What an interesting edition this was. After running this event for a year and a half, we finally got to see one of the fruits from a little wonder girl who began her musical journey right here emerged as a band leader, playing not only jazz standards but also her own compositions. We got a remarkable pianist from Jakarta who has made his name on the international scene, also a charismatic young man rooted in blues and a stunning acoustic guitar duo. All these happened at the Braga Jazz Walk #23 a couple of days ago on May 19, 2016.
Braga Jazz Walk is a regular jazz community event, existed as a fruit of the cooperation between Jazzuality.com, the venue Braga CityWalk and KPH Music who provides the instruments and some equipments, we establish this event as a playground for young musicians, a chance for them to introduce themselves to public as a part of our mission to push the regeneration of jazz musicians in Bandung. The successful musicians are often found too in each edition, and it’s important because we need them to be a good example for the young ones who plan to have a career in this field. Other than that, we wish to introduce the multi-colored variety of jazz to the public, letting them know that jazz doesn’t always have to be old-fashioned, difficult to understand or expensive. There are more than 70 sub-genres that they can choose, from the traditional to modern with all of its variation. That’s why we always try to feature the lineup with different styles, so people can see how rich jazz actually is and find out what style they are more into.
This edition opened with an interesting acoustic guitar duo who based their music mainly on jazz, blues and rock. The name of this duo is Estuning, comprises of Alsa T Putra (Suey) and Erick S Mildan (Eik). These two boys loved to play guitar together in free time. Realizing that they are fit to each other, they decided to carry on further in a group. The name Estuning comes from their initials: E for Erick and S for Suey. Then they put the guitar term ‘Tuning”, voila, the name’s made.
Directly on stage they played “Evening Dipatiukur”, one of their original songs. Suey is a proud member of a ska punk band Saritme, but surprisingly he actually has a passion for jazz which he unleashes in Estuning. While Erick is more into classic rock. Combining their music references plus some world music/traditional music, Estuning appeared as a cool fusion duo, and the fine blend was shown right from this first track.
Estuning continued on with another original composition, this time a ballad called “My Heart is Empty.” Then they played a very interesting version of The Beatles’ hit, “Hey Jude” which is taylored in their cool guitar acoustic style. For the last presentation they gave their signature song, Happy With Me”. This cheerful track got groove, melodious and dynamic, also perfect in presenting these two mates and their music.
We have invited several duo acoustic guitarists before in previous editions including the mind-bending Gigitaran who demonstrated classical guitar percussion technique and vintage Satura who brought us back to the Gypsy Swing/Jazz Manouche era of Django Reinhardt. This time Estuning gave us something different, showing that there are still many areas to explore in music by using two acoustic guitar. What makes us even prouder is that Braga Jazz Walk became their first ever public performance. This boys are cool, talented and creative.They have strong concept and smart in composing. Suy stated his happiness to us for giving them chance to explore their idealism. Well, we are happy too for being able to provide such chance for them. Very potential duo, all they need is gigs to gain more experience. In the world of acoustic guitar where great groups like Japan’s Depapepe and Indonesia’s Sketsa, Estuning exists and ready to color it up.
The second round was taken by a young man that possessing the charm and charisma of John Mayer with strong color of his own, Rizky Ahmad Mudzakir, better known as Izky Mudza. We knew him for the first time when he came and gave a tasty teaser before the jam session through solo perfromance. He then played a couple of times, either alone or with full band. We haven’t invited him for some months, but we are updated that he has launched one single “Buatku Gila” that currently is doing very well over some radio stations. The second is done, so he only need around 4 more songs to make his debut mini album ready.
Performing alongside him this time were his two close friends Pramuditio (guitar) and Richard Panjaitan who accompanied him one after another. Pramuditio was first, working as a sideman of Izky on two songs: “Air dan Udara” and then the second track which was sung for the very first time at this event, “Ini Cinta”. Again, Izky showed his ability to write song that fit the current trend, just as strong as his successful first single.
After that he did something different. When Richard took over Pramuditio’s position, he left his guitar and stood only as a singer. Two more songs came from him, Al Jarreau’s “Mornin'” and Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely”. In both songs he demonstrated his high-pitched voice, one of the aspect that made him different than most of the male singer. He made it look easy, singing comfortably on the high octaves like that. Plus, his expressive body gestures helped him building up a good performance.
Izky Mudza is an exceptional male singer. He is skillful, he can play guitar and sing just as good, he can write good songs that should have no problem to reach the taste of young listeners. Other than these, he is consistent and serious too. Another thing about him, he is charismatic and charming on stage, he looks good on stage and in picture, that would surely help him to pursue his career faster. Again, a cool, trendy performance from Izky and friends.
We still remember when last year there was a little girl approached us during the event and asked to join the jam. Nadine Adrianna, still 8 year-old at that time, wowed us by her ability to play jazz chords and had no problem to play alongside much older guys who she never met before. Braga Jazz Walk was her first-ever performance, at the 12th edition on April 2015 http://jazzuality.com/jazz-event-report/braga-jazz-walk-12-the-report/. She performed solo a couple of times in later editions.
From there she gained more and more appearance, playing in community events and other events, including a surprising appearance at the 61th Asian-African Conference which brought her to receive a Token of Appreciation from Directorate General of Information and Public Diplomacy of Ministry of Foreign Affairs Republic of Indonesia. She played in front of the world leaders and surprised them with her skill in playing pure jazz music.
Looking at her potential, we suggested her to establish a group, because we want her to learn about tempo. Also we encouraged her to write original songs. Can a 9 year-old girl do that? We never doubt it. In fact, it’s because we know her ability that we challenge her to take further step. Amazingly she responded it seriously. Just in a couple of months she already made two original songs and formed a trio, where she acts as the band leader! The name is Nadine Adrianna Trio. Other than Nadine herself on piano, she has her daddy Boy Gumilar Krisna and drummer Rizky Augustian. The trio has landed in other community events, now finally her trio arrived on the stage where she was born.
“Hello, my name is Nadine. I’m going to play, please enjoy.” she said innocently. Then she explained a bit about her own composition, “Wayne Street”. “This song is inspired by Wayne Shorter’s “Footprints”. That’s why you are going to hear some of it in this song, but believe me, it’s different.” she said. Then she led her trio boppin’ and groovin’ with it. Very nice composition, fine execution. Then papa Boy Gumilar left the stage, letting Nadine performed only with Rizky. They played her other original, “Night Jam”. This song brought us to imagine the happy feeling of a child staying up late for doing what she loves the most. How amazing it is to see a 9 year-old girl could pour her feeling out into a pure jazz composition. She speaks cheerfully through notes. She even gave space for Rizky to do the solo run.
Nadine then played solo on one of her favorite tune, “Night in Tunisia”. We have heard her play this song before, but now it felt way cooler with her more enhanced skill. Boy and Rizky then joined her again to play one last song, her brand new composition which she made only 4 days earlier, “One Blues”. Totally different than the other two, this one got thick, tasty blues flavor that would make anyone want to have a bite. In just four days Nadine Adrianna Trio could already bring it to perfection.
Nadine learnt with Yahya Salam in Venche Music School and now with Imam Pras. These two piano teachers have created so many successful pianists throughout the years. Now she is much more enhanced in many aspects: in techniques, the braveness to take risk in improvising, the confidence in performing and of course, enjoying every moment of her play. She writes songs as if she is living the early modern jazz era in the late 40’s through the 50’s. You can’t imagine how happy we are spotting this wonder girl. We will keep on supporting her and see where she can go for more. In one word: She is magic.
The final performance featured a highly experienced jazz pianist from Jakarta: Dhani Syah in Trio format. Ramadhani Syah Warongan – that’s his complete name – is a member of successful jazz band, The Jongens Quartet with Johanes Radianto, Dony Sundjoyo and his brother Elfa Zulham currently has two albums (both available at our online store: http://store.jazzuality.com).
Dhani took his passion in music seriously. He finished his under-graduate degree at the Prins Claus Conservatorium in Groningen, Netherland. During this time he featured on saxophonist Kestutis Vaiginis Quartet’s album “Gypsy Nature”, touring to Birtonas, Vinus and Palanga, Lithuania and awarded “The Artistry of Dick Oatts and Young Jazz Musician.” He also selected as the member of Re-Bop Unit, a jazz group comprised of selected multi-national students by Dick Oatts himself. In order to promote the album, they also visited Bucharest, Arad, Cluj, Timisoara, Romania, Amsterdam, Assen, Den Haag and of course the home base Groningen.
During his year of learning, he has been guided by many jazz experts both from his time in Netherlands and from his own land. He directly started getting busy right after coming home. Other than his important role as the pianist and composing in The Jongens Quartet, Dhani has made some interesting project like Duo Project with his buddy Johanes Radianto. Off stage and studio he also shares his knowledge as a teacher at Universitas Pelita Harapan, Conservatory of Music. In his free time he keeps on composing new songs. With that kind of productivity, of course he needs to establish his own group. That’s where the Dhani Syah Trio came from.
For this gig he decided to play with two young local musicians who have backed him up and Johanes at our other event, the Bumi Sangkuriang Jazz Night #4 last month (http://jazzuality.com/jazz-event-report/bumi-sangkuriang-jazz-night-4-the-report/): Aries Ardiansyah (bass) and Alman Naufal (drums). Apparently he felt comfortable playing with these boys, and it’s good to know since that means Dhani will have option when he gets another chance to perform in Bandung again next time.
Right after the stepped on the stage, they immidiately launched jazz standards including “Milestones” and “Blame It On My Youth”. A brilliant pianist like him made this standards appeared ellegant and classy. The contribution from two compatriotes Aries and Alman were really significant in building the perfect structure.
Then Dhani asked his dear wife, Almira Joesoef to take her position behind the mike. Almira continued their visit on jazz standards by singing a gem from 1940 “Taking a Chance of Love”, scatting on Charlie Parker’s masterpiece published in 1945 “Billie’s Bounce” and went back more than a decade earlier covering Cole Porter’s “Love for Sale”.
A beautiful pure jazz session with boppin’ and swingin’ sensation was delivered by Dhani Syah Trio. We are proud to have Dhani placing his signature on our stage, because then the audience especially mall-goers could experience the joy of pure jazz from a great jazz player. The contribution from the double ‘A’, Aries and Alman were substantial too. While Dhani is still active in The Jongens Quartet, it would be good for him to nurture his own project too that can perfectly represent his true-self. He is working on making up a solo album projected to release some times in the next couple of months. A good player like him should be noticed, a solo project would usually help for that. We are happy and proud to be able to have him in this edition.
Jam session directly appeared when these boys still on stage, opened by Almira. The jam session was divided into two batch. The first one with Almira, Aries and Dhani plus the drummer who recently established an event not far from our location, Albert Shadrach Dragtan and Nadine. They played Duke Ellington’s “C Jam Blues” nicely as if they had practiced together before.
Dhani’s position then replaced by YD Nafis and drum was back to Alman, plus Erick Gabe on vocal. They played “Route 66” with full of solo runs, free flowing improvisation and some cool mouth trumpet by Erick. A group photo session as usual sealed the event some minutes after 10 pm.
Well that’s what went on in the Braga Jazz Walk #23. An interesting edition where we got a little girl with jazz magic, a very good skilled pianist from Jakarta, a charismatic young man and a stunning acoustic guitar duo. We thank all musicians who performed here, our partners, friends and everyone who show support by attending the event.
We are planning to make Ramadhan edition next month, it would be great if we can make it happen. Anyway, whether it happens or not, the regular show will be back again on July. Thank you all performers, everyone behind this event and the audience. You guys rock! See you again in the next edition.
Watch the highlight of Braga Jazz Walk #23
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