guiliana, Richard Bona, Ramsey Lewis, Snarky Puppy, Warren Hill, Wayne Krantz / Anthony Jackson/Cliff Almond, Michael Lington, Akiko Tsuruga, Iriao, Ananda Sukarlan – Rapsodia Nusantara, Fusion Stuff, Dian Pramana Putra, Salamander Bigband, Mocca, Afgan, Kahitna, Sheila on 7, Andre Dinuth Solo Project, Dion Subiyakto Quartet, The Ladies Of Jazz ( Ermy Kullit , Margie Segers, Rien Djamain with Andra Karim & Trust Orchestra ), Dwiki Dharmawan Meets Violet Spin, Tesla Manaf, Ligro Trio, Emerald Bex, Indro Hardjodikoro The Finger, Rekoneko, and many more promising talents you have to watch live. The list has not ended here yet; they are only sixty five percent of the whole set, be patient to wait for some more, maybe your wish list can come true. However, looking closely to the already confirmed list, maybe you wonder why some names are not familiar in jazzy sector, but yes they will be on Java Jazz stage. Don’t be so confused fellas; it is common for jazz festival, even the abroad, to host non-jazz musicians. They who have widespread reputation are good to attract more people to come to the show and entertain people who are not fully into jazz. It is also a good thing to keep the variation of music in one event though jazz still be the center of our attention, isn’t it? Who knows, maybe we will be surprised by some of them who want to try exploring jazz music and mixing it up with their specialty.

Wondering why there are so many fresh names while you scan the list? In this 11th edition, Java Jazz tries another new notion. They are brave enough to take the risk and bring many new talents as possible then give them big stage to try on. Next pop-up question is why new names? In the press conference, one of committee said after these past ten years, almost all jazz musicians both national and international had been performed on their stage. Now it is a proper time for rotation and gives the spotlight for the new ones, let them feel the sensation of Java Jazz. Seventy percent are jazz musicians while the rest are not. This portion is made also to fill more color into the event and the more the merrier.

Collaboration is another new concept this year. Java Jazz is going to manage several collaborations so people can get two or three musicians at once in one stage and see how they blend musically. For instance, Tulus, youngster’s sweetheart is planned to perform in collaboration and acoustic concept, Dian Pramana Putra, Chaka Khan, Dwiki Dharmawan will collaborate with other musicians, while Sheila on 7 will perform with one international artist. There will be special project: Ladies of Jazz including Ermy Kullit, Margie Segers, and Rien Djamain. On the other hand, in order to pay honor to our beloved friend, music journalist who has passed away last month, Denny Sakrie, Java Jazz will prepare a special tribute for him. First time ever, 3 Diva, consist of Krisdayanti, Titi DJ, and Ruth Sahanaya will join the festival and Ruth Sahanaya will have love songs as concept in her own separated show. Can’t wait to sing along to their many hits, right?

The last updated info, Chris Botti and Jessie J are included in Special Show where you have to pay more than daily pass to watch their show. In other stages, there will be some special project like Chaka Khan who will has Incognito Backing along with her, Snarky Puppy will have three vocalists to sing their new songs, and Bobby McFerrin will perform with full band. Joshua Ledet, Jarrod Lawson, and Chris Turner are some examples of new talents that you’re going to fall into instantly, especially for you ladies out there. Not to mention what we have from our own Indonesian musicians, many new names like Mocca, Kahitna, Sheila on 7, Afgan, and Potret, who already get big fan base after years in music industry are finally come and love to taste the extraordinary Java Jazz. What a pleasant experience we will get.

The Pre Event of Java Jazz Festival in Bandung

Speaking of the pre event, as usual Java Jazz Festival showcased many artists for this occassion in many spot. Happy to say, one of the venue will take place on our own regular community event Braga Jazz Walk at Braga CityWalk, Bandung on February 26, 2015. This speical edition will feature multi-national artists including Israel Varela (Mexico/drums), Nita Aartsen (Indonesia/piano) and Daniele Cappucci (Italy/bass) as VAC featuring Yeppy Romero (Indonesia/acoustic guitar), then the marawis/darabuka ensemble Batavicada featuring Marcello Allulli (Italy/saxophone) plus some local performers. There will be Drum Clinic by Varela, former student of Dave Weckl and played with Pat Metheny and Mike Stern among others. The clinic and concert are both totally FREE as always. It’s time to show that jazz is really happening in Bandung and we are loud minority!

Back to the main event. Another special thing about Java Jazz is how the world comes to us in a musical form. You don’t need to travel abroad to get a little hint about how tunes are played in Venezuela, Georgia, India, Spain, France, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Holland and Japan. All you need is buy your tickets and come to JIExpo Kemayoran real soon.

After a long explanation about what to expect from Java Jazz Festival 2015, don’t you get yourself excited and thrilled? As the first official announcement has released, we will keep you updated on the latest developments. So far the lineup looks favorable. But what’s even better is the lineup isn’t final yet. There may be more big names to come, and it’s certainly interesting to wait for the confirmed Indonesian artists to join the gaiety this year. So what are you waiting for? Grab the ticket now and mark your schedule. The biggest Java Jazz Festival 2015 is in the making. Are you ready to have fun, people?


Date: Friday, Mar 6th 2015 – Sunday, Mar 8th 2015
Location: Jakarta International Expo, Kemayoran

See the complete lineup here: http://www.javajazzfestival.com/2015/lineup-list.php
Check out temporary schedule: http://www.javajazzfestival.com/2015/schedule.php
Buy the ticket at the Java Jazz Festival’s website: http://www.javajazzfestival.com/2015/ticket.php

Riandy Kurniawan http://jazzuality.com <![CDATA[TAJ – The Astral Journey (Release Date: 30 January 2015)]]> http://jazzuality.com/?p=15478 2015-03-02T05:20:22Z 2015-01-27T06:09:40Z TAJ-The-Astral-Journey


You thought you’ve heard it all. But actually, jazz still has unlimited terrains to explore. And it doesn’t always to be far, because something new can still come out from the elements, instruments or music style that we have been familiar with.

Here’s the good news. From Singapore comes a group named TAJ. This group of three consists of Tim De Cotta on bass, Audrey Tengkey on keys, and JR Teo on drums. The band was formed in 2012 and actually found the chemistry as well as the creativity connection pretty fast. They spend almost a year in the studio cooking their meal, and.. voila! An EP titled “The Astral Journey” under local independent record label Darker Than Wax (http://darkerthanwax.bandcamp.com/) is going to be officially released on January 30, 2015.

If you listen to this EP, you would find that TAJ has indeed a very strong concept. The label says that TAJ crafted an album that features poignant, illustrious pieces which evidently highlight their harmonious unity and talent. We totally agree with that. You can find post-rock, psychedelic funk, soul, hiphop and multi-textured beats that should satisfy music listeners including the trendy youngsters. By laying the concept on rich blendings, the Astral Journey is an ‘urban-esque’ jazz fusion that can capture modern cosmopolitan lifestyle with plenty of room to let your mind wander all the way to the imaginative astral world.

TAJ, the astral journey, jazzuality


How was the band born? Audrey (who is actually Indonesian by the way) told us the story.

“We got together by chance actually. It was 2012 when Tim and I went with the Singapore contingent to MIDEM in Cannes. Through rehearsals for this showcase we got to know and like their musical styles in their respective bands. So when they came back, I invited Tim to an open jam session at LaSalle with other young musicians and students. It was a shed session to just have fun and also to try new things. Drummers, keyboardists, bassists and turntablists even. So JR was one of the drummers there and as the jam went on, it was clear that the chemistry between the three of us whenever we were on our instruments together was really strong! We didn’t just jam the songs per se but we moved and evolved them in a matter of minutes. So eventually, we started meeting more and more often, till it became just exclusive to the 3 of us, jamming covers and then eventually writing our own music. It happened very naturally and faster than usual, also because we became great friends. TAJ was born and on 1 Oct 2013 we released our single “The Astral Journey”.

Yes, the organic, epic, mind-traveling “The Astral Journey” was already released more than a year ago, but now TAJ finally has their debut ready to roll. Other than single, the album has other rich textured compositions which serve much, much more than just jazz. Tight drumming, sharp bass line and psychedelic synthesizer shone bright in “Old Town MOFO”, creating an intense emotion over the mellow tune. The post-rock pulses strong on dreamy but punchy “7DB”. The magical mixtures once again nicely showcased on “Daydream” which features the voice of Kaye, co-founder of Darker Than Wax, croons on the vocoder. Cosa Nostra’s refix of Daydream takes on a 4-to-the-floor house-disco approach. And of course, who wouldn’t love the fresh, high energy “Taj You’self”. Soul and rap became the key-elements on this one as well. The smooth beatdown remix by Jaël, a multi-faceted musician from Holland created another vibe on this song. The Jaël’s remix of ‘Taj Yo’self’ is exclusive to iTunes, Boomkat and Beatport. Lots of twists and turns are to be found here and there, not only as the element of surprises but play such important parts of each track.


TAJ, the astral journey, jazzuality


“Do you see what you’ve been missin’?” that’s rapped Tim De Cotta on “Taj Yo’self” in a way sends us a message that their brews offer many interesting stuffs that we might haven’t heard so much lately. What’s make it cooler that there are only three players to carry heavy concept like this. From Singapore comes a small package of fusion with enough dose to make the listeners stoned. TAJ’s “The Astral Journey EP” ignites jazz’s cross-generation appeal in Singapore. Fine works of art from Tim, Audrey and JR (TAJ) should be acknowledged and appreciated.

You can pre-order the EP at one of these links:

And find/interact with them on:

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TAJ are:
Tim De Cotta (Bass/ Vocals)
Audrey Tengkey (Piano, Keys and Synth)
Teo Jia Rong (Drums)

1. Taj Yo’self (feat. Eric Foenander)
2. Old Town Mofo
3. 7dB
4. The Astral Journey
5. Daydream (feat. Kaye)
6. Daydream (Cosa Nostra Remix)
7. Taj Yo’self (Jaël Remix)

All track written and produced by TAJ
Cosa Nostra remix of Daydreams by Kaye and Funk Bast*rd
Jaël remix of Taj Yo’self by Giovanni Jaël Jano-Fatbinan.
Artwork by The Town Jeweller
Text by RAH

Riandy Kurniawan http://jazzuality.com <![CDATA[Braga Jazz Walk #09 : The Report]]> http://jazzuality.com/?p=15456 2015-03-02T05:20:34Z 2015-01-26T11:36:58Z BragaJazzWalk09


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.

Braga Jazz Walk 9 - Kafin (1)

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.

Braga Jazz Walk 9 - Etudiant (1)

Next was a jazz trio established just a couple of months ago but certainly isn’t a rookie. First of all, the members are not new faces in Bandung jazz scene. They have been working inside for quite some times, and they do possess great skills, chemistry and speak jazz fluently. Etudiant, that’s the name of the band, consisting of Tiurma Tizadya Ramadhani Siregar (piano), Ilham Septia Inda Nugraha (bass) and Galih Cahya Nugraha (drums). As Etudiant is a French word means Student, what do they want to tell? According to Ilham they used it as a reminder that they are all students from UPI and that they have to keep learning and practicing.

They began sailing with Miles Davis’ “Nardis and kept the straightahead party with Jerome Kern’s “All the Things You Are”. Some cool tradings were given in this one. Next, “Donna Lee” and they reached the end with Sound Of Music’s “My Favorite Things”, which for us stands as the winner of their renditions. One of the most interesting versions we have ever heard.

Braga Jazz Walk 9 - Etudiant (4)

When the industry tends to suggest more and more players in a band, we’re just happy that jazz trio is still available in Bandung’s jazz scene, and we are happier to see a trio this good. It won’t be easy for them to establish a solid grip inside the pop-tendency country, but hopefully with the growing number of jazz events, they can have more chance to grow. A really good jazz trio this is.  They fly wide, they keep the modern jazz real, they make proper but interesting arrangements that are nicely executed, tight and clean. Tasty!

Braga Jazz Walk 9 - Hariring (5)

For the last show, we invited an ensemble consists of talented young lads who dare to connect western musics like jazz, soul, blues, rock, hiphop to even dance) with traditional Sundanese ethnique, progressively. It’s Hariring, a Sundanese word means hum or sing gently. The crossgenres don’t happen just on the sound, but also the instruments. They do use the modern, western instruments but also some traditionals.

The ensemble consists of daring musicians who understand how to carry this concept including Ringga Hardika (electric bass, fretless electric bass,), Ares Rudhiansyah (kendang, suling, ethnic percussions),  Resya “Eca” Firmansyah (Kolintang awi, kacapi, angklung, bass, bonang, saron), Asep Everbeat (cajon, karinding) and Awenk (Djembe, Tarompet penca).

What’s important to mention is that these dudes are not just active musicians but they are all craftsmen. All the instruments that they use are made by themselves. Even the bass was made by order. If you need any of these instruments, you can contact Ringga Hardika on 08122016628 or email him at ringgahardika@gmail.com.

Braga Jazz Walk 9 - Hariring (1)

They played four songs for tonight: “Kaul”, “Beat My Axe”, “Gaang” and “Kagagas”.  Just as you see, Hariring already has their own songs. The band has even have their album titled Fall in West, officially released 2 years ago. The album’s  sold out, but the good news is, now you can get the album for free, simply by downloading it at http://ringgahardika.webs.com/hariring or http://ringgahardika.blogspot.com/2014/12/the-hariring.html.

It was different. Highly entertaining, very natural and authentic Sundanese, yet open for any twists. They were playful with lots of jokes and high fun factor while served ambient, traditional music in modern approach. It stole people’s attention, it was both relaxing and refreshing.

Not everyone dare to take this musical path. It’s not easy, it’s even against the trend, so we give huge respect to bands who decide to walk this lane especially when the crafts and players are this good. Keep everything up, Hariring! See you again soon.

Braga Jazz Walk 9 - Jam Session (7)

Jam session turned out to be hot from the first batch. Mr Yahya Salam responded to the call from the young musicians to participate. Later on YD Nafis of West Java Syndicate sat beside him sharing one piano while guitarist Anjuan Julio surprisingly took position behind the drum and played it well. Boy, what a set.

Then Anjuan took his gear and gave the drum position to Galih. Ilham on bass, Yahya was still on piano and Kafin was back. They played two songs: “Route 66″ and “Through the Fire”. Anjuan also sang and scat in front with Kafin. They both created wonderful scene.

Braga Jazz Walk 9 - Titbits

For the last batch, Andre Fernando and Jerry Gates (guitars), YD Nafis (piano), Ilham Septi (bass) and Joo Yang (drums) gave “Englishman in New York”.  Anjuan took one more appearance but this time as a singer. A photo session occured during the song and that’s the end of this ninth edition.

One kid prodigy, a cool jazz trio and a stunning fusion jazz ethnic ensemble lightened the 9th edition Braga Jazz Walk. It was rich on variation, full of young but skillful players and entertaining from the start to the very last drop.

Braga Jazz Walk 9 - Group Photo

We thanks all the performers, all the coming musicians both who took part in jam session and sat with the audience, we send respect to you all. Keep supporting your local musicians and community events, because we won’t last long without you guys. See you again in two weeks.

Watch the highlight of Braga Jazz Walk 09 on Youtube

See more pictures:

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