Java Jazz Festival 2011: Rasmus Faber and RaFa Orchestra, Chairul Umam Quintet and Gugun Blues Shelter

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Swedish Rasmus Faber is famous around the world as a DJ, but actually he’s more than just that. Besides, being one of the most energetic and captivating DJ, he’s also an active songwriter, producer, label owner (Farplane Records) and also a musician. Rasmus frequently appears in clubs around the world with his unique combination of DJing and playing jazz piano. The electro sound of Rasmus is electrifying, and he’s doing great on the dance scene as well as capturing the taste of wide range of audience. While he’s usually referred to electro urban sound, Rasmus‘ existence also lies in jazz. His father is a great jazz saxophonist, that gave him a big impact and shaped him uniquely like who he is today. He’s started playing piano since 6 years old and never stopped ever since. Rasmus even started as a jazz pianist first of all, playing in various bands also acted as an arranger for orchestras. When he got into the house music when he was 22, he implemented those experiences into his style. Clearly that makes him stand exclusively different than the rest of world’s famous DJs.

Taking more step, Rasmus established Rafa Orchestra where he features some of the most talented singers and musicians from Sweden and other corners of the world. One of the blasting show they had was “Live in Tokyo“, a show that listed as one of the world’s most exciting live acts. Now he brought the excitement from Tokyo to Indonesia and blasted it at Java Jazz Festival 2011.
Chairul Umam Kwintet (6)

Here’s a dangerous boppin’ saxophonist. Chairul Umam or Irul is active in Yogyakarta’s jazz scene. Not only great as a saxophonist, he’s also capable as arranger, just like he show in Ngayogjazz 2011 compilation album where he did a cool rearrangement on famous Javanese folk, “Cublak Cublak Suweng“. At the Java Jazz Festival 2011 he brought his quintet named Chairul Umam Quintet which was established not too long ago in September 2010. This quintet featured his friends who graduated from ISI Jogja like him such as Andy Gomez (piano) and Deo Prasastyo (guitar). Adhitya (drum) and Erwin Suryajaya (bass) completed the formation, plus Tommy and Inez on vocal. Nice fusion with many flavors were sent from the stage, taking well known song such as “How High The Moon“, “One Note Samba“, “Giant Step” and many more. As Irul is into John Coltrane, Miles Davis and Charlie Parker, he showed how wild he could go just like the big cats mentioned.

Gugun Blues Shelter (1)

If you are looking for any Indonesian blues band, Gugun Blues Shelter always comes up in our mind first. Gugun Blues Shelter is consisted of Muhammad Gunawan (vocal/guitar), John Armstrong (bass), and Aditya “Bowi” Wibowo (drummer). This is the first band project of Gugun in which they have been well-known around Jakarta music scenes since the 90’s. They also have released 2 albums titled “Gugun” and “The Bluesbug“. They have played internationally in few festivals such as in England, Skegness Rock and Blues Festival, in Timbre Rock and Roots Festival in Singapore also Shanghai World Expo in China. Next May 2011, they will be going to England to perform several shows. Gugun is well known as the best Blues guitarist in South East Asia. Probably most people think that Gugun Blues Shelter is just another rock band, however, they actually offer more than just rockin’ beats. Gugun Blues Shelter owns skills to carry out wide array of genres, and especially jazz. They will be releasing their newest album this year in USA titled “Gugun Power Trio“.

Today’s performance by Gugun Shelter Blues were very interactive, they also inserted some humours in between the songs to raise up the audiences’ spirits. They carried out two songs from their newest album that will be released soon in USA titled “Funky Chicken” and “Mission“. They also performed some tunes from their previous albums, “When I’m Gonna See You Again” and a song that had been requested throughout the show, “6 30“. They also covered a song from John Mayall, “Key to Love” as Muhammad Gunawan, the guitarist mentioned in memory of Gary Moore, who covered the song before as well.

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Reporter: Riandy KurniawanEdria KosasihDaniel Irawan,  Ata MichaellaArdhi SaputroMuhammad Petto Fadhly, Bayu Kurnia Aji

Photographer: Febrian DirgaDwi Ratri Utomo, Marnala Eross Simanjuntak

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