Serambi Jazz is a program that carries an important mission to re-establish the mutual relationship between Germany and Indonesia especially in jazz. This program now has reached its second year, and so far it’s been a huge success. For two years this program has been regularly held once every two months at GoetheHaus Jakarta, and occasionally presented in Bandung. “Bandung is one of the city that has a very solid jazz community, so I believe Serambi Jazz should be brought here as well.” said Riza Arshad, the curator of Serambi Jazz two months ago when Kristiina Tuomi performed under the flag of Serambi Jazz at Bumi Sangkuriang, Bandung. (Check out the report of Kristiina Tuomi Trio and the exclusive interview with her).
Many great quality musicians from Germany and Indonesia have been invited to be a part of this program. Besides Kristiina Tuomi Trio we got Ligro Trio, Pitoelas Big Band, Florian Ross, Tao Combo Collective Messkeepers, Sarimanouk Quartet, Donny Suhendra Project, Bintang Indrianto’s Akordeon, Indra Aziz’ Beatbop and Henning Sieverts Quartett. Entering the month of April, we got two amazing groups, Zarro and His Kaili Bossanova Project and Indro Hardjodikoro Trio ft Aditya Bayu to grace GoetheHaus’ stage.
Actually the Governor of Jakarta, Fauzi Bowo was supposed to come, but unfortunately he didn’t. Exactly at 7:30 PM as scheduled the show started. Denny Sakrie acted as the MC opened the show with jokes, and that attempt has made the audiences felt at ease. Then it was time for Zarro and the band to perform.
The name Zarro should be familiar to the Indonesian jazz lovers especially for the fans of Jakarta-based acid jazz band named Clorophyl. Later on he switched to get deep with bossanova and emerged as one of the most stylish bossanova guitarist. He appeared together with Lica Cecato in JakJazz Festival 2008 in a very beautiful poetic bossa as their presentation also performed at the most recent Java Jazz Festival 2010. Lately he’s establishing his new project that uses Kaili language, the lingua franca of Palu, Central Celebes people. Zarro explained why he decided to combine the ethnic language of Central Celebes with Brazilian music, that is because the native/ethnic language actually has a very strong music sense. No wonder we got the nuance of Ipanema’s beach but with the Indonesian sense.
“Voce Voce” was the first song he presented with His Kaili Bossanova Project. “This song is about the coastal (pesisir) people that go offshore to the sea for a living. The song made the audiences felt relaxed. Some even had to close their eyes while swaying their heads with the music. “E Zuaro” was next, again this song captured our senses. Besides using Kaili language, Zarro also sang a Brazilian bossa entitled “Jogrão”. A guest vocalist Merci Dumais was also appeared to join him on stage. We might ask how possible it is to combine ethnical elements of Indonesia with Brazilian bossanova, and Zarro has answered it well. It was a perfect blend indeed.
After a smooth and relaxing moment with Zarro, it was time for Indro Hardjodikoro Trio ft Aditya Bayu to rise the mood up with their cool fusion. Back in the 90’s, Indro was one of the personnel of then-popular fusion band Halmahera. Since then, Indro Hardjodikoro has become one of the most important and influential bassist in our local Indonesian jazz scene. He joined the earliest formation of Riza Arhsad’s simakDialog and released two albums, “Lukisan” and “Baur”. Both of these albums were internationaly acclaimed and still hunt by many collectors around the world. He’s known as a very busy session players but also has a deep passion as a bass teacher. Among his students he’s known as a bassist who really believe that fingering and speed are essential. Now he’s got the call to step forward with his own band, Indro Hardjodikoro Trio. We are sure Indro can explore his musical idelasim freely and totally with this band. And it’s time for him to show it after his long spanning career. Joining him are the outstanding young drummer Demas Narawangsa who was just turned 17 who also active in the Balinese ethnical fusion group named KULKUL and Lala Intje Makkah, a standout keyboardist and synthesizer. The group also featured Aditya Bayu, a guitarist that I first saw at Jazz Goes to Campus (JGTC) Road Show last year.
We really digged their music! These are four highly talented musicians, and together as a unit they stunned everyone with Casiopea-style of fusion. Demas gave an all-out performance tonight. In my opinion fusion is the exactly the perfect playground for Demas, in where he can be free to explore his skill. Indro and his band brought “Greenland” and “Drum and Bass”, taken from his most recent album “Feels Free”. Aditya Bayu brought “All the Things You Are” together with Indro. Then they played “My Angel”, a very beautiful song with soft and tender melody. Before the song “I Like Surprises” appeared, Indro explained that the song was inspired by Barney the purple dinosaur. “One of his friend, Baby Bop used to say this sentence, “I Like Surprises! I Like Surprises!” So that’s where this song came from.” Indro said. And the audiences laughed by the explanation. “Titik Awal” (Starting Point) was the last song that closed their session, as well as tonight’s edition of Serambi Jazz.
In a little chit chat with Indro right after the show, Indro admitted that he really enjoyed being a band leader. “There are times the musicians wish to compose their own songs.” he said, and that’s why he decided to has his own band.
Overall it was another huge success! Fully crowded hall of GoetheHaus we saw tonight was the prove. Congratulation and thank you to Serambi Jazz, Goethe Institut and everyone else behind this program, because by this presentation we can have a very high quality of jazz concert, the relationship between German jazz and Indonesian jazz will bloom more and more, and of course we wish to see many new jazz musicians to appear from here. Don’t forget to catch the next edition of Serambi Jazz, presenting Nikita Dompas and His Fellow Musicians on June 10, 2010. Until then, let’s keep jazzin’!
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