Jakarta International Jazz Festival (JakJazz) 2012: Day 3 Report


Day three leaps in as we’re still roaming around the stages of Djarum Super Mild Jakarta International Jazz Festival 2012. A few names from the first and second day were back such as Boris Savoldelli, Tetsuo Sakurai, Mezzoforte and Curtis King. Crackerjacks Dixieland also performed again with a larger crowd with much more expressive response.They just rehearsed today and brought an Indonesian song of their own version, “Terang Bulan”. The crowd even asked for an encore. Happy to see that finally the audience started digging the beauty of Dixieland. It’s rare today to find a band which as the authentic spirit of this style, but Dixieland Crackerjacks has it all. They had fun, brought a lot of laughter and made us felt as if we were sitting in 1910’s or 1920’s street cafe in New Orleans. “We’d love to come again next year. We love the audience, the organizers really did a great job too.” said trumpeter Michael Muller to us. If that so, we would be more than happy to have this band back again next year. Speaking of the rarity, authenticity, true spirit and joyful package in terms of having an important part of jazz history back again, Dixieland Crackerjacks is the one,  They finally found climax in the last day, the same thing happened with other performers who reprised their session. But hey, eventhough they played more than once, they could make it like it was their first presence. That’s the great thing about jazz is that you don’t know what’s going to happen next and you don’t get the same performance twice. It’s all about the creativity and improvisation, so it was never a same show.


The day started off with Jazzy One. A group of fresh young talents consisting of Muhammad Reyhan Akil (Keyboards), Muhammad Rizky Abdullah (Bass), Dio Rizky Perdana (Drums), Dimas Habibie (Saxophone), Harley Korompis (Trumpet) and Yosua Jose (Percussion & Cajon) set the stage with numbers from Incognito who are also performing at this event. So we could say it is like an interesting improvising inception. This evening we were served to open this bash within the following cover songs such as John Legend’s “Ordinary People”, Jamiroquai’s “Bad Girls” and Stevie Wonder’s “Don’t You Worry Bout a Thing”. They included two female vocalis Dita and Farah Di plus Aja with his powerful and strong voice.

Institut Musik Indonesia is one of the nation’s leading music institutes and in this event they have contributed a big part towards expanding knowledge and sharing experiences with the crowd about what they have pursued throughout their study. And on the last day, IMI Combo Band gave us a great package. With Indro Hardjodikoro, Andre Dinutz, Triono and Yandi, they served us more than a combo, but a feast of rockin’ , funkin’ fusion to fulfill our cravings for jazz  through their songlist “Psychopath”, “Always Always Always”, “And I Love Her”, “Remembering You” and “Titik Awal”.

 The grand swing embranced the audience in multitude from the clinic stage, brought by the band formed two years ago by Sonny Pangestu and Roberto Joko. They also valiant to bring another kind of music as long as they are still in the corridor. Many of the band members are still young and happily join the team for enjoying the learning process or simply to have fun. Wildan Abdat, our contributor also a trumpet player in HajarBleh Big Band told us that their participation at such a big, international event like this was a dream come true. We say, they deserve it. What’s unique from this big band is they’re open to everyone who interested and want to engage in jazz music. We can feel from their performance that none of them wasted their opportunity in fulfilling their dreams. They entertained us with swing, blues, and jazz standard in epic result. Good job, HajarBleh Big Band! Robert Joko as the arranger, conductor, mentor and keys. Then there’s Shelly (Keys), Yonathan (Guitar), Vito Gama (Bass), Rizal ‘Ucus’ Wargakusuma (Percussion), Thomas & Nair (Drums), Nicolaus Edwin (Tenor Sax), Tanya Edwin (Alto Sax) and Arie Kurniawan (Alto Sax). From the trombone base there is Sonny T. Pangestu (Band Master), Suharman, Mail & Rio. Trumpets are Luhur ‘Icrut’ Wicak, Wildan Abdat, Adek Marhaenika and the vocals from Thisi, Steve Respati and Mesakh Christian.They carried on songs such as Duke Ellington’s “Duke’s Place”, “Route 66”, Sonny Rollins’ “St Thomas” and “Georgia On My Mind” among others. From now on if one wants to talk about the pulse of Big Band in Indonesia, HajarBleh Big Band should always be mentioned. Hope they will continue achieving their dreams, such as participating in other big events in local or international scene, where they can get more experience and at the same time proving that they are indeed have it all.

RTM Jazz Orchestra (Radio Televisyen (Diraja) Malaysia) was the first orchestra in Malaysia formed in 1961 and known to be the best. It is lead, directed and conducted by Dato Mokhzani who is also a Berklee graduate, jazz pianist and arranger.They are a big name in the Malaysian local jazz scene but they are also achieving the same response in the worldwide perspective, including Indonesia. They have been on many stages around the world and also The International Java Jazz Festival which gained many positive respones. With an ensemble that blends so beautifully, the crowd can feel the elegance of the intstruments and the heart of the musicians delivering it. This performance also involved the beautiful Sierra Soetedjoe with many songs including “I’ve Got You Under My Skin”. RTM also asked Andy Wiryantono to come on stage and improve the song. This was a great teamwork between Indonesia and Malaysia and they all did a superb job.


What do you get when you put Oele Pattiselano with Jeffrey Tahalele and Cendy Luntungan? For certain you’ll get swingin’ jazz with natural improvisations that come from their hearts. This circle of friends are the fully experienced seniors that connected to each others like using telepathy. Their souls connect to one another, therefore they can play something spontaneous right away. At Java Jazz Festivals they often perform by the name of JOC (stands for their initials), they also play regularly in some places too up until now. Some senior players joined their stage like percussionist Iwan Wiradz and saxophonist Arief Setiadi. In the hands of these kind of team, we can learn a lot of how to bring jazz in the most natural way. Kudos to you, may there be many more fruitful years to come.

Komuniklinik served something more than just entertaining, because they held a mission to educate without being expensive at the same time. Colorful session players stood behind including Eva Natalie (keys), Fernanda (guitar), Mika Yohanes (bass), Deva Hartsteen (drums) and pretty lineup of singers, featuring Monita Tahalea and Mike Mohede who sang “Alamat Palsu” surprisingly in swing. Other than that, they also pinned Slank’s “Kamu Harus Pulang”. Nice show and different.

Another coaching clinic was from Indro Hardjodikoro. From his two albums, “Feels Free” and “Traveling”, we know that Indro Hardjodikoro really put his concern in bass improvising at making or playing music, especially the fusionesque of jazz. High speed fingering is one of his magic, though he only use it according to the needs. With that kind of skill he can easily improvise in the middle of music and make series of fantastic bassline. Accompanied by his band which is unique by having more than one bass inside, Indro & The Fingers again showed their music that stunned the people of Russia and made them flabbergasted! Speaking of being flabbergasted, we did too. More fruitful years is yet to come for them. Indro has been great as a sideman, but know this: he’s amazing as a frontman and certainly he’s a great mentor.

For the music fans in the 80’s, the name Imaniar would bring back lots of memory. She started singing early at the age of 4 with the sibling band named The Kids. After changing the name at least twice (The Kids Brothers and The Big Kids), the band ended their journey in 1985. But that wasn’t the end of Imaniar, since she then teamed up with her sister Lydia and reached even better success. Now pursuing her solo career, she’s still charming and supported fully by her family.

Having Imaniar in any festival would be great, not only because she’s a singer who’s never faded away since her hey-day in the 80’s but also due to her attractive and energetic performance. At this event she joined her brother Idham Noorsaid’s band named ESGE (Semen Gresik) Jazz Band. Idham Noorsaid provided strong groovy rhythm with his bass as usual. Other members including Zaki, Nesya, Nidya and Arif (vocals), Wibi (piano), Didik (keys), Agus (guitar) and Inang Noorsaid (drums). How cool it was to see Imaniar did something she rarely done before, that was singing in Javanese style. The song was “Ilir-Ilir” that got a groovy fusion style through the hand of Idham. If watching ESGE Band was already cool, Imaniar’s presence surely added much more flavors. Numbers were from “Ilir-Ilir”, a song from East Java followed by “Giant Step”, “Freedom Jazz Dance”. The maestro Gesang’s song was alo presented, “Bengawan Solo” captivating the crowd watching. They ended it with “Prahara Cinta”, “Ironi”, “Anthropology” and “Careless Whisper”. This band is planning big for national and international performances and aiming for performing at North Sea Jazz. They are also deciding to add the gamelan as a unique highlight for international performances.


While Kanda did their stuff at the Ireng Maulana Lounge right after the Crackerjacks Dixieland, let’s take a look at the big stage on the back right of the venue. The second decade of millenium seems to be a fruitful one for Indra Lesmana, since he’s been working on a lot of projects other than keeping the Red White Jazz Lounge program run well. While he’s still active in LLw, recently he’s making a breakthrough by using iPad on making songs. “Making music is no longer the same for me”, he said. The first single jazz-dubstep “Two Steps at a Time” created a big hype among music fans not only in Indonesia but also internationally. (read our article about it here: http://jazzuality.com/jazz-news/indra-lesmana-jazz-dubstep-new-single-two-steps-at-a-time-ipad-way-of-composing/). From there he’s now preparing his 67th album all made by using iPad entitled “11:11?, scheduled to release on November, 11. What’s the number about? “To me, 11:11 is a sign from the universe… in that song I share what I feel and realize when I see the number 11:11?, he said. Another song that has been done is the unique jazz chiptune titled “8bit Chronicle”. Well, it’s not Indra Lesmana if he doesn’t make surprises. “Sometimes, the obsession to master an instrument can make one forget about the essence of playing music.. that is to create a beautiful music.” he said. So we can be sure that no matter what he creates, the word ‘beautiful’ will always be in his priorities.

At this event, Indra brought along Barry Likumahuwa and Muhammad Rafi on the drums together with Kyriz Boogiemen also.  We met Indra’s wife, Honhon Lesmana in front of the stage and she told us that Indra’s actually not feeling well. Still he gave his best shot on stage including running some wild stuffs with his Moog. They brought on songs including “Friday Call”,”Stretch N Pause”,  “Ups and Downs”, and “Reborn”. What’s also important is that the newly-elected governor, Joko Widodo spared his time to come and enjoy this event. Withe the involvement of Rafi in the group, it added an urban fresh touch to the whole performance. Since Indra is digging into looking for fresh and young talents, he’s chosen Rafi as a perfect choice.

Meanwhile the Eddy Syakhroni Quartet gave out a challenging performance at the other stage. Eddy is a senior drummer who has been active as the sideman in many bands and involved in uncountable number of projects for many years. This time he stood as the band leader carrying the concept of Thing’s Call Nature Projects. Joining him in this band Tristian Salomo Mates (bass), Devian Zikri (sax) and the young pianist with international reputation, Ade Irawan. Having this kind of team made Eddy able to give his free manouvers, attracting many attendance who came to enjoy the last day of JakJazz 2012.

Having performed on day one, Jeff Lorber Fusion were back again with Eric Marienthal, Nate Philips and Sonny Emory adding the spice up to the group. Vidi Aldiano was a pop rising star in Indonesia’s music scene. He became famous after his attempt on recycling a classic Indonesian song “Nuansa Bening” and after that he produced a dozen of hits in the knick of time such as “Status Palsu” and “Gadis Genit”. He’s magnet for all teenagers and woman, we can saw that when he gave such an impressive performance, nice and catchy melody on the stage. All the crowd danced and sang to the music, gaving Vidi an endless applause when he brought songs from his first album. Vidi just made their night!

Jazz drummer born in Surabaya with an influencing family background of drummers and percussionists, Karim Suweileh also took away the stage. He also had participated in the North Sea Jazz Festival which was held in Holland with the band Bhaskara that consisted of his brother Dullah Suweileh, Luluk Purwanto, Kiboud Maulana, Bambang Nugroho and Nunung Wardiman, producing three albums at that time. His involvement in jazz is uncountable, working with Jack Lesmana, Margie Segers, Ermy Kulit, Utha Likumahuwa and also Ireng Maulana. When you see him drummin away, you automtically get swept away with the beat.

Crowd’s expectations will rise above the bar if they heard the name Glen Fredly was on JakJazz’s line up. Why’s that? because his skill in music is beyond wonder. From melancholic to romantic, slow songs to upbeat songs, he is truly an artist of melodies with heart-touching lyrics. Plus, We all know that this idealistic singer always come with social mission, prosperity, love, and peace everytime he performs. Such a great, talented and lovable personality he is. He served his silk warm voice by singing all of his well-known hits such as “Happy Sunday”, “Selagi Ada Waktu” and “Tega”. Yance Manusama and Matthew Sayersz also stepped on stage as they all performed “Rame-Rame” and another performance featuring Ian Ingram which made the crowd dance with the music. A song composed by Yovie Widianto “Cukup Sudah” also had the crowd sing along, coloring this clear Sunday night. Glenn also sang one of his newest singles “Blues Untuk Asmara”. He also mentioned his future making of an album titled Luka Cinta dan Merdeka with The Baku Cakar (the name of the band with him). We salute you Glenn, for always knowing how to jam and wish you many great things for the upcoming events.


The groove was on loud from Harry Toledo‘s stage. Many people know him as a bassist with illustrious career, but wait until you hear his funklines, you will know that he can spell and infect you instantly since the first minute. His illustrious career span from being one of the Cherokee and Gita Wirjawan’s Bali Lounge project. Other than these groups, he did great too in solo career. Just a few weeks ago he released his album “Turbulence of Soul“, the project he’s been riding since 2010. Soul really entered the turbulence with him on board, but this time the turbulence didn’t create any disaster, instead it gave a whole new meaning of venomous groovy beat. Some songs from their upcoming album were brought including “Terlalu”, the relaxing “Stay Cool” and “Terpesonanya Aku” before the guest singer Marcelia poured her heavy soulful voice on “I Shall Live”. If before they concepted their performance with a jam session, now they have a solid formation and great impact towards their performance. For Harry Toledo, every note is groovy, he always makes his basslines sound like singing. So, can you keep your body still when the groovy attack hit you this much? Definitely not! Meanwhile, Clinics by IMI on the last day presented Denny AJD on the drums and Pattiha on the guitar.


Here came the founder/conceptor of JakJazz as well as the legendary guitarist who have played and produced many sides of jazz, from pop, swing to bossa and even dixieland, Ireng Maulana. He can always bring a delightful show whenever he’s around. We can clearly see that he lives for jazz, something that he always strongly believes in. His eyes sparks, he communicates with the audience, making jokes and gives his all as if there’s no tomorrow. What’s unique from the past several years of his performance with his jamming group Ireng Maulana and Friends is that he always delivers everything naturally. Just a simple pure jazz package with spontaneous improvisation when needed. It’s like a must, when Ireng Maulana appears on stage he would bring a lot of superstars to join his gig. No difference this time since he was accompanied by cross-generation artists including Margie Segers, Ermy Kullit, Mus Mujiono, Andien and Afgan. What else do you need?


A huge party created a climax as the closing of JakJazz Festival 2012. Starting with an instrumental number led by Ireng Maulana with Sam Panuwun (keys) and Rudy Subekti (drums), Andien came in to sing “Gemintang” in sweet bossas and swingin with “Honeysuckle Rose”. Mus Mujiono replaced her in front and and went scatting along with the guitar melody, something that he really masters for so long. Of course he sang his greatest hit “Arti Kehidupan” and covering George Benson’s song “On Broadway”. The legendary singer Ermy Kullit took over the stage and quickly joined Ireng with lots of memory between them as music partner for many years. One of their best cuts “Pasrah” made many audience on the frontline couldn’t help not to sing along. Another evergreen popped the crowds, that was “Kasih” and the Dixieland version of “Tak Ingin Sendiri”.

Another legend Margie Segers kept the memory line in pocket with “Semua Bisa Bilang” then carried on with “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore”. Afgan represented the young generation and quickly sang “Superstar” originally sang by The Carpenters and his own hit “Terima Kasih Cinta” in medley with “Moody’s Mood For Love”. Ireng called the whole organizers and together they said thanks to everyone, also asked everyone to keep supporting JakJazz for many, many more years.

Ireng Maulana is a man who falls in love with jazz, and obviously jazz loves him back at the same level of height. This is the man who has done so many things towards the jazz development in Indonesia for many generations, that includes delivering JakJazz as his own brandchild. He’s not young anymore, but he’s still standing proudly as the heart, soul and spirit of this event. “Let’s see JakJazz for.. let’s say three or no, five years more at least! Wish us to keep on having good sponsors so we can keep running.” he said. Well uncle Ireng, we are wishing the same, and we will always support you as much as we can.

3 days of jazz pleasure once again served right at the heart of Jakarta, in a location surrounded by lots of tall buildings, courtesy of JakJazz. Carrying the theme of Jazz The Way You Are, Sharkindo Komunika and the whole committee presented jazz like a box of chocolate with loads of different flavors, that includes the unique and rare joyful sound of Dixieland courtesy of the Netherlands based Plenty to choose, all delicious. It’s kind of unfortunate that the festival grabbed not as many audience as expected, but those who came surely loved the 3 days presentation.

We are happy that JakJazz has returned big in 2012. May this be a brand new day for the future of JakJazz. As this event has a lot of unforgettable memories throughout the Indonesian jazz history, we wish JakJazz to keep providing plenty of chance for both legends/seniors and he valuable young guns to bring their creativities out. Thank you JakJazz! See you next year!

See more pictures:

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Reporter : Riandy Kurniawan, Khairiyah Sartika Syofian, Dwi Ratri Utomo, Ata Michaella, Apey Idris, Ghea Sagita, Novan Yahya Renatal
Photographer: Praditya Nova, Omar Maulana, Bayu Warjiyo, Wowo Wahono