After two days of total fun, we still got another day to jazz. The Java Jazz Festival 2013 delivered nonstop action on Friday and Saturday with nothing but the best stars from all around the world. So what’s happening on the last day? We’re going to spill it out for you.
The event ran early around 2:30 pm with at least 3 groups to start with. The Crickets took the Djarum Lounge, Soul Bridge at Masima Stage, and Galaxy Jazz Big Band was also back again to the festival. This big band is unique not only because it comprises of expatriates mostly from Japan, but also since the band is like a festival specialist. It has performed in almost all big sized festival. Other than the festival you’re reading right now, they’ve been participating at JakJazz and Bekasi Jazz too, just to mention a few. The Galaxy Big Band founded in 1992 by 3 men: Kenji Murayama, Toshio Kataoka and Arimichi Handa. What we always love from them is the way they pour swing, blues, funk and beyond through well-known songs. Sing a long is always a must.
Soul Bridge, Butterscotch, Kaori Kobayashi came right after, also Aboda. Speaking of Aboda, this band of siblings was known as a Christian band but later extended their course to go outside the church wall to send the message of love to the society. Aboda is a Hebrew word means “working, praising and serving”, so you can take a guess what the Noya brothers: Timotius, Fanuel, Filemon and Clement have as their mission. Speaking of music style, they bring the positive message through smooth jazz and light fusion. God bless you guys for blessing others.
At the same time, a music teacher who has produced so many successful talents, Andi Wiriantono played under his group simply called Andi Wiriantono & Friends together with Franky Sadikin (Bass), Ossa Sungkar (Drums), Karty Rosen (Guitar), and Devian (saxophone), last but not least a young singer with amazing vocal quality, Nesia Ardi. Since at least 2 years ago he decided to emerge on the surface, pursuing his career as playing musician other than still continuing his service as a piano teacher. The last time we watched him was at the Jazz Goes to Campus 3 months ago, again we got entertained by his spontaneous jazz streams, backed by strong team behind him. David Helbock sealed his contribution in another ‘acrobatic’ jazz-fingers show.
Oddie Agam is a very popular name in our music history. He has a unique vocal tone and great as a song writer. Many of his songs remain classic such as “Antara Anyer dan Jakarta” (popularized by Sheila Majid), “Kesempatan” and so on. We might not hear him too much lately, but actually he’s still active in the industry. We still remember when he started his journey, but time goes really fast because now he’s celebrating his 4 decades of service. If we rarely saw him sing jazz before, now he chose to celebrate his 40 years career in jazz. 40 years isn’t short, yet we hope there will be many more years of success for him. We still need someone highly gifted like Oddie Agam in order to make our music industry filled with quality songs we all can be proud of. He was accompanied with Twilite Orchestra and set of singers including Glenn Fredly who sang “Arti Kehidupan” and Lala Karmela on “Memori”, Tompi and many more. They closed the performance with Sheila Madjid’s hit “Antara Anyer dan Jakarta”. Congratulations Oddie Agam, wish you the best for at least another 40 more years!
Speaking of pianist from the younger generation, there’s a name we have to mention. It’s Ade Irawan, who already shone bright while he was still living in USA in his early teenage years. He can’t see, but this young man is blessed with amazing fingers that can make magical jazz streams over the keys. Other than supporting many fellow musicians, including many seniors, he also established his own groups called Ade & Brothers, which he brought to perform at this 9th edition of Java Jazz Festival.
Out of Ordinary presented something more than ordinary jazz gig, then at the other place Abdul & the Coffee Theory gave pop swingin’ and groovy jazz treat. What is Coffee Theory and what does it have to do with a band? Quite odd name to use, but they use this name because they actually digged the concept while chit-chatting in the coffee shop. The frontman Abdul is gifted with smooth vocal and know how to grab the attention with good stage act. Today this band is one of the top indie bands, you can see it by the number of fans coming to their show. The songstress we knew for her vocal on Tohpati’s song “Lukisan Pagi” named Shakila filled one of the Sunday’s schedule.
Many artists repeated their great performances after the previous two days of the festival. Trumpeter Maurice Brown, the Japanese duo Fried Pride, The Soul Rebels were on almost at the same time. Phil Perry sealed his collaborative act with Brian Simpson too. Then, let’s think this over. What would happen when 3 jazz gods join forces together? There could be many things, but for sure you will get something unexpected, often far exceeding our thought. That’s the case of Indra Lesmana, Gilang Ramadhan and Pra Budidharma. Taking the name Kayon from the Tree of Life found in wayang (shadow puppets) performance, this trio goes into the surrealistic musical realm that seldomly visited by others. In just two albums they embarked such journey visiting the land of hard bop, free jazz, progressive fusion with splashes of ethnics and experiments here and there.
Speaking of their ethnic packages, this group decided to bring the concept alive by using the modern instruments instead of bringing the traditional ones in. Having said that, the bass guitar of Pra Budidharma was built in slendro scales, while Gilang’s drumset is equipped with some kendangs. Joining them, Indra Lesmana flies freely exploring the jazz terrains. Just the three of them, but what we got is always something outstanding and spectacular. This supergroup doesn’t appear regularly, but once they’re formed, you will directly experience the madness. Such thing happened at this year’s edition. They stunned the crowds by their acrobatic manouvers which sometimes seemed easy for them yet unbelievable for us. Speaking of magical performance only brought by three players, Kayon stands in a different league.
Then it’s time for us to check out the stage where a lady professor did her thing. Tjut Njak Deviana Daudsjah is considered as one of the best talents the world currently possesses. She spent 36 years of her life in Germany and Switzerland, performing around Europe also made several recordings. The reason why she’s said to be one of the best artists in the world is because she’s active in many fields, including a playing musicians (pianist), vocalist, composer, arranger, conductor and also a famous music educator, currently stands as the founder of Institut Musik Daya Indonesia (IMDI). Currently this music professor is listed as a member of National Music Consortium, Indonesian Association of Performing Arts Educators & Practitioners (PRASASTI Gelar Seni) and Chair of National Certification Institute for Music Competencies (LSK Musik) in cooperation with Indonesian Ministry of Education. If last year she reunited with her trio which was active in Europe when she was still in Germany, this time she featured Dip’ah, an ensemble of harmonic vocal explorers. This set of vocalists know how to make our ears, body, mind, heart and even soul with out of the box approach in producing something beautiful and serenely sounds. The combination of Tjut Njak Deviana and Dip’ah appeared as a mastery session. Calling it “Tales of Indonesia in Jazz”, this truly authentic show gave more than just an ordinary jazz gig but gave a highly entertaining show. Tjut Njak Deviana brought something theatrical in a story-telling way and musically speaking, she brought landscapically beautiful ranging from classical to jazz. Cornelia Agatha was spotted as one of the member of Dip’Ah. This show turned out educating, entertaining and inspiring at the same time.
The combination of three highly experienced jazz masters took part right after. The name JOC is an abbreviation of senior Indonesian jazz cats who have been playing together for many years: Jeffrey Tahalele, Oele Pattiselano and Cendy Luntungan. They have established solid heart connection, producing the kind of chemistry that can turn any of their performance into high class jazz jamming. Spontaneous, playful and swingin’ wonderful might be the best way to describe this act. Joining them on stage was father-son Glen and Indra Dauna (piano and trumpet), plus surpising guest star, the founder Mr Peter F Gontha himself and Mr Jay Alatas. Meanwhile, Jhagad & Nusaha performed too inside another room.
The South East Asia-South Eastern part of Asia connection called
The Asian Jazz All-Stars Power Quartet got another round of playing in this last day. Jeremy Monteiro, Eugene Pao, Chanutr Techatana-nan and Tots Tolentino once again strengthened the line, stating that the Asian can speak jazz fluently too just like the senior musicians from the origin of this genre. The handsome crooner from Nethelands, Wouter Hamel once again stole the ladies’ hearts at the B2 BNI Hall, PD Tracks did their job outside the building.
If you want to challenge your ears in jazz, Ligro Trio‘s always been one of our top recommendation. Why? Because this trio can flip you upside down with the set of compositions they play. Guitarist Agam Hamzah, bassist Adi Darmawan and drummer Gusti Hendy are full with ecellent skills, also have creative brains to make their music stands/sounds differently. 2 albums regionally, one is now running in the international market through MoonJune Records can be taken as a big step. Playing in range of fusion to avant and free jazz, this trio places you in a hell-devil rollercoaster ride. They’re mad, they’re crazy, they are unbelievable. At the same hours Roberta Gambarini, Earl Klugh ft Nelson Rangell, Magnus Lindgren with Gregory Porter and Spyro Gyra did their last shows. Speaking of Earl Klugh, finally he brought his biggest hits “Wishful Thinking” and “This Time.” Thank you Earl, it was really beautiful.
We still remember when she was born, now she’s all grown up and ready to follow her daddy’s path. We’re talking about the daughter of Indra Lesmana (and Sophia Latjuba), Eva Celia. We have watched her performances several times during her come-home visit to Indonesia, now she’s back during her break from her study in Los Angeles and formed her own group featuring Doni Joesran. This is a great news of course, because we finally got new star who’s ready to enrich our music industry with everything she possesses inside. We arrived on her stage when she sang “Angels on My Side”, a song listed in Indra Lesmana’s new app album, “11:11”. Welcome, Eva Celia, go make big things, time to follow your parents’ remarkable footsteps.
While another special connection was established between pianist/vocalist/entertainer Idang Rasjidi and guitarist Oele Pattiselano with loads of supporters, there were two other long time friends brought memorable scene, Benny Mustafa and Rene van Helsdingen. Rene Van Helsdingen is a Dutchman, but uniquely has involved in the Indonesian scene for around 3 decades. Not many know that eventhough he lives in Netherlands, he was actually born in Indonesia, even once married our lady violist, Luluk Purwanto. While playing in Indonesia, most of the time he’s been supported by his old friend, the legendary drummer Benny Mustafa. Strong chemistry plus high skill and experience results a great show, both in technique and spontaneous runs. The last time we saw their collaboration was at the Road to JakJazz last year in April, where they were accompanied by funky bassist Yance Manusama. For the second time we watched them, this time with the accompaniment of Rudy Zulkarnaen on contrabass and Donny Koeswinarno on sax. The fire still burning wildly. Funky bop, manic runs on the piano, even some smooth moment appeared glittery from them. A nice package indeed.
The Groove started to run when the sky started to get dark. Their fans would already be happy to see Rieka Roslan and Reza along with the band members, but this time they got something even more special since Monday Michiru was featured in this act! Sharing the stage with this famous Japanese-American lady gave The Groove more ammos in funkin’ up the audience. So it was groovy, soulful and of course, jazzy. Nice! For the fans who wanted to have more rockin’ pattern, Tohpati Bertiga could be the perfect choice. Running at the same time, the band where Tohpati releases his rockin’ soul gave package of energetic treats. As usual, his musical soulmate Indro Hardjodikoro and drummer Bowie were within the formation.
After a fully crowded session on Friday as the Special Show, Basia came back in her second show but this time, she nailed with a double encore, “Half A Minute” and “Promises”. New batch of audience filled the hall enthusiastically and enjoyed her presence at the best way possible. As Chuco Valdes and Ultras Quartet were in service, we watched something spectacular coming from the senior drummer Aksan Sjuman. Known as Wong Aksan by his long time fans, this man is an amazing drum beater no matter what style it is. Rock? Jazz? others? he will nail them all. What’s interesting in this act which brought under the name of Aksan Sjuman Glimpse is that he involved multimedias to create something different. Aksan performed with Mery Kasiman (piano), Indra Perkasa (bass), Nikita Dompas, Dion Janapria (guitar), Rifka Rachman (programmer). It was cool to see how Rifka Rachman provided effects to layer Aksan’s drum beating. Then another tribute took place, this time to honor the maestro Ismail Marzuki featuring Ghea Idol and Dendy Mike’s.
Tembang Pribumi brought the ethnical side of jazz by using traditional instruments while Marcus Miller and Jazz Orchestra of the Concertgebouw did their final shows. The last Special Show arrived, it was none other than Craig David! It was a big surprise for us when we heard about his arrival. It was much later after Basia, Joss Stone and Lisa Stansfield confirmed their participations, yet this highly popular R&B singer created big hype when announced by the Java Festival Productions officers. When asked by Jazzuality.com on what he would be doing if he weren’t working on his music career, Craig David gave a long explanation and ended it with “I’m enjoying what I do and I want to be happy at the moment – if I can share that with others, that’d be the best thing in my life.”
This three times Best British Male winner of Brit Awards (in twelve nominations) and two Grammys rose to fame right from his debut album “Born to Do It” released. “Re-rewind” was a big hit by then. Later on, David created more hits including “What’s Your Flava”, “Rise and Fall (with Sting)” among others. A couple of years ago he signed with a new label, as a sign of his productivity a new album is said to release this year. How fortunate for us to have him here. He’s not young anymore, yet he still has it all. The voice, the look, the charm..you name it, he has it. He delivered his greatest hits opening the show with “Whats Your Flava”, “Rise and Shine”, “Walking Away”, “Don’t Love You No More”, “Insomnia”, “Rendezvous”, “Rewind” and “Fill Me In”. Craig even went down his own memory lane to his times of TS5, his digital music project, his hobby since a very young age. Mixes of oldschool RnB and hip hop such as “No Scrubs”, “So Sick”, “We Found Love”, “Bills Bills Bills” and many other beats mixed together as the crowd went wild. He set it off with an encore of “7 Days”.
Benny Likumahuwa Jazz Connection was supposed to take part in the Java Jazz Festival 2013, but unfortunately, due to heavy rain, the show was either cancelled or moved to a different location – no clear information on this matter was reached. At the same time, Kenny Garret Quintet, Mellow Motif, James Carter Organ Trio, Roy Hargrove’s RH Factor and Ritem Pertiwi had their moments.
We still remember the heat when David Garfield performed at the Java Jazz Festival 2011 alongside Abraham ‘Abe’ Laboriel. We also still remember his statement “I make music”, something that sounds simple yet has a lot of meanings, especially when we look at his illustrious career which started many years ago in the mid 70’s. That statement makes sense since he has produced no less than 50 albums plus 100 more as a sideman of many famous artists. This year he’s back in action. Still wild and ferocious on his keyboards, he killed the show with no mercy.
At the same time New York Voices made their second show, G-Pluck Beatles‘ performance did create such imagination on our heads as if the Beatles were still alive. Not just the sound, they even mimicked the body gestures of the real one. Margo Rising Stars was scheduled to bring ‘From Rock to Jazz”, but just like the thing happened with Benny Likumahuwa, the wet outdoor stage due to the rain would be dangerous to hold any band. So they also had to miss the chance.
Glenn Fredly with the band now called Bakucakar brought a theme probably picturing his own life story, “Luka Cinta & Merdeka (Wound, Love and Freedom).” As popular as he is, loads of crowds joined his stage and had fun together with them. Space System closed the Masima Stage as the last performer, the same with Storia, a potential new comer in the pop scene sealed the B1 Hall MLD Spot.
If you think no big show anymore near the end of three days festival, you’re wrong. Iwan Hasan, Andien, Enggar and Mery Kasiman, together as the Chamber Jazz gave one lovely package. This group provided enough space for Andien to sing out of the box in Javanaese style. Iwan Hasan’s stapled guitar became an attraction in a way, the combination of guitar, piano, tuba (replacing the role of bass) brought a different nuance in music, particularly jazz. It’s true that tuba is used in early pre-20’s forms of jazz, but this group took it into another level by playing modern jazz style besides incorporating classical, contemporary and Indonesian folksongs/ethnic influences. This wasn’t their first time, so some of you may wonder what new things they brought for this time. Well, it’s not Iwan Hasan if he doesn’t come out with new invention. This time they pinned some of Bob Marley’s masterpieces, not just re-arranging them in jazz, but they put real reggae too, uniquely by involving tuba. “We are trying to develop beatbox tuba.” said Iwan Hasan to us. So, the tuba functioned differently here as reggae beat maker. That’s really something right? Other than that, their classic work “Javanese Suite” was there too. Simply amazing craft. The shining modern jazz drummer Sandy Winarta Quartet rolled late, presenting the side of jazz he really fancy at alongside his fellows including Johanes Radianto (guitar), Kevin Yosua (bass) and Ade Irawan (piano). Anji became the last show to end this 2013 edition.
Three days of big jazz bash is what we had here. The 9th edition of Java Jazz Festival ended as another spectacular edition. A lot of memorable scene, a lot of history added, a lot of unforgettable moments caught during the festival. Some legendary collaboration took part this year such as Clarke/Duke project, Lee Ritenour-Dave Grusin among others. Basia, Joss Stone, Lisa Stansfield and Craig David did marvelous jobs as Special Show performers. Speaking of Craig David, one of his song “What’s Your Flava” can be a good tagline to picture what’s going on from Friday to Sunday. No matter what your jazz flava is, Java Jazz Festival provided it for you.
From living legends, maestros, today’s toppers and potential newcomers were all there adding up their distinctive colors. In bigger frame, we got a supersized jazz hypermart where everything you wish to see, in relation with jazz, are within grabs.
We are having jazz-lag right now, thanks to Java Festival Production and its Java Jazz Festival product. This event now has become the biggest jazz fest in the world, an event that can gather thousands of best musicians around the world and presenting it right here in our own soil. Jazz Up Your World, they said in their tagline, 17 stages, more than 180 performances plus 6 music clinics, all presented to us in around 8 hours a day, for 3 days. Think of how lucky we are.
Next year the Java Jazz Festival will celebrate its 10th anniversary. It’s going to be special, so we wonder what’s going to happen by then. But based on what we have witnessed, this upcoming 10th anniversary will surely be a blast. Before that happens, let’s keep on jazzin’, guys! Long live Java Jazz Festival, may there be many more year of greatness to come!
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, Mia Damayanti
Team: Vierna Mariska Kurniawan, Muhammad Fadhly