As night went by, Jakarta International Expo Kemayoran kept filling up with people from around the nation just to see this valuable music momentum. The first day of Java Jazz Festival 2013 kept going till the hands of the clock kept ticking with enthusiasm because there were still many great performer to list through.
Then another taste of mixed acoustic soul, folk & RnB came from Bonita and the Husband, with Bonita distinctive vocal character with some heavy soul voice that powerful and very deep expression of songs with guitar accompaniment from Adoy, blowing saxophone of Jimmy and the drum beat of Eli. With one album spread in the market, they are looking forward to establish themselves higher and better in the music scene. Meanwhile, Vriidom represented Bale Jazz Community’s participation this year.
One of the legendary percussionist we attributed to Karim Suweileh. Born in Surabaya, he brings us a tremendous satisfactory in enjoying the jazzy swing sensation through his beats. Karim Suweileh, who also performed in many previous editions has already made many collaboration with some of the founding of jazzy soul in Indonesia such as Jack Lesmana, Nick Mamahit, Bill Saragih, Didi Chia and so on. Lately he carries on by forming a band named Karim Suweileh and Jazzy Quintet which can serves a lot of highly qualified music experience. With his richeous experience, and the talented other band members, we surely know that he would land his jazzy soul right in the heart of the audiences, yes he really did it.
Two special tributes were happening at the same time in two different spots. The first one was made honoring the late legend who passed away 2 years ago, Utha Likumahuwa, brought by the amazing vocal harmony group Jamaica Cafe and Dinni Budiayu. Had Utha still alive, we would surely see himself on stage, but his spirit still lives on inside our hearts especially when his fellow artists gave a big respect to him in a performance like this. Then another tribute took part at the other spot. Honoring the most influential jazz musician in 20th century which known as Miles Davis, Miles Smiles took a chance to gather all of star cast of Miles Davis alumni to create a project in remembering the legend. Last year, they held a European Tour throughout Spain, Italy, and Finland. The performance themselves was a satisfactory indeed. This united of big talented personels surely will give a big shot at their performance in the up-coming Java Jazz Festival 2013. Who were in it? Quite crazy names we should say. Larry Coryell, Joey DeFrancesco, Omar Hakim, Daryll Jones, Rick Margitza and Wallace Roney, all paid a respectful tribute to Mr Miles. Well, this major gathering of Miles Davis associates should not be missed at all. It turned out as a spectacular show.
Java Jazz Festival offered a smart collaboration between Indonesian jazz group LLw and a trumpet virtuoso from USA, Maurice Brown once again after the last year’s memorable action. LLw now consists of Indra Lesmana on keyboard, Barry Likumahuwa on bass, and Ibnu Rafi on drums. They always put modern urban side in their jazz box. Tonight they performed “Friday Call” and “Stretch and Pause” with Kyriz Boogiemen’s energetic rap. The blend of LLW’s music met the thick R&B, soul, and jazz of Maurice Brown’s eventually led them to an attractive show. When Eva Celia showed up, “Love Life Wisdom” entertained the crowd elegantly.
Speaking more of this collaboration, Maurice Brown was actually in Indra Lesmana’s mind when he worked the concept of the album Love Life Wisdom, but it failed to happen due to the busy schedule of Brown. Last year LLw finally got the chance to collaborate with Brown with an excellent result. The collaborative work between Indra Lesmana and Maurice Brown even flourished in another session, Tribute to Herbie Hancock. Since LLw has gotten a new, younger drummer that can keep the game on, their collaboration felt fresh and different than the 2012 session. Looking at the magic brought by this partnership, we can’t help but hope Maurice Brown will be able to take part in the second album of LLw.
It was a pleasure joy to meet the famous jazz trumpeter with urban sound again. Roy Hargrove is listed among great trumpeters who dedicated themselves to jazz plus eager to open up new terrains. He leads two interesting bands, the RH Factor and Roy Hargrove Quintet, both are scheduled at this 9th edition. Today he brought his quintet first where he earfeeded his audience with slices of classic Blue Note style of bebop/straightahead and smooth jazz with traces of funk. Naughty and wild party hit us hard. With Hargrove’s in the house, the fun factor rose over the roof.
At the Java Jazz Stage, the American singer-songwriter Emily Elbert now takes her place up front with her fresh, youthful, free-flow of jazz. With her guitar at ease, she seemed to enjoy every bit of melodies and lyrics that she performed on stage. It was like the folk, soul, jazz, and pop that she played was simply a part of her everyday routine, therefore nicely delivered. Charming yet powerful could be one way to describe her music personality that amusingly took over the crowd’s deepest sense. Geez, Emily. A true one-of-a-kind.
As Milkiway performed at the other stage, the pianist prodigy brought magic at Semeru Garuda Indonesia Hall. Have you ever heard “Re-imagination”? Say yes and give a shout to Eldar Djangirov. Being reviewed as dramatic personage due to his piano play, this rare gem came to the Java Jazz Festival this year to show Indonesia’s crows about his melodic attention in every of his work. He was nominated for Grammy in 2008 and received endless praises due to his magic touch. Mention lists of festivals he kicked like Tokyo Jazz Festival, Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, Vienna Jazz Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, and San Francisco Jazz Festival. You name it, the world is in his hand, and now he’s tasted another jazz festival, this time the biggest one in the world. Tonight he also let his fingers present Radiohead’s “Morning Bell” which was captivating.
Calvin Jeremy has become one of Indonesia male singers who will participate in this annual event. Starting his debut as singer in 2010, most of his songs always soar up in the top 10 charts in numerous radio stations in Indonesia. His 2011 was very delightful for he’s been invited as guest star on “All Stars Sunday Afternoon Party” or well-known as ASAP Rocks, Philippines’’ weekly music program. Furthermore, in his 3rd year in Indonesia music industry he will show us how “pop and jazz” he is through Java Jazz Festival 2013. Speakeasy gave doses of soulful groove which was easy to hear and love.
RAN is running quickly since the beginning of their establishment as a trio in Indonesia. It’s been seven years of their togetherness, and this time they will come up together with other musicians for Java Jazz Festival 2013. They performed “Hari Baru”, the newest single from RAN which has been launched this January.
The fuse of funk, jazz, soul and hip hop from Balance and the Travelling Sound will hook you up in fun groove. They seem like traveling through sounds in balanced portion to open up a new musical horizon with soul, funk, jazz and hip-hop-inspired grooves. This group is composed of producer EBO, MC KIRB, vocalist Mike Eddie, drummer Brijesh Pandya, saxophonist Jeff Kolhede, guitarist Ryan Kern, and bass guitarist Scott Fulton. Coming from the coasts of Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego, they wrap up an interesting combo of what you call “a little bit of this and a little bit of that” into music you will want to hear over and over again.
A gloriously talented Indonesian jazz female jazz singer Andien is next to woo the crowd. She’s proudly had quite a number of collaborations with other music artist both from the local and international region. Besides this year, she performed in the JJF years 2005, 2008, and 2010. Through her standout smooth jazzy vocals, she managed to take over the full atmosphere of the night.
Look at what we found in the other hall! We got another magical partners who have produced loads of top quality fruits, Lee Ritenour and Dave Grusin. More than a jazz legend, Dave Grusin is very well known as a composer, arranger, producer and pianist. With Larry Rosen, he was also a founder of iconic jazz records company called GRP. He created more numbers of legendary jazz artist than any records company has ever done in the history of jazz. His long time carreer since his first single, “Subways Are For Sleeping” in 1962 followed by many years of composing cinema scores including “Winning”, “The Friends Of Eddie Coyle”, “Three Days Of Condor”, “The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter”, “The Graduate”, “The Champ”, “On Golden Pond”, “Tootsie”, “The Goonies”, “Heaven Can Wait”, “Falling In Love”, “The Milagro Beanfield War”, “Havana”, “Tequila Sunrise”, “The Fabulous Baker Boys”, “Selena”, “For The Boys”, “The Firm” and “Random Hearts”. These bags of masterpieces have given him many Academy Awards nominations and 12 Grammys for his albums. In last decades, Grusin has done many tourings and recordings in collabration with his close friend Lee Ritenour. They have produced some collaboration albums such as Grammy winning Brazilian album “Harlequin” (1985), “Two Worlds” (2000) and “Amparo” (2008).
So how about Lee Ritenour? This man also has a long spanning and fruitful career. In over 5 decades he’s been placing himself in between the role of frontman, influential partners and important supporting players. What’s also unique is how he still holds the enthusiasm and curiousity of youth while at the same time showing his wisdom due to the experience he’s been collecting. He was here supporting the festival in 2010 where we got an interview session with him (read it here: http://jazzuality.com/interview/exclusive-interview-with-lee-ritenour/). In this interview he told us his success recipe. “The reason that I still love making music is I keep changing. You know, keep growing, try new things.” That keeps him in passion to give more great things in the music industry, particularly jazz. Another words from him that we love to quote is “The best way to hear jazz music is to hear live.” That’s what Java Jazz Festival is very great for, according to him. We can also see how much he love music especially his weapon, because he even did the interview while kept playing his guitar (!).
In this year’s festival, the long awaited Grusin appeared as one of its greatest highlight with Lee Ritenour. Name some of his greatest works known here such as “Mountain Dance” which also used as the theme from “Falling In Love” and Stephen Bishop’s ‘It Might Be You’ from Tootsie. So besides the beautiful collaboration we got between them, they also presented such ‘Cinemagic’ experience. What a moment!
From the Ron King Big Band, this time we’ve got Ron King Quintet Special Guest Yannick Bovy twice performing at the International Java Jazz Festival 2013 three-day show – the first and the second day were their takes and maximum output is what they brought with them on stage with Ron as composer and Yannick Bovy as special guest in their quintet.
Been performing in many events whether national or international, saxophonist Donny Koeswinarno has proved to many of us that wherever place you come from, there’s always a possibility to share the most touching and understanding language in our universe: music, to each other. Performing on jazz genre, Dony has been collaborated with many well-known orchestras in Indonesia. With his vast experience, he’s been also flawlessly performed abroad. He involved in Ubiet & Southeast Kroncong perform at Darwin Festival and the Brisbane Power House Autralia. In the same year, he also performed with Ubiet Dony & Kroncong Konzerthaus concert in East Berlin and the Haus der Kulturen der Welt-Berlin. In the early 2011, he released an album with his group the Pitoelas Big Band. Also, as we know it, he’s been a regularly performing in many jazz events in Indonesia.
When Diego Maroto from Mexico launched his substantial saxophone work at the Kementerian Pariwisata & Ekonomi Kreatif Hall, on the other stage we got challenging soundscape from three jazz stuntmen. Since the Heaven On Earth formed five years ago, slowly but surely this band gains the place they really deserve in the top scene. The band consists of three ‘mad’ men who can flip the jazz upside down: Tedjo Bhayu (Piano/Keyboard), Ossa Sungkar (Drum) and Franky Sadikin (bass). Carrying the progressive side of fusion, they have already been performed in many jazz events such as Jazz Goes To Campus ( JGTC ), Jakarta International Jazz Festival (JakJazz), SOlo City Jazz besides playing at this biggest jazz festival on earth. Challenging, loads of improvisations over the repertoires, they stunned the audience with it all.
Femininely powerful, full of character and putting it in a simple way, enjoyable. The very first day of the International Java Jazz Festival 2013 was joyfully treated with the award-winning English soul singer Joss Stone. Really, what’s not to like about this sweet soul? She rose to fame in the year 2003 and since then succeeded in expressing to the world her strong taste and passion in music and here she is now, at the D2 Djarum Super Mild Hall cheering her fans in Indonesia with her vocal talents. Some songs she sang were “Free Me”, “I Don’t Want to Be You Landlord Anymore”, “Spoiled”, “Jet Lag”, “Right to Be Wrong”, and “Tell Me What We’re Gonna Do Now”. Accompanying here were energetic backing vocals. In the end of her show, Joss Stone threw flowers one by one to the satisfied audience. One of the biggest bang in this 9th edition of Java Jazz Festival, we can see it not only by the hype before the D-day but also by the long queue in front of the hall even hours before she started. What a big catch for this year!
While the Special Show of Joss Stone running, the other stages still carried on with large enough number of crowds. The first and only one vocal jazz group from Thailand, Mellow Motif lead by Natasha Patamapongs (vocal), a Thai-American singer and Eugene Ang (Guitarist), a passionate pianist from Singapore who had won some of precious award due to his amazing talent. They established this band with other talented personels. Their previous remarkable performance was in February 17th, 2013 in the event “Jazz For Lover” at Siam Pavalai Theater, Siam Paragon. The combination of original, playful sound with lighthearted arrangements has gained respects from many musicians. They also have a massive fans from across the region. F.Y.I., they just released newest album “Sabuy Dee”. Back to the ground, their band stands as the first representative Thailand jazz group ever performed at the Java Jazz Festival. Not the first time for us to see and listen to Natasha’s beautiful jazz vocals, but this time it’s different since she comes with her well established group. Carrying a light, passionate and energetic taste, Mellow Motif surely is a must listen to you jazzers! The Collaboration took the other hall at the same time.
A post bob jazz saxophonist from USA and a Grammy Award winner, Kenny Garrett. His appearance was one of performances that should not to be missed by all jazz lovers. We knew that he was a personnel of Miles Davis’s Band and Duke Ellington Orchestra, so there’s no hesitate at all that Kenny Garrett has a strong influence to jazz scene. He was also a member of a group of great jazz musicians, The Five Peace Band. At Java Jazz 2013, Kenny Garrett and his quintet group conjured the hall into a box of magnificent jazz entertainment.
Blessed by her singing talent, this 29-year old woman, Mara Sophie exactly knows what she has in her. The singer who released the jazzy pop album Great Day, in her young age has already had many stage experiences along with many great talents such as the legendary Rita Reys where she supported the jazz performance. She did backing vocals with great Dutch singer and member of the voice of Holland jury, Angela Groothuizen. She also sang in the presence of her Royal Highness Princess Margriet of The Netherlands and Mr Pieter van Vollenhoven, in November 2010 and 2011 at the opening of the Peter Stuyvesant Ball in New York. All of those experiences made Mara Sophie becomes more and more confident chasing her dream. Well, with all the talent she has, she brought a fascinating experience at this year’s event.
On the other stage we got a very special group. Known as the American jazz fusion band, Spyro Gyra often considered as smooth jazz band by the fans. Formed in mid-1970 by alto saxophonist Jay Beckenstein and keyboardist Tom Schuman, drummer Lee Pearson, bassist Scott Ambush, and guitarist Julio Fernandez. Spyro Gyra has released over 30 albums, 12 grammy nominations with over 10 million copies sold, from Amherst Records, MCA Records, GRP and Windham Hill, which made them one of the successfull band in their genre. Their music blended a very influential smooth jazz with elements of fusion, funk, pop, R&B. Except the super hit “Morning Dance” (from the same titled album) they also have some other popular songs such as “You Can Count On Me” (previously unreleased track from Spyro Gyra Collection/1991) and “Together” from the album 20/20 which became a big hit in many major radio stations 16 years ago. Another song of them which topped the radio charts in Indonesia is “Send Me One Line” featuring Alex Ligertwood on vocals. At the Java Jazz Festival 2013 Spyro Gyra gave the crowds happy time by playing selected songs ranging from their latest album in 2011 to the chart toppers, of course including their timeless one “Morning Dance”. Other songs were “Free Times”, “Catchin’ the Sun”, “De La Luz”, “Dancing on Table Mountain”, “Expect Miracle”, and “Shaolin Wall”. Next year they will celebrate their 40th anniversary. Passing a long, fruitful years and stronger than ever, we can be sure that there will be many more decades of success coming from them. Thank you Spyro Gyra for giving up the kind of show which brought smile and joy to our hearts!
For more than ten years, Nola, Widi, and Cynthia Lamusu stood as one of the iconic pop trio in Indonesia. Long in silence, the trio previously known as AB3 now re-emerged to the surface under a new name, B3. The interesting thing was, they carried something different from their usual performances. Seeing and listening to a preferential jazz appearance by B3 was an unforgettable moment.
As Suddenly September spoiled our ears with their ear-catchy melodies and fun, singable lyrics, the other hall got a fresh, new band. They took Mike Mohede, an Indonesian Idol winner with soulful voice to bless the stage.
After supporting many groups including his father’s band Idang Rasjidi Syndicate, the young but highly experienced bassist Shadu Rasjidi now steps forward with his own team. Calling the band as Shadu Rasjidi Band, he plays alongside his compatriotes including his brother Shaku Rasjidi (drums), Fanny Kuncoro (keyboard), Ticco Laksana (guitar), Indra Dauna (trumpet) and Fabion (saxophone). With this team Shadu fulfills his passion in jazz-rock fusion, something that he’s always been good at and has brought him to perform outside the country, for example when he performed abroad side by side with the legendary pianist Bob James last year. It’s a new chapter of Shadu’s career, it’s about time and based on what we saw, he’s on the right track with promising partners in crime.
At the sharpness of 00:00, sleepy eyes remain out of the zone especially when a big plate of fusion melodies and positive energy are up to ring the stage of the B1 Hall MLD Spot. Let’s welcome the souls of jazz in collaboration with flows of groovy rock known as Donny Suhendra Power Fusion Trio! Weeks before the showdown, Donny promised to burn the stage with a fired-up performance. “Get ready to see me and my trio. We will blow the stage with positively energetic fusion,” he said. He kept his promise really well by dropping the bomb right on spot. His long time partner bassist Adi Darmawan and young drummer Mohamad Iqbal worked tremendously in providing supports for Donny to run wild over the fret. All this, plus Samuel Budiono, Donny’s compatriote in his early 80’s band, D’Marszyo. Not that big number of players, but it felt like watching a big gang of gangster, tearing down the stage, in terms of musically speaking.
Krishna Balagita seems to have returned to the jazz zone and is currently working on a new music project. This time he’s picked up “Sacred Geometry” as the title of his project which consists of ten instrumental jazz songs. A quarter of an hour after midnight on the very first day of the International Java Jazz Festival, Krishna is accompanied on his play with Adenanda Refano as bassist, Aditya ”Bowie Gugun Blues Shelter/Tohpati Bertiga” Wibowo on the drums, and Aditya Bayu as guitarist. Together they served the crowd at the Lawu Acoustic Hall with some of their composition works from the very own project, such as “Something Unusual”, “Rest In Peace”, “Sincerety” as well as a few from their album Sign of Eight that are musically rearranged to suit with the acoustic quartet that they will be performing in. The project has been played several times before with a different combination of musicians such as the time at the Red & White Jazz Lounge and New Friday Jazz Nite-Pasar Seni Ancol. And this time, Krishna Balagita is once again invincibly extraordinary in his play tonight!
A duo from Bandung called Suave with Aldi Nada Permana (guitar/vocal) and Lafa Pratomo (guitar). Aldi and Lafa were actually a student from UPI and UNPAD that have performed far outside Bandung, for example at the Ambon Music Festival on October 2011.They performed under the notes of acid jazz, experimental, funk, dance music, electronic with inspirators that vary from Robert Glasper, Mark de Clive Lowe and Cro Magno.
For horn lovers, this name should be very familiar. Yep, the trumpet virtuoso Maurice ‘Mobetta’ Brown, stepping into the international sphere as a musician, composer, bandleader, and performer. He surely knows how to get that bebop twisted around into a catchy hip-hop with one of his successful albums “Hip to Bop” and now the latest “The Cycle of Love”. Maurice is a grammy award winning musician that has worked together with a large number of artist such as Aretha Franklin, Roy Hargrove, Kendra Ross with just a few to name. He’s been recognized by the world as musician with great talent and the capability of blending together hip hop and jazz to create a fresh feed to the audience.
Now we’ve arrived at the time where Day 1 of the Jakarta International Djarum Super Mild Java Jazz Festival 2013 has come to an end. Keep this in mind – it’s only the very first day and the performers had got it all going on! Every corner of the arena has been blessed with a blissful blast. Just don’t take a halt here because, what’s better is, Saturday and Sunday are expected no less fabulous and kickin’!
See more pictures:
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Reporter: Riandy Kurniawan, Daniel Irawan, Khairiyah Sartika Syofian, Mellysa Anastasya, Ata Michaella, Sharon Patricia Kandou, Bintang Steffy Tania, Kenny Laia, Ghea Sagita
Photographer: I Putu Surya KB, Praditya Nova, Anggha Nugraha, Qaedi Fuadillah, Omar Arif Maulana, Alfi Widoretno
Team: Vierna Mariska Kurniawan, Muhammad Fadhly