I Wayan Balawan is a jazz guitarist from Ubud, Gianyar, Bali. He was born on September 1973, and grew up around the Balinese gamelan music environment. He started playing guitar when he was still 8 years old, and made his first band when he was 14 years old. When he reached 20 years old, he went to Sydney to study at the Australian Institute of Music under a scolarship, then he came back to Bali and formed Batuan Ethnic Fusion, where he brilliantly combining Balinese gamelan music and jazz. Until now, he’s considered as one of the most famous and favorite Indonesian jazz guitarist.
Balawan has a really special style. His “Touch Tapping Style” (almost like Stanley Jordan style), a style with eight finger plays to tap the fretboard, covering all the bass, chord and melody all alone. His left hand handles chord and bass, while the right hand tapped the melody, which resembles piano playing. His albums are all great, combining Balinese instruments with jazz fusion. You’ll feel the magical Balinese feeling in the shape of jazz, amazing blend of ethnical eastern side of the world with the western world, all in the plays of brilliant guitarist, Balawan.
– GloBALIsm (with Batuan Ethnic Fusion) (2000)
– Balawan (2001)
– Magic Finger (2005)
– Trisum (trio guitarists band with Dewa Budjana & Tohpati) (2007)