Our very own greatest jazz festival in the world, Java Jazz Festival 2009 has just ended. Although to some, the artists lineup didn’t come up as big as the past Java Jazz couple of years back then, the festival itself actually comes bigger and better. The whole 3 days filled with more stages, more daily performances and even more attendance which reached the target of 72.000 audience. For a jazz extravaganza, this all you can eat – jazz hypermarket now offers 210 performance and about 2200 local and international personnels. There were 6 special shows for this year, it was double amount compare to years before, and it’s hard to deny the organizers could handle the tight schedule almost perfectly well.
THE JASON MRAZ HYPER-HYPE
In that special show area, comes Jason Mraz, Brian McKnight, Swing Out Sisters, Dianne Reeves, and Laura Fygi, but the most noted hype this year comes from the most happening Jason Mraz with his hit single “I’m Yours”.
Jason’s tickets got sold out long before the early bird ends, and resulted hysterical panic at the office, thus the organizers tried everything they could to held the second show for anyone who doesn’t get the tickets. The second show later was scheduled on Saturday, and again, got the hyper-hype that the organizers had to limited the ticket selling only at the Java Festival Production office.
PEABO BRYSON AND MATT BIANCO
Beside the special shows, the other highlights includes Ivan Lins, Tom Scott, Dave Valentin, The New York Voices, Chielli Minucci & Special EFX, Chuck Loeb, Harvey Mason, Eliane Elias, Bobby Lyle, Oleta Adams, Simon Phillips, Mike Stern, Dave Weckl, Kirk Whalum, David Garfield, Ledisi, the Java Jazz Festival inhouse residence (Michael Paulo, Brian Simpson, Everette Harp) and many others but the crowdest audience this year belongs to Peabo Bryson and Matt Bianco. While Peabo Bryson’s romantic atmosphere has been very famous in Indonesian audience, Matt Bianco paid their dues for the failure performing in last year’s festival. The longwaiting for their fans has now also got paid with Matt Bianco’s two times performance on Friday and Saturday.
This year’s festival also featured two tributes concert to the late legendary artists, one for the great Luther Vandross which collaborated Kirk Whalum, Everette Harp, Chuck Loeb, Ledisi, Paulette McWilliams, Rex Rideout, John Stoddart, Hans Zermuehlen, “Little” John Roberts, Darrell Crooks and Kevin Wyatt, and the other for the Indonesian’s music treasure, Chrisye, brought by Glenn Fredly. Both the shows worked majestically bringing the memory of those two greatest talents in music history. It touched every hearts, and our hearts should be, too.
In the world music area, as before, Java Jazz Festival still features jazz artists from other parts of the world. One noted themes of this world music now comes from India, which offers performers from upcoming 2010 India Jazz Festival. Taaq, Purple Circle, Prasanna, Dhruv Ganekar, Something Relevant and Moon Arra were the bands that showing us jazz also happening in India, with their very own style of mixing this genre still with India’s traditional touch. It’s different, It’s huge, and It’s something you must have not missed.
SLANK GOES JAZZ
This year’s festival puts the surprise in rock phenomenon Slank goes jazz, and not only successfully transforming their edgy folkrock music into the touch of jazz, but also got a very special suppport from the international performers like Tony Monaco, Michael Paulo, and Ron King, all rolled into one great shows ever held in Java Jazz Festival.
THE GREAT LOCAL OPPORTUNITIES
Beside Slank, the other local lineups includes the reunited comeback of KLa Project, Humania, Emerald, Chaseiro, some most happening bands like Maliq n d’Essentials, Afgan, RAN, Ecoutez, Syaharani & The Queenfireworks, and also two new sensation Vidi Aldiano & Gruvi that we should be thankful for hyped the jazz genre in Indonesian music for the youngsters. Java Jazz Festival 2009 even puts a contest to other local regions to introduce another sub genre of jazz by blending their very own traditional taste within, and the one who got this opportunity was Medan Jazz Community from Medan, North Sumatra. Combining modern instruments with the traditional Gondang Batak (traditional North Sumatra’s percussion) and Serunai (traditional bamboo flute) in various international and local folksongs, this community band has done their attractively solid performance on the first day of Java Jazz Festival 2009. Don’t forget the great collaboration between Norway and Indonesia in Gamelan Shockbreaker.
Overall, this is the festival you’ll always be looking forward to, and be glad to ever experienced it in your lifetime. Our best regards and respects to the whole organizer who successfully arranged it even better in years. With many different colors offered, it was truly a festival for all. Prepare yourself for the even bigger Java Jazz Festival 2009 next year at its new venue, and SEE YOU AT JAVA JAZZ 2010!