35th Jazz Goes to Campus (JGTC) : The Report



They’ve done it again! The annual 35th Jazz Goes To Campus has been made a splendid, splendid success by the Student Executive Board of Faculty of Economics of Universitas Indonesia. From the very start of the festival, maximum effort has been poured in and finally, on Sunday, November 25th 2012, the main event came into the open – the 35th Jazz Goes To Campus 2012! Depok is sure overjoyed to have the oldest running annual jazz event in Indonesia, and the second oldest in the world after North Sea Jazz Festival, held in it.

This year, “Freedom of Jazzpression” is the title that lights up the red carpet. Various sub-genres were expressed to show us what magnificent diversity there is in jazz. With that as the theme, Jazz Goes To Campus 2012 was hoped to be able to illustrate the freedom of expression that flows through the world of jazz and bring a bright scene to Indonesia’s music society.

Let’s get on with how the flow of the festive day went, shall we? One important thing to know is that the staging concept of the festival is also different this year – there were three outdoor show areas plus a lounge with different show times, letting the crowd choose which performances they would like to enjoy. The three outdoor stages are namely the Vitacimin Stage, Mandiri Stage and Jazzpression Stage, while the indoor one is called the Propaganda Stage.


The gates open at eleven o’clock in the morning, with the first performers including some who won the competition taking their places at each stage – Joint Company, Sekawan and Friends, Sunny Side and the pop/folk/alternative band with strong indie smell, Tristan. Although the weather of the day did not allow much sunlight into the location, all four bands had an excellent start to welcome the opening act of the festival and create an exciting atmosphere that will shine throughout the whole day. For Tristan in particular, it was a first for them to perform in JGTC. One of their hits “Jelang Malam” was sung to carry an indie spirit into the lounge, along with the rest of their pop-folk alternative songs. Meanwhile, Joint Company, Sekawan and Friends, and Sunny Slide gave in more up-beat rhythms in the other stages and had the start of the crowds going on. All four sides had their moves brought out to begin the 35th Jazz Goes To Camp 2012. Excitement, here we go!

Next in line, as the show went on, there was a band that was a winner of the JGTC Competition: JazzyOne, a group of youngsters – one each on the saxophone, trumpet, percussion, bass, keyboard and drums, and three on the vocals – that merrily brought a fresh energy into the crowd with their ear-satisfying standard jazz. Some of their hits were “Bad Girl”, “Night in Tunisia”, “Spain” and “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing”, where they also included a solo from each of the instruments. There was also a band from the Faculty of Economics, Universitas Indonesia, itself: the BSO Band, who did no less entertaining. Without doubt, nobody would’ve regretted witnessing this one fine package of skills sprinkled with fun.


Meanwhile, the Acoustic Funk, in a uniformly black outfit, played a Spanish fusion in the Mandiri Stage.  “Let’s party ‘till drop!” called the bassist Franky Sadikin to the audience. In another side, Ginda and the White Flowers began with a bluesy, chilled-out tempo out of the strums of the guitar by Ginda and bass by Gega Gageh while Riyandi Andaputra sets the beat with his drums. One of their songs was called “Happiness is Priceless”, which, said Ginda, was about a man who had all physical possessions that one would dream of having, but somehow felt that he lacked happiness inside.


Stairway to Zinna came up next on the very same stage with no-less powerful jazz spirit. Then there was Jazz Blues Funk, who said up on stage that they’d be singin’ songs not of their own, but with their own twisty funky kind of arrangements. And yup, they definitely proved this when they jazzed the stage with Stevie Wonder’s “Superstitious” in a rockin’ blues manner. Bubu Giri, with one of their top tracks “Up and Down”, also made a tremendous performance. The band’s name was actually formed from the names of the vocalist, Bubu, and the guitarist, Giri, making up the name Bubu Giri. They are known to have an acoustic, powerhouse soul jazz play. Giri, in his guitar-strumming, has his own spontaneous way of entertaining the audience, while both always include a lovely interactive atmosphere with the crowd in a way that the Bandung society are known to do.


In the Jazzpression stage, Ligro, a band that derived its name from the Indonesian word “orgil” (meaning “crazy man”) if read backwards, was attractively making music by doing some scratchy action with the bass, hitting a kitchen utensil with a metal paper, pouring heavy pins on it, while the guitar plays a repeated minor pattern, overall giving a black magic essence in their free-jazz, advanced and hardcore fusion kind of music. They are also known to fleet from one corner to the other when taking up the stage. No wonder they named their band after craziness, isn’t it so?


As the afternoon lights came in, R2RYTHM offered even more spices to the festive bash – they performed with producer and guitarist Indra Ariyadi and later featured Jevin Julian too to entertain the audience with his unbeatable beatboxing at the Vitacimin Stage. “Penasaran” and “I’m Coming” where two of the songs that they played, in which a slight samba was included in the jazz that they brought us with. Colorful!


What’s no less creative is who came up next on the very same stage; the Indonesian Youth Generation. They owned a playful, reggae kind of funk that got us all moving along especially when, with his interactive performance, Albert Fakdawer as vocalist invited the audience to clap and sing along after him during “Hidup untuk Bermusik, Bermusik untuk Hidup.”


The festive heat was bubblin’ up for sure! Meanwhile, another interesting standard jazz group band Andi Wiriantono and Friends (Tribute to Bubi Chen) which consists of Andi Wiriantono as keyboardist, Nesia Ardi, Ossa Sungkar as drummer, Herald Andre Siahaan as saxophonist, and Franky Sadikin as bassist, was gladly rising up the ambience of the crowd at the Mandiri Stage. Andi was very close to the late Bubi Chen, so the show came as a big respect in rememberance of this legend who sadly passed away in February this year. Speaking of Andi Wiriantono, many of his students came to win this year’s JGTC competition. A little speech he gave just a while before they competed actually boosted up the confidence and placed his students in front. What did he say? Among other speech, he reminded them to play the best they could rather than trying to win the competition. “It will come automatically if you play good.” he said. That piece of advice actually worked.


That special tribute session soon followed by Tohpati Bertiga who kept up a solid funk in their instrumental jamming session. They are known to play the rock side of Tohpati himself. Indro Hardjodikoro was on the bass while Bowie on the drums. It had been three years since their last performance in Jazz Goes To Campus. They introduced a kickin’ melody from all corners of instruments when they played “Number One” and “I Feel Great”. At the Jazzpression Stage, Ari Pramundito, a former Gruvy member who’s now returned to being a solo, was having a marvelous RnB time with the audience when singing Babyface’s “How Come, How Long” and Boyz II Men’s “End of the Road” and several other songs. He really did get the crowd going on.


Up next on the very same jazzed location were Yance Manusama Funky Thumb featuring Tompi and Simon M., who put on a heavy-beat, standard jazz hour into the game where Simon M. passed in some African-rhythm type of disco for all to heartily dance along too. “I Feel Like Bust A Move” – don’t you think that title explains everything already? Performing once again with complete lines of players including Rayendra Sunito on drums, Donna Koeswinarso on sax and the Daunas family (Glen, Indra and Gega), it was fun to see the man who initiated the band, Yance Manusama funked himself up on stage once again. Not only he did show why he was said to be the best funk bassist in Indonesia today by many fellow musicians, he was also fired-up as shown in his gestures, making his show appeared hot.


At the lounge, Ray D’Sky gave a slight feel of tropical sandy beach feels wrapped in jazz through the easygoing touch of Aray, Didit Saad, Iwanouz, Bongky and Aci, and, afterwards, Monita Tahalea the winner of Indonesian Idol 2005, who both made an eye-catchy performance at the Propaganda Stage. Guitarist Tiyo Alibasjah joined her for this occasion. By the way, as you read along what went on at this particular lounge, know that here were the musicians that have DeMajors –  an Indonesian independent music recording industry – labels on them.

In the midst of all the great music that went on, the 35th Jazz Goes To Campus 2012 has included a session that’s surely not to be missed by all jazz-consumers around the city – the 5th JGTC Awards! This was where the names of jazz stars are called out for five categories, chosen by the judges Chico Hindarto, Frans Sartono, Gideon Momongan, and Roullandi Siregar. For the Artist of the Year, Dira Sugandi took the stage; New Artist was won by Ade Irawan; Most Prominent by Ananda ‘Mates’ Sutrisno; Most Dedicated was given to JakJazz; and, the Album of the Year goes to the daredevil rollercoaster free-jazz ride, Ligro. Super! Warm congratulations to the five groups that made it to the top in each of the categories!


The evening clouds had started to shift in, perfect timing for Toninho Horta’s Brazilian bossa to bring a cool breeze into the atmosphere. What surprises the crowd was that Torinho Horta thinks that the world of jazz will develop in Indonesia in particular. Such a promising thought for the country from a Brazilian jazz musician! As he took the show, he sat on a wooden block, called a quick “Terima kasih, Indonesia” in his local accent, and did the magic on his guitar. A rush of Goosebumps filled the audience as he sang his song “Wind”. Kazuma Fujimoto of Orange Pekoe even joined him on some lines. Then there’s the Indonesia Longplay Extended Project which consisted of Indra Perkasa on the contrabass, Indra Dauna on the trumpet, Lian Panggabean on the guitar, Iyas who played the groove box, and Damez Nababan on the alto saxophone. Truly, another funky output was resulted from this super collision!


Meanwhile, back at the lounge, Vox, Bloty Mama, and TOR took their places to continue the awesome show that was going on. In one of their songs “Walking Down the River”, Vox, a group of males, presented a fabulous scat-singing by the guitarist whilst playing the lines of the guitar. Bloty Mama, another band with a dominant flow of rock in their jazz, gave an all-instrument session of super thick fusion. Afterwards, TOR offered the excited audience a unique attraction: in the middle of the again all-fusion work, the percussion entered to give a different sense of jazz. Funky one indeed!


Idang Rasjidi Syndicate was up next to swift away the Vitacimin Stage. The group band consists of Idang himself and his sons, Shadu Shah Chaidar and Shaku Rasjidi. Idang, a senior jazz musician, has always been known for how well his music matches up with youth jazz players. Then, we jumped to Mandiri Stage after that. There was an absolutely amazing performance from an amazingly band admiring our first Indonesian president, Ir. Soekarno. Oh yeah, let’s give applause to Kunokini! Collaborating “kuno” and “kini” as their music concept, this Best Music Performer in Germany brought us to the very cheerful world of jungle by singing their songs. We could precisely feel the ethnic spirit and surprisingly, the whirlwinds of melody through their flute play. Less of lyrics, yet wealthy of melodies and rhythms. In the third song, a kiddo heaved in sight, named Fadhil. By introducing Kerang Papua as their dedication to the eastern part of Indonesia as equal as their love for Indonesia, Kunokini hypnotized all of our body parts dancing in “Yamko Rame Yamko”, yeah! Head to toes were uncontrolled dancing and shaking, that was incredible nuance they made. “Hey, baby, what’s up?”, that’s a few lyric of “Hey, Babe” before we moved in into the spontaneous collaboration of Souljah and Kunokini who were shouting “Stand up for your right!” all the song flew. Last song was “Indonesia Baru” that motivated all youngsters in that night to always love and proud to be Indonesian. We salute you, boys!


Then, Fariz RM, a legendary keyboardist/hitmaker since the 80’s in his vintage pop fusion and ‘till now, his style remains the same. A song that was said to be a huge inspiration, Eric Clapton’s “Sunshine of Your Love” was played. As an opening, a smooth solo of the guitar flowed in. Then, a drastic but suiting tune of rock featuring Spanish percussion colored the performance’s sense of jazz. His group also sang the evergreen “Sakura”. A unique kind of paradise brought a great atmosphere to the place. Back-to-back with Tompi, the stage was flooded by the crowd of enthusiastic jazz lovers craving to sing-a-long together with him. And supporting by his unique vocal and the feature, “Menghujam Jantungku” and “Balonku” were run instrumentally unbeatable.



Next up, there came in Martin Denev JazzaWacka. Martin Denev is a Bulgarian who currently stays in Bali. His style is a one-of-a-kind up-beat electro jazz which simply wows the crowd. This time he collided his arts with vocalists Matthew Sayersz and drummer Demas Narawangsa. Wouldn’t regret listening this hot combo for a second time! Hereinafter, Benny Likumahuwa Jazz Connection boomed out the sea of jazziness together with Barry Likumahuwa Project at once blow. Didn’t want to loose the party, Benny brought one big, strong ensemble with him, including Dimas Pradipta (drums), Doni Joesran (keys), Indra Dauna and Jordy Waelauruw (trumpets), Dennis Junio and Indra Aziz (alto saxophones) and Bayu Isman and Bass G (tenor sax). Began from the father, “It’s Not A Jazz” broke the start playing by ten wacky men on stage and in the second song, the broadway-a-like music engaged the air of so jazz luxury. The melody came out from their instruments as if the quicksands run out to the solid rock of awesomeness. Meanwhile, Benny and Indra Aziz sang like a couple of birds which sing under the moonlight. Jazzpression, they showed it out to us!


Before we go to BLP, let’s take a peek to Orange Pekoe in Jazzpression Stage. The crowd had already filled there because of this man and woman Kazuma Fujimoto and Tomoko Nagashima pairing together, also, had sung their songs. Only by finger-snapping, the audiences clapped amorously. The vocalist’s smooth-like-marshmallow voice was very amusing when she said ‘terima kasih’ in her Japanese accent. Exactly on the same date and the current event, their first album released and they were very happy to tell us. Furthermore, the duet among them was fantastic and satisfied in bringing “Selele” which means ‘katamu’ and again for surprisingly, they collaborated with Dennis Junio on saxophone. What a fest!


The show was coming nearer to the end and it was time to witness the grooves that was caused by the last performers of each stage in the 35th Jazz Goes To Campus Festival. Let’s check out which musicians sparkled these four spots! As we told you, there was Barry Likumahuwa Project (BLP) on B Stage. “It’s jazz which brings us together!”, they said. Along with two additional vocalists that were attractively energic, BLP was shocking us in the opening featuring with DJ Cream. Youth spririt, yes, they are! Their perfomance was all about dancing, entertaining, booming, rocking and other energic sorts of it. We were very enjoy to seeing Doni Joesran, Jonas Wang, Henry Budidharma Dennis Junio, Tedy Aditya, Remonte and of course, the leader Barry. And then, Matthew Sayerzs came to the stage, these boys accidently met again. How unpredictable show it was until Boys 2 Boys also stepped into. Kyriz Boogiemen added up more spices into the already burning party. The magical experience of youth spirit engulfed us in the festival. One word for them: Spectacular!


One of the musicians that people have been waiting for had finally come into the open: the newly popular Tulus, with an opening of softly strummed instruments by the music, then finally he got the stage going on when he warmly greeted the crowd. “Tuan Kesepian”,”Diorama”, “Sewindu”, “Jatuh Cinta” and “Teman Hidup” were some of the hits that the audience merrily and deeply sang along to. What a way to spread the kissable jazzy romance to the closing of the night at the Vitacimin Stage.

At the Propaganda Stage, DeMajors introduced us to a group band who admitted their regret of attending the JGTC Festival only for the very first time – they wished they had known and attended more of it years ago! A soulful kind of jazz, Bonita and the Hus Band got the lounge heart-melted with their amazing musical art. Bonita has been called as the Aretha Franklin, and even the Etta James, of Indonesia. It’s really no wonder. Her voice is one that is feminine, powerful, and magically sweet and sour in a way that plasters a smile on anyone who listens to the music that is created. Simply paradise. Ismail Marzuki’s “Juwita Malam” was a first in their performance that night. Others were “I Ain’t Gonna Fall” – a strong kind of chill with an unpredictable change of chords in a way that prettifies the song even better – and “Small Miracles”. Bonita and the Hus Band really did give a happy ending kind of harmony to the closing atmosphere.


The Groove as the very closing performance on Jazzpression stage did as their name is: groovy – yes, they are. Group band formed in 1997 with pop-jazz genre, Rieka Roslan and Reza on vocal, Tanto on keyboard, Ali Akbar on piano, Ari on guitar, Rejoz on percussion and vocal, Detta on drum, and Youke on bass, are going to release their fifth album in this blessing November. Although, it was already late of night, they still had the energy to keep the people jazzing and grooving along to each of their songs – simply a perfect way to close the night particularly at the Jazzpression Stage!

With this, it could be guaranteed that as the people made their way out, their feet were still musically influenced with The Groove’s outstanding performance.

Well, that was our review of Jazz Goes To Campus 2012. It was unforgettable and we are looking forward to seeing this kind of fabulous and creative event next year and years later. Fortunately, everyone attended this huge jazz festive had a very worthy time and must not have regretted each and every single performance that they enjoyed, because they just broke their legs. Once again, we pleasantly want to gladly congratulate them for the greatest success that they achieved! See you later, JGTC!

See more pictures:

[flickrset id=”72157632129848689″ thumbnail=”square” photos=”” overlay=”false” size=”medium”]

Reporter: Sharon Patricia Kandou
Photographer: Omar Arif Maulana, Qaedi Fuadillah