The story of Braga Jazz Walk continues on. We still remember when we started this event more two years ago, now we have done the 28th edition. As how we wanted it to be, we keep supporting young talents and new comers and at the same time we provide enough chance to the success ones to participate in it. After the much better result last month in the new spot at the venue, this edition repeated that result. Plenty of passers-by stayed enjoying the performance together with those who came to watch the event.
At this Braga Jazz Walk #28 we showcased a close-harmony duo with interesting golden oldies concept, a new duo, a magical 10 year-old boy with his group and a band with distinctive sound from Universitas Pelita Harapan (UPH) Jakarta. As you can see, this time we brought in four groups due to the high demand from musicians to perform in. Luckily we still managed to spare time for jam session that has been within our concept since day one. Keep reading, we will share the fun brought by each performers with you.
Appearing first was a new duo established just a month ago: Arief & Haris Project. This is a cool pairing between guitarist once existed as a member of Gypsy jazz Satura, Arief Ginanjar and bassist Haris Radian. They decided to establish the project as a home for their creativity after realizing they had chemistry and shared the same jazz passion. The last time we had him on this stage was last year when he joined the crossover jazz-Sundanese ensemble, so we are more than happy to see him back again.
What these men offer is interactive dialogue between guitar and bass. Starting with American contrabassist’s song “Blues in the Closet” , they carried on pinning a very famous standard “All the Things You Are” and “Bluesette”. While sometimes their eyes connected and we captured smiles on their faces, it was the soul connection which works the concept. Charlie Parker’s bebop composition from 1945 became the last drop from them, served chilled and flawless.
Arief and Haris Project offers something not common in our music industry. Think of it, how many groups dare to play using this concept in Indonesia? Maybe Endah N Rhesa, but not many,especially since they don’t go with vocal. For us, they give a proof that there are uncountable possibilities in jazz, including when we speak about format. Guitar and bass alone? Why not. Beautiful dialogue or conversation between two instruments can be created on stage. Arief and Haris showed us that it works really, really well.
The second session brought in something unique. If you are familiar with the music scene during the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, you should remember the name of some close-harmony male duos like The Everly Brothers and Simon Garfunkel. Their folk style stood differently which quickly gained attention from music lovers during those eras. Today it’s hard to find duo with this style anymore in our music scene, yet we always thought it would be cool if we can still find it alive.
Two months ago we met two young men who literally based their music inside this concept: : Ganesha Wibisana and A. Malik Endie. Together they establish a duo named Curly & Me. Like The Everly Brothers, they based their music on pop-rock and folk that is sung in close harmony parts. You can clearly feel the 50’s – 60’s vibe when you listen and watch them. But they wish to extend their musical territory even more. Appearing in blues community is the beginning, then they would like to go further to reach jazz stages.
For their appearance they featured saxophonist Fauzan Hakim. Like a time machine, they took us back to the late 50’s atmosphere with Everly Brothers’ famous songs: “All I Have To Do Is Dream” and “Devoted to You”. The vintage ambience continued on with original song “Concordia”, telling the story of Societeit Concordia who stood near to this spot more than 6 decades ago. This societeit actually does still exist, only moving to another location since 1957 and changed its name to Bumi Sangkuriang, the venue of our other regular monthly event.
“The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feeling Groovy)” from Simon & Garfunkel and “Let It Be Me” came right after. A song probably best known as a doo-wop standard “Blue Moon” safely delivered, and for the last song they covered a timeless classic, “Dream A Little Dream of Me” where they demonstrated their attempt in embracing jazz inside the close harmony.
Bandung is one of the cities in Indonesia that keeps having unique new talents. Some of them might not begin in jazz, but sooner or later, when they get connected with this genre, something unique could have happened. This is the case of two young men with old soul. They are good in singing oldies, but once they put themselves in jazz, they create quite an atmosphere that we don’t get to hear often. Curly & Me answered our curiousity of how would it sound had The Everly Brothers sung jazz. It was cool.
For the third session we showcased a boy who we have been trying to feature for more than 2 years. This jazz-spirited boy’s name is Jeremy Hutomo. He just turned 10 around two months ago, but he has been showing how gifted he is in music especially jazz since at least 3 years ago. We met him for the first time in our previous event Terraz Jazz when he surprised us while joining the jam session. Since the event held at night, it might has been difficult for him to attend. Plus, he was kind of out from music for a while to focus more on his formal study in elementary school and for a while he was into chess as well. Fortunately, his parents then chose to support his music career, jazz in particular. By having some good teachers, we could see big progress on his playing skill.
For this event Jeremy performed under a group called Jeremy Hutomo Trio. Joining him were his daddy Hasto Utomo (bass) and Evan Natanael (drum). It didn’t take long for Jeremy to find his grip. The way he played Charlie Parker’s “Billie’s Bounce” directly put a spell on the audience who gave loud applause and cheer at the end. “Autumn Leaves” and “Blue Moon” were the next two songs that let his fingers dance freely and happily above the keys. Papa Hasto and Evan did very well in supporting him. What amazes us even more is that he knows how to play in a team. He has excellent control over tempo, pace and dynamic. He is confident and focus during his play.
John Coltrane’s “Stolen Moment” might not be a choice for kids, but Jeremy totally nailed it. After that, he gave a smooth, wonderous overture which gave us a sign of what the last song would be: Chick Corea’s masterpiece, “Spain”! The arrangement was made simple, but it was more than enough for Jeremy to make whatever manouver he wished to do. As a result, it created a perfect adventurous climax. The crowd popped and awarded him and the trio big round of applause.
We have featured some talented kids with amazing talents in jazz before like Nadine Adrianna, Philip Manfred and Kafin. Some of them have established their existence in the jazz scene big time, like playing in prestigious festivals, television, big concerts or even play abroad. We are happy that this time we featured another very talented boy gifted in jazz. This just shows that Indonesia never runs out of jazz talent. As we are carrying the mission to push the regeneration forward, we feel great to bring him in. Jeremy is special. He is exceptional, a boy wonder. We wish to see his progress as he continues on exploring the jazz world. Keep it all up!
The last performance belong to a group came all the way from Universitas Pelita Harapan (UPH)’s Conservatory of Music, Jakarta: RAY. RAY is a 7 piece band consisting of Juan Alexander (band leader/keyboard), Alice Grace (synth and sequencer), Arief Lorenzo and Adhika ‘Coki’ Himawan (guitars), Wesley Geraldo (bass), David Wilando (drums) and Felicia Yasinta (vocal). The band is mentored by none other than Boby Limijaya, a Berklee College of Music alumnus who made a couple of new ‘inventions’ in our music particularly jazz. He doesn’t only play and teach, he also supervised and even formed interesting groups.
What we see from the band he’s involved in is that they all have strong concept, unique flavor, ellegant and skillful. RAY doesn’t just play fusion, they actually have a strong neo soul feel, that for us becoming their forte. They are still students, but they play neat, clean and tight. Happy vibe is captured too in their appearance.
Unfortunately Alice couldn’t come. Yet the rest of them did great in keeping things in order, we believe no one would notice that they were one player less. The vibrant sound of neo soul quickly filled the air right from the beginning of their first choice, a cover of Robert Glasper Experiment’s hit with Norah Jones, “Let It Ride”. Juan led the team the whole time while releases the modern soulful poison into the air. Chunky melodious rhythmic bites from bass, the solid partnership between two guitars, vocal which works as a part of the instruments and the lively, playful drummer created such dreamy dimension.
For the second song, an original titled “People Change”, RAY decreased its size to four. The composition of this instrumental song is a beauty. It is rich in texture and very dynamic. Yasinta and Ariel then rejoined their mates to bring us into one last ride, their single “It’s Better If You Try”. From the first time we heard this song on Youtube, we already noticed that this song has a strong charm other than brilliantly written and executed. They all built the song until it reached the peak. It was already late, but there were many audience who enjoyed RAY’s performance stayed and gave them loud applause until the end.
From RAY we got the modern, urban neo soul sound pulsing inside chilled jazz fusion. This band is relatively new, formed exactly a year ago. But they have landed big on Motion Blue, Jakarta among other stages. We are proud to be able to have him in. A good band like this could give more than just entertainment. Young musicians can learn from them, how to play, how to deal with individual role and teamwork in a large ensemble, how to work on the composition for this formation and how to transfer positive, cheerful vibe towards the audience. Thank you for coming to Bandung, RAY and Boby Limijaya! Hope to see you again soon.
Four performances were packed inside this edition, presenting rainbow-like variety of jazz colors to everyone who watched them. From swing, straightahead, bebop to fusion and neo soul, from jazz standards, top 40s to original songs, all shows how rich this genre actually is. We are proud to see these talented young musicians that make jazz in Indonesia pulse as strong as it is today. The future of our jazz is in their hands, and we feel safe to see it in good hands.
We will be back again next month with other great talents. As a hint: there will be a boy who is currently shining bright in Diatas Rata-Rata (Above Average) team and a three-ladies vocal group with two hit singles, both from Jakarta. Who are they? Stay tuned for more news and follow our social medias: @jazzuality on facebook, twitter, instagram and path. Thank you for keep supporting us, see you again in November!
Watch the highlight of Braga Jazz Walk 28
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