Indonesian Jass Festival 2013 Day 2: Jass Up, Indonesia!




After the great first day, here comes the second and final day of Indonesian Jass Festival 2013. Just like yesterday, the event started early at 2:00 pm with two different shows. The male jazz singer also the road manager of Inna Kamarie, Joey Abdul brought his own band named Joey Abdul And Friends to fill the first session on the second day of Indonesian Jass Festival 2013 stage.

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At the same time, Kosakata took the PP stage. In English, Kosakata means Vocabulary, and the band took this word for one good reason. “Arranging the music is kind of like arranging words, so it can produce senteces that could develop life’s spirit.” said Andri Brendley, the guitarist of the band. With Gerinov Medaimanto (saxophone), Baroka Ismail (bass) and Chrismareza Prakoso (drums), Kosakata carries that philosophy in serving jazz with delicate funk, rock, blues and gospel. In 20 minutes there are 5 songs played on the stage, “Dimensi”, “Growing”, “Lumpat”, Living Your Dream Yet?”. and the last one “Panca Indra”. We haven’t heard from them for quite some time, so it’s glad to see them still alive and kicking even harder than ever.

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[flickr id=”9636025564″ thumbnail=”small” overlay=”false” size=”medium” group=”” align=”left”] The ‘crazy gang’ of HajarBleh Big Band took the Telkom Stage. This big band combining their performance with choreography to put some new taste in their performance. Wildan Abdat who also a part of Jazzuality said they brought more Indonesian songs because they presented this performance especially for our country. Here it is their song list “Pick up the Pieces”, “Chameleon”, “Janger” (Balinese Folk Song), “Samba de uma nota so”, “Bananeira”, “Bulan diatas Teras Kota” (HajarBleh Big Band original song), “Barcelona”, and “Kopral Jono.”

Essence Stage then started to run with representative from Semarang Jazz Community, Jazz Ngisoringin filled that up. At the Samali, Peppy Probo & The Southside Fellaz. Haven’t seen this band since 2011 but we’re glad that they are still on. As usual, Peppy was joined by set of young but skillful musicians. This band gave nice jazz with slices of new concept; slow funky jam.  Approximately at 3 pm, Jojo & Friends came up as the second act at Samali Stage.

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The progressive fusion band Heaven on Earth did another spectacular job in the big sized festival. This band has three ‘stunt’ musicians; Tedjo Bhayu Adjie (piano/keys/synth), Ossa Sungkar (drums/percussions) and Franky Sadikin (bass/all sequencers programmer). All these three stuntmen love to do maneuvers, wild exploration and unpredictable twists and turns in creating their musical presentation. Jazz guitarist David Pantouw’s band Dave & The Hollow Ensemble took over the stage from Peppy Probo and the SouthSide Fellaz.

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Sonic n Drive feat Baron and Friends presented such madness in intense heat courtesy of mad musicians. There was Mike, the bassist of Once band, guitarist Aria Baron (ex GIGI guitarist who later on formed Baron & Violet Jessica and Soulmates), drummer Rama Moektio (ex Ada Band; the son of Cockpit Band’s Yaya Moektio), Hendy on keyboard (member of Nugie Alf Band), Dysto (percussions), Jenes (Vidi Aldiano band) on saxophone plus Boym (Serious Band) and Rezanov (Gribs Band) on vocals. This team brought combination of their own compositions and some unpredicted covers such as Miles Davis’ “Jean Piere”, Tommy Bolin’s “Fandango”, Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and a number from the crazy world of Frank Zappa, “Dirty Love”, a song featured in Zappa’s 17th album released in 1973. This ensemble brought in the spirit of Woodstock live in jazz fest. The lethal combination of jazz, rock, blues and funk, the psyhedelic flower-generation spirit in the 70’s in somehow more modern spirit. “We are all free people,” said [flickr id=”9636688404″ thumbnail=”small” overlay=”false” size=”medium” group=”” align=”right”] Baron. Their concept might be rooted in jazz-rock fusion, but in many ways they gave out something really different. It’s like the rebellious spirit meets the lethal dose of creativity, served in a high fun-factor. This stage should become one of the most important highlight of this festival. Stunning.

Saxophonist Damez Nababan’s group 1stImpre brought jazz standard with loads of funky beat, making the trad jazz fits the modern, youngsters’ world of sound. In this group Damez goes with Arni Satyandita (vocal), Fahris Faisal (guitar), Maulana Ibrahmi (bass), Satriawan Wiguna (keys) and the young, wild female drummer Jeane Phialsa. The presentation from Komunitas Jazz Chic’s (KJC), the jazz community which was founded by some of the instructors of Chic’s Musik 6 years ago heated up the audience who were just arrived inside the venue.

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Meanwhile the popular soul with jazz vibes, Soulvibe got many crowds. They played some of their hits from their two previous albums plus some songs taken from the latest one, Gravitasi. The indoor stage was fulfilled by hundreds dancing people when “Syalala” and “Antartika” played. 45 minutes of their performance was such a warming up session for the indoor stage. Another songs were “Dan Bila”, Arti Hadirmu”, and the cover song of Java Jive “Gerangan Cinta”.  Fun and full of spirit, indeed!

While AYA (Are You Alone) did well at the Samali Stage, Radhini took her fans to dance the night away with her. Special for this show she sang some new songs from her upcoming debut album. Jazzy, groovy, ear catchy, her beautiful voice is always nice to hear. We will hear a lot more from her, that’s for sure.

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It’s not a coincidence that Julian Marantika often called as ‘Joy’ by his friends, because the way he play can actually bring that kind of feelings to his audience, especially since his early classical background actually enriches his natural jazz playing. In some ways his songs felt poetic. He’s still working on his debut solo album which is fully supported by his beloved wife who’s also a pianist, Mery Kasiman. Joining him were Elfa Zulham on drums, Indra Perkasa on contra-bass, and one female vocalist. “Broadway”, “Beginning of an End”, “Reason”, “Emily”, and Miles Davis’ “Milestone” which surprisingly got lyrics are the top five from them. Different piano playing from a man who knows how to combine all of his experiences and knowledges into something beautiful.

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After the break for Praying Call, the event continued on with 3 shows altogether, Bexa & Friends, Philosophy ABG and The Groove. Let’s dig more about The Groove. Long before this event happened, we have heard many words from The Groove’s loyal fans who couldn’t wait to see them in this jazz festival with nationalism spirit. As usual Rieka Roslan and Reza stood in front, leading the whole band that’s never failed to push everyone to dance together in one blasting party. As one of the bands which triggered the acid jazz m ovement in Indonesia, since its establishment in 1997 The Groove has been gaining a lot of fans throughout ages. 16 years later, they still stand strong in one solid friendship. If [flickr id=”9639625078″ thumbnail=”small” overlay=”false” size=”medium” group=”” align=”right”] you look at their stage, you can see that they have all ages fans. On one hand they bring memories to their old time fans, on the other hand they manage to capture new fans from today’s generation. They showed us the video clip of “Kusambut Hadirmu”, after that all of us enjoying the rich tones that overwhelmed the indoor stage through “Satu Mimpiku” and “You’re The Universe”. All of sudden, Rejoz walked into front side of stage and sang “have Fun Go Mad” together with Reza and Rieka. The next song, Indonesia Pusaka, amazingly heightened the heart beat of every one. Last two songs, “Dahulu” and “Khayalan” poisoning the atmosphere until all the audience could not stop dance and enjoy the tones.  Well, we had difficulties to catch a breath, thanks to the groovin’ party by The Groove.

Philosophy ABG (ABG is the abbreviation of its member: Arief Setiadi-sax, Bintang Indrianto-bass and Gerry Herb-drums) stunned everyone by playing challenging funky free jazz with a lot of flavours. Challenging, full of action and entertaining at the same time.

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Indonesia always has great jazz guitarists throughout decades. Today, we have many heavily talented young guitarists that holds their idealism with no compromise, one of them is Tesla Manaf Effendi. Born in Bekasi but lives in Bandung, Tesla is the type of restless musician that can stop creating something different. From bebop, postbop to several encounter with ethnical projects, he finally found his gem by establishing a connection with the Balinese Gamelan ensemble from ITB (Institute Technology of Bandung). He called the group simply as Tesla Manaf feat Mahagotra Ganesha that has independently released an album with huge success as the result. By bringing up this concept for Indonesian Jass Festival, Tesla sent some important messages: we can love jazz but still have to care about our own musical heritage, jazz is a music that’s always o pen to all kinds of musics including the traditional ones from all over the sphere, there are many possibilities can be created by combining two different parts of the world (musically speaking) and of course, as the theme made for the album, we all should care about our own natural environment. The eastern, mystical Balinese gamelan synched with western keyboards, drums, bass and guitar, Tesla brought his session just like a story with 6 episodes. In the 5th part the Red Masked Balinese Dancer called Jauk Keras rose the intensity that could become the climax before he delivered everyone to peace again in the end. As he’s moving forward to be an international musician, let’s keep supporting him, his creativity and passion. Having someone like Tesla can make us proud, because not only he can play as good as the senior international jazz player, this young man also understands and cares about our own traditional musics.

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If there’s a lady who can be like wine, getting better with age, that would be Margie Segers. She has been active for almost 50 years but still continues to run with even better vocal tone. The way she sings jazz is undeniably great, she should be listed in all time legendary female jazz/blues singers like Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Washington, Salena Jones and the likes. Her smokey, heavy vocal vibra is perfect to sing jazz, and she’s been known as a jazz singer for 4 decades, but she likes it more if she’s mentioned as a blues singer. With such gifted talent [flickr id=”9637574034″ thumbnail=”small” overlay=”false” size=”medium” group=”” align=”left”] on singing voice and blessed with health, the charismatic legend Margie Segers will still easily be found on big festival’s stages for many years to come. Long live aunt Margie! Love and respect to you.

On the other stage almost around the same time, Juicy Luicy from Bandung presented their music concept which lies between pop jazz, easy listening, Motown feel and the vintage Indonesian soundtracks. Bexa & Friends and Paroeh Waktoe kept the Welcome Stage running.

[flickr id=”9637735914″ thumbnail=”small” overlay=”false” size=”medium” group=”” align=”right”] The catchy Suddenly September delivered their groovy pop jazz in front of the crowds as the next show on Samali Stage. Meanwhile, the dynamic guitar duo Sketsa delivered a seriously ellegant show at the same time. The duo Gerald Situmorang and Dimas Wibisana were the men behind this group. Started with a duo, they expanded the territory by adding up more players to meet full band requirement (with electric bass, drums, keys, accordion/clarinet and vocal). But that wasn’t the final decision, because they love to appear with different formations according to the need. Violist Dika Chasmala and Rieke Astari (plays accordion) were among them. In front of big crowds they seduced everybody with intense acoustic heat where you could feel the fresh countryside sound, gypsy, jazz, classical and everything else you ever dreamed of.  What a beautiful acoustic showcase it was.

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At the Indoor Stage, crowds filled every space to see the highly famous Barry Likumahuwa Project. The band now has more dynamic variations with wider musical landscape to fly over. Look at their energizing new song “Lebih Tinggi” which is intended as a theme for the Angry Birds game, Indonesian Version. This unreleased single will be included in their “Generasi Synergy Repackaged”. Funky, jazzy but also has splashes of Balinese and Javanese ethnics all over the song, also featured rich RnB textured vocals courtesy of Ray Monte and Teddy Adhitya. Other than this ethnic influenced funk song, they also brought BLP’s classic hit “Mati Saja”, “Unity”, “Generasi Synergy” and some covers including Roy Hargrove’s “Crazy Race”, John Coltrain’s “Naima”. The number of crowds went up above the roof, it was a blast!

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Two legends took two different stages. First, let’s check out Benny Mustafa. This living legend is fully blessed with health, stamina and power, he can still play drum in excellence just like the way he was many decades ago. Here he brought up companions including Tiyo Alibasjah (guitar), Joseph Sitompul (keys), Donny Koeswinarno (saxophone), Kevin Yosua (contra-bass), and Jilly Likumahuwa (vocal).  As a man who has traveled through most of the Indonesia’s jazz history, we all should learn from him on many things. Not only his skill and the way he play that reveal lively jazz soul but also the passion and spirit that never fades away. If  you are interested in learning pure, original swing, this stage provided you perfectly.

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Meanwhile Mus Mudjiono gave a memory lane to his audience by singing his evergreens. Mus Mudjiono also demonstrated his ability in singing the melody exactly as what he plays on guitar. This skill, his guitar playing and his tender, silky smooth vocal style over smooth/pop jazz have made him known as ‘Indonesian George Benson’ by his fans. While he’s busy as God’s servant, he never left the music industry. He’s still frequently appear in jazz festivals either in his own show or as special featured star. He brought a team consisting of Eddy Syakroni (drums), Sam Panuwun (keys) and AS Mates (bass). Looking back when he made successful albums with all time hits, we wish him to be back again in recordings. He’s not over yet, he still has a lot of things to offer, and we know, he can even exceed the success he made over 20 years ago.

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[flickr id=”9635024019″ thumbnail=”small” overlay=”false” size=”medium” group=”” align=”right”] While the dynamic duo Traya did very well, the other stages were heated with different bands. Harry Toledo, the bassist with monster groove took over the stage from Sketsa and funked up the audience’s ears by playing covers of famous songs. At the other spot was Nona Ria Trio. This is an all female trio consists of Nesia Ardi (vocals), Rieke Astari (accordion) and Nanin Wardhani (piano) that has a unique concept of placing it inside the oldest forms of jazz, ragtime but in vintage Indonesian taste. It was funny, in some ways like an old time cabaret, but able to show their ability in delivering such concept in remarkable skills. One of the really refreshing act from these three ladies plus one violinist as guest star, Yasintha Pattiasina.

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The guitar maestro who masters the touch tapping with 8 fingers technique on a double-neck guitar brought his Balawan Bifan Trio. He started as a duo with bassist Fajar Adi Nugroho, but now they turned it into trio by having drummer Dion Subyakto on drums. In this festival they brought their own compositions including “Pasar Malam”, “Forest”, “Sunrise”, “April Joy” Country Beleganjur.” Another skill-showcase performance, dreamy, high octane action and some demonic speed in harmony. With naked eyes, they looked more like wizards than musicians. Tremendous!

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Then, a joyful party was served inside with ESQI:EF aka Syaharani and the Queenfireworks. As usual, this lady with bubbly personality entertained us much more than just singing. She was fully interactive with the audience by communicating a lot, making everyone felt ease at home. Beside her, two other co-founder Didit Saad and Donny Suhendra were on stage along with many other frequently supporting friends including Kristian Dharma (bass), Fajar Trias (keys), Andy Gomez (piano) and Sirhan Bahasuan (drums). Other than playing their own songs including one new unreleased track that’s set to be listed in the upcoming new album, they also took some covers like “Route 66″. With a fun performance like this, no wonder we saw many smiling faces during and after the show.

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While the son Barry Likumahuwa now has turned into a big star, we should not forget his father who has been walking through the musical journey for more than 50 years, Benny Likumahuwa. He’s been through different eras and involved in so many important milestones in our music timeline. He’s a multi-instrumental but he’s famous as a trombonist and flutist. Standing on his side were Barry Likumahuwa (contrabass), Jordy Waelauruw (trumpet), Dennis Junio (saxophone) and Dimas Pradipta (drums). The combination of talents, experiences and skills were awesome from this stage.

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The ex Gruvi vocalist/guitarist Ari Pramundito got his part around 11 pm at Essence Stage. He’s still young but he can do so many things with his guitar and vocal. He’s like the younger version of Mus Mujiono and/or George Benson, since he can scat-singing the melody that he plays on guitar at the same time, plus his delicate taste in sweet groovy jazz that of course with more modern touch. Two albums were released, the first one “Funk Me” in 2007 and then “I’ll Do” last year. He brought some songs from these two albums plus a couple of covers. Funky groove with melodical approach came from this show. Vodka became the final act in Welcome Stage.

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Meet the founder of Pitoelas Big Band, highly reliable composer and superb saxophonist, Dony Koeswinarno. He has many involvements in playing on stage inside and outsie the nation. Whenever there’s a big jazz festival appears in Indonesia, we will easily spot him here and there, either with his own band or as a sessionist. Other than saxophone, Dony can play many other instruments, like flute for example. As Dony Koeswinarno Quartet, he was accompanied by Fajar Adi Nugroho (bass), Aditya Bayu (guitar) and Iqbal (drums). Together they fiddled their instruments. Another grand package found in this very first attempt of jazz festival with strong Indonesian spirit.

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It’s time to check out the stage of Andi Wiriantono. He’s one of the recommended teacher to go to when you want to get deep with jazz, especially if piano or keyboard is the weapon you choose. About two years ago he decided to climb down the mountain and appeared right on the surface, meaning, stepping his gear towards the bright lights of jazz stage. For this particular fest he participated under Andi Wiriantono Project with A.S. Mates (bass), Othman Djuliarso (drums), Andre Siahaan (sax). In the hands of highly experienced senior like Andi, jazz doesn’t need to appear in manic and hectic complexity to shine bright. He needn’t to show off how high his skill to make charming compositions. He just played everything simple with neccessary improvisations when the time’s right. This team played sets of songs like “Bebop Mix Blues” written by Andi himself, “Lucky Southern”, “Lullaby of Birdland”, Clara Bley’s “Syndrome” and a finale from Eddy Harris’ collection, “Freedom Jazz Dance.” In this last song our own Erick Gabe was featured. He demonstrated his acrobatic vocal ability including making out the sound of trumpet and trombone with his voice. In the end it was a blast, with the total of 20 minutes only in this last one. What’s important is feel, and of course timing. Andi and his gang showed us the true heart of jazz, when passion and happiness of playing can be conveyed to whoever listens. Indeed a lovely simple but meaningful package.

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Watching Maliq n D’Essentials means having a party. Just a couple of months ago Maliq n D’Essentials released their new album “Sriwedari”. We all know they are rooted in soul and groovy pop jazz but this time they injected the nuance of distinctive taste of Brit pop. In order to get the real sound, they did the recording process at Abbey Road, England. Wider music scope means more probabilities in making music, and it’s like a gift for their fans and supporters. The famous “Dia”, “Untitled”, and also the second single from Sriwedari album “Drama Romantika” made  the show ended perfectly.

Maliq & D’Essentials and Andi Wiriantono Project became the final performance for the second day, as well as the 2013 edition. Looking at how this festival goes, we know that this kind of festival is urgently needed, most especially if we wish to see better jazz days in Indonesia. Whether you realize it or not, we do have so many great talents, so many that not even a 7 days or even a month festival can be enough to accommodate them all. While there are many stars currently on the top of the game and still many living legends with never-ending spirit, there are many young bands/musicians/singers still struggling to reach the higher ground. They need to gain experience in order to grow. A wholy Indonesian-based festival like this opens up chances for them. It won’t be a surprise if in the future we see great jazz artists who actually hatched from this event.

May this article be enough to show our appreciation to ALBA Productions and all the committee for their endless exhausting working hours to make it happen. It’s never easy to make a festival, especially when idealism is attached strongly inside. If we can give suggestion, maybe next year you guys can think of Overseas Indonesian jazzers, those who live/make a living in the other continents, or even international artists who have Indonesian blood/origin. There are names like Daniel Sahuleka, Arie Ayunir, Nial Djuliarso, Sri Hanuraga, Lielian Tan, Deva Permana, Luluk Purwanto, Jeanette Lamb among many other names that we can consider to invite. But more than this, we hope that this festival be carried on next year and years after. Keep the spirit up, never give up on the good thing. We all salute you, long life Indonesian jazz!

See more pictures:

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Repoter: Riandy Kurniawan, Shely Napitupulu, Mellysa Anastasya, Erick Gabe , Vierna M.K
Photographer: Qaedi Fuadillah, Fennysia Wijaya, Reita Wijaya, Omar Maulana, Mia Damayanti


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