Braga Jazz Walk, Premiere Edition : The Report

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Braga Jazz Walk 01

 

We have held Terraz Jazz for 11 straight editions. Actually it ran very well, but apparently the venue Festival Citylink suddenly closed its door and no longer wish to support the event for whatever reason. So be it. But since we carry such important mission to provide a home for musicians (especially the young ones in Bandung), a place where they can practice, gain experience and of course have fun, we just got to find a new ground.

Thank God we didn’t have to wait too long. The Braga City Walk, a mall located in the historical Braga street understood our mission and agreed to support. Being held in a new venue, this event got a new name too: Braga Jazz Walk. This new place should be easier to access since it’s located right at the heart of Bandung. KPH Music provides the instruments and sounds. All set. We look forward to have a solid cooperation and aim for a better future.

 

Braga Jazz Walk 1 - Titbits (1)

 

We figured out that the event was held exactly on Bandung’s 204th Anniversary. It was totally coincidence, but we hope this to be a good sign.  What make us proud is that the event was a huge success. We got wonderful happening crowds that gave lots of applauses and cheers to the performers. Many musicians, many mall-goers and some audience from the Fave Hotel were enjoying the show too. Look at the photo above. We feel really, really happy with that scene.

 

Braga Jazz Walk 1 - Duovali (2)

 

What did we have here in this new chapter? Three groups were participating happily: Two bands and one project plus a happening jam session as usual. The first performance was set for Duolid, a project belong to Andre Mangunsong, the founder of KPH Music and the soulful powerhouse Agis Kania. But since Agis fell ill and had to rest, the stage was given to Duovali. Still a duo, but it was a vocal-guitar connection with Dian and Yuga.

It turned out to be a very nice substitute and worked really well as the first performance of Braga Jazz Walk. Presented intimate in minimalistic concept, Yuga and Dian pinned some of the famous soulful RnB renditions like Brian McKnight’s “Another You”, The Commodores’ “Thank You”, also the current radio hit Magic!’s “Rude” and Renee Olstead’s song, “A Love That Will Last”.

 

Braga Jazz Walk 1 - Duovali (6)

 

 

When we heard about Duolid as a project of Andre and Agis, we knew it’d be magic. It was unfortunate that Agis couldn’t come, but hey, we got a sweet surprise. Dian shone bright with a top notch RnB singing voice and Yuga is indeed a stylish guitarist.  What a lovely, intimate start it was. Minimalist yet warm, classy and fancy. Exactly what we needed after fighting the heavy traffic to reach the venue.

 

Braga Jazz Walk 1 - Setim Project (8)

 

The second band in action was Setim Project. The band is still new but the faces found in the band are familiar to us due to their frequent appearance in our events. The personnels are the students of STiMB (Sekolah Tinggi Musik Bandung/School of Musician) consists of Jerry Gates and Amo Conka (guitars), Reinhard Worran (bass), Andi Pramudito (drums), Billy Geraldy (keyboard) and Budy Prama Dongoran (saxophone).

Based on the composition of player we knew it would be mad. But they ‘tricked’ us by starting soft. “Feels Like Making Love” from Roberta Flack was the first one pinned in smooth jazz followed by Marcus Miller’s song from the album Renaissance (2012) titled “Detroit”. After that they went harder by blending hard bop, fusion and heavy metal with Herbie Hancock’s classic, “Cantaloupe Island.” It was interesting to see this song being covered with heavy metal approach. Jerry’s fusion touch and Amo’s slashing metal licks created different musical dimension which later became even more mind-bending with solo runs from the rest. Reinhard’s rockin’ bass, the cool solo drums and an action served by Billy using a key-tar.

 

Braga Jazz Walk 1 - Setim Project (3)

 

When people thought that would be it, they dropped huge bombs on the last two songs. First, it was “Blues For Ben”, a piece from rock/jazz drummer Stanton Moore in which they created jamming atmosphere. It was too hot to handle by the awesome crowds, they gave lots of noises many times to the band. But for the climax, they left jazz and went totally rock by playing Steve Vai’s “Audience is Listening.” How often would you see Steve Vai being covered in a jazz event? Slim chance. But this band is blessed by having Amo Conka, the ninja-like guitarist with complete killing strikes. He opened his shirt and then roared wild in building unbelievable ending.

A newly formed band, yes, but they are definitely not beginners. Apparently the School of Musicians has produced ripe fruits that are not only great in skills but also dare to go beyond limit. The entertaining rate was high. A wild party, edgy and in many ways, controversially stunning. Having these mad lads was clearly a dope.

 

Braga Jazz Walk 1 - Chakraborty (1)

 

The last slot was taken by a band which adopts the philosophy of the North Indian ancient mythology, Chakraborty. It’s a Sanskrit word which means “(becoming) the best” or “(doing) the best”. The band is led by a fine young drummer named Joo Yang with other players such as Adya Amru Hidayat (guitar), Ayu Sara (vocal), Yosua Setiawan (bass) and Nicodemus Horisson (keyboard). Recently they seem to make great moves by getting more and more gigs, including some big catches, including Tangsel Jazz Festival 2014 just a couple of weeks ago. Being one of our loyal supporters, we are more than happy to place them under the spotlight again.  It’s time for us to get their updates. What did they bring this time? Well, assorted jazz rich variety.

Yosua couldn’t join the party since he had another job. Muhamad Ilham replaced him, plus Mada Radjab on saxophone. All set. Chakraborty started sailing with “(They Long To Be) Close To You” originally by The Carpenters and then asked everyone to celebrate the 204th Anniversary of Bandung with Ismail Marzuki’s national anthem, “Halo-Halo Bandung”. They smartly taylored this song with Jaco Pastorius’ “The Chicken”. All the way Joo Yang used cajon instead of the electric drum for this session. The last song was “Summertime” in groovy mood.

 

Braga Jazz Walk 1 - Chakraborty (3)

 

We have known the band for quite long time and always appreciate their passion to music, especially jazz. For a band like this, the only way is up, if they keep the pace the way they are doing right now. Skillful players found in every corner, tight when they unite as a team. As we said before, this band is one of our biggest supporters. They’ve been visiting our event often and had fun together with us many, many times. Well guys, hope to see you again soon. Keep up the good work and be a ‘chakraborty’.

 

Braga Jazz Walk 1 - Jam Session (2)

 

Jam Session took place directly after every performing bands rested their case. Wait, we haven’t mentioned that there were so many musicians from different backgrounds came to this event. Among them were a great drummer, an Indonesian but has been pursuing his career in Sydney, Australia for 18 years. He is the ‘Superman’ Deva Permana. As he’s back to Indonesia, he was very kind to visit us. We invited him to the stage for short conversation and then invited him to jam. Joining him on stage was his former band-mate Hendy Hertiasa (works as a lecturer in ITB) on vocal, Yopi D Navis on keyboard and Hajar AS (guitar). Another coincidence occured:  the band of ITB was formed! The combination of teacher-ex students from different years was there on stage. This team covered two songs: “Route 66” in an open style and “Moody’s Mood for Love”. Ayu Sara joined near the end.

 

Braga Jazz Walk 1 - Titbits (12)

 

The next batch filled with Billy (vocal), Chairul (sax), Nicodemus Horisson and Yopi D Navis (keyboards), Adya Amru (guitar) and Farrel (drums). “The Girl from Ipanema” was their choice which became the song that sealed this premiere edition. A photo session took place in the very end.

The street of Braga (Bragaweg in Dutch colonial period) holds historical value, artistic value and commemorative value. You can still see classic European Art Deco architectures along the street, old shops that live harmoniously with the new ones. It gives a perfect portrait of the past as the street has been passing quite a journey through time but at the same time it accomodates today’s lifestyle too. The place serves vintage/retro feel, stands as a cultural spot but also modern. It’s historical but trendy. A perfect hangout spot for everyone That’s why the Braga Street always has a magical atmosphere, something that’s hard to find elsewhere. What we hope is to have a reliable ground to keep carrying the regeneration process and supporting the young musicians in Bandung to fulfill their dreams.

 

Braga Jazz Walk 1 - Photo Session

 

As we hold this commitment, we thank our partners, the Braga City Walk and KPH Music for the full support. May our cooperation last long in strong, natural synergy. We also send respect to every musicians who have been supporting us by coming regularly. We wouldn’t be able to do this without you, we really appreciate it. Thanks guys!

What we dream is this: one day soon, Braga will be remembered not only for its vintage atmosphere and modern scene, not only for the place to find fine arts and cafes, but also a place where you can find Jazz. Not the segmented and exclusive one, but the kind of jazz that carries the original philosophy, tradition and spirit. Every musicians can join in and add your own color into the provided palette. Jazz is, and should always be an open minded and friendly music corner to everyone. Having this kind of jazz in Braga, wouldn’t it be cool? Well, we’ll provide it twice a month, on the 2nd and 4th Thursday. Come to Braga and let’s jazz. Or say it in Sundanese way: Hayu Ngabaraga bari Ngajazz!

See the highlight of Braga Jazz Walk #01 on our Youtube channel

See more pictures:

 

Reporter: Riandy Kurniawan
Photographer: Nia Kurniawati, Ayu Lestari
Video and Photo Editor: Vierna Mariska Kurniawan, Titus Firmanto

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