Sunday Jazz Festival 2011: The Report


Once again jazz frenzy is taking over the nation to land right on the beach. On the last day of this long weekend, finally the awe-inspiring event this June, the second LA Menthol Lights Sunday Jazz Festival 2011, eminently startled this city. Held in Segarra Beach Club, Magicworx Entertainment in collaboration with LA Menthol Lights brought a sweet summer ambience by giving a unique way package to enjoy jazz in beach. By whooping acid jazz up with clinching seascape and dazzling sunset view, it became the right choice of sweet escape for the urban people to break free from their hustle and bustle and really represented the appearance of its theme, “Enjoying jazz in the most comfortable, relaxing and fun way”

Sneak a peek to the miscellany of the spotlighted artists for this bash, the frontline of Indonesian major performers and the groups on their way to go big in this nation such as Barry Likumahua Project ft Rieka Roeslan, the Jazz diva Andien, Maliq n D’Essentials, Soulvibe, Notturno, Iwan Abdie ft Mr Brightside, Valsetto, Un Soiree, Peppy Probo & the Southside Fellaz and the resurgence of a promising talent in Parkdrive. Last but not least, no forget to include the paragon of 90’s, The Brand New Heavies.

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At 3 pm onwards the MC came to the stage and officially start the festival by calling our specialty in young-energetic soul jazz mix with hip hop music, Soulvibe, to the stage 2. They  brought the cover of Rihanna’s “Please Don’t Stop the Music” with the powerful beat to stole the audience attention. Soulvibe came as the opening of this festival at 3 pm onwards. Abenk & Bayu on vocals, bassist Handy, Asa on guitar, Caesar on drums, Frans on piano and Rio on synth were still the boys behind this tasty band, and as the astonishment, Dennis Junio, one of the youngest saxophonist in Indonesia who join Barry Likumahua Project, is featured in this band. They continued with their own songs such as “Your Smile” and “Arti Hadirmu”, with all included in their fresh 2010 album which its title is same as their closing song, “Antartika”.

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While Soulvibe was rocking the second bandstand, the first stage closer the gate of the venue grab the attention with Peppy Probo and the Southside Fellaz. Recently being a wife is not enough to put a break on Peppy Probo’s career. She still continues singing with her groups or solo. Peppy has a very unique voice that’s perfectly fit to jazz. One of the group Peppy Probo and the Southside Fellaz is considered as one of her most solid groups. This band featured a different formation to usual by mingling with Andy Gomez (piano), Karty Rosen (guitar), Chaka Priambudi (contrabass) and Almair Usman (drums)  alongside Peppy. What they like is playing the Jazz standards focusing on swing, blues and bebop, also the jazzy/soul tunes. Broke the afternoon air with one of Billie Holiday‘s hit “Yesterday” then moved forward to “You Don’t Know What Love Is” which contain samba influence tightly. A unique packaging to jump along with almost two different genre, while we get the soulful and then hop to swing in the front. Another single was one of his hit which ever recovered by Chris Botti and Jill Scott, “Good Morning Heartache” as their closing with a little bop delight.

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We did not need to wait for long to see the upcoming performer, Float. This group was established in 2003 by singer/songwriter/guitarist Hotma Roni Simamora (Meng) and guitarist Windra Benyamin (Bontel). Besides the two founder, Float also has Raymond Agus Saputra in it. Being influenced by wide array of artists across genre and era shaped their music differently. Releasing their first EP “No-Dream Land” in 2005 was a good start, because then Mira Lesmana got interested and asked them to fill up her movie “3 Hari Untuk Selamanya” OST by the song “Terlalu” which was smartly given a little groove in one part. From there they continued on giving contribution to movie as their song “Waltz Musim Pelangi” was included in the album “Songs Inspired by Laskar Pelangi“.

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At the same time there was a band with mind-blowing vintage soulful funk like the crossover between James Brown to Earth Wind and Fire or the early Kool and the Gang. It was Un Soirée, a group using the French word as the title. In English, Soirée means a party of people assembled in the evening, usually at private houses. Holding this theme as their concept tells us that they are ready to bring a party in every gig they have. As soon as they appear, the funky line sticked firmly by their whole acts by the songs such as “A Song for a Dude” and “Man Made Word”. “Hippo” depicted their development in funk day by day. While the personnels are busy with their own career outside the music, they still try to find the time to merge as a funk-based group. It won’t be easy, but as their commitment is still on, slowly but surely the band will be noticed by more and more people. And they deserve it, since they do have clear concept backed by admirable skills. Watch out for the vocalist Sara Salim, she has an infectious jazz-oriented vocal with the ability to scat as well.

The rain was pouring hard and stopped the whole rundown for about 4 hours. The folks gathered together in the bar side lounge waiting for the upcoming. The ambience getting hotter as the people fulfilled this closed space. Finally at about 9pm the happines was brought back by the appearance from both stage. Due to the climate catastrophy, the rest of the sessions had to be divided into 15 minutes (or about 3 songs) per performance.

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Barry Likumahuwa Project was the first ambassador with the mission to bring back the mood. Appearing with the complete formation including Barry Likumahuwa (bass), Matthew Sayersz (vocal), Dennis Junio (sax), Donny Joesran (keyboard) and Henry Budidharma (guitar), this time they rose up the game by bringing the famous vocalist of The Groove, Rieka Roslan to be on their side. Rieka certainly is no stranger to this modern groovy and funky concept, since her band, The Groove was one of the band who started it all especially now since The Groove has comeback to the music scene.

[flickr id=”5802379446″ thumbnail=”small” overlay=”false” size=”medium” group=”” align=”left”] Barry Likumahuwa Project has been active in the music scene for no less than 5 years. It’s been quite a wonderful journey for them as they now has emerged as a solid crowd gatherer. Whether it’s a smooth sailing or not, one thing for sure the ship does sail fast. The first album “Goodspell” became a momentum for them to reach their stardom, and now they have released the second album, “Generasi Synergy” which currently is doing very well in following the first album’s footstep. We have covered numerous gigs of this infectious group and all were really entertaining. Their gigs were filled mostly by the teenagers and that’s good. We need this kind of band in order to socialize jazz into these youngsters, making them know that jazz can be so groovy and modern too to fit their trend. “I want to offer the kind of music that can be accepted and enjoyed widely..” said Barry Likumahuwa, and so far he has done it very well.

Smashed Segarra with a medley from “Intro” and Beyonce‘s hit “De Ja Vu”, Barry brought back the spirit of the audience so then we can see them came closer to the stage and dancing together. Then we were brought back to the late of 2004 where “Dahulu”, a song popularized by The Groove, was sung on the stage by Rieka Roeslan who made a lovely collaboration with the whole BLP gang. Jumped into the climax, we got their favorite song that usually being the closing, “Mati Saja” and followed by medley of world’s top RnB.

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“Feel the groove and sweet tone, and let it be the soul”. That’s the tagline carried by the group named Valsetto. Farra Fauza (vocal), Rudolph Perdana (guitar) and Gege Oshin Tampi (bass), also Sistha Anindya (sax), Oghie Ichsan (acoustic guitar), Derry Iskandar (keyboard) and Ria Co-Black (drums) has a tasty mixture of funk, blues, groove and soul in their acid jazz style. The group has appeared in many stages and now they landed on the beach big time. In collaboration with Valent they had all the ambience here into groove and fun after all the silence before. At the end they closed their gigs with one of the upcoming single which will be launched soon.

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Hopped to the next, came a great asset of Indonesian music industry, Mian Tiara. This girl is really blessed with many things. She has beautiful voice that can be expressively connected to the songs, she’s able to write poetic lyrics with heatfelt melodies, her genuine appearance and gesture are also the element of attractions that can be found when she performs. While she shows strong passion in jazz, she’s actually play wider than just jazz. She’s still considerably young, but hey, she already has tons of experience. Throughout her songs we can catch many layers of life. She can bring it light, while some can be quite heavy and dark. Whether it’s a daily life story or she pours out her inspiration to move us, she loves to bring it simple by pouring out her feelings note by note. She can smoke during the play if she feels like it, that shows that stage is just another part of her life where she has all the right to be herself.

[flickr id=”5802420484″ thumbnail=”small” overlay=”false” size=”medium” group=”” align=”right”] Such a case was shown by Mian Tiara on stage one. She presented a very beautiful gift in minimalist with Chaka Priambudi and Robert Mulyarahardja. Using only guitar and bass, they really did it well. And that’s made possible because Tiara’s voice is can also work great as some kind of instrument in its own way. They started with the “Disapih” then continued with a very interesting version of “Ini Rindu”. If in the album Tiara only used the piano, this time she brought it with bass and guitar. It worked as well as the result, if not even better in some ways. Tiara once again showed how prime her voice is, while Robert and Chaka did their roles wonderfully. Yes they onle brought three songs, but nonetheless she gave one golden moment with the two boys. Not so many singers dare to appear only with bass and guitar. But Mian Tiara knows she can perform beautifully with what she called “the smallest formation of her”. In fact, we can focus better on her voice and the boys’ play. What a nice one.

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A couple of years ago Notturno came into the scene offering quite a different concept. Three personnel behind the group, Masmo, Cak Hend and Joshua Arifin showed how good they could explore the dark side of jazz to match their creativity. The first album “Volume 1: Akoustika Adventure” was a big success in the market as well as for a brief introduction of their noir concept. Then came a situation that ‘forced’ them to make some slight changes into their concept. The bassist quit, and then they got a replacement in the hand of Kevin Yosua. Unlike the first bassist who played contrabass, Kevin is more into electric bass. Being in the situation, they decided to adjust the concept into more electric, as they didn’t want Kevin to be another Joshua. Then came the next turbulence by the departure of Cak Hend due to his decision to focus on the Beyond Production and rising his new group Mr Funkenstein. Many bands tremble and down after the major change, but not Notturno. Masmo as the only original member survives with the two youngsters, Kevin Yosua and the current replacement on drums,the expressive and creative young drummer Dimas Pradipta.

At Sunday Jazz Festival 2011 we saw the aftermath. Notturno still had their unique dark hued in what Masmo called electroacoustic concept. He was on fire tonight, tranced into the darkness of the night pouring his soul out.  The song from Pintu Terlarang OST “Jiro” opened up their session, right before they went deeper and deeper with the song taken from the upcoming second album, “Inferno”. The hue got even darker in “Du du da da…Hiroyuki Sanada”. Masmo brought a very different color by his kind of experimental touch with the usual keyboard and Hammond at the same time. So if you ask us, does Notturno survive after the quake? We’d say, indeed. Carry on, Notturno!

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Having Andien on the beach is like looking at “The Girl from Ipanema”. This song described a girl mixture of flower and mermaid, looked shining on her way to the sea, and that was exactly what we thought by looking at Andien perfromed at the Sunday Jazz Festival at this Segarra Beach, Ancol. Even the dark night couldn’t hide her magic charm. Indonesia’s sweetheart with silk soft vocal Andien appeared on stage 2 and did her part with accompaniment from Nikita Dompas (guitar),
Ali Akbar and Dandy (keyboards) , Bonar Abraham (bass), Didiet Violin and
Rayendra Sunito (drums). She started with covering “Keraguan” which also appeared in her latest album Kirana. Then she continued with “Tentang Kita” and asked the crowds to sing along in some parts. Then as usual they closed the session with “Moving On” that became a big party. Only for around 15 minutes or so, but Andien and the gang has successfully delivered their charm.

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Maliq & D’Essentials was next. A master one of soulful music in Indonesian public, genuinely show its music and live instrument quality (as the acronym of the band name itself and depicted their maturity in their music establishment. As this fellows which are consist of Angga and Indah (vocal) Widi (drum) Lale (guitar) Ifa (keyboard) and Jawa (bass) always grasp the stereotype of regular jazz event in Indonesia with being the including lineup. Maliq & d’Essentials knew that they only had a relatively short time. So they burned the stage right from the start in a nonstop groove-ride. Delivering their songs such as “Heaven”, “Pilihanku” and “Terlalu”. It was nicely done and really hot!

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Meanwhile Iwan Abdie and Mr Brightside warmed the crowds on the front side of the venue. From the multinational project Bali Lounge 2, Iwan Abdie now goes further in pursuing his career. A solo album called “Brand New Day” was released in 2010 with the single “Sudahlah (Habisi Saja)” and some other songs from the album including a cover of John Legend‘s classic “Ordinary People” were on air frequently on local radio stations. Having the kind of voice that sound like a lighter and younger John Legend and trendy appearance are the major point of this rising star, besides his ability to write songs and also his very friendly manner.

At the Segarra Beach Ancol he performed together with Mr Brightside, a band that claimed loves to play popular tunes with different approach. Playing with Tiyo Alibasjah (guitar), Ringga Tobiyas (drums), Taufan Wirzon (bass) and Joseph Sitompul (keyboard), Iwan Abdie gave out his best by singing the songs from the album. Pinning the John Legend’s classic “Ordinary People”, they carried on by delivering three more songs, “Percayalah”, “Sudahlah (Habisi Saja)” and the title track, “Brand New Day”. A new force with highly capable voice is on the move. Surely we will meet him often in the near future.

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How many music fans miss Parkdrive? The answer is, a lot. We have heard the buzzes around the venue of how much they missed the group and long to see them back again. [flickr id=”5802585790″ thumbnail=”small” overlay=”false” size=”medium” group=”” align=”right”] Once upon a time, a circle of college mates, Mikuni Gani (vocal), Juno Adhi and Rayendra Sunito (drum) met when they studied in Berklee College of Music, Boston, USA. Brought the intimacy and affection of lovely memories into a trendy groovy pop-jazz tunes, they ever snatched people’s notice to wooing their ear into light-jazz genre of music. The music lovers greatly accepted this group when they first appeared especially by the modern jazz groove they delivered, something that made them popular in no time. Being on hiatus for several years, they announced their comeback a while ago by having new vocalist, Olive Latuputty. Ali Akbar was on the keyboard too this time. Being the last performer on stage 1, the crowds filled the front space and grooved along with them. Parkdrive brought some songs including one of their classic hits “Sekedar Cerita” and “Biarkan”, and the new songs titled “Make It Last” and “Walk the Talk”. “Parkdrive is happy to be here tonight and hopefully this is the beginning of our comeback”, said Olive that got applauses by the crowds. We certainly hope so, since Parkdrive has distinct grooveline that still taste so good after all these years.

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For the final came the band all attendances have been waiting for, The Brand New Heavies. Not many British acid jazz bands from the 80’s still going on strong today. Yet some of them still have the strength to continue what they’ve been offering for more than 2 decades with all the passion and spirit as big as when they were started. [flickr id=”5802068505″ thumbnail=”small” overlay=”false” size=”medium” group=”” align=”right”]  We can put Brand New Heavies in this category. We give high respect to them for many reasons. With all the ups and downs, the group manage to stay around the scene and keep on producing hits. Some of their hits are still popular until today, whether in the local radio stations or in our own playlists. No wonder the news about their coming brought the hype that rose bigger approaching the D-day. As more than a month ago we have tasted Incognito at the Istora Senayan, Jakarta, this time another legendary UK acid jazz group landed on the lovely Segarra beach of Ancol through the Sunday Jazz Festival. This is a big move from the Magicworx that continues the path from the first ever Sunday Jazz last December which featured another legendary group from UK that has been strongly related to beaches, Matt Bianco.

So here came the final performance of Sunday Jazz Festival 2011. The Brand New Heavies finally appeared on stage and the infectious funk in heavy groove burned the crowds right away with the first song, “Never Stop”. “We know you all know this next song”, said N’Dea Davenport right before they delivered “Dream On, Dreamer” nicely in medley with “Midnight At The Oasis”. Jan Kincaid, Simon Bartholomew, Andrew Levy and the rest of the band did a great job. They never lost it all. Some other songs were brought including “Sometimes”, “Back to Love”, “World Keeps on Spinning” and “Daybreak”. Rejoz joined the whole Brand New Heavies ensemble on percussion. More songs were brought including “Let’s Do It Again” and “Spend Some Time”. Of course for the peak of their performance they brought their universally famous song, “You Are The Universe” with the crowds cheered and sang together. Once they left the stage, the crowds didn’t want them to stop. So they came again to give one last groove onto the stage. “Stay This Way” anc “Dream Come True” were chosen as the last presentation to close their session as well as the whole Sunday Jazz Festival 2011 event.

In the end, the climate catastrophy that forced the event to be posponed for 4 hours couldn’t do enough to stop the hype of the event. Sunday Jazz Festival 2011 seemed able to reach the hype as expected. The attendances had fun having jazz on the beach. From the range of youngsters to senior adults were all had fun, while we saw some foreigners too among the crowds. Thousands of people crowded the Segarra Beach and reached the climax with Brand New Heavies’ hot performance. We spotted some potential newcomers, some of the best in this business and of course the comeback of Parkdrive should be one of the highlight. Having jazz on the beach surely brings a different vibes, and Sunday Jazz Festival has made it again for the second year. Looking at the rain as the problem for both edition, we think it’s time for the organizers to consider the kind of stage-design that would still enable the artists to keep on playing even when the climate is being unfriendly. It’s good that they made a clear decision to make the show still kept close to the schedule, but it would be better if the artists could perform in normal length. With this thoughts we wrap up our report from Sunday Jazz Festival 2011. See you next year.

See more pictures:

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Reporter: Ghea Sagita, Riandy Kurniawan, Ata Michaella
Photographer: Agung Hartamurti Wirawan , Yudha Hanottama, Marnala Eross Simanjuntak, Ata Michaella



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