Jazzuality.com – Indonesian Jazz News Get Your Daily Dose of Jazz! 2016-06-30T15:02:33Z http://jazzuality.com/feed/atom/ WordPress Riandy Kurniawan http://jazzuality.com <![CDATA[Braga Jazz Walk #24: Special Ramadhan Edition: The Report]]> http://jazzuality.com/?p=16822 2016-06-29T09:04:19Z 2016-06-29T08:13:24Z BragaJazzWalk24-RamadhanEditionThe 24th edition of Braga Jazz Walk was costumed special to celebrate the holy month for Muslims, the month of Ramadhan. The holy month of Ramadhan is observed by Muslims all around the world as a month of fasting, also a time of deep contemplation and prayer to Allah, and charitable generousity. The venue Braga CityWalk celebrates it by putting a theme called “Afternoon at Arbaraga” that will stay on for two month until July 2016. Various events and activities has been taking place in this mall. As we are also a part of the regular program, we were happy to suit our theme to theirs.

Can jazz be used to celebrate it? Yes, jazz can work very well to this. The Middle Eastern elements has been used widely for ages as an integrated part of jazz, and speaking of Islamic religious purpose, jazz has been showing its power too for quite some times, for example, probably the biggest one in the world, the annual Ramadhan Jazz initiated by Wartajazz and RICMA that has entered the 6th consecutive year. Whether it’s big or small, the holy month of Ramadhan can be celebrated in jazz. We have been wishing to be able to make a Ramadhan jazz event, but it was difficult for us because many venues didn’t want to have trouble for holding an event during the month. This year we finally got the chance.

For this Braga Jazz Walk: Special Ramadhan Edition, as usual we invited 4 bands to fill it in. We got a trio led by widely respected pianist in Bandung, the new band of the 9 year-old wonder girl, a successful band that recently enjoys its new concept and the reunion of a pop jazz/soul groove band.

BragaJazzWalk-Ramadhan-Dsas (5)Let’s get down to business. This event marks the return/reunion of a groovy creative pop jazz band, D’Sas (De’Seven Art Soul). This band was born in 2009, two years before we met them for the first time at the band auditions for Kampoeng Jazz 2011. At that time they caught our attention by performing cheerfully in rich tone. With loads of young players inside including Yuyu Yulia and Rizky (vocals), Tegar and Rudi (guitars), Fachri (bass), Dovie (synthesizer) and Ilham (drums), they got shiny achievements in the early stage of their career such as winning the Java Jazz Festival audition for Bandung region in 2010 and one of the top 15 bands from Bandung at LA Light Indie Fest at the same year. In 2013 Welly added up the color for the band by positioning on keyboard.

Later Yuyu resigned due to her decision to do business in the same year. Not wanting to stop, the band brought in new vocalist, Felicia. It should have worked fine, but D’Sas decided to quit. Luckily the band found its way to reunite. They were soon ready to go back in action, and we are delighted that this event became the event that witnessed their comeback. What’s also cool is that the band is actually back to its first formation, including Yuyu Yulia who captivated our attention back then with lovely performance and sweet voice and the cool, manly voice of Rizky.

BragaJazzWalk-Ramadhan-Dsas (6)For this edition some of the personnels couldn’t come. Other than Yuyu Yulia and Rizky Fedriansyah, D’Sas was represented by Tegar Perdana and Rudi (guitars), Muhamad Fachri Dwipraja (bass) and an additional drummer Firly. They opened up with a jolly groovy number “Kangen” which quickly brought our mind to 5 years ago when we caught our eyes on them. Then they delivered a religious song originally sang by Novia Kolopaking and later by GIGI, “Dengan Menyebut nama Allah”. Still in religious mood to suit the theme, D’Sas covered Chrisye’s “Ketika Tangan dan Kaki Berkata” and as if they wanted to bring us back to where they started, they delivered the last song from The Groove, “Dahulu”.

Eventhough they didn’t have the keyboard and synth players, it was a strong comeback of D’Sas that happened on our stage. They still have the passion and joy of playing music just like before. Since this formation is filled with those who started the band, we could clearly see that they still have the chemistry. They played solid, serving  funky and groovy pop jazz and two songs that fit the theme of Ramadhan. As for Yuyu Yulia, the last time we had her was 2 years ago in the other venue. This girl can really sing, and we are happy that she decides to stand behind the mike again while still pursuing her career in business. Maybe it’s not easy, but we are sure she can work it out. Let’s hope D’Sas a good future. May they carry on and achieve more in the future. We are hoping to invite them again in a couple of months from now and enjoy their groove again.

BragaJazzWalk-Ramadhan-NadineAdrianna-n-Friends (5)Next was the magical wonder-girl, Nadine Adrianna and her new group, Nadine Adrianna & Friends. We call her girl-wonder not for no reason. Isn’t it amazing that a girl could compose modern jazz songs like those in early Blue Note era and lead a band even before her age reaches two digits? Yes, she did all these at 9 years of age. She plays jazz piano in a way as if she has been doing this for much longer years than the time she has spent in the world. What makes us even prouder is that she began her musical journey right here a dozen edition ago at the 12th (http://jazzuality.com/jazz-event-report/braga-jazz-walk-12-the-report/).

If last time she performed as a trio involving her father, this time she featured players around her age (all the way to teen) in quartet format: Praga Sabrani Tony (violin, 18 years old), Raihan Ardisoma (drums, 12 years old) and Sean Zuffar (bass, 18 years old).

After taking a moment to greet everyone and introduced her new band mates, Nadine led the boys to play two very popular jazz songs, Chick Corea’s “Spain” and Dizzy Gillespie’s “A Night in Tunisia”. It’s really fascinating to see how this girl rearranged these songs in simplicity yet felt natural. It’s not easy to play the tutti part of “Spain”, but they did it remarkably clean. Nadine and Praga shared the frontline evenly.  They both got their moment to shine, while the two other players well guarded them. Raihan, the 12 year-old drummer served the beat in lively dynamic (he was amazing when they did tradings). Nadine then played her own composition inspired by Wayne Shorter’s “Footprints” titled “Wayne Street”, and then covered Tompi’s religious song “Ramadhan Datang”.

BragaJazzWalk-Ramadhan-NadineAdrianna-n-Friends (6)It’s interesting to see Nadine shared the melody line with violin in front. This little wonder girl once again proofed her capability in playing jazz and moved further ahead from trio to quartet. There are still many sides to explore, and the good thing is, she still have a lot of time for that. Indonesia is really blessed to have unbelievable talents like this. As Joey Alexander surprises the world, Nadine is so ready to follow his footsteps.

BragaJazzWalk-Ramadhan-YDNafis-Trio (2)The third round was YD Nafis Trio. This respected accomplished pianist YD Nafis started his solo project two years ago as a playground for him to represent his true-self, aside of his activity with West Java Syndicate and Tesla Manaf feat Mahagotra Ganesha. Interestingly, he already played as duo at this event before he even found the right bassist. With the trio he has performed twice in previous editions. In this special Ramadhan he was supposed to appear as YD Nafis Project with a female vocalist, but since she couldn’t make it, YD Nafis decided to go back to the trio formation.

Joining him was his loyal partner Alman Naufal on drums and a skillful young bassist Aries Ardiansyah. As usual, the ‘double A’- Alman and Aries – did fine works in building the concept.

YD Nafis told us that the first song would be “All the Things You Are”. We thought we knew the song, but hey, he actually began with surprising Arabian music touch over the keys, which after a while slowly directed to this famous Jerome Kern’ song. Such a triumphant opening. Then he delivered Tizol and Ellington’s precious gem “Caravan” before once again stunned us with Middle-Eastern opening on another standard, “Softly As the Morning Sunrise.” It was like a slice between jazz and classical in sparkly, glittery Arabian 1001 Nights mood. Aries was sharp on bass, neat and clean, while Alman as usual tranced on drums especially when he got several solo runs. They slowed down on the last song, taking Luis Bonfa’s classic “Black Orpheus”, also known as “Manhã de Carnaval”. Starting with Arabian, swinging all the way through and reaching the end with bossa, that was really something. 

BragaJazzWalk-Ramadhan-YDNafis-Trio (7)YD Navis Trio smartly infused the Middle Eastern nuance into their jazz pallette. The way they worked the concept to fit the theme shows their professionalism. We enjoy YD Nafis’ performance as a part of West Java Syndicate and Tesla Manaf feat Mahagotra Ganesha, but in this band we got the chance to taste his true musical-self. Other than being skillful, Nafis also has good control, lovely dinamic and charming. As a leader, he makes his compatriotes feel at ease by smiling and communicating with them throughout the performance. The way he embraced the Arabian music into jazz was really sensational. A 5-star performance, cool session.

BragaJazzWalk-Ramadhan-Chakraborty (8)Chakraborty took over the stage afterwards for the final session. This band was established in 2013 by Joo Yang. The name is using a Sanskrit word originated from the North Indian ancient mythology meaning ‘the best/the ruler’ which for them meant ‘becoming or doing the best’.

Their journey is never an easy one. There have been struggles and even turbulences that they had to go through, but the band actually is strong enough to pass them all. Not only they survive, they keep on making achievements and growing. Tamara Sayidina is now in front as the vocalist. Chakraborty is an ‘organic’ band, means they adjust the concept according to the people inside it. Now they are more pop-ish, but still jazz fusion is pulsing strong in every song. Other than the band leader on drums and Tamara on vocal, today the personnels are Jerry Gates (guitar), Nicodemus Horisson (piano) and Jere Fernando (bass). One EP titled “Seven Sense” was sold in many cities not only in Indonesia but also in HongKong and China. Joo yang has also played in numerous places in China and bagged good comments from musicians in there.

For tonight, however, Jerry Gates couldn’t make it. Joo responded by bringing in two cool additionals, a saxophonist Dennis and a lady guitarist, Megawaty Tjoa.

BragaJazzWalk-Ramadhan-Chakraborty (5)They started sailing with an instrumental version of jazz standard “All of Me”. Though the arrangement seemed simple, they made some interesting twists in it that gave them applause. Tamara joined the gang after that to sing 3 songs. First, their hit single “Kepahitan Termanis” which enabled them to groove delightfully, a famous song from the 80’s written by Deddy Dhukun and Yongki Soewarno, “Akhirnya” and then a song from Gamaliel Audrey Cantika, “Cinta”.  All were delivered beautifully by them.

Dennis and Megawaty blended with the band very well as they expanded the musical zone of Chakraborty for tonight. Jere and Nico who wore kufi hats gave excellent service as usual. The leader Joo Yang was cool, calm and confident behind the drum, showing not only he’s a good drummer but also an excellent leader. As for the singer, Tamara’s crisp voice with strong character and expressive stage-act appearance made the band’s apperance delightful and fun as always. This band is among a few loyal bands who always happily fill the slot whenever we ask them to. That shows their passion and how ready they are as a band. They can cook their dish according to the given theme and do their best in making the concept alive. Always a pleasure to have them in our event. One thing for sure, this won’t be the last. We will surely invite them again in the near future.

BragaJazzWalk-Ramadhan-Tidbits (1)There were many musicians came to jam including bassist Farhan Faikar, guitarist Wahyu, two personnels of 5 Petani : Frank Navayo (guitar) and Gershon Valdo (piano) and Albert Shadrach (drums) among others. Unfortunately the time already went past 10pm, the closing time of the mall. So we had to end the event right away. A photo session became the last drop of this edition.

We are proud to see the talents who played for this edition. Not only they all gave their best shot in delivering variety of jazz but also in suiting the Ramadhan theme. We thank everyone who came and involved in any way. Next month we are going to feature more great talents, including a band from Jakarta for those who love bossa, an Indonesian young pianist who resides in Singapore and a dynamic female duo who are genius in blending classical and jazz along with expressive performance.

BragaJazzWalk-Ramadhan-PhotoSessionStill a week left to fast, we hope everything goes well for our Muslim friends and readers. May this holy month brings you lots and lots of blessings. Happy Ramadhan, Allah bless you!

Watch the highlight of Braga Jazz Walk: Special Ramadhan Edition:

See more pictures:

Reporter: Riandy Kurniawan
Photographer: Mia Damayanti
Video Editor: Vierna Mariska Kurniawan .

Riandy Kurniawan http://jazzuality.com <![CDATA[Ubud Village Jazz Festival 2016]]> http://jazzuality.com/?p=16832 2016-06-30T15:02:33Z 2016-06-25T06:08:20Z UbudVillageJazzFestival2016“Embracing Uniqueness and Tolerance”

Attention please! Jazz will once again paint the sky of Bali with vibrant colors. The 4th annual Ubud Village Jazz Festival 2016 will be held, once again 12-13th August at the same spot, ARMA Museum and Resort, Ubud. Unlike Kuta area which is admired for its beach and rave parties, Ubud still preserves all the natural essences of how a paradise island should be. This town is located amongst rice paddies and dense forest in the central foothills of the Gianyar regency. With the distance around 37 km from the airport, this town with cool mountain climate has been known as one of Bali’s major arts and cultures centres. For all the beauty and charm Ubud possesses, it has been standing as one of the most favorite destinations for any tourists who visit Bali or even Indonesia. Now, jazz is added into the town’s account and should be listed as one of the important annual jazz destinations in the world.

Just like the previous edition, this international jazz fest will feature a world-class line-up. A culmination of the Festival’s commitment to bring together a diverse and unique group of jazz musicians has resulted in a collection of performances that combines exciting new artists, legends and student groups, international artists, local heroes and the best from the capital and other cities in Indonesia, all connected around special custom programming and unique musical experiences that cannot be seen anywhere else in the world.

margie segers, oele pattiselano, jazzuality

Legendary Margie Segers and Oele Pattiselano

Acclaimed legendary jazz musicians from Indonesia such as the lady of jazz and blues with career spanning more than 40 years Margie Segers, the master of swing Oele Pattiselano, Glen Dauna (with sons Rega and Indra) performing as The Daunas, Jeffrey Tahalele and Arief Setiadi. World class bass player, Reuben Rogers, who has performed with Wynton Marsalis, Roy Hargrove, Joshua Redman, and Dianne Reeves, will perform as a duo with Peter Bernstein, one of the most respected and inspiring jazz guitarist. Bernstein was first discovered by Jim Hall, and labeled as the most impressive guitarist he has ever heard.

More interesting artists found in the lineup include LOUIS! Project from Holland, a surprising music program about the legend, Louis Armstrong. The show will bring you swing, spirituals, improvisation, blues and vocals that will make you think you are in New Orleans. This is the second project created by trumpeter Michael Varekamp together with saxophonist Ben van den Dungen the rest of the team, following Miles! – a tribute to Miles Davis which was presented grand at last year’s Ubud Village Jazz Festival as seen in the photo below (read the report here: http://jazzuality.com/jazz-event-report/ubud-village-jazz-festival-2015-day-2-report/). It’s going to be great to see the second project of this Legends of Music project, especially when they are tributing Satchmo who was widely recognized as a founding father of jazz.

miles!, louis!, michael varekamp, ben van den dungen, legends of music, jazzualityLegends of Music Project: Miles! at last year’s UVJF edition

For the first time in Indonesia, Youn Woo Park Trio will perform all the way from Korea. Ian Scionti Trio, endorsed by Accion Cultural Espanola, Spain explores the limit between jazz and flamenco, and will present the cohesive dialogue between the two traditions for the Festival guests. Yuko Shirota quartet  (Angin Asia) from Japan will also bring her uniqueness style of jazz to the audience of Ubud Village Jazz Festival. Indonesian Nita Aartsen will collaborate with Frenchman Jean Sebastien. Representing Pland is Piotr Orzechowski Quartet, then from the land down under Australia are Julian Banks and Energetic Zen Quartet. More European jazz will be represented by East West European Jazz Ensemble feat Gregory Gaynair from Germany.

Many other local artists are joining the fest too this year. Mia Samira, the great big band founded by Devy Ferdianto, the Salamander Big Band (Bandung), Balinese based jazz groups Bali Gypsy Fire and JoyFe Jazz Quintet, proud Bali son Sandy Winarta Trio, Michael Setiawan Quintet and the Underground Jazz Movement will spoil your thirst of real jazz for two days.

The Ubud Village Jazz Festival is not only about great music, be prepared for a culinary experience with 26 food outlets and like last year, you can enjoy 1 hour of free flow wine by Plaga Wine and be amazed at the artistic design of the stages.

Performances will span over three stages, each with a different theme. Padi stage, inspired by the Balinese tradition of rice farming, Giri stage, in honor of the great Mount Agung, and Subak, the famous Balinese irrigation system for rice fields.

Encouraged by a range of local communities, Ubud Village Jazz Festival is one of the most respected Jazz Festivals in the region. The majority of team members volunteer for the event from a variety of backgrounds such as art, media, video, design, music and even culinary! Yet, it keeps the spirit of Ubud Village Jazz Festival: A small festival with a big message!

yuri mahatma, ubud village jazz festival, jazzualityFounder of Ubud Village Jazz Festival, Yuri Mahatma with wife Astrid Sulaiman

For the third year, Ubud Village Jazz Festival 2016 is proud to promote Jazz education in Indonesia. The Bali Jazz Summer School will be held over 3 days prior to the festival and will be divided into 6 classes featuring, drums, piano, double bass, vocal, and brass and reed instruments. Festival co-founder, Yuri Mahatma explains “This is a great opportunity for young Indonesians to gain valuable knowledge and improve their skills through classes in theory and daily jam sessions”.

On behalf of the Ubud Village Jazz Festival committee, we invite you to come to this 2-day jazz party. There’s still time to get the erly bird ticket price as listed below. If you haven’t decided where to spend holiday this year, you can enjoy the mystical paradise of Bali while tasting jazz in a way you have never experienced before.

For more information, please visit: www.balijazzsummerschool.com

Visit the website to secure your early bird tickets. Only available until June. Don’t miss out on this extraordinary deal!

Early Bird ticket price (Including taxes) April- June 2016 period
One Day ticket  : IDR. 300,000
Two days ticket : IDR. 500,000
Please visit their website to get the most updated ticket prices

Normal ticket price (Including taxes) July-Aug 2016 period
One day ticket : IDR 400.000
Two days ticket: IDR 600.000

For further information or inquiries, please check the official website: www.ubudvillagejazzfestival.com .

Riandy Kurniawan http://jazzuality.com <![CDATA[Braga Jazz Walk #24: Special Ramadhan Edition]]> http://jazzuality.com/?p=16817 2016-06-16T10:05:08Z 2016-06-16T10:02:24Z BragaJazzWalk24-Ramadhan-WebEflyerThe holy month of Ramadhan is observed by Muslims all around the world as a month of fasting, also a time of deep contemplation and prayer to Allah, and charitable generousity. This year it began in the early June and will go on until the early July. The question is, can jazz be used to celebrate it? The answer is, of course. We have seen many musicians including those who are breathing in jazz world often injected some spiritual elements into their music concept. There are even some albums used jazz in sending in the Islamic spiritual messages, for example an album of Idang Rasjidi in 2004 entitled “Sound of Belief”. Many musicians around the world has embraced the blending of traditional Arab music with westerns like jazz too like Rabih Abou-Khalil, Kamal Musallam and Aziza for instance. The open structures of jazz make all this possible. Jazz is no stranger to the Islamic music, they have been together for many decades.

So, what about our regular monthly events? While the one in Bumi Sangkuriang takes a pause following the regulation of the venue’s management, we are happy to inform you that the BRAGA JAZZ WALK is still running. In sync with Braga CityWalk‘s program during Ramadhan called “Afternoon at ArBaraga”, we are ready to launch the Braga Jazz Walk:  Special Ramadhan Edition which will come next week on June 23, 2016, starting at 7:00 pm onwards.  We have specifically asked 4 bands to play their jazz tunes to fit the theme, so you can expect the different jazz color in this edition. To make it even better, we are going to serve an open jam session that allows anyone to join in. Not only you can watch, but you can be a part of the action too.

yd nafis project, jazzuality

Now, let us introduce all the participants for Braga Jazz Walk #24, the Ramadhan Edition. First, let’s take a look at the YD Nafis Project. This project is the extension of YD Nafis Trio who have been existed since at least two years ago. This group is led by YD Nafis, an accomplished jazz pianist known as a member of the stunning cross-ethnic band West Java Syndicate and also Tesla Manaf ft Mahagotra Ganesha. This man is highly respected by musicians in Bandung including the young ones.

If you remember, he already played for this event before the trio was even completed, at that time still as a duo with the naturally wild young drummer Alman Naufal at the 4th Edition (read it here: http://jazzuality.com/jazz-event-report/braga-jazz-walk-04-the-report/). Later on, he appeared with a solid trio in the 12th edition (http://jazzuality.com/jazz-event-report/braga-jazz-walk-12-the-report/) and once again supporting his dear wife Misty in the 14th edition (http://jazzuality.com/jazz-event-report/braga-jazz-walk-14-the-report/).

YD Nafis has good skill, he can compose very well and an excellent leader too. His way of playing is cool. Often with smile, he plays efficiently with lively dynamic. Alman is going to accompany him as usual, and on bass is Aries Ardiansyah who serves melodious rhythm with both contrabass and electric. In this extention called YD Nafis Project, he features a female singer named Hera. If his trio already brings jazz pleasure, a vocalist will enhance it even more.

chakraborty, jazzuality

The second band to mention is Chakraborty. As you have probably seen in their logo at the flyer above, the band was born in 2013. Using the Sanskrit word originated from the North Indian ancient mythology meaning ‘the best/the ruler’ which for them meant ‘becoming or doing the best’, the band have been proofing its strength for 3 years despite all the turbulences they have ever experienced.

Today Chakraborty found its solid existance by having reliable personnels including the leader Joo Yang (drums), Nicodemus Horisson (piano), Jere Fernando (bass), Jerry Gates (guitar) and a beautiful girl with expressive stage appearance Tamara Sayidina, replacing Ayu Sara on vocal. The have made one EP “Seven Sense” released last year, sold out in Jakarta, Bandung, Palembang, Medan all the way to reach Hong Kong and China. Their single “Kepahitan Termanis” (The Sweetest Bitter) became the 3rd winner of the International Music Crowd Challenge 2015, plus managed to place two other songs in the list of Best 10 tracks and mentioned in 15 Best Band in the same competition. A little change on the concept by going more pop made them acceptable to wider audience, but they do still have some jazz fusion inside their veins that could go stronger if needed.

This band is among the ready and commited bands that could suit themselves in any concept. When we offer the chance to play in Ramadhan theme, Joo directly took it happily. A good band with good musicianship, a dear friend of us, Chakraborty will participate in our special Ramadhan edition for the very first time. Let’s find out what they are going to bring on their plate.

d'sas, jazzuality

In 2011 we met a band in the audition for Kampoeng Jazz. At that time the band displayed a modern jazz groove in an attractive way, using synthesizer with two vocalists in front. They didn’t win, but their music and performance caught our attention. That band is D’Sas.

D’Sas was established in 2009 cored in creative pop jazz. The name stands for De’Seven Art Soul which give pretty clear description of their music. With young players inside including Yuyu Yulia and Rizky (vocals), Tegar and Rudi (guitars), Fachri (bass), Dovie (synthesizer) and Ilham (drums), they already marked cool achievements in the early stage of their career such as winning the Java Jazz Festival audition for Bandung region in 2010 and one of the top 15 bands from Bandung at LA Light Indie Fest at the same year. In 2013 Welly joined the band, positioned on keyboard.

Unfortunately, Yuyu resigned due to her decision to do business in the same year. Not wanting to stop, the band brought in new vocalist, Felicia. It should have worked, but in early 2015 D’Sas decided to quit.

But, here’s the good news. The band is going to make its comeback at this event! And what’s also interesting is that they are returning with the first formation. Knowing their potential in grooving on pop jazz, we are happy to be the stage where they mark their return. With 7 years of friendship between the personnels, we believe it won’t be difficult for them to continue what’s left back then.

nadine adrianna, nadine adrianna and friends, jazzuality

The magical 9 year-old girl will give a beautiful opening. Yes, it’s Nadine Adrianna. This girl is more than talented. The way she embraces jazz in her life as if she is a reincarnation of a long-time pro jazz pianist from the past. Imagine this: even before her age reaches two digits and while studying in elementary school, she already lead her own trio, writing original songs which are clearly rooted in modern jazz and actively performs everywhere, from small to prestigious events, including playing in front of the world leaders at the 61th Asian-African Conference which brought her to receive a Token of Appreciation from Directorate General of Information and Public Diplomacy of Ministry of Foreign Affairs Republic of Indonesia.

If last time she played in trio at this event, this time she is going to bring her new group called Nadine Adrianna & Friends. Joining her are also young talents including Praga Sabrani Tony (violin, 18 years old), Raihan Ardisoma (drums, 12 years old) and Sean Zuffar, 18 years old). Unique formation, all young musicians, we are curious to see how Nadine will lead this new team of her.

She was featured in our special Christmas edition in December 2015. Now she is going to play for Ramadhan. We are proud to present her as the symbol of tolerance which becomes more and more difficult in this country. Other than that, we are excited to see her playing a different color. Some religious nuances are to be expected, and most probably she will present her originals too. Whether she’s playing solo or with group, she is just as wonderful to watch. We have featured her several times since last year. Do come if you have seen and loved her performance, and if you haven’t got the chance to that, do come and see why we call her a jazz wonder girl.

As usual, jam session will be open after all the bands done their session all the way until the mall closes. You can participate no matter what your musical background is, or even if you just wish to sing. Either you want to just watch or becoming a part of the show, you are very welcome. We have been wishing to celebrate Ramadhan the jazzy way, this year we finally got the chance. So join us. For all our Muslim friends, may this holy month of Ramadhan brings you a lot of blessings. See you on 23th of June, 2016!

BRAGA JAZZ WALK #24: Special Ramadhan Edition

Date: Thursday, June 23, 2016
Time: 07:00 – 10:00 pm
Location: Braga CityWalk
Jl. Braga 99 – 101, Bandung



:: D’SAS ::
Yuyu Yulia and Rizky (vocals)
Tegar and Rudi (guitars), Fachri (bass)
Dovie (synthesizer)
Ilham (drums)
Welly (keyboard)

Joo Yang (drums)
Nicodemus Horisson (keyboard)
Jerry Gates (guitar)
Jere Fernando (bass)
Tamara Sayidina (vocal)

YD Nafis (keyboard)
Aries Ardiansyah (bass)
Alman Naufal (drums)
Hera (vocal)

Nadine Adrianna (piano)
Praga Sarani Tony (violin)
Raihan Ardisoma (drums)
Sean Zuffar (bass)

Riandy Kurniawan http://jazzuality.com <![CDATA[Braga Jazz Walk #23 : The Report]]> http://jazzuality.com/?p=16792 2016-06-29T08:19:58Z 2016-05-24T11:36:48Z BragaJazzWalk23What an interesting edition this was. After running this event for a year and a half, we finally got to see one of the fruits from a little wonder girl who began her musical journey right here emerged as a band leader, playing not only jazz standards but also her own compositions. We got a remarkable pianist from Jakarta who has made his name on the international scene, also a charismatic young man rooted in blues and a stunning acoustic guitar duo. All these happened at the Braga Jazz Walk #23 a couple of days ago on May 19, 2016.

Braga Jazz Walk is a regular jazz community event, existed as a fruit of the cooperation between Jazzuality.com, the venue Braga CityWalk and KPH Music who provides the instruments and some equipments, we establish this event as a playground for young musicians, a chance for them to introduce themselves to public as a part of our mission to push the regeneration of jazz musicians in Bandung. The successful musicians are often found too in each edition, and it’s important because we need them to be a good example for the young ones who plan to have a career in this field. Other than that, we wish to introduce the multi-colored variety of jazz to the public, letting them know that jazz doesn’t always have to be old-fashioned, difficult to understand or expensive. There are more than 70 sub-genres that they can choose, from the traditional to modern with all of its variation. That’s why we always try to feature the lineup with different styles, so people can see how rich jazz actually is and find out what style they are more into.

BragaJazzWalk23-Estuning (2)This edition opened with an interesting acoustic guitar duo who based their music mainly on jazz, blues and rock. The name of this duo is Estuning, comprises of Alsa T Putra (Suey) and Erick S Mildan (Eik). These two boys loved to play guitar together in free time. Realizing that they are fit to each other, they decided to carry on further in a group. The name Estuning comes from their initials: E for Erick and S for Suey. Then they put the guitar term ‘Tuning”, voila, the name’s made.

Directly on stage they played “Evening Dipatiukur”, one of their original songs. Suey is a proud member of a ska punk band Saritme, but surprisingly he actually has a passion for jazz which he unleashes in Estuning. While Erick is more into classic rock. Combining their music references plus some world music/traditional music, Estuning appeared as a cool fusion duo, and the fine blend was shown right from this first track.

Estuning continued on with another original composition, this time a ballad called “My Heart is Empty.” Then they played a very interesting version of The Beatles’ hit, “Hey Jude” which is taylored in their cool guitar acoustic style. For the last presentation they gave their signature song, Happy With Me”. This cheerful track got groove, melodious and dynamic, also perfect in presenting these two mates and their music.

BragaJazzWalk23-Estuning (3)We have invited several duo acoustic guitarists before in previous editions including the mind-bending Gigitaran who demonstrated classical guitar percussion technique and vintage Satura who brought us back to the Gypsy Swing/Jazz Manouche era of Django Reinhardt. This time Estuning gave us something different, showing that there are still many areas to explore in music by using two acoustic guitar. What makes us even prouder is that Braga Jazz Walk became their first ever public performance. This boys are cool, talented and creative.They have strong concept and smart in composing. Suy stated his happiness to us for giving them chance to explore their idealism. Well, we are happy too for being able to provide such chance for them. Very potential duo, all they need is gigs to gain more experience. In the world of acoustic guitar where great groups like Japan’s Depapepe and Indonesia’s Sketsa, Estuning exists and ready to color it up.

BragaJazzWalk23-IzkyMudza (19)The second round was taken by a young man that possessing the charm and charisma of John Mayer with strong color of his own, Rizky Ahmad Mudzakir, better known as Izky Mudza. We knew him for the first time when he came and gave a tasty teaser before the jam session through solo perfromance. He then played a couple of times, either alone or with full band. We haven’t invited him for some months, but we are updated that he has launched one single “Buatku Gila” that currently is doing very well over some radio stations. The second is done, so he only need around 4 more songs to make his debut mini album ready.

Performing alongside him this time were his two close friends Pramuditio (guitar) and Richard Panjaitan who accompanied him one after another. Pramuditio was first, working as a sideman of Izky on two songs: “Air dan Udara” and then the second track which was sung for the very first time at this event, “Ini Cinta”. Again, Izky showed his ability to write song that fit the current trend, just as strong as his successful first single.

BragaJazzWalk23-IzkyMudza (15)After that he did something different. When Richard took over Pramuditio’s position, he left his guitar and stood only as a singer. Two more songs came from him, Al Jarreau’s “Mornin'” and Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely”. In both songs he demonstrated his high-pitched voice, one of the aspect that made him different than most of the male singer. He made it look easy, singing comfortably on the high octaves like that. Plus, his expressive body gestures helped him building up a good performance.

Izky Mudza is an exceptional male singer. He is skillful, he can play guitar and sing just as good, he can write good songs that should have no problem to reach the taste of young listeners. Other than these, he is consistent and serious too. Another thing about him, he is charismatic and charming on stage, he looks good on stage and in picture, that would surely help him to pursue his career faster. Again, a cool, trendy performance from Izky and friends.

BragaJazzWalk23-NadineAdriannaTrio (7)The third performance was indeed special, and possibly made a new record. It was a magical 9 year-old girl who is full with jazz spirit inside her veins. Her name is Nadine Adrianna.

We still remember when last year there was a little girl approached us during the event and asked to join the jam. Nadine Adrianna, still 8 year-old at that time, wowed us by her ability to play jazz chords and had no problem to play alongside much older guys who she never met before. Braga Jazz Walk was her first-ever performance, at the 12th edition on April 2015 http://jazzuality.com/jazz-event-report/braga-jazz-walk-12-the-report/. She performed solo a couple of times in later editions.

From there she gained more and more appearance, playing in community events and other events, including a surprising appearance at the 61th Asian-African Conference which brought her to receive a Token of Appreciation from Directorate General of Information and Public Diplomacy of Ministry of Foreign Affairs Republic of Indonesia. She played in front of the world leaders and surprised them with her skill in playing pure jazz music.

BragaJazzWalk23-NadineAdriannaTrio-(4)Looking at her potential, we suggested her to establish a group, because we want her to learn about tempo. Also we encouraged her to write original songs. Can a 9 year-old girl do that? We never doubt it. In fact, it’s because we know her ability that we challenge her to take further step. Amazingly she responded it seriously. Just in a couple of months she already made two original songs and formed a trio, where she acts as the band leader! The name is Nadine Adrianna Trio. Other than Nadine herself on piano, she has her daddy Boy Gumilar Krisna and drummer Rizky Augustian. The trio has landed in other community events, now finally her trio arrived on the stage where she was born.

“Hello, my name is Nadine. I’m going to play, please enjoy.” she said innocently. Then she explained a bit about her own composition, “Wayne Street”. “This song is inspired by Wayne Shorter’s “Footprints”. That’s why you are going to hear some of it in this song, but believe me, it’s different.” she said. Then she led her trio boppin’ and groovin’ with it. Very nice composition, fine execution. Then papa Boy Gumilar left the stage, letting Nadine performed only with Rizky. They played her other original, “Night Jam”. This song brought us to imagine the happy feeling of a child staying up late for doing what she loves the most. How amazing it is to see a 9 year-old girl could pour her feeling out into a pure jazz composition. She speaks cheerfully through notes. She even gave space for Rizky to do the solo run.

BragaJazzWalk23-NadineAdriannaTrio (5)Nadine then played solo on one of her favorite tune, “Night in Tunisia”. We have heard her play this song before, but now it felt way cooler with her more enhanced skill. Boy and Rizky then joined her again to play one last song, her brand new composition which she made only 4 days earlier, “One Blues”. Totally different than the other two, this one got thick, tasty blues flavor that would make anyone want to have a bite. In just four days Nadine Adrianna Trio could already bring it to perfection.

Nadine learnt with Yahya Salam in Venche Music School and now with Imam Pras. These two piano teachers have created so many successful pianists throughout the years. Now she is much more enhanced in many aspects: in techniques, the braveness to take risk in improvising, the confidence in performing and of course, enjoying every moment of her play. She writes songs as if she is living the early modern jazz era in the late 40’s through the 50’s. You can’t imagine how happy we are spotting this wonder girl. We will keep on supporting her and see where she can go for more. In one word: She is magic.

BragaJazzWalk23-DhaniSyahTrio (13)The final performance featured a highly experienced jazz pianist from Jakarta: Dhani Syah in Trio format. Ramadhani Syah Warongan – that’s his complete name – is a member of successful jazz band, The Jongens Quartet with Johanes Radianto, Dony Sundjoyo and his brother Elfa Zulham currently has two albums (both available at our online store: http://store.jazzuality.com).

Dhani took his passion in music seriously. He finished his under-graduate degree at the Prins Claus Conservatorium in Groningen, Netherland. During this time he featured on saxophonist Kestutis Vaiginis Quartet’s album “Gypsy Nature”, touring to Birtonas, Vinus and Palanga, Lithuania and awarded “The Artistry of Dick Oatts and Young Jazz Musician.” He also selected as the member of Re-Bop Unit, a jazz group comprised of selected multi-national students by Dick Oatts himself. In order to promote the album, they also visited Bucharest, Arad, Cluj, Timisoara, Romania, Amsterdam, Assen, Den Haag and of course the home base Groningen.

BragaJazzWalk23-DhaniSyahTrio (11)During his year of learning, he has been guided by many jazz experts both from his time in Netherlands and from his own land. He directly started getting busy right after coming home. Other than his important role as the pianist and composing in The Jongens Quartet, Dhani has made some interesting project like Duo Project with his buddy Johanes Radianto. Off stage and studio he also shares his knowledge as a teacher at Universitas Pelita Harapan, Conservatory of Music. In his free time he keeps on composing new songs. With that kind of productivity, of course he needs to establish his own group. That’s where the Dhani Syah Trio came from.

For this gig he decided to play with two young local musicians who have backed him up and Johanes at our other event, the Bumi Sangkuriang Jazz Night #4 last month (http://jazzuality.com/jazz-event-report/bumi-sangkuriang-jazz-night-4-the-report/):  Aries Ardiansyah (bass) and Alman Naufal (drums). Apparently he felt comfortable playing with these boys, and it’s good to know since that means Dhani will have option when he gets another chance to perform in Bandung again next time.

Right after the stepped on the stage, they immidiately launched jazz standards including “Milestones” and “Blame It On My Youth”. A brilliant pianist like him made this standards appeared ellegant and classy. The contribution from two compatriotes Aries and Alman were really significant in building the perfect structure.

BragaJazzWalk23-DhaniSyahTrio (15)Then Dhani asked his dear wife, Almira Joesoef to take her position behind the mike. Almira continued their visit on jazz standards by singing a gem from 1940 “Taking a Chance of Love”, scatting on Charlie Parker’s masterpiece published in 1945 “Billie’s Bounce” and went back more than a decade earlier covering Cole Porter’s “Love for Sale”.

A beautiful pure jazz session with boppin’ and swingin’ sensation was delivered by Dhani Syah Trio. We are proud to have Dhani placing his signature on our stage, because then the audience especially mall-goers could experience the joy of pure jazz from a great jazz player. The contribution from the double ‘A’, Aries and Alman were substantial too. While Dhani is still active in The Jongens Quartet, it would be good for him to nurture his own project too that can perfectly represent his true-self. He is working on making up a solo album projected to release some times in the next couple of months.  A good player like him should be noticed, a solo project would usually help for that. We are happy and proud to be able to have him in this edition.

BragaJazzWalk23-JamSession (4)Jam session directly appeared when these boys still on stage, opened by Almira. The jam session was divided into two batch. The first one with Almira, Aries and Dhani plus the drummer who recently established an event not far from our location, Albert Shadrach Dragtan and Nadine. They played Duke Ellington’s “C Jam Blues” nicely as if they had practiced together before.

BragaJazzWalk23-JamSession (3)Dhani’s position then replaced by YD Nafis and drum was back to Alman, plus Erick Gabe on vocal. They played “Route 66” with full of solo runs, free flowing improvisation and some cool mouth trumpet by Erick. A group photo session as usual sealed the event some minutes after 10 pm.

Well that’s what went on in the Braga Jazz Walk #23. An interesting edition where we got a little girl with jazz magic, a very good skilled pianist from Jakarta, a charismatic young man and a stunning acoustic guitar duo. We thank all musicians who performed here, our partners, friends and everyone who show support by attending the event.

BragaJazzWalk23-PhotoGroupWe are planning to make Ramadhan edition next month, it would be great if we can make it happen. Anyway, whether it happens or not, the regular show will be back again on July. Thank you all performers, everyone behind this event and the audience. You guys rock! See you again in the next edition.

Watch the highlight of Braga Jazz Walk #23

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Reporter Riandy Kurniawan
Photographer: Riandy Kurniawan & Mia Damayanti Sjahir

Riandy Kurniawan http://jazzuality.com <![CDATA[Grace Sahertian: HELA ‘Tracing Back the Roots’ Concert: The Report]]> http://jazzuality.com/?p=16796 2016-06-25T06:09:49Z 2016-05-20T08:58:44Z GraceSahertian-HELAThe length of Grace Sahertian‘s music career is about the same as ours. We have been following her since we were born and became friends with her through the years. We knew her as a soulful singer with deep passion in jazz, as she shown in her first band, Palm From Moodytunes. From there, we saw another milestone of her when she teamed up with the young guitarist now riding his international fame, Tesla Manaf, digging the jazz-coated world music. This duo managed to release one album. At around the same time, Grace also involved in an urban soul group, Circle O’Fifth, and joined the group from Depok, Margo Rising Stars.

In 2011 we heard about her taking another big decision, pursuing a solo career. It shouldn’t be difficult for someone her caliber, but she took this very seriously. Instead of rushing, as a true artist (she is also a reputable fiber artist outside music and currently works as the lecturer of Faculty of Fine Arts and Design majoring craft textiles and fashion), she took time, searching her inner self to find out what she really wanted.

GraceSahertian-Hela (1)Now finally the album has come out. With the title “HELA”, Grace Sahertian opens up her heart, mind and soul, using the album as a reflection of her 10 years journey. As an evidence, we could listen to variety of styles through 8 tracks, from soul, gospel, blues, jazz to world music, which are painted throughout her career. The album is expressive and artistic, but also easy to listen and to love. Even more, tracing back her roots, where the Sahertian family name came from and interestingly the nearly extinct language of Yamdena from the island of Maluku. You can read our review of this album here: http://jazzuality.com/album-reviews/grace-sahertian-hela-tracing-back-the-roots/

Grace wished to make the launching of her debut grand. So, she held this special concert at the auditorium of Institut Français Indonesia (IFI) Bandung on May 14, 2016. Choosing this venue is good, since this place seems to bring good fortune to artists who perform there. Just to remind you, Tulus actually launched his debut album with a special concert also in here 3 years ago. From here, he rose to fame and stands as one of the top stars today in Indonesia. Now it’s Tulus’ friend, Grace Sahertian to walk this path, may Grace follow his footsteps.

GraceSahertian-Hela-GindaBestari (1)All the tickets were sold out even long before the concert started. There were many faild to get the ticket, so they had to stay outside or went home. Inside the auditorium  all seat were taken by friends, family and fans. As the opening act, Grace featured one of the frontliners in Indonesia’s blues scene today, a remarkably talented young man named Ginda Bestari. Earlier last year he also released a critical acclaimed, most anticipated album titled “Soulful Desire” with super team including veterans Yance Manusama and Harry Anggoman, senior drummer Rayendar Sunito also featuring Yura Yunita in one track.

Ginda performed all by himself, giving a strong blues painting on stage. Playing a set of songs including his own from “Soulful Desire” titled “Free Your Mind”, he demonstrated how strong the blues runs inside his veins. Remarkable guitar playing and singing. Ginda is a real bluesman, but he has been living inside the jazz scene as well, as seen in how good he scat in unison with his guitar the way George Benson loves to do.

GraceSahertian-Hela-(18)After a hot opening, the main concert was directly began. The eerie music filled the pitch black hall. Theoresia Rumthe, one of the vocals stood up from the audience’s seat and narrated the opening. “I am Sahertian. Sahertian came from the words ‘Sei Heri Tiane’, which means ‘rowing passed the enemy’. Hela is a story of life, that I will tell to everyone who listen.” she said on behalf of Grace.

Then the stage light began to shine. Grace was there with the band: Rayhan Sudrajat (guitar), Gantira Sena (drums), Omega Touselak and Faishal (keys & Synth bass), and Puspallia Panggabean as the back vocal. This song is written in Yamdena language, a very old language from the east west of Maluku that took us into a journey of tracing back her roots. Without any stop, Grace carried on with “Freedom”, a song in black gospel blues and soul nuance that captures the feeling of recollection, repression, pain, unfairness, being chained until a shout of hope. Painful but not hopeless.

GraceSahertian-Hela (6)Grace then took one song not from the album but from her collaborative time with AJ the Real titled “Deep Down Inside”. This nice ballad was written in 2012. Then Grace sang her favorite from the album, “Picture Me”. A beautiful cellist who also plays for Bandung Philharmonic, Mega Ariani joined the team on this one and created much deeper feel through her play.

GraceSahertian-Hela (7)The hall turned to totally dark again. Theoresia Rumthe spoke a poetic opening for the carrier single, “Diam”. Slowly she walked towards Grace along with other singers: Puspallia Panggabean, Eka Karya, Ayub Jonn and  Johanes Fayakun. This acapella song interestingly appeared by having the choir scattered among the audience before they gathered in front, under the stage with Grace. They did a very beautiful work on vocal harmony.

The next song was “Da Di De”, presented really different than the album version. “Thanks to Tesla who rearranged this song for this concert”, said Grace. If in the album “Da Di De” was built within the blending of power nu metal/alternative rock and hiphop like Linkin’ Park, this time the song appeared much softer in acoustic style. Which one is better? We say, both work perfectly.

GraceSahertian-Hela (13)After that, Grace sang the only coversong in the concert, from Alanis Morissette’s “Jagged Little Pill” album in 1995, “Hand in My Pocket.” The arrangement of this song was unique, because it digged the dramatic side of it through melody, harmony and dynamic.

GraceSahertian-Hela (10)Rayhan then kept his guitar aside for a while and played saluang, the traditional West Sumatra bamboo flute. Just like in the album, it was used as the opening of “Sun of Hope”, the only song with world music ambience in Hela. This song wich has a strong African rhythm not only felt like taking us into the dark, vast rainforest deep down in Africa but also inspirational. As she always loves to be connected to the earth and beautiful nature as a part of the universe, this epic song depicts it in the most graceful way.

GraceSahertian-Hela (15)As the last song, Grace invited everyone to dance with a Motown-feel song, “Better to Love”. In this song Grace introduced all the bands and singers one by one and had them showcase their thing. In the end, Grace got standing applause from most of the audience. It was a blast!

Grace Sahertian’s “HELA” concert was made really cool. Well prepared and nicely executed. For anyone who came to this concert, they will know that the album actually contains so many interesting stuffs and could perfectly work as a window to know Grace and what she has in her mind, heart and soul.”I still can’t believe it! I’m speechless”, said Grace to us after the concert.  We know how hard she works for this, with all the ups and downs and struggles. It’s really not easy for her passing through a long and winding road, but now it’s all paid off. It’s going to be interesting to see her career being developed after this. We are really happy for Grace.

GraceSahertian-Hela (16)A gorgeous album that has strong spirit and really, really artistic is up for grab. Support her by buying the album. Congratulations Grace! We wish you the best in your new chapter.

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Reporter: Riandy Kurniawan
Photographer: Mia Damayanti Sjahir

Riandy Kurniawan http://jazzuality.com <![CDATA[Bumi Sangkuriang Jazz Night #5 : The Report]]> http://jazzuality.com/?p=16768 2016-05-16T06:23:39Z 2016-05-16T05:53:44Z BumiSangkuriangJazzNight5Bumi Sangkuriang Jazz Night began its service since January 2016 with a simple intention, to bring jazz back home. We had that intention in mind because jazz has been written inside this old building with vintage, grandeur ballroom since it was built in 1957. Several jazz communities events were found in some periods, most notably in 1981, 2008 and 2010 by different organizers/curators. After several years in silence, Jazzuality.com partnering with the pioneer of jazz school in Bandung, the Venche Music School (VMS) is giving the regular community event a rebirth, naming it Bumi Sangkuriang Jazz Night. So far we have done 4 editions with good progress. We are getting many possitive feedback and input, also supports from more parties. This of course stimulates us to run this event the best we can.

Here we come to the Bumi Sangkuriang Jazz Night episode #5. In this edition we once again combined the experienced and iconic jazz musician from Jakarta with the best local talents. From Jakarta we got the ‘El Montuno’ who has embraced this rhytmical Cuban music for over 20 years, Rio Moreno. Then from our own city, a female duo Puspa Sekar filled the ballroom with beautiful swing and 5th Avenue was just awesome, combining jazz, rock and soul into tight lite fusion/smooth jazz.

BumiSangkuriangJazzNight5-5thAvenue (2)We decided to give a high energy start with 5th Avenue. We got to know them since 2 years ago and have been having them in our events ever since. They got the consolation prize at the Jazz Goes to Campus 2014, but the guitarist won The Best Guitarist for the same competition. This brought them to perform at this annual festival, successfully dragged hundreds of people to their show.

For this performance 5th Avenue consisted of original members: Chris Alfeus (guitar), Stella Inke (piano), the new recruitment from last year Ilham Septia Inda Nugraha (bass) and three fresh mates: Kevin Jonathan (guitar), Andi Pramudito (drums) and Budy Prama Dongoran (saxophone).

For the first time we saw them playing nothing but original songs. The melodious “I Found You” was first, followed with “Damn I’m Falling” and “Sweet Thought”. From one song to another they managed to play tight as a team without leaving the moment to shine when each of them got the chance to run in front.

BumiSangkuriangJazzNight5-5thAvenue (4)For the last presentation they gave our favorite from their compositions, “Centrifugal Degree”. Knowing that they reached the end, they all released every bit of energy they had left. Stunning jazz guitar playing by Chris, the wild rock roar from Kevin Jonathan, sharp funklines from Ilham, the delicate sax-attax by Budy, power beat from Andi and attractive Stella’s finger-dancing above the keys. Funky but also smooth, relaxing but challenging, full of action.

“Having new players will give us the chance to have new colors. That makes us exicted!” said Chris to us before the gig. They have been having more than just guitar and piano in front from time to time since the band was formed, but of course having new players with their own styles will create something different. Yet again, the signature music of 5th Avenue that we know was still well kept. This band really know how to give one delightful package which seems to be simple but has all the excitement in each song. Clean, neat and tight, they surely satisfied everyone, from fanatic jazz fans to the common listeners.

BumiSangkuriangJazzNight5-PuspaSekar (1)The second session belong to Puspa Sekar, the combination of beauties courtesy of Puspallia Panggabean (vocal) and Dyah Sekar (piano). Both of them have made remarkable impacts in Bandung music (jazz) scene. Puspallia existed in several bands including the stunning Gypsy swing Satura and the Malaysian-Indonesian interplanetary fusion jazz band, OCD and now is getting more chances performing in Jakarta among the greats, while Dyah Sekar is known in two all-ladies bands: Jazzy Juice and SHE. Not long ago they found a reason to collaborate. Mainly to play children songs, but soon after they realize that they actually could go further in exploring the jazz world.

Like two flowery fairies they sprinkled the magic dust and charmed everyone right from the start. With “Alice in Wonderland” as the opening, Puspall and Dyah directly introduced everyone to their different music profile, which is rooted in the combination of jazz, classical and some Broadway-ish music and theatrical gestures. They pinned a famous song of The Carpenters from 1973 which was written two years earlier for Sesame Street, “Sing”. What’s interesting is how they managed to keep the sweetness in a brand new arrangement including the progression of the notes. Chants and applause were heavily given to them.

BumiSangkuriangJazzNight5-PuspaSekar (9)It seemed that they were like tributing Disney films and songs for children, the third song was a ‘forgotten’ classic from Mary Poppins the movie, “Chim Chim Cher-ree”. Again, a beautiful rendition that was felt as good as how Julie Andrews did it in the movie. Then for the last song, Puspa Sekar sang a medley of “Cruella de Vil”, a signature song of Disney’s “101 Dalmatians” (1961) and Fats Waller’s “Honeysuckle Rose” (1934). As listed, there are 27 years difference between these songs, but they made a seamless composition as if it was one song. One final appreciation was given to them from the audience, loud and long.

Puspa Sekar is still new in the scene. But since they are individually well experienced and really gifted, they can create a solid team as if they have been doing it for years. For us who have known their journey for at least the last 5 years, it feels refreshing to watch them and even more, they surprised us with their candy sweet, expressive, theatrical, jazzclassical with poetic gestures. Charming, unique, the concept is not easy to execute but it isn’t difficult at all to enjoy. The combination of flawless jazz vocalist and cheerful jazz pianist is perfect, especially since they are both creative and talented. Such an enchanting duo of flower fairies, this collaboration will surely beautify the jazz scene.

BumiSangkuriangJazzNight5-RioMoreno-VMSRhythmSection (17)For the final presentation we invited Rio Moreno to take over the stage. As we mentioned before, Rio Moreno embraces jazz-flavored Latins, from samba, bossa, salsa, chacha, especially the wonderful, rhytmic Cuban son (music) like no other here in Indonesia. He rose to fame when he established a multi-colored jazz band Cherokee around one and a half decades ago. He already showed his passion in this music since then, said to be inspired by mostly Michel Camilo and Arturo Sandoval. One of his own composition listed in Cherokee album titled “El Montuno” became his nick name. Just two years ago he released his solo album under the same title, consisting of 8 original compositions. The album is available at our online store: http://store.jazzuality.com/product/rio-moreno-el-montuno/.

Supporting him for tonight were two young boys under the name of VMS Rhythm Section: Ezra Manuhutu (bass) and Alman Naufal (drum). Stating that he could only practice with the boys only once, just a couple of hours before the event started, Rio decided to go swingin’ with standards but of course without leaving his Montuno. “Blues for Elise” turned the audience to feel a vintage romantic night.  Such mood was well kept with “All the Things You Are” and two Walt Disney’s theme songs, Pinocchio’s “When You Wish Upon a Star” and Snow White’s “Someday My Prince Will Come.”

BumiSangkuriangJazzNight5-RioMoreno-VMSRhythmSection (13)One of the audience then shouted, “sing!” Rio was surprised and said, “Sing? Are you sure?” only to get more approval from the audience. He sang “Sabor a Mi” , a famous Mexican song composed by Alvaro Carrillo which brought popular by trio Los Panchos many decades ago. “This is a song my father used to sing,” he said. FYI, his father, Rudy Rusadi was a famous Latin singer, mostly known with his group, Los Morenos whom career stood around 50 years.

Rio continued to play solo. The next song was “Indonesia Pusaka” which brilliantly played in Montuno style, in medley with children song “Balonku”. He went back to swing with Alman and Ezra on “On Green Dolphin Street”, then sang “It Might Be You” originally sang by Stephen Bishop for 1982 movie, Tootsie.

BumiSangkuriangJazzNight5-RioMoreno-VMSRhythmSection (11)A bossa classic from Jobim’s collection, “Só Danço Samba” came right after. Alman did well in giving rich bossa beat which was close to samba. Rio said thank you to everyone still staying in the ballroom, but then agreed to give one short encore, “Fly Me to the Moon.”

Indonesia is blessed to have so many remarkable jazz pianists throughout the years, but not many actually digs Cuban son Montuno like Rio Moreno. He captures the simultaneously pianistic and percussive rhytmic pattern of Montuno as if he was born there in its origin. Since Rio is also a music teacher, he knows how to utilize the two younger compatriotes to build each composition with sparkling energy. In this event Rio showed his swing side with the two boys, but also took us into the enchanting, exotic side of Latin jazz we don’t get to find every day. Splendid.

BumiSangkuriangJazzNight5-Tidbits (3)So that’s how it went. It’s wonderful to see this event grows up until now. We thank the partners, supporters, the loyal audience, new attendance, the board of Bumi Sangkuriang, playing musicians and everyone else who are with us.

Since next month we are going to enter the fasting month, this event will be paused too until further announcement. We will keep you updated.


We still have many plans for this Bumi Sangkuriang Jazz Night, hope we can make each of them happen. One thing for sure, we are doing our best to shine this vintage ballroom shine bright again with jazz. Keep swingin’ and boppin’, we will see you again on the next episode!

Special thanks to: Classoundsation, Ron88, Music Gear, Tiga Negeri, AB Production, Ultima Music Indonesia, Pikiran Rakyat, 106,7 Mara FM, Roemah Enak Enak

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Reporter: Riandy Kurniawan
Photographer: Titus Firmanto

Riandy Kurniawan http://jazzuality.com <![CDATA[Braga Jazz Walk #23]]> http://jazzuality.com/?p=16770 2016-05-24T11:40:17Z 2016-05-12T14:41:39Z bragajazzwalk23-posterIn each and every of our event we always give our best in fulfilling our mission, presenting multi coloured jazz, played by variety of artists. From kids to seniors, the newcomers to experienced musicians, local, national and even international players, we are more than happy to have them to have fun on our stage.

For a year and a half we have stretched the boundaries, welcoming all genre of music have graced our stage with their music as long as they hold ‘jazz by spirit’ inside their mind. What also makes us proud is the fact that the jam session has been included ever since. The Braga Jazz Walk as the fruit of solid cooperation between us Jazzuality.com, Braga CityWalk and KPH Music provides a fun and friendly playground for just about anyone to play on. Now runs on the third Thursday of each month, we feature 4 bands/groups/soloists in each edition.

nadine, nadine adrianna trio, little wonder girl, little jazz band leader

And here we come to Braga Jazz Walk #23, ready to launch on May 19, 2016. First of all, let’s talk about Nadine Adrianna. She is a magical little girl, still 9 years old but full of jazz spirit. Nadine is already motivated in responding her passion in Jazz ever since she began performing in front of public; at this very stage last year in 12th edition (http://jazzuality.com/jazz-event-report/braga-jazz-walk-12-the-report/). From there she gained more and more appearance, playing in community events and other events, including a surprising appearance at the 61th Asian-African Conference which brought her to receive a Token of Appreciation from Directorate General of Information and Public Diplomacy of Ministry of Foreign Affairs Republic of Indonesia. She played in front of the world leaders and wowed them with her genius jazz playing.

She played solo for quite some times while still learning with some marvelous teachers, from Yahya Salam to now Imam Pras. Last September we encouraged her to take the next higher step, establishing her own group and wrote her own compositions. It didn’t take long for her to do so, as now she already has her own trio called Nadine Adrianna Trio (featuring her papa Boy Krisna on bass and Rizky Augustian on drums). She now has two original compositions: “Night Jams” and “Wayne Street”, inspired by the living jazz legend, Wayne Shorter.

She is still delighted to attend any jazz events everywhere as much as possible. She is still eagerly learning new things from many sources, including or especially Youtube, finding the songs that she likes, switch the songs to her jazz style and then plays them. With more enhanced skills especially her delightful comping, she is the new Joey Alexander as far as we see. Tell us, how often do you see a 9 year-old child leading her own band? Nadine is magic. Cant wait to see her and her trio!

dhani syah, dhani syah trio, the jongens quartet

This time we are proud to welcome a great jazz pianist from Jakarta, Dhani Syah and his brand new band, Dhani Syah Trio. As probably some of you have already known, Ramadhani Syah Warongan, his complete name, is a member of successful jazz band, The Jongens Quartet with Johanes Radianto, Dony Sundjoyo and his brother Elfa Zulham. Born in Makassar, he began his musical step with a simple keyboard at his home. He became more and more interested in piano and jazz especially after listening to some giants like Wynton Kelly, John Coltrane, Charlie Parker and Miles Davis.

Dhani took his passion in music seriously. He went to pursue his formal study abroad. He finished his under-graduate degree at the Prins Claus Conservatorium in Groningen, Netherland. During this time he featured on saxophonist Kestutis Vaiginis Quartet’s album “Gypsy Nature”, touring to Birtonas, Vinus and Palanga, Lithuania and awarded “The Artistry of Dick Oatts and Young Jazz Musician.” He also became the member of Re-Bop Unit, a jazz group comprised of selected multi-national students by Dick Oatts himself. In order to promote the album, they also visited Bucharest, Arad, Cluj, Timisoara, Romania, Amsterdam, Assen, Den Haag and of course the home base Groningen.

This young man with illustrious career studies piano under the guidance of phenomenal teachers including Jasper Soffer, Marc Van Roon, David Berkman, Indra Lesmana, Tjut Nyak Deviana Daudsjah, Aksan Sjuman, Michael Moore, Elena Mlainova, Steve Altenberg, Joris Teepe, Ralph Peterson, Alex Spiagin, Freddie Bryant, Deanda DeRose, Kurt Weiss, Brian Lynch, Don Braden, Mark Gross just to name a few.

Other than his important role in The Jongens Quartet, Dhani has made some interesting project like Duo Project with his buddy Johanes Radianto and currently busy with establishing his own band, Dhani Syah Trio. Besides performing and composing, he also shares his knowledge as a teacher at Universitas Pelita Harapan, Conservatory of Music. He came to perform at our other event, Bumi Sangkuriang Jazz Night ep #04 (http://jazzuality.com/jazz-event-report/bumi-sangkuriang-jazz-night-4-the-report/) but now he is ready to show his new ideas with Dhani Syah Trio. For this Bandung gig, he is going to bring two local players who are often supporting us by the name of VMS Rhythm Section: Aries Ardiansyah (bass) and Alman Naufal (drums). Surely this would be a golden chance for jazz musicians in Bandung especially pianists to learn something from him, while of course the entertaining factor is guaranteed.

estuning, acoustic guitar duo

We proudly presents two best friends in a group called Estuning. This guitar duo was established based on friendship and their hobby to play guitar together. The name was built from their initials: ‘E’ from Erick S. Mildan and ‘S’ from Suey (Alsa T. Putra). Then they added ‘tuning’. So, Estuning means the harmonization of guitar tunes courtesy of Erick and Suey.

What’s unique is that each of them has different style and background. Erick is more to Classic Rock and Blues, while Suey is into Romance Classical and Smooth Jazz. Combining these genres isn’t easy, but from two samples they gave us, they did really well in creating new musical atmosphere by such fine blend. They even infuse some ethnic musics too inside some of their repertoires. We have invited some great acoustic guitar duos with their own flavors like Satura and Gigitaran, now we are going to have another signature being added to this event, courtesy of two young guns as Estuning. Different color, different nuance, different sensation.

izky mudza

We invite again a charismatic young man who plays guitar and sings. His name is Rizky Ahmad Mudzakir, better known as Izky Mudza. He embraces blues as his core, and because of that it’s natural for him to get into rock, alternative and jazz.

Izky plays guitar and sings at the same time. He can write songs and arrange too. Currently he’s working on his debut mini album, with one single titled “Buatku Gila” (“Making me Crazy”) that is doing pretty well in some radio stations. Other than the important aspects such as ability to sing, playing guitar/instrument, write song and lead, he has the originality, charm and charisma. So, having passion, skill and the X factors should make him a complete package that could bring him into success.

For this edition he is going to perform in the formation of four. Other than himself on guitar and vocal, he is bringing his team mates including Praditio (guitar), Ginanjar Arif (drums) and a bassist, yet to be confirmed. He needs to work only three more songs to complete his mini album. Let’s wish him luck and support his appearance in this edition.

Jam session will be available as usual after all the featured bands made their appearance. Either you’re a musician  or singer, a pro or just hobby, you can always join the party. Let us know that you wish to play, we will gladly provide so. Many musicians from amateur to pro have tasted the fun, pleasuring jam session on this very stage. No need to be shy, make yourself feel like home on it.

The Braga Jazz Walk #23 will come on May 19th, 2016 starting at 7:00 pm onwards. This event is totally FREE of charge. Other than getting the jazztertainment, you can also involve yourself in. Come, bring your friends and family, have a good time with us.

Braga Jazz Walk #23

Date: Thursday, May 19, 2016
Time: 07:00 – 10:00 pm
Location: Braga CityWalk
Jl. Braga 99 – 101, Bandung



Dhani Syah – piano
Aries Ardiansyah – contrabass
Alman Naufal – drums

Nadine Adrianna – piano
Boy Krisna – bass
Rizky Augustian – drums

Izky Mudza – guitar, vocals
Praditio – guitar
Ginanjar Arif – drums
… – bass

Erick S Mildan (Eik) – acoustic guitar
Alsa T Putra (Suey) – acoustic guitar

Riandy Kurniawan http://jazzuality.com <![CDATA[North Sumatra Jazz Festival 2016: The Report]]> http://jazzuality.com/?p=16774 2016-06-16T10:05:59Z 2016-05-12T07:51:16Z northsumatrajazzfestival2016The ‘Rock City’ Medan once again showed its fangs. And they are really sharp and sparkling. Entering its 6th edition of the festival, North Sumatra Jazz Festival 2016 (NSJF 2016) still upholds the pure idealism of the festival’s frontman, Erucakra Mahameru. We still remember what he said in the first edition of the festival. Not only he dreamt to bring a special celebration of jazz into the city where rich diversity of cultures exists, he always tries to keep the international standard by careful selection of lineup.

By cooperating for the 6th time with indiejazzINDONESIA/Dion Momongan, this year, aside the return of South Korea’s Phil Yoon Group, he remarkably brought the jazz icon Jeff Lorber in his first collaboration with all Indonesian jazz sensations; Dwiki Dharmawan, Barry Likumahuwa, Echa Soemantri, Ricad Hutapea and Erucakra Mahameru himself. Other than that, the apperearance of superband Krakatau Reunion erupted the festival with joy. And the homeband Erucakra Mahameru C Man Band again proved that they are the undisputed jazz leader of the city.

NSJF2016-PressConference (3)
At the press conference held in Convention Lobby, Santika Hotel, Jeff Lorber said that he’s never been to a regional jazz festival with such standards and well organized as NSJF. Another highlight attended the conference too, Krakatau Reunion in full team. Indra Lesmana, Dwiki Dharmawan, Pra Budiharma, Donny Suhendra, Gilang Ramadhan and Trie Utami were all there. With the failed reunion plan in 2013 under the name Krakatau Kembali Satu which was taken from one of their hit singles, this third and most successful formation finally landed big on Medan.

NSJF2016-PhilYoonGroup (6)The festival began sailing with Phil Yoon Group. This year’s formation consists of Phil Yoon (drums), Lee Jong Won (sax), Lee Myoung Gun (piano), Heo Jin Ho (bass) plus a female vocalist, Ahhye Cho. The first song they played was “Joshua” (written by Victor Feldman) in Phil Yoon’s arrangement,  then three of Phil Yoon’s compositions; EJ (Homage to Elvin Jones), “Sorrowness” and “The Ride”.

NSJF2016-PhilYoonGroup (4)Along with the lovely female singer, they delivered their vocal rendition of the classic jazz hits such as “Fly Me to the Moon”, “Over the Rainbow”, “Lullaby of Birdland” and then ended with “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You”.

In the midst of K-Pop invading the world, it’s just refreshing to see jazz appear grand too from South Korea. We are also happy to see how Erucakra and Phil Yoon keep supporting each other since last year. We enjoyed their music and action. A fine blend between challenging, playful and beautiful jazz performance. Kamsahamnida!

NSJF2016-JeffLorber-AllStars (1)The all-stars collaboration soon took place. It was between one of the pioneers of jazz fusion, Jeff Lorber with heavy artillery: Erucakra Mahameru (guitar), Dwiki Dharmawan (keyboard), Ricad Hutapea (saxophone), Echa Soemantri (drums) and Barry Likumahuwa (bass).

This amazing team played Lorber’s hits from his wonderful years of career especially with his famous Jeff Lorber Fusion like from his third album as the band leader released in 1979: “Toad’s Place” and “Tune 88”, “Hudson” from 2007’s “He Had a Hat”, “Chinese Medicinal Herbs” from “Now is the Time” album (2010), the title-track of his Grammy nominated album in 2013, “Hacienda”, and two songs from 2011 album “Galaxy”: “Montserrat” and the one with Indonesian title, “Singaraja”.

NSJF2016-JeffLorber-AllStars (9)In this song, Ricad Hutapea did very well in substituting the role of Eric Marienthal (and Randy Brecker) in the album. Barry Likumahuwa’s funklines were just as infectious as always, Echa Soemantri demonstrated neat funky jazz drumming and the senior players like Dwiki Dharmawan and Erucakra knew exactly how to spice things up. They got loud pops many times from the crowds.

Jeff Lorber told us he was happy to join this year’s lineup in Medan, the city he visited for the very first time. Speaking of his team mates, he said: “They are skillful and cool.” He also stated that he never played with them before. Well, Dwiki once worked his album in Lorber’s studio, but at that time he only participated as the sound engineer. “We only rehearsed once, but I feel satisfied with the result.” he added. Finally, he wishes NSJF the best. May the festival keep running and have more international artists. It’s not everyday for Medan jazz lovers to have a visit from legendary jazz giant like him. Thanks to NSJF, it finally happened.

NSJF2016-ErucakraCManBand (1)The next performer the pride of the city, Erucakra Mahameru C Man. With the recent formation consists of Erucakra himself in lead guitars and vocals, Brian Harefa (saxophone), Radhian Syuhada (bass), Heri Syahputra (keyboard/synthesizer) and Rusfian Karim (drums), Erucakra C Man explored more of Sumatra’s regional cultures,  from Omar Yusuf’s special Atjeh traditional vocal performance backed by Radhian in Atjeh traditional backing vocals to Nias island traditional singing style courtesy of Brian Harefa.

4 compositions of Erucakra C Man were on including the new ones: “Crossing the Borderline” with (with Hoho, Nias’ traditional music as the overture), “Hom Hom” (Rapai Atjeh collaboration) by Omar, “Hold On” and the wild-ride track “Balap Liar”.

NSJF2016-ErucakraCManBand (5)Since Erucakra wished to include the rich Sumatra heritage inside the festival in every edition, the role of his band becomes really vital. Naturally jazz would absorb the specific music wherever it lands. This year jazz was fusing with Atjeh and Nias Island’s traditional music. Erucakra C Man band gave out a mind-bending world jazz fusion inside a challenging NeoProgressive Jazz corridor that should stun those who came to the show.

NSJF2016-Krakatau-Reunion (1)As usual when we have fun, time seems to run faster than we hope. It was almost midnight already, but the hall just got even hotter by the most awaited performance this year, the Krakatau Reunion.

Started with the name “Mesopotamia” at the Concordia Hall of Bumi Sangkuriang in Bandung in the mid 80’s, this band rose to fame under the name of Krakatau after their winning performance at Yamaha Bands Explotion in Japan. The third formation then became a milestone in Indonesian music history. Donny Suhendra (guitar), Dwiki Dharmawan (keyboard), Gilang Ramadhan (drum), Indra Lesmana (keyboard), Pra Budidharma (bass) and Trie Utami (vocal) went on producing so many songs that instantly became hits which amazingly still popular until now.

NSJF2016-Krakatau-Reunion (18)They managed to sell more than 5 million copies only within 3 years, Their music style was unique. On stage they were against the main stream, tough, explosive, powerful with many magic moments, playing sharp jazz with thick rock nuances in the layers. But in recordings they knew how to make it more ‘pop’, yet without having to loose the identity and true-self of Krakatau. This formula worked really well in placing them as legendary supergroup. But then the personnels parted ways. Some of them still kept the band alive, transforming the band into more ethniques especially the West Javanese, but this famous formation hibernated for 25 years.

Then in 2013 they gave shocking announcement about their return. Three years passed, this Krakatau Reunion is still solid, even stronger than ever. The players are not young anymore, but they are still filled with the same spirit and power just like two and a half decades ago.

Krakatau Reunion started with Indra Lesmana’s composition from their first album in 1987, “Passport”, followed by “Ironis” (Indra Lesmana, Dwiki Dharmawan and Mira Lesmana) from their 2nd album (1988), “Kemelut” (1987), and “Perjalanan” from “Kembali Satu” album (1989). The well known smooth jazz hits “Haiti” from the first album then brought the audience to a nostalgic moment, followed by Trie Utami presented their new single “Aku Kamu Kita” which will be included in the upcoming 2016 album set to be released later this year.

NSJF2016-Krakatau-Reunion (17)This special performance continued on with one of their most famous singles from the second album, “La Samba Primadona” which brought an action-packed duel between  Indra and Dwiki, followed by Gilang Ramadhan’s magical solo drum performance. Still having his special skills after all these years, Gilang’s solo performance delivered another Krakatau’s best “Kau Datang” from 1989. The single that brought Krakatau to stardom, “Gemilang” then brought the audience dancing and singing together. The atmosphere was unbelievable.

As predicted, the audience didn’t want to release them that easy. As an encore, a slow beat hit “Sekitar Kita” from their last album in 1992 , “Let There be Life.” What a moment, what a show, what an experience. All are unforgettable. And, what a way to close the festival.

NSJF2016-Krakatau-Reunion (16)There are many reasons why we take this edition as the best so far. First, the number of attendace rose dramatically. Many came late, but in the end it was solid full house until the end. Then the sound and acoustics of the hall was also way better than before. the world-class quality was found in each session, the rundown built up perfect dynamics, that should also be taken as the reasons. The participation of super jazz star from USA and Korea, the memorable huge blast from a supergroup, all created multi-eruptions that made this edition stood in different league.

North Sumatra acting governor Tengku Erry Nuradi came, gave a speech and then took picture with Krakatau Reunion showed how the local government support this festival. And thanks to the expressive, happening crowds, the North Sumatra Jazz Festival 2016 reached a huge success.

On behalf of everyone in Jazzuality.com, we congratulate Erucakra Mahameru, WEM, indiejazzINDONESIA and everyone behind the event for one amazing edition. It will be hard to beat, but we have no doubt you guys know what to do for next year. We are always proud to support you, a festival that’s not only presenting world-class quality of jazz and its varieties but also care of the local wisdom and our rich cultural heritage including traditional music. Keep it up, look forward to see you again in 2017!

See more pictures:

Reporter: Daniel Irawan
Photographer: Ferry Rumahorbo
Editor: Riandy Kurniawan

Riandy Kurniawan http://jazzuality.com <![CDATA[Grace Sahertian: HELA – Tracing Back the Roots]]> http://jazzuality.com/?p=16761 2016-05-20T09:04:21Z 2016-05-08T14:50:47Z GraceSahertian-Hela-JazzualityArtist: Grace Sahertian
Album: HELA
Released date: May 2016
Label: Demajors Independent Music Industry

We have known her for about 10 years as a natural born jazz influenced soul singer with wide vocal range, good controled perfect pitch. She tried several possibilities, she had some years of difficulties. But finally, at the end of 2015 we heard great news from her, that she is so ready to enter the new, brighter chapter, as a recording artist. She keeps us updated with the progress, and now the album is finally available in the market. She is Grace Sahertian, and her long awaited album is titled “HELA”.

Before we get down to see what the album is about, let’s get to know her deeper. She began her music career as the vocalist of Palm from Moodytunes which is spanned from 2006 to 2009. A year after that she dipped herself into a duo project, Grace & Tesla resulting one EP with thick world music nuance. Interestingly, at the same year she also joined the indie neo-soul group Cirlce O’Fifth and recorded two songs. One of the song “Honestunes” managed to enter the Indie Top Chart in Bandung. This song also created one nice quote from her that we still remember until now: “music always leads me to magic, music keeps me away from tragic.”

GraceSahertian4From there, she carried on by becoming a member of Margo Rising Stars which brought her to perform at the Java Jazz Festival from 2010 to 2014, playing with Benny Likumahuwa Jazz Connection at Ambon Jazz Festival. Other than these activities, she serves at a church along with Venche Manuhutu and son, David Manuhutu. She decided to pursue her solo career in 2011, but still she spent her time to support her friends, such as The Milo, Andezzz and the ladies band Starlite in 2014. She also collaborated with Iwan Fals in Konser Suara Untuk Negeri. Been there, done that. But at one point, Grace realized that she has to do something to make her dream come true. She has full authority to listen to her heart, in total control to pour out her feelings and anything that she has in mind. This album is the actualization of it all.

Speaking of her gift, she is a top-notch soul singer. The way she sings seems to have an endless strain of bright illumination. She doesn’t just sing but breathes soul into the song, letting them out from her heart, taking her audience/listener into serene and giving an enormous vibe of huge glimpse of what she felt through her music. Whether in soulful, chill, deep and gracious music or groovy, upbeat ones, she always does it sincere, honest and down to earth. She is a humble person who never forgets her friends and family, also someone who is deeply connected to the universe.

GraceSahertian-3Not just in music, Grace has fine art in her blood too, as she is also a fiber artist. This thick artistic DNA printed in her seems to push her to explore further, influencing each step she is taking in her music career. She becomes an artist who care much about details, she takes process seriously, she has wide imagination and know how to express her feelings into something real. That is why her works always speak loud about many thing. You can feel them as a result of long process with such depth that not only could describe who she is as a person but also what she has inside her heart and mind. From a pop soulful jazz she embraced world music, then urban music. Looking at the pattern of the path she takes, one could take a guess that she wouldn’t go that easy. During 2013 to 2014 she spent most of her time to find her musical identity and write songs. After three years, finally the result is finished as an artistic product, a debut album called “HELA” under Demajors.

Grace used this album as a vehicle to share many things of herself. Other than using it as a media to tell her life story, uniquely she also uses this album to ‘tracing back the roots’. With “HELA” Grace traces back the long history of her family name, Sahertian which came from Negeri Porto (the land of Porto), located in the province of Maluku, Saparua district. Grace seriously digged her roots, so serious that she even wrote the title track “HELA” using the Yamdena language, spoken in the western southeast of Maluku. This language is more than 200 years old and right now is nearly extinct.

GraceSahertian-1Other than this interesting title track, the album reflects the ‘fragile’ side of Grace. The songs speaks about the life process, from the moments of  sadness, anger, desperation, contemplation, until finally she came to a point where she had to stand up and keep moving. What’s also interesting is that she used mood board (a board with some photos on it) that became her point of references in creating and singing them. Having these guidelines allowed her to pour her emotion much deeper. “You could say that my music in this album is more progressive, explorative and telling. The music in each song works as an illustration of the story, and there can be some different parts describing the mood and lyrics,” says Grace.

The process of recording took around 3 months. Acting as the producer is Tesla Manaf, a stunning young Bandung-based guitarist who currently enjoys his international reputation through USA label, MoonJune Records. To us, Grace stated her satisfaction of having Tesla as her music producer. “Finally I found the perfect one. I am happy to have Tesla because seems to me he is the one who understands me the most.” says Grace to us.

Other than Tesla, Grace is supported by amazing ensemble of all-star casts. Ari ‘Aru’ Renaldi helped her in mixing and mastering plus her friends including Iwan Popo (keys), Rudy ‘Aru’ Zulkarnaen (bass), Topan Abimanyu and Ginda Bestari (guitars), Edward Manurung and Desal Sembada (drums), Brury Effendi (trumpet), Bejo (cello), Hadis ‘Hulhul’ Hendarisman (saluang/West Sumatra bamboo flute) and Zaki ‘4 Peniti’ (chant). For the backing vocals, Grace got Theoresia Rumthe, Eka Karya, Ayub Jonn, Puspallia Panggabean and Johanes Fayakun. Having such strong team like this enabled Grace to go into her feeling as deep as she could, search what she really wanted to do and how to bring it alive.

GraceSahertian-5The album opens up with the goosebumping “Hela”. Starting with a Gregorian chant-like, the song progresses to open a multi-dimensional door through time and space, exploring back the roots gloriously in Yamdena language. “Come on, row the boat to the center of the sea, don’t be afraid to the waves, don’t be afraid to the thunderous storm, keep rowing until we reach the opposite land.” That’s the translation of the lyrics. The haunting song is carried on with Grace’s punch of  “Freedom” which captures the feeling of recollection, repression, pain, unfairness, being chained until a shout of hope. This song is served in gospel blues (wonderful play by bluesman Ginda Bestari) and a splash of provokative experimental approach near the end. The soulful gospel blues still shines on in the third song “Better to Love” but much cheerful and sweeter in the spirit of Motown sound.

Grace goes chilling on the next track where jazz plays the role, “Picture Me”. Brury Effendy’s trumpet sound lifts the song even more, taking your breath away especially if you listen to it late at night. The emotional ballad “Fallin'” reminds us of how Sarah McLachlan did throughout 90’s. Bejo’s cello sound got quite dominant role in this one.

The combination of nu metal/alternative rock and hiphop like how Linkin Park became famous with actually works very well too with Grace’s soulful voice. In this track Tesla and Topan go rocking. Edward Manurung’s drum punches are strong, plus the vinyl scratch by DJ Abo is just awesome.

Then comes the single carrier which is served totally acapella: “Diam”. This song reflects what Grace experienced through her career. “I listened to what people said too much. It took me to nowhere. So then I decided to stop. I chose to rest mysel in silence, spent my time to contemplate, went into deep reflective thoughts until I finally found what I really wanted.” she says.

GraceSahertian-2There’s only one more music from Grace’s career that we haven’t found just yet, the world music which she is also passionate about. Well, the last track “Sun of Hope” serves this side of Grace in glorious way. The traditional bamboo flute from West Sumatra (saluang) played by Hulhul would catch your attention right from the start, and the chanting voice of Zaki Peniti is totally captivating. Listening to this song is like being taken in a journey into a dark, vast rainforest far deep down in Africa. We believe this song is also her attempt to get connected to earth and its beautiful nature, probably to the universe too.

For us who have been following her steps since the beginning, we are really proud of HELA. This is like a door to get to know her as a person, her wish, dream, feeling and thoughts. On the surface you might see an album served with many musical flavors, but actually everything in this album are related to the first 10 years of her career. So, other than exposing her true-self, this album also captures the road she’s been taking up until now. A poetic album with lots of stories in each chapter, artistic compositions perfectly executed, rich in variation but all connected, what a way to make a debut album. With HELA, Grace is opening herself and inviting you to know her and her artistic minds. Once a star in the making, now she is more than ready to shine up there.

Don’t Miss HELA – Tracing Back the Roots Concert!

GraceSahertian-Hela-ConcertPrior to the launching of this album, Grace Sahertian is inviting you all to celebrate it together through a special concert: HELA – Tracing Back the Roots. In this concert Grace will sing all songs from the album. Supporting her are Tesla Manaf (music director), Rayhan Sudrajat (guitar), Gantira Sena (drums), Omega Touselak (keys & synth bass), Faishal (keys & synth bass), Mega Ariani (Cello), Theoresia Rumthe, Puspallia Panggabean, Eka Karya, Ayub jonn, Johanes Fayakun (vocals) and Gracia Tobing (visual & multimedia). As the opening, Grace features a lethal blues guitarist who has just also released an album, Ginda Bestari. As mentioned above, Ginda filled one track in the album, “Freedom”.

The concert will be held on 14 May 2016, starting 7:00 pm at Auditorium IFI, Jl. Purnawarman no 32, Bandung.

Ticket price are:
IDR 50K (on spot) and IDR 35K (presale).
The ticket box are at IFI BAndung and Omuniuum.

Do come and enjoy the songs from the album live, then secure one for you. Let’s congratulate and wish her the best by coming to this special event.

Better to Love
Picture Me
Da Di De
Sun of Hope

The album will be available soon on our online store (http://store.jazzuality.com)

Visit Grace Sahertian’s official website: http://gracesahertian.com
Follow her social medias: @gracesahertian @graceMusicID

Written by: Riandy Kurniawan
Photos are taken from our collection and Dani Huda (provided by Bagus Nugroho)

Riandy Kurniawan http://jazzuality.com <![CDATA[Bumi Sangkuriang Jazz Night #5]]> http://jazzuality.com/?p=16757 2016-05-16T05:54:47Z 2016-05-03T09:54:12Z BSJazzNight5-Web

It’s the month of May, we are ready to launch the next stop for our event in cooperation with Venche Music School and Kanggep Kusuma, the BUMI SANGKURIANG JAZZ NIGHT #5. As you may already know, this event is set to run regularly on the second Thursday of each month. But for this edition, we have to move it to Tuesday (May 10th, 2016) because the ballroom will be occupied on Thursday. Because of that, please notice the time change so you won’t miss it.

We start this event in the spirit of bringing jazz back to home, based on the jazz history the building has for almost 60 years. We are carrying the legacy left by those who had built it before us, we wish to keep supporting the young talents, pushing the regeneration ahead, showcasing the vibrant jazz colours and providing good quality alternative for jazz lovers. In order to bring this concept alive, we combine the good local talents and those who have given contributions to jazz development from Jakarta. There have been considerably young jazz musicians who graduated from abroad, legends and iconic jazz names. This time we invites a piano master who embraces Latin jazz especially the wonderful Cuban music like no other, a pianist who has been living and breathing inside the jazz scene for no less than 20 years, Rio ‘El Montuno’ Moreno.

rio moreno, jazzuality, bumi sangkuriang jazz night, cherokee, el montuno

Perhaps some of you, our Indonesian readers, still remember a famous band at the turn of the millennium, Cherokee. It was Rio Moreno who formed it. The band consisting of talented young musicians who are into jazz. The album is rich in diversity by having influences from each member, including Rio’s Latin touch, the style he’s inspired in after listening to Michel Camilo and Arturo Sandoval.

Rio has been exploring his passion into the Latins by creating his own compositions that rooted in Brazilian, salsa, chacha, especially the Cuban son (music) Montuno. The Cuban music is simultaneously pianistic and percussive. It has its own rhytmic pattern, and that’s one of the essences that made him fell in love with the son Montuno. He was really into it, staying true with it, so true that one of his composition from Cherokee titled “El Montuno” later was rewarded to be his nickname. A couple of years ago he released his solo album, consisting of 8 songs titled in English, showing his attempt to get the international attention. You can order his album here: http://store.jazzuality.com/product/rio-moreno-el-montuno/.

Other than recording, Rio is one of the top names in jazz festivals for years. He has also played for four Indonesian presidents throughout his career, an achievemnt that not many musicians could get. So, Afro-Cuban latin and some Brazilians are going to shine in this 5th edition. It’s going to be melodious and rhytmical, let’s see if you can hold yourself from tapping your feet or even dancing.

puspallia panggabean, dyah sekar, puspa sekar, jazzuality, bumi sangkuriang jazz night

From local sources, we are happy to welcome two groups to taste the Bumi Sangkuriang stage for the very first time. Meet two ladies that recently joined forces and made impact in Bandung jazz/music scene, Puspallia Panggabean and Dyah Sekar who are establishing themselves as Puspa Sekar. Puspallia is like a acoustic duo specialist based on many duos that she was in, from Aperplea, Gallia to Uku et Alia. She was also stood as one of the vocalists of gypsy swing group Satura, and now still serves as the vocalist of the ‘interplanetary’ jazz joyride band, OCD. She now has more opportunities to establish her name in the capital by playing with jazz greats like Benny Likumahuwa, Oele Pattiselano and Nial Djuliarso. As for Dyah, this lady can be seducing whenever she puts her fingers on the keys. Dyah is mainly active in two ladies bands: the Jazzy Juice and SHE. Other than playing variety of genres on piano from jazz, classical, pop to Latins, she sings too occasionally.

Puspallia got interested in establishing a duo with Sekar when she watched her play at violinist Ammy Kurniawan’s gig. At that time Dyah played more classical, cheerful and lively. So she thought of establishing a duo for playing children songs. Why children? “Because that’s what I always wish to do.” said Puspall. Turn out Dyah liked the idea. That’s how Puspa Sekar was born. As time goes by, they decided to widen up the border. Not only playing children song, they are exploring other areas too like the American songbook or jazz standards. “Since we are still new, We want to try new things as many as possible.” said Puspall. For us, that’s a right choice. Looking at how passionate these young ladies are in jazz, we can expect beautiful performance from them. One is an flawless jazz vocalist, the other one is a sweet jazz pianist. Both have character and charming on stage. What could be wrong? We think it’s perfect match. Oh yeah, both Puspa and Sekar means flower. That’s a strange coincidence. We have been planning to invite these ladies to Bumi Sangkuriang Jazz Night with their each respective groups, but we actually got them together as a duo. It’s going to be a lovely session, you can bet on it.

5th avenue, divo entertainment, jazzuality, bumi sangkuriang jazz night

Next to mention is 5th Avenue. Since the moment the band began their journey some years ago, they set the music course towards jazz, funk, soul and rock. We have invited them several times at our other events and always love the way they bring jazz fusion and smooth jazz live from the stage. 5th Avenue is the Consolation Prize Holder of Jazz Goes to Campus 2014, but the guitarist Chris Alfeus actually won the Best Guitarist for this competition. No surprise, since Chris is a brilliant jazz guitarist that can make great arrangement. He can also scat singing along with guitar playing on the same note (or at the interval of an octave) just like George Benson and/or Mus Mujiono.

For Bumi Sangkuriang Jazz Night, 5th Avenue is going to try new colours. If usually they play by four, this time they are going to be a quintet. Other than the original members Chris, his girlfriend Stella Inke (piano) and their latest bassist Ilham Septia Inda Nugraha, they are having two new players on board: Ari Pramundito (drums) and Budy Prama Dongoran (saxophone). Eventhough these two lads are new, they are no stranger to us. We know they are good musicians with the same passion of fusion like 5th Avenue, so this should work nicely.

The concept of sharing the center stage with several melodious instruments are not new out there. Plenty of American jazz (fusion) bands have done it. In Indonesia there have been many bands adopting the concept too. But nowadays, more and more young musicians seem to go towards this path. As for 5th Avenue especially the frontman Chris, this is not something new. We have seen them executed the concept nicely. The quintet formation of 5th Avenue, guitar-saxophone-piano connection in front, that’s going to be interesting.

vms, vms rhythm section, jazzuality, bumi sangkuriang jazz night

Last but not least, being set to accompany Rio Moreno’s performance are two boys representing Venche Music School, the VMS Rhythm Section. On drums is Alman Naufal, and on bass we got the return of Ezra Manuhutu, the son of Venche Manuhutu, the founder of the school. If last time Alman stole the show with his manic, tranced drumming, let’s see how these boys would do in digging up son montuno and other authentic Latin flavors of Rio Moreno.

As mentioned earlier in the first paragraph, for this edition the Bumi Sangkuriang Jazz Night #5 will come a couple of days earlier than the regular schedule, on Tuesday, May 10th, 2016. Eventhough the day is moved earlier, one thing remains the same: you can enjoy the whole event for FREE! Soulful smooth jazz/fusion, jazz ‘flowers’ and the Cuban son montuno, wouldn’t it be cool? Alright. if you agree, come and have fun time with us!


Date: Tuesday, 10 May 2016
Time: 07:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Location: BP Bumi Sangkuriang
Jl. Kiputih no 12, Bandung