Same venue, new spot! For the first time the stage of Braga Jazz Walk was moved much forward near the entrance. Since the location is not inside the building anymore, the mall allowed us to use acoustic drum. This new location proved to work better, because then this event could attract those who stroll around the Braga street to come inside to watch them. It’s still a tryout, said the mall, but we do love this new ground zero. All musicians who came stated the same. As a result, Braga Jazz Walk #27 got a lot more crowds and they were happening too! Some were dancing, many of them took their gadget and recorded the peformances of the bands. There were many audience who stayed all the way until the end. We are really happy to see the response from them.
In this edition we celebrated Bandung city’s 206th anniversary which came on September 25th. Jazzuality.com together with our partners Braga CityWalk and KPH Music dedicated this 27th episode to commemmorate the anniversary and placed a special theme: Bandung Jazziversary.
In accordance to that, the featuring bands were selected to fit the occasion as well, without forgetting our main mission to push the regeneration of jazz musicians in Bandung by showcasing young talents that could entertain the public with their music. We invited three bands that we believed relevant to Bandung Jazziversary especially since this event is loated at the historical Braga street in Bandung. Interesting variation of jazz were delivered in each session by them, and what’s also cool is, there were some instruments rarely played in jazz stage being used this time. Speaking of formation, this edition is interestingly unique too.
In front of great crowds, Celline & Ukulele took the first slot. This is mainly a duo consisting of Celline Indrawirawan and her boyfriend Rendy Hardiman who are also the founder of Kayu Tua Ukulele (http://kayutuaukulele.com). Celline has participated twice in our events before, at the Braga Jazz Walk #21 (http://jazzuality.com/jazz-event-report/braga-jazz-walk-21-the-report/) and Bumi Sangkuriang Jazz Night #4 (http://jazzuality.com/jazz-event-report/bumi-sangkuriang-jazz-night-4-the-report/). From these two events we came to know and love her strong vocal character which is perfect to sing jazz, especially jazz standards.
She has found her passion in music since 3 years old by learning piano. About singing, she was involved in school and church choirs since early age. But then due to her study activity her passion in music was on and off, until finally she decided to be more serious in it. Her teacher, Michelle Efferin, founder of M.E Music Centre expresses her feeling of how proud she is for Celline many times, and we can’t see why not. Having such gifted student in music with charming and high likeability factor would surely make any teacher proud.
Instead of performing with standard band formation, she decided to follow her passion by involving her favorite instrument, ukulele. Starting as a duo, Celline and Rendy started with Israel “Iz” Ka’ano’i Kamakawiwo’ole’s famous version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”. After this sweet opening, they carried on with “All of Me”. Founder of ME Music Centre, Michelle Efferin and Richard Sirait came supporting them, taking the position on piano and cajon. To make their session in sync with the theme, Celline then sang Sundanese folk song, “Bubuy Bulan”. She didn’t just sing it, but worked her voice to sing in Sundanese style which forced the audience to send her much love. Another jazz standard “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore” was delivered nice and smooth by them.
Celline then called Michelle and Richard’s cute little daughter Kezia Alexis to join in. Kezia is still 5 year-old, but she is blessed with music talent. She can already sing in fluent English and in tune, and what amaze us is that she has no problem singing in front of many people. Imagine, a 5 year-old girl sings “Summertime” along with the group, it was really, really beautiful.
Celline & Ukulele went on pinning The Cure’s “Love Song” rearranged in bossa. So, not only jazz standards, ukulele suits perfectly well with bossa tunes too. A cheerful, cute standard “Cheek to Cheek” became the last drop from them.
Ukulele which was originated in Hawaii has been used worldwide for ages also in Indonesia, for example in keroncong music. In jazz, ukulele has shown its charm too like the music of Jake Shimabukuro, Janet Seidel’s album “Moon of Manakoola” and of course the Hawaiian singer mentioned above, yet overall ukulele is not the usual instrument found in jazz. Therefore we are happy that we can have the beauty of ukulele in this edition, showing that ukulele can in fact give another kind of atmosphere when used in jazz. Rendy did very well, Celline as charming as always with her voice and appearance. Michelle Efferin and husband Richard Sirait’s contribution were substantial too in making the session shinier. Very interesting, unique and beautiful. Celline and Ukulele, and Jazz are inseparable. That’s what we think.
Bandung has been called Parijs van Java since the colonial Dutch-era. Therefore we think it’s important to feature a band that could bring the scent of Paris in the old days alive to celebrate the city’s anniversary. Meet BOA which was found just some months ago who is rooted in vintage Jazz Manouche/Gypsy Jazz like the music of Django Reinhardt and also Ragtime. If the first session we got ukulele, in this second round we enjoyed the sound of another ‘unusual’ instrument found in jazz, mandolin, played by Mochamad ‘Boiq’ Iqbal. Two other personnels are on guitar: Opik Bape and Charly ‘Achay’ Septiana ‘Elpuccino’. Speaking of Opik, this group carries on his passion in digging the French Gypsy music the way he did in his previous band, Satura. Other than BOA, he also brings this concept with a bigger ensemble, Madame dan Toean. Opik’s partner in Jane & BO, Jane Doe (Jane Christina) was featured for this event, making them performing under BOA ft Jane Doe.
The strong vintage Parisian gypsy scent quickly filled the air of Braga CityWalk right from the first bar of the first song, “Circus Charlie”. They then pinned the classic composition of legendary Romani guitarist Django Reinhardt, “Swing 42” in perfection, followed by even older song from 1917, “Tiger Rag” which was also played by Django around 30 years later.
Up to this point, we were amazed by how these three musicians cook their music. Like three artistes they collectively paint the canvas to create one solid and authentic sound of swingin’ Gypsy Jazz with ragtime found in the layers. There are three of them, but once they play, they magically merge, blending seamlessly as one. They gradually drag more and more people from around the venue to watch them, enjoying their music which is rare to find in Indonesia. It was all great, but then the session got more beautiful by having a lady with exceptional voice, Jane Doe aka Jane Christina. With Jane, two more songs were delivered: “Lady Be Good” and Thomas Dutronc’s “J’suis Pas D’ici”. Not only sang, she also brought two wooden toys including the ‘musical frog’. Jane added spices to BOA’s unique presentation and sealed their session in triumph.
Two very skillful guitarists, one genius mandolin player, all passionate in delivering their rare music taste presenting strong, distinctive concept, these are the essence that place BOA in a different corner of our current jazz scene. They are unique, bold and absolutely know how to cook up this genre. Not only the music, their appearance can be such an attraction too. Jane Doe’s contribution also helped in sweetening the show. Not many bands carry this concept anymore due to the high level of difficulties and against the mainstream, but we say somebody have to do it for the sake of preserving the legacy and the beauty of jazz. As for the theme, they brought the fragrant scent of Paris into this event. Parijs van Java now speaks not just about the beautiful city but also music. C’est Magnifique BOA and Jane Doe!
What do you have in mind when we ask you to think of the third storey basement? Perhaps you would think of parking lot, warehouse or a big space that holds many unused properties of a mall/building. But would you believe that a good band could even born in it? Well, it happens. The third and final performance came from a big ensemble established on the third basement, P3 and the Gank.
P3 and the Gank came alive in 2015 inside the third basement of Trans Studio Bandung called P3, where some musicians who played regularly at this mall loved to rest. They did well for a while, but then went to hiatus. Luckily they didn’t stay in silence for long, because then Ijo gathered all the personnels again and asked them to commit more seriously. So the band is back on track with complete formation. The personnels are: Muy (vocal), Armin Fauzy Hamid (keyboard), Gilang Perdana (drum), Feby Febian (bass), Achmad Afandi (guitar), Buddy Riswandi (synthesizer), Ijo (trombone), Iwan Hermawan (trumpet), Hendike Yao (tenor/alto saxophone).
This group of 9 took their position on stage, making the small stage crowded. Not only the stage, the audience were crowded too. They directly wowed everyone with the sound of fusion, covering Mezzoforte’s song “Four Corners”. The roaring brass section, the combination of piano and synthesizers along with guitar and the rhythm section simply served an early party.
After the instrumental song, Muy took his position on the mike. Starting with Al Jarreau’s “All I Got”, they carried on with the popular tune “Just the Two of Us” and Utha Likumahuwa’s evergreen “Puncak Asmara. We spotted some ladies danced among the crowds, and the scene of many people recorded the even with their gadgets just made quite a scenery. For the last song they introduced their single “Only Human”. It is a good song that suits the large-piece band. Well done.
There are many smaller formations existed in the recent jazz scene, but some decided to extend their musical presentation by having large ensemble. There’s nothing wrong with that of course, as long as the concept need it and each player knows their exact role. P3 and the Gank brought up a fusionesque party on stage which reminds us of the joy watching bands like Snarky Puppy, Mezzoforte and the likes in big festivals. Jazz can accomodate wide variety of bands’ format. We can enjoy jazz from solo player, duo, trio, quartet, quintet, combo all the way to big band. There is always room for large sized bands in the beautiful world of jazz, especially when the band is as good as the P3 and the Gank. They planned on making a mini album with a single ready to be processed this month, let’s hope the best for them and let’s wish them a long, successful years. As any anniversary celebration needs a happy party, they gave a merry one.
Jam session took place right after. Eki Kamaludin of Little Dutchman, Frank Navayo of 5 Petani, Erick Gabe, Jane Doe and two personnels of P3 and the Gank: Gilang Perdana and Hendike Yao happily took the chance. A mid-tempo funk version of “Route 66” was first, followed by “Just the Two of Us”. Radhita A Ridwan joined in to sing a hit of Maroon 5, “Sunday Morning”. The jam session ended with a song dedicate to Bandung, Ismail Marzuki’s “Halo Halo Bandung.” Many of them just met for the first time, but this last song was played perfectly in swing and bebop as if they had rehearsed many times before. Huge applause from the audience were given to these jamming participants.
Three bands who we believe would fit our intention of celebrating Bandung’s 206th Anniversary did a very, very good job. From a lady and her boyfriend playing the rarely used instrument in jazz, the ukulele, three gentlemen and a lady presenting vintage French Jazz Manouche and Ragtime to blazing fusion package carried by large ensemble made a perfect painting of the Bandung Jazziversary theme as we imagined. We thank all the performers for giving their best for us to enjoy, we thank everyone behind this event and of course everyone who came.
We will be back again next month with fresh batch of talents. In the end, we wish Bandung city happy 206th annviersary. May there be more great people come from this city, especially in music and jazz.
Watch the highlight on our Youtube channel:
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