You can celebrate the Day of Love, Valentine’s Day any which way you want. Some choose candlelight dinner, give flowers, heart-shaped chocolate or exchange gifts to the one they love. Those who are romantic go stating their love through spoken words, cards and letters. Some celebrates it with friends and family. And so on. Yes, you can celebrate it in any way you wish. This year we gave another option to celebrate it: through jazz. For that, we made the February edition of Bumi Sangkuriang Jazz Night to be a Special Valentine Edition and moved the schedule to the exact date, on February 14th, 2017.
Due to the special occasion, we selected the bands and artists that we believed could carry the theme in rich variety and quality. Other than presenting the accomplished female jazz singer from Jakarta, we also brought the iconic all ladies band from Bandung who has been running for 17 years to land on our jazz stage for the very first time. To make the Valentine celebration be more heartfelt, we also invite real life couple who have been sharing their love not only in daily life but also in terms of music career. Of course the home band gave full support too as usual.
The young couple Rendy Hardiman and Celline Indrawirawan made the first shot, together as Cellne and the Ukulele Man. Uke, the shortened word for this Hawaiian origin instrument is not the usual gear we find on jazz stage. But, on the other hand, it’s not a stranger to jazz as well. This lovers share interest in this instrument for quite a long time. They don’t just play or rely on this instrument in their show, they also take a further step by establishing an ukulele store called Kayu Tua Ukulele. If it was quite difficult to find good quality of uke before in Indonesia, Rendy and Celline are working hard to provide it.
When they took position on stage, we immidiately found out they actually had a different concept. They didn’t just use ukulele as the melodic instrument, they also featured u-bass or ukulele bass, played by Krisyadi. To provide beat, Yohan sat behind the drumset. To avoid too loud sound, he used brush sticks which became a perfect choice.
They started with a song originally made for a musical play in 1957 but then popularized by The Beatles a couple of years after, “Til There Was You”. This song directly let us feel the magical sound of uke-oriented band which complimenting the beautiful husky, jazzy voice of Celline. The sweetness of romance kept surrounding the hall with another The Beatles’ hit, “I Will”. They switched to a classic Indonesian song from the late January Christy, “Aku Ini Punya Siapa” before pinning Elvis Presley’s evergreen “Can’t Help Falling in Love”. For the last song they sang a song featured in Disney-Pixar’s animated short film for Inside Out, “Lava”. Just as how it is in this short film, Celline and the Ukulele Man kept all the beauty of it. The duet between the romantic couple Rendy and Celline sounded sweet in telling a thousands of years journey of a lonely volcano in the Pacific Ocean in searching for true love.
Placing a real couple as the first show should give the audience chance to feel love from the start. They did it. We were spoiled by the smooth husky voice of a beautiful girl where jazz is printed all over and good work from the musicians in crafting music so sincere. The calming sound of uke. U-bass. Brush sticks on drums. Comfortable performance. Song choice. We knew they would do great, but we have to say they surprised us. Michelle Efferin who owned the ME Music School where Celline learns came to support her and said she’s really proud of her. Looking back on her journey on our events, we are happy to see how much she’s progressing, from being one of the singers to a moment like this where she shines with her beau and friends. As for Rendy, this man knows what instrument he should use and stays true with it. They really resonated love with everything they do, in simple yet ellegant way. It was heartfelt.
The event quickly switched from smooth romantic to playful, courtesy of an iconic band from Bandung, consisting of all female players, with a quite remarkable endurance through time. This band was born right at the turn of the millennium (that’s 17 years ago!). The band has been sailing through any kind of weather, from smooth sailing to stormy ones, but the band is still solid, alive and kicking. We are talking about the one and only SHE.
Perhaps you still remember their monumental hit, “Slow Down Baby” which blasted our music industry in 2007 and took them to stardom. SHE – stands for Sound and Harmony Eclectic has some more hits spread in couple of albums spanning from 2005 to 2015. Today SHE comprises of the original members Adisty Sofie Anggia aka Zulkarnaen (drum) and Arnie Christanti (bass), the long-time member Qotrunnada Fitriana aka Qoqo (guitar) and the newest member of the family, Dyah Sekar (piano). Not only the formation, they made slight chance too to the name, from just SHE to SHE REVELATION. This new name kind of showing their new perspective in playing music which is more free in terms of genre according to the music character of each personnel. Since they currently don’t have any specific vocalist, they deal with it collectively. We acknowledge their unique and different approach in speaking about love as seen in their songs, and we also know how good these girl execute their concept, not to mention their attractive appearance. For all these reasons, we decided to invite them in. Luckily we got positive response from them. As a result, for the first time SHE landed on jazz stage, we are proud that it happened on our event.
The current formation appeared full team. They kicked off with the single released at the same time over 160 radio stations all over Indonesia in March 2015, “Don’t Give Up”. It was a surprise to see that the drummer Adisty became the one who led the vocal. Certainly not easy to sing while banging the drum, yet she did very well. The surprise continued on with a cool vocal harmony as the opening of “True Love”, later sung by Arnie. The third song was their hit from the highly successful second album, “Temani Aku”. This time Qoqo was the lead singer without leaving her sharp, rockin’ guitar playing. Just how SHE has been known since day 1, these girls were attractive while performing. Full of joy, lots of action, no matter what formation or number of personnels they are having.
If the previous three songs let us enjoyed the different arrangements which was made to suit the jazz occassion, The fourth and last song created climax. It was the big hit that put them in such stardom status: “Slow Down Baby”. While we always love this pop rock song since when it was released in 2007, this time the ladies of SHE Revelation remade it in swingin’ rockin’ and rollin’ style, led by Dyah on vocal. Some audiences still remember the song and sang together. This cool rearrangement splashed something fresh into the well known song as well as showing that SHE Revelation could have jazz stage as their new home.
Speaking of music character, Adisty, Arnie and Dyah have been showing their passion in jazz for some years by establishing a band called Jazzy Juice. Qoqo with her punching rock approach sometimes join her friends. It’s not suprising to see Jazzy Juice on jazz stage, but it’s definitely something when these ladies appear as SHE or SHE Revelation. We had been wanting to bring this band in for some years, finally we got their signature on this event. How great it is to watch them singing their hits in new arrangements, and certainly these girls are enjoyable to watch. 20 years has passed, may there be more fruitful and awesome years ahead for you girls. Long live SHE Revelation, keep making us and Bandung proud!
For the final show we presented an accomplished jazz singer gifted with really beautiful voice and high technique, Nesia Ardi. She can sound some instruments with her mouth and amazing at scatting, such ability which remind us of Al Jarreau who passed away just a week ago on February 12, 2017. Her cheerful, charming personality never fails to make any of her performance lasts long in our mind, no matter what group or what size the band she is in. As an evidence of how good she is, she was awarded as Freedoms Jazz Artist of the Year in 2016, winning over so many other amazing names. We have been wanting to invite her to this event, finally we got the chance to do so. What’s even better is that she came all the way from Jakarta for our special Valentine edition.
The homeband of this event, New Equinox supported her fully. This trio has released one album a couple of months ago and soon will release the new one consisting of all original songs. Alman Naufal (drum), Jason Limanjaya (piano) and Ezra Manuhutu are the members of this band.
New Equinox got their moment beforehand. The band played one of their original songs soon available in the upcoming second album (scheduled to release in 22 February) titled “Twice a Three”. Not an easy song to play, but these boys managed to perfectly executed it.
Nesia Ardi positioned herself behind the mike and started with a very old jazz standard from 1928, “I Can’t Give You Anthing But Love”. While her voice worked like a legendary jazz divas, she owned the stage with her charm. She carried on with her original song,”Don’t Put Sugar in My Coffee”. this song is deeply rooted in blues with cute lyrics. Just up to this point the audience would notice that the gift she possesses could shine in jazz and blues from that golden era. Next, she took Bob Marley’s all-time masterpiece, “Waiting in Vain”.
Nesia and the New Equinox boys decided to change their musical direction by pinning the golden hit of Cole Porter, “Love for Sale” not in swing but dressed with salsa. Nesia and Jason gave one sweet opening for one of the most romantic songs ever, “I’m In The Mood For Love”. Here in this song Nesia demonstrated her ability to do the mouth trumpet. Not wanting to end her show with ballad, she then took our mood up again with the cheerful standard from the 30’s, “On the Sunny Side of the Street”. Suiting the song’s mood, she acted flirty and funny towards the New Equinox boys, also sang with laugh sound which reminds us of George W Johnson’s “The Laughing Song” in 1898 (said to be one of the first known recording of an African American). That became the final song for tonight.
We have seen her performing in many diferent bands, from the awesome ragtime-swing over vintage Indonesian era group Nona Ria Trio, the modern keroncong-jazz crossover Lantun Orchestra, joining Shadow Puppets and so on. She happily supported our first ever gig more than 4 years ago which was made to celebrate Christmas where she gave an unforgettable performance. We love her album “Look For The Silver Lining” released in 2015, praised her role as vocal coach for Harvey Malaiholo and Shadow Puppets Quartet’s “Indonesian Songbook” album, proud of her magnificent rendition of “Letnan Hardy”, a classic song from the restored 1956 movie, “Tiga Dara”. We notice her consistency in pursuing her career including her new project K/N/I/T and Orkes Gembira, and of course, we respect and love her a lot as a dear friend.
There are many things we could learn from this jazz lady, there’s so many things to enjoy from her appearance. Magic appears whenever she’s around. Speaking of Valentine, she sprinkled us and the audience with lots of love. New Equinox did very well in backing her up. Nesia Ardi is one of a kind, we have no doubt that she will keep on surprising us in the future.
With her performance, this edition reached the end. For three hours straight we delivered the message of love in varieties, brought by selected groups/bands/artists that we believed would make this year’s Valentine’s Day celebration shine in jazz. We thank everyone who come, all performers and our partners/supporters. We hope to be back again next month, but before that, on behalf of Jazzuality.com and everyone behind this event, we wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day. May love always be with you!
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