Road to JakJazz 2012: Day One – Part 1


It came all of a sudden. We gasped but excited when we heard about this event, Road to JakJazz 2012 that was just came to our desk last Monday. What surprised us was not about the pre-event itself, but since it was made this big. Never before we saw a pre-event made for 2 days consisting many top jazz stars from legends, maestros, today’s popular ones to the potential rising talents. Hopefully we did enough to blast this event in a very short amount of time, but now it has started. Here’s the first day report of Road to JakJazz 2012, presenting loads of who’s who in our nation’s jazz scene.

Through the idea and efforts of the legendary guitarist Ireng Maulana, JakJazz was launched for the first time in 1988 and automatically became the pioneer of international-scaled jazz festival in Indonesia. Throughout the years it has the ups and downs, but still JakJazz managed to be held 10 times plus two editions with special theme (in 2009 and 2010) and has involved thousands of national and international jazz artists participating in this annual event. Last year JakJazz was failed to come, but here we finally have it again this year. Projecting the main event to be held in October, first Sharkindo Komunika as the organizer for this year held a pre-event for 2 days, taking place at the popular hangout mall, Gandaria City just like the JakJazz Cares in 2010.

For today the lineup already looked tempting. No less than 13 bands filled up three provided stages. Two stages were placed at Ground floor and the other one at Upper Ground. Two stages are free for all, but one stage was set to contain special shows.

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The party started at Atrium Stage with Rhapsody Latin Band. This band consists of groovy guitar, funky bass line, happy tunes from the keyboard,  one drummer, one percussionists and two vocalists. They’re said to be Latin band, but they gave wider than just that. Playing well known songs like “Just the Two of Us”, KC and the Sunshine Band’s “Give it Up” and Lionel Ritchie’s “All Night Long”  were good to grab the attention of mall-goers who accidentally passed their stage. Some were even watched them from the upper level.

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It’s been 2 years we haven’t met this tasty blues band named Time Warp. The group consists of expatriates from USA, Australia and UK combines with Indonesian artsists. It’s not coincidence for them to use the name Time Warp, because they were like opening up various dimension through their music like the road blues, jazz, funk, classic soul, rock n roll and so on in one joyous party. We still remember when they dressed up like The Blues Brothers at JakJazz special edition “A Touch of Jazz”  in 2009  and wore all black dresscode in JakJazz Cares 2010. Today they brought us back to all the fun we had back then. Still full with energy Time Warp delivered set famous of songs from the old times such as Little Eva’s “Do the Locomotion”.  Happy to see you again, guys! May we see you more often in the near future.

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Today once again we watched a groovy band with passionate soul, the Speakeasy. Rey, Sc, Inyo and Christo stand behind this pop jazz group that we saw for the first time as one of the opening act for Incognito Live in Concert in Jakarta last year. This band was established back in 2006 by Rey and Sc before the other two personnels joined in. What they want to share in their music is everything about them honestly, free with no limit. Soulful with chunky guitar sound they keep trying to bring good quality of music without wanting to make it difficult for general listeners. One album has been made  and more to come.  For this time they played songs taken from this album, they even gave 3 CDs away to lucky audience. 8 years is not a short time. They have proven their strength and spirit to sustain in the music business and we will hear them more in the future.

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Regeneration plays a very important part in jazz development everywhere including Indonesia. We can never expect anything good or even better in the future if we forget about the importance of producing new talents. Making them ready to play in whatever occasion, big or small, in the local scene or international is another crucial thing to consider. In other words, while upgrading their skills is important, it’s also neccesary for us to give them enough space to play, so they can have more and more experience while they are growing to be a mature player. Speaking of which, the role of seniors as the mentor/guidance is pivotal.

Thank God the seniors realize it too. We have seen many evidence of their calling on this matter. While many of them are active in teaching, there are a lot of these seniors share their valuable time to jam together with the young ones. The jazz communities are regularly doing it in frequent basis, even the international festivals like Java Jazz Festival has given up enough space for that. Now JakJazz is doing it too. Prior to the JakJazz 2012 who will be held in mid October, there will be band auditions in some campuses. The winners will have the shot to perform in this international festival. One stage for these campus bands is going to be prepared in the main event. Before that, today the conceptor/brain of JakJazz Ireng Maulana itself who led the young guns at Atrium stage on this first day of Road to JakJazz 2012.

The combination between long time jazz cats and the brave little guns are always interesting to see. The 14 years old guitarist Rafi brought “Living Inside Your Love”, Farah Di sang “One Note Samba” and “I Look to You” and most surprisingly was the little 5 year old girl Raisha sang “L-O-V-E” in a very cute style.  While the young players learn to get the vibe and spirit from their predecessors, the elders get new energy from them. This is of course beneficial for both sides and of course to the future of jazz itself.

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Once again we enjoyed Idang Rasjidi Syndicate’s performance. For about 40 years he has been giving his all in music especially in jazz. From playing with other legends like Jack Lesmana, Ireng and Kiboud Maulana, Maryono, Udin Sach among others, from his involvement in a children show in national television in the 70s with Abadi Soesman, joining Ireng Maulana Associate, lots of solo piano actions in many clubs and hotels, forming The Galactic, Trigonia up to his today’s activity in rising his own bands Idang Rasjidi Syndicate. In this group he focuses in playing colorful, groovy jazz together with younger team including his own sons, Shadu Shah Chaidar (electric bass) and Shaku (drums). As usual he also brought emerging gitarist Ticco Laksana as well.

Spontaneous jazz-rock that served fierceful resulting a fully entertaining show. Not only as a maestro he played piano so well, but also because he’s a true entertainer that always know how to make everyone connected. “I plan to do more jazz-rock this year..” said Idang, right before he delivered vintage jazz-rock like the music of Herbie Hancock or Deodato in the 70’s. From the setlist he played “Warm” and a new song representing his Melayu heritage, the cool rockin’  and funkin’ Melayu beat and tune, “Serampang Dua Satu”.

Idang Rasjidi can play standards so well. He can do lots of spontaneous manouvers. But tonight he showed his edgy side like never before. We enjoyed this new color and look forward to have some more. Bravo!

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As usual JakJazz is known as a place full with legends. That includes our dear Margie Segers with her specifically unique five star blues-jazz vocal vibe. She never stops singing at least since her debut album came out in 1974, produced by Jack Lesmana. While the other female vocalists have dissapeared or only appear occasionally, she’s still doing great in her career with the same passion like before, if not even bigger.

JakJazz stage has been one of the most familiar place for her for numerous of times she participated in. This time she played with a band which is very close to her, consisting friends and regular team-mates, MANNA. Speaking of Manna, this is a cross-generation band that has colorful fusion as their power. The senior bassist A.S Mates and Achmad Ananda (Nanda) plus drummer Jessilardus (Jessi) Mates and vocalist/rapper Fajri Rusani are the members who rocked this group really well. This collaboration has performed together at the end of last month at Red White Lounge and now got another turn in the JakJazz 2012 pre-event.

We saw something odd tonight on their show. If usually the band follows the vocalist, this time it was the vocalist that dipped fully into the band’s tune. It was cool indeed to see how Margie Segers got dragged to the extreme, but hey, she did it very well. Before she got into jazz actually Margie was once a rock,blues and soul vocalist. Playing with Manna took her back into that line.  Put it simple, tonight we watched the rockin’ Margie Segers. Fajri told us that this was a totally spontaneous show as they didn’t even rehearse together beforehand. Manna opened up the show first with their  repertoires “Something Different” and “In Walked Bud”. Then Margie joined them and sang “Summertime”, “L-O-V-E”, an evergreen written by Charles Hutagalung/The Mercy’s  “Semua Bisa Bilang” which popularized Margie first of all in 1974 and sealed their show with funky blues “Ain’t No Sunshine” where Nanda gave a rockin’ touch that rewarded huge applause from the crowds.

It’s a pleasure to have the beloved Margie Segers in a very different form accompanied by Manna band. This collaboration worked really well, so may this fruitful combination be continued on for more years to come! Stay tuned for our second part of first day of Road to JakJazz 2012 coverage.

See more pictures:

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Reporter: Riandy Kurniawan, Ata Michaella, Tang Chung Ie
Photographer: Anggha Nugraha, Bayu P Warjiyo, Nuri Arunbiarti


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