Jazz Nagari I : The Report




January 24th was the first time KlabJazz held its new spinoff which is rooted in spirit of traditional music.  Calling it as Jazz Nagari (Jazz, Jazz+Ethnic, Ethnic), this new regular event appeared differently which was really enjoyable and unique to see. It appeared as another taste of Jazz that was held on Siete Cafe & Resto on Sumur Bandung street no 20, from 6 pm to 11 pm. We all know that KlabJazz has been seriously trying to introduce the variety of jazz by running its regular events in many places.  By doing that, KlabJazz also gives a lot of space for the bands to gain experience of playing live as well as fulfilling the wish of jazz lovers in Bandung to watch good quality event without having to pay at all. Now the mission of  KlabJazz is growing wider by accomodating other communities to have fun under the name of jazz. Surely it’s challenging to make a regular show based on ethnic musics, but this brave move is brilliant. KlabJazz wishes to present some good combination beetwen jazz that was born from the soul of African American somewhere in New Orleans more than a century ago, with our own various tastes of traditional music. What’s also great is that KlabJazz allows pure ethnic ensembles to perform too, even when they don’t play any jazz at all. The first edition featured Equinox, the traditional delight beautifully bought by Perkumba (Perkusi Mutiara Bunda) and then the marvelous blends between jazz and ethnic through 3 groups, Nawawi Ansamble, Pancasura, and last but not least a unique band that caught our eyes first of all at the Jatinangor Jazz Event 3 Band Auditions, Time Progethnic.

Using the word ‘Nagari’ is indeed perfect. Not many of us know that this word which means Nation in English have been used by many tribes in Indonesia, including the Sundanese language. By using this word, KlabJazz’s founder Dwi Cahya Yuniman gives a strong statement of bringing the ethnic musics in front. Not only the Sundanese and Javanese traditional musics, but also the other tribes found in Indonesia.


It was already interesting since the first session with a celebration of beat. Perkusi Mutiara Bunda, shortened as  Perkumba showed off the pure beauty of ethno-musicology. This ensemble comprises of percussion (jembe) players from Mutiara Bunda, the elementary school in Bandung nurtured by kang Iyan. He became acquainted with jazz clubs when he joined  Andi Danial’s band, The Statement. This wasn’t their first attempt playing in jazz event, because they have performed at KlabJazz’s J’azz & Perempuan at Potluck Kitchen at the end of 2010. This lovely played showed us some ethnic ‘jembe’ music played with the tree little boys. They did a lively session which was very interactive, involving kang Iyan and his more ‘mature’ team and the crowds. Not only he made the crowds clapped some beat, he also managed to make them sing “Halo Halo Bandung.” The intense blend between Sundanese beat and Batucada then took our breath away. What a jolly good opening! Another information about this group is that they actually has 50 ready personnels! That’s a surprising number of group that you can ever imagine! Very interesting start that was also memorable.


Then came Nawawi Ansamble playing the good blends between jazz and traditional Sundanese music. This band was one of the finalists of Trans7’s  “Indonesia Mencari Bakat” season 2 and  now challenged to infuse some jazz into its musical territory. Nawawi is an acronym of: Newsletters Marching Band (Pos Indonesia) & Angklung Web Institute, combining musicians from two art institutions consist of Azmi Muttaqin (piano, arumba), Jalu Rohanda (electric bass), Irvan Rizki Ramdhani (upright bass), Muhammad Siddiq Purname (bass drum), Axel Kaulika (snare drum), Temmy Tejamukti (quintom marching band), Alvin Pratama (vocal), Dewi Anggraeni (ruth vocal), Nandita (angklung), Hendra Irawan, Degree Restusubada RAF (latin percussion), M.Miftah (trombone). This group were totally burned the atmosphere with they music. They played some traditional music from Central Java like “Cublak Cublak Suweng”, then surprisingly pinning Chick Corea’s masterpiece, “Spain”. They also played James Brown’s “I Feel Good” with mixed ingredients of of Soul, Ska, also the touch of traditional musics, and “Es Lilin” as the closing show that being wrapped with that traditional song of Sundanese. The bassist Jalu Rohanda told us that the founder of KlabJazz challenged them to place some jazz flavors, as the result they did it cleverly. Again, a show stealer.


Previously known as Impression who successfully won the Second Place Jatinangor Jazz Event 3 auditions last November 2012, Equinox showed their tasty jazz playing. They decided to change the name since the saxophonist had to quit the band due to his busy school activity. So from quartet they went down to three, but they could still deal with it. From their first appearance as Equinox at  Prime Time Jazz a month ago, this band  continued their performance at this premiere of Jazz Nagari. The band consists of Alman Naufal (drum), Ilham Septia (bass) and Yohan Gunawan (piano). The band played as the jazzy session with the mostly tasted fusion of jazz. On this occasions, they had fun with three songs, “On a Green Dolphin Street”, “Four On Six”, and “All The Things You Are”. They played all that songs not only with some fusion, but also  in smooth jazz, bebop, and lovely swing to make us feel relax. Still young, they still have a lot of times to improve. Since they already have a good base to start with, there’s no reason for them to fail. More chance to play will give them gain more experience. That’s what they need right now, so let’s hope for them to get it.


We loved their performance at Sunday Jazz @ Plate for Me 18, we loved them more in this one. That’s  Pancasura, an ensemble from Sekolah Tinggi Seni Indonesia (STSI), Bandung who are capable catch the audience’s attention with their unique East-West blend. They particularly bring fusion as the pattern of their group, that said with multi genres came from their repertoires such as post rock, jazz and of course, the traditional Sundanese, Balinese and everything else in between. Pancasura who was formed on June 16, 2011 consists of Ade Irvan Riswandi (rhythm guitar, piano), Ardi Butler Suherman (lead guitar), Ghea Gufroni (bass), Dede Iwan (flute), Taofik Muhammad (flute), Wendi Kardiana and Maulana Denmas (drums) and Yogi Permana Sidik (violin). Pancasura played something jazzy with some post rock with experimental music and also ethnic musics by combining traditional and modern instruments. They were entertaining when playing Tohpati’s “Perang Tanding”, as well as their original compositions titled “Time Till The End” and “Singgah”. Not stopping there, they also delivered “Janger” in Balinese traditional music with some tasty jazzy delights. Strong in concept, good skills and creative make this ensemble stands like a pro. If you still think that music has tight corners, Pancasura will prove you wrong. They show that music have seamless rounded border, even the wildest imagination you can think of. Hope to see them again soon with more surprises served on plate.


The combination of prog jazz, fusion and ethnic became the halt of final. Time Progethnic which comes from Cicalengka also appeared in big sized band. Imagine them travelling across cities by bringing their heavy traditional instruments. That’s a lot of work, but they are happily willing to do that in order to show us their unique musical concept. Not everyday we enjoy jazz with the use of some traditional instruments such as saron, bonang, kecapi, and kendang. Not the first time in our beautiful jazz world you may say, but then again they should  get credit for the creativity and braveness in combining and executing it. As the person of the band, Arya Nugraha (bass),  Mega Vitra (vocal), Typhoon Anugrah (keyboard), Utuy (drum), Solar and Taufik (saron) and also Affandi (drums). This band gave a good ending, They began with instrumental number then “Love” with jazz, soul, mixed with some traditional style of singing. “Sabda Alam” became the last song to seal this first edition in happy mood.

With the spirit of Jazz still intact, this event brought us into another perspective of music, style, texture and behavior. It also reminded us that we have a very rich cultures with different musical textures lie within. Jazz  always welcomes other musical platforms no matter what, when or how, including the good spirit of friendship which was shown by KlabJazz. An event that has to be made, we must say, and we all have to support it. If you are playing in such band or know any of your friends who are in it, don’t hesitate to contact KlabJazz, because they will gladly provide you some spaces for you. Through this event we can open more possibilities in creating new sounds, we can preserve our own cultures and traditions, as well as showing the world that Jazz and Ethnic musics can actually live together in one lovely harmony. We hope this event will keep on running with more ensembles representing other tribes from all over the Archipelago. Bravo KlabJazz, long live Jazz Nagari!

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Reporter: Alfi Widoretno
Photographer: Adott Jumbo
Editor: Riandy Kurniawan