Jazz Aula Barat Episode 1: #3scapes : The Report




Bandung! Probably it’s so easy for all music lovers to find out any kind of music festival in this city. Especially for Jazz, public of B-city never stops in arranging some Jazz event. So, here we go again Jazzy people, we’re riding to the next gig that held on Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB). There were three figures of Jazz ready to Jazz up the remarkable Aula Barat of ITB. Yes, we meant it. Jazz Aula Barat presented by ITB Jazz. The first day of April was opened by #3Scapes: Riza Arshad, Aksan Sjuman and Yance Manusama.

Jazz Aula Barat itself was organized in order to bring back the historical atmosphere of Aula Barat ITB. For the information, Aula Barat which built around 1920’s used to be the place of today’s talented Jazz musician in Indonesia. In 1975, there was Pro Jazz 75 that involved numerous musicians from Jakarta, Surabaya, and Bandung held on this place. Few years later, Rendezvous Indonesian All Stars took the same place. From time to time jazz icons took a part in spreading the Jazz influence at Aula Barat, from Tony Scott, Jack Lesmana, Bubi Chen, Benny Golson to Indra Lesmana, Riza Arshad just to mention a few. Nowadays Aula Barat is still standing tall as one of ITB landmark. It still holds many art events, like the annual ITB’ choir competition which also frequently uses this place. We simply try to elaborate the why-they’re-working-hard in organizing this event to let you all know the x-factor of Jazz Aula Barat itself.


If we can explain what ITB Jazz is, so here it is. Established firstly in 2007 with their former name ITJazz, ITBJazz became one of official units of student’s activity in 2011. Not only for students of ITB, ITBJazz also available for the lecturers and alumni of campus that use Ganesha (the elephant-headed deity – the Hindu’s god of success) as its sign. After two years of the journey, ITB Jazz with Riza Arshad (ITB’s Graphic Design alumni) and Imam Pras (Electrical Engineering alumni) brought their idea to rebuild the existence of jazz in Aula barat. The great news it was, when we got the confirmation of Jazz Aula Barat event will be held on April 1st, 2013. The “Athena” of ITBJazz finally appeared on the surface.

According to Riza Arshad, Jazz Aula Barat will be the home of artistic jazz. “The commercial ones can keep doing their thing, it’s good if they succeed, but we do need a spot where we can appreciate the artistic side of jazz.” he said. What seems to be in his mind is providing an ‘appreciation place’ for jazz lovers to gather in, enjoying the variety of jazz through the cats who have dedicated their lives to this music, no matter in what age they are. Placing this movement in the hands of two seniors like Riza Arshad and Imam Pras is brilliant, since they have been standing as prominent jazz doers for many years. Their experience, knowledge and also skill are urgently needed in order to establish the strong base and set the right course for Jazz Aula Barat.

It’s an honor for us to be the part of Jazz Aula Barat first episode; furthermore it was #3Scapes who began the movement. AS we said on other articles, young generations especially college students have been leading the development of Jazz itself. This event is a other evidence of how young people absorb the power of Jazz and imitate the spirit of hundreds tones.

#3scapes has been having an illustrious journey for a dozen year. It was born through Riza Arshad and Arie Ayunir’s interest in subtle funk, while at the same time they embraced ECM. While searching for a bassist, they saw Yance Manusama, an autodidact bassist who has a funky heart from the beginning. Later when Arie moved to USA, his place was replaced by his own choice, Aksan Sjuman. The trio of Riza, Aksan and Yance established a strong bond which still stands solid until today. For those who love acrobatic jazz in artistic beauty, this band can be a nice choice, but if you’re not really a jazz fan but want to know how jazz can be painted, this trio will give it to you too.

Speaking of their musical craft, #3scapes delivered a challenging repertoires highlighting the early jazz-rock period with a lot of goodies and toppings here and there. Lights off when audience walked into the famous Aula Barat ITB. Started their first performance with “The Three” from their first album in 2005, Aksan Sjuman greatly mesmerizing all of us with his undoubtedly drum beat. You can imagine how a dancers dancing move here and there in a beautiful harmony between the music and their body languages? It is exactly same with the collaboration of three of them which continued to the second song, “Minor Importance.” In that song, we clearly heard fiery sounds from Yance Manusama’ bass. Aksan Sjuman threw beautiful beats at the last part of it. Fourty seconds of his solo performance gained applause from the spectators. Aksan dynamically played his straightahead style. They stopped the sessions for awhile to give words of appreciation. “Our thanks for everyone who had participated to organize this event, especially to all alumni and ITB Jazz. We should bring back the Jazz atmosphere to this place since there are so many today’s well-known musicians started their art works in this building,” stated Riza Arshad in the middle of their performance. Just like what we had told you before about Jazz Aula Barat itself.


The show was continued with “Distant Folks” and “Early Expectation”. At the first half time, cold weather in ITB’s historical landmark spontaneously gone, replaced with the heat of every beat from the stage. Early Expectation figured out how electric music blends with Jazz and producing virtuous tunes. The next two songs were “Get Ready” and “Playtime”, although they did not explain those songs through lyrics, we could still enjoy the couple of more upbeat songs than the previous ones. Aksan Sjuman, Riza Arshad, and Yance Manusama were doing spirit transfusion to all of us. What we usually called “on  fire” happened. Those men were on fire! We also paid a little more attention to short conversation of ITB Jazz members and the committee. Dana, one of the crew said that Riza Arshad played with anti-mainstream style. “I cannot imagine how he creates those sequences of tones and build them become a very beautiful harmony,” added Dana.  One more opinion from Doandy Simangunsong, one of ITBJazz’s guitarists who gave more attention on Yance Manusama act on the stage. “Hilarious. They produced a typical yet fanciful music alliance. Cool, Fascinating!” It was 2 hours precisely people sat happily for enjoying the lovely tunes from #3Scapes.


After all, we’re fully entertained by the magnificent #3Scapes that night. More than just a performance, they also spread the positive energy to us all. It such a good start for ITB Jazz to continue the Jazz Aula Barat. Indonesia is so blessed with the spirit of young people who stick with their passion in developing Indonesia’s music. We hope for the better and best music settled as soon as possible in Indonesia. We are waiting for the next episode of Jazz Aula Barat. May jazz continue to live on in its historical home in Bandung. Aula Barat belongs to jazz, vise versa. You want to keep it that way? Then support the ITBJazz in doing its movement. Keep spreading love trough Jazz!

See more pictures:

[flickrset id=”72157633155109383″ thumbnail=”square” photos=”” overlay=”false” size=”medium”]

Reporter: Shely Napitupulu
Photographer: Mia Damayanti, Alfi Widoretno