University of Indonesia, Salemba, 1976. At that time the students of Faculty of Economics wanted to bring up series of events that covered arts in general, including theater, painting, photography and so on, including music. During that era, jazz was already labeled by many as an expensive and exclusive music by many. One of the active student at that time, young Candra Darusman, wanted to prove otherwise. He initiated an event called Jazz Goes to Campus (JGTC) in late 1976 in a mission to ensure the society that jazz could actually be enjoyed by wider segments and also very affordable. So, the first ever JGTC was held in a park in Salemba, with minimalist stage sets and ticket price only IDR 500. Apparently, it became a huge start for something historical. Today, that very event has reached the 37th edition. That’s the longest running event in Indonesia and one of the longest in the world. How can an event run that long with different committee in each year? Kudos to the Student Board of Faculty of Economics from UI (BEM-FEUI), they did it and will keep doing it.
So here’s the report of 2014 installment. As usual the event started early, around 1:00 pm at noon with selected bands in varieties. We found familiar names from last year: Sekawan and Friends. What we like to see from this band is that they give solid evidence that jazz is actually alive healthily in a small(er) city like their hometown, Salatiga. Good to see that Salatiga’s groove was back to JGTC.
The Jazzperience Stage began with a four-piece band called RnF. The name stands for Room Number Five and they are rooted in soulful pop jazz. They began their journey 5 years ago with Rendy Hendrawan (vocal/guitar), Alex Zulkarnaen (bass), Bobby Abdiawan (percussions) and Fauzan Billie (drums). Their first single was released last year titled “Cinta Adalah 5” and reached another success with “Habis Kata” from OST Hijabers in Love. Their acoustic guitar sound with groovy rhythms was nice to hear and definitely suit the taste of young listeners. After 5 years in service, RnF seems to find a steady grip. Based on what we saw, 2015 may become their best year to date.
At the same time the Indosat IM3 Stage started its service with JBF Trio. You might wonder what sound would appear when Jazz, Blues and Funk fused into one? The outcome may vary from one band to another, but one thing for sure, the music produced by this blend will make you unable to stand still. JBF, stands for Jazz Blues and Funk has the winning formula in combining these roots. We enjoyed their performance last year in the 36th JGTC and now once again we tapped our feet over their clean shots. So bluesy, so jazzy and funky at the same time. Fawdy (gitar and vokal), Soebroto (bass) and Ryan (drums) as usual demonstrated their smart brain, creativity and skills in cooking up their tasty platter. 2014 has been a great year for them. Being the winner of Jakarta Indie Music Festival (JIM Fest) that involved all kinds of genre is an evidence of their high quality. Their act in this year’s JGTC can become another proof as well.
Nado Project opened up the Musik Asik Stage at 1:30 pm. We saw them in the Final Round of JGTC Competition when they served tight modern jazz, this time Nado, Ibnu and Nadya interestingly served experimental free jazz. Not easy to play, but full with action. SevenStrings Music School & Production used their performance in JGTC to give Tribute to 80’s and 90’s Jazz. It featured so many young talent. You’d know that a music school is good by how the students’ perform. Clearly they have done a marvelous teaching since the representatives played jazz neat and sharp.
Came all the way from Surabaya was a fast-growing jazz community in Surabaya which specialized in Fusion, the Fusion Jazz Community, better known as FJazzC. It was established on June 2, 2012 based on the mission to extend the jazz coverage area through fusion. Today they have 300 active members (500 if includes the inactive ones) and a regular show on local East Java tv. Other than that, they have graced many jazz events locally. An appearance at a prestigious festival like this is an important step because then they can expand the community with fusion lovers from Jakarta, Depok and beyond. Aside of that, it felt nice to have the jazz fusion shower during the hot weather. When “Billie Jean” and “September” were found among the songlist, what can be wrong?
The winner of the JGTC Audition 2014 4/4 who gave a superb high class traditional jazz playing couldn’t come due to some reasons. Their session was taken by the consolation prize winner from Bandung, 5th Avenue. Chris Alfeus (guitar/vocal), Stella Inke (keyboard), AlbenOctorys (drums) and William Anthony (bass) gave a rich arrangement of fusion including some scat-singing that fell into exactly the same notes from guitar by Chris. Tjheir version of Indra Lesmana (JavaJazz)’s “Bulan Diatas Asia” was served gloriously like in the competition. And they presented some original songs too, including “Membisu”. They didn’t win the competition, but they did very well just like a champ.
The runner up of JGTC Competition 2013 Job N’ Duties replace Nado Project on the Musik Asik Stage right after. The cool dudes Jeremiah, Bimo, Afirniar and Faiz demonstrated their solid jazz punch that gave them success in last year’s competition and warmed everyone who came early to this fest. On the other stage we found a young man, not a glamorous or eccentric but rather simple and humble, just like your brother with soulful voice equipped with guitar, singing the songs that you’re already familiar with. That sounds really nice doesn’t it? That’s our impression of Eros Tjokro, a rising star who has many appearance on Youtube especially the clips with some of Gruvi and HiVi! members. He gave a pleasuring package just when the heat from the sun burned our heads. He greeted the crowd with several well-known hits from other famous musicians like Justin Timberlake’s “Senorita”, “Treasure” which belongs to Bruno Mars, Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines”, and the legendary “All Night Long” originally sang by Lionel Richie.
Two basses (fretless and fretted), one keyboard, one synthesizer and one drum. Pretty odd formation right? But it’s the formation that made them won the heart of judges in the competition. We’re talking about Bray the Day, the runner up of this year’s audition. Using two bassists might be risky for some, but Bray the Day knows what to do with it, amazingly eventhough they were formed just about a month or even less. Speaking of sound, Nadya Sella Belansky on keyboard gave a rich variety of jazz, plus the synthesizer sounds that add more layers. This band also received the awards of Best Keyboardist and Best Bassist. Nice huh? Well, they earn it. And yes, a great round from them here at the main event. From their show, you could really feel the funk which was shown from their two bass playing.
Not many of you may realize, but RAN (Rayi, Asta and Nino) has just celebrated their 8th year of togetherness. Though they have been dancing that long, they still wish to be better in painting up the industry with their music. As an evidence, their new single, the delightful acoustic that tells a story of long distance relationship “Dekat di Hati” is doing very, very well today in major radio stations all over the country. Appearing in commercial and acting in movie are another thing that they have done too. As predicted, they got enormous size of crowd. Plenty of their hits from the groovy to romantic pleasured the audience fully, including their first hit “Pandangan Pertama” and of course “Dekat di Hati”. So, after 8 years, will there be more fruitful years for them? You bet. One thing for sure, we will surely bump into them again in upcoming festivals. Their performance at JGTC undoubtedly very happening. Full of youngster who cheered, sang, and danced along with RAN’s big hits that they brought up on stage.
Bafty Quintet from Surabaya was the third winner of JGTC Competition. Just like 4/4, they couldn’t make it. They were replaced by the consolation prize winner, StoryTellers. Consists of UPH music students Villo (drums), Reyan (bass), Grace (keyboard) and Nico (guitar) , once again they wowed us with their strength. Their tasty rendition of “Bulan Di Atas Asia” that wowed the judges was there again served neater. Fluent jazz playing, strong and clear intonation over good arrangement. The way they play was like telling us some stories. It was really fun to watch these guys. On the other hand, Alboni Quartet was about to meet their listeners at Nescafe stage. At first Alboni Quartet was created mainly to join last year’s JGTC Audition. But since they won it, they decided to keep the band running. Aloel, Indra, Ivan and Benny were back again gracing this event and served some standards and familiar songs in fluent jazz but with youthful spirit.
The name Soundscapes sounds familiar to us. Yes, we covered them at the same event last year. Consists of 9 very young personnels (aged around 17 to 20), they served colorful funky jazz. This year these boys came back again with another round of cool covers. This time they tried to do it in mellow version. Several top 40 songs were on the list, for instance, Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, Jason Mraz “Make it Mine”, Bruno Mars “Locked Out of Heaven”, Adele “Rolling in the Deep”, and “Norwegian Wood” as the opener.
What do you imagine when you hear Big Band? If you picturize an orchestra with members sit still with serious facial expression in your mind, you will start seeing it differently after you see this Jakarta’s proud big band called the HajarBleh Big Band. Consists of young and happy musicians, they kind of change the paradigm by utilizing their membership in this big band as the playground to have lots of fun. It’s easy to find shiny, happy faces on their stage. They can shape a good looking formation, but they can go ‘messy’ on the street too like what they did in order to celebrate the International Jazz Day last year. In front of hundreds of hawkers and shoppers spectators at Pasar Baroe, Jakarta, they did a flash mob by playing Herbie Hancock’s “Chameleon” and Louis Prima’s “Sing Sing Sing.” That suits their statement that jazz should be able to elimiate all layers found in the society and jazz is definitely for everyone. Other than that, HajarBleh Big Band clearly encorages to share the excitement big time and spread the positive vibe throughout Indonesia. Their show really boosted up the crowd because of their arrangement in pop music in big band style. Have you ever seen big band members took selfie and did high-five during performance? They did that. The group epically closed the show with Fariz RM “Barcelona” where the conductor/leader, Roberto Joko, moved forward with keytar (keyboard and guitar). Not only they played it greatly but also they made the final festive.
As one of the most prominent guitar players in Indonesia, Balawan and his trio got the audience lined-up even before their show started. The light rain did not stop anyone from cheering when the band got on the stage and boy, they did not let down any single person watching it.
Balawan is known as the person who formed Batuan Ethnic Fusion, a mix of Balinese gamelan music with jazz-rock. In this performance, the ethnic colour was very bright and strongly felt, sometimes it got complicated and complex without losing the entertainment. The band showcased what they got and the energy was overwhelming. It was overall very inspiring for musicians and entertaining for the rest of the audience. Now, he surprised the listener with his voice while singing a legendary hits, “What a Wonderful World”. In order to add the blast, Balawan showed his fantastically speed and presition in playing his instrument. You see, the wizard once again did the spell.
Around 4:30 pm the stage in the middle presented BSO Band Jazz Project. BSO stands for Badan Semi Otonom (Semi Autonomomous Body), established in 2001 by mostly rooted in music. This organization has made some bands, music projects, recruitments and events. They realize what music can do, therefore they set their mission to develop people through music. Just like last year they served an interesting bebop and traditional jazz, showing that this BSO does ‘speak’ jazz fluently with the right articulation. Michael Jackson “Love Never Felt So Good” boosted the crowd up as they opened the show, continued with “September”, Sandy Sondoro “Malam Biru”, BSO greatly introduced their abilities and talents to us.
Funny, creative, young, energetic, vibrant are the words that define Kunto Aji. His originality defines what he is, on and off stage. Very talented in music making and performing, Kunto Aji was one of the finalist of an “Idol” talent search, but we can see that he is more than an Idol: a true entertainer. He is naturally funny and there is almost no reason not to love this guy. Knowing that he plays JGTC makes us wonder if being a jazz artist is what his destination is in his musical journey, and he knows he has all the support he needs! Kunto Aji collaborated with Generasi 90, a famous project aiming to bring back all good memories about 90’s to these days. He played several longlast hits from 90’s musicians like Sheila on 7, Bening, Chrisye, Memes, ME, and his favourite group, Kahitna. Although it was the first time for Kunto Aji performing at JGTC, he already got a big crowd cheering his name and the air full of laughter and nostalgic memories of 90’s. Go Kunto!
On the other stage we found Martesa Sumendra, better known as Teza Sumendra. We first heard him in American Idol season three in 2006. Then we found him again in the album “Kembali Satu”, an album made by Indra Lesmana which featured 8 Indonesian Idol alumni (2009). Again, his name appeared in Andezzz’s “Electric Lov3”. On theater stages he got role in Ali Topan The Musical and Laskar Pelangi. He’s been in Java Jazz Festival too, from 2009 to 2013. Today he’s one of the most favorite male singers among the youngsters. Look at the scene from his stage, clearly he got many fans. Having a good look might may attract girls to like him, but his unique, distinctive singing voice that sounds like a black Soul and RnB singer also spoiled one’s ears. A star in the making has landed on the JGTC ground. Teza surely know how to explore his voice in right genre and he applied into several hits like Justin Timberlake “Suit and Tie”, Beyonce “Drunken Love”, and other songs which made the girl histerically screaming. He also knew how important communication between performer and audience really is, in order to built the mood. Though it was his first time at JGTC, he successfully made first good impression.
This inspiring young lady by the name of Yemima Hutapea set the mood just right at Musik Asik Stage. Her appearance charmed the audience, confidence was top notch. Musically? Undoubtedly beautiful. Her being a top 5 finalist of Miss Indonesia and a TV host shaped her charisma on stage. She was backed by influential musicians and her song choices and styles bring a different color to the festival.
Bonita with her powerful voice, Adoy the husband as the guitar player, Bharata and Jimmy in percussion and saxophone. Unusual line-up for a jazz combo, but they make it sound so full and tight! Funny how that line-up can actually produce a beautiful loud, in a very very good way. The performance was so fun and enjoyable. The distinctive, powerful and expressive vocal character of Bonita is always a catch,and the way she performs on stage is always spontaneous. She seems enjoying every performances she does that the air is filled with joyful and not to mention that Oddie Agam once mentioned Bonita as the Indonesian Aretha Franklin. Great experience, Bonita and the HusBand! Puntastic!
The father is a living legend, and the son is a legend in the making. Both of them have been contributing a lot in their own time. Both are great in skill and share the same passion according to their callings, which apparently similiar too. Father has been active for more than 50 years, while the son, well, not that long but we believe will follow his father’s footstep. Like Father, Like Son, Benny Likumahuwa and Barry Likumahuwa.
The name Like Father Like Son actually was taken from a song written long time ago by papa Benny. He told us that he couldn’t find the exact title for this song for many years. But later when Barry was in charge, finally he got it. “It’s like magic, suddenly it was all very clear.” he said. Like Father, Like Son it is, not only the song title/theme song but also the name of their bond.
It was a session that talked more than just playing jazz with skill but also a canvas where the harmony of love, respect and senses between two blood connected players being painted beautifully. Let’s not forget the role of fellow musicians including Doni Joesran (keyboard), Jordy Waelauruw (trumpet), Bass G (electric bass) and Dimas Pradipta (drums). Indra Aziz stepped forward to sing “Get Lucky” which now pinned in between funk and traditional jazz. Speaking of traditional jazz, this show brought the best of it. Slices of modern jazz was there too. A good show with good spirit like this should be able to inspire us all.
While a 7-piece pop jazz band with a strong soulful lady on vocal Glanze did their thing with one of today’s hits, Megan Traiton “All About that bass” and “Juwita Malam among others more added their fresh performance, on the Indosat IM3 Stage Idang Rasjidi Syndicate launched their missile. It’s always nice to see Idang Rasjidi Syndicate. Why? Because then we’d see the harmony between a legendary jazz musician/true entertainer and younger players including his own sons plus Ricad Hutapea. Idang’s main weapon is piano, but he can surprise everyone with his unique voice, scat singing and any other vocal works. As we mentioned true entertainer, he always wants his show to be interactive and connected. Either he shares the story behind the song, making jokes or throws inspirational words. Well, as usual there were many things we could learn from his show. Was it entertaining? You bet.
Consisted of two best friends since the university days, Lea Simanjuntak and Irsa Destiwi formed Bandanaira. Lea and Irsa are both well-known in the music industry, especially jazz scene as musicians. Even though it is a duo format, they refuse to call themselves as ‘duo’ but ‘band’ instead. Bandanaira started as a project for fun, but looking at the musicality of them both, it was about time until they eventually got recognized.
They are known to always perform national anthems and traditional music of Indonesia, and that is their way to establish their uniqueness and at the same time they promote Indonesia in their way. If you’re reading this, we believe you know music is the best medium to deliver messages, and Bandanaira smartly does it in a musical way possible. The audience loved it, they sang along to the fun and entertaining performance, and the two ladies in Bandanaira was lovable that people instantly loved them. So much love as they played “Di Bawah Sinar Bulan Purnama” accompanied by Doni Sundjoyo (bass), Didiet (violin), Iwan Wiradz (percussion), and together continually entertained the people.
The combination of teacher-student of Institut Musik Indonesia (IMI) The Bakutindis‘ show took place at the Musik Asik Stage. Consists of David Likumahua (guitar), Ryan Inno Centio (bass), Samuel Rusli (drums), Christofer Tjandra (guitar), Vinson Vivaldi (keyboard) and Denimaris Boy (saxophone), they served famous Indonesian songs and recent top 40, entertaining the crowds up until the sky began to get dark. Cheerfully opened with Pharell Williams “Get Lucky”, Bakutindis truly got our attention as they continued with many more songs.
Cool, calm, confidence. That’s the outside look of our own jazz guitar legend, Oele Pattiselano. But the music he brings out from his guitar is simply magic. Pure, genuine heartfelt swing is his thing. Even though he’s a master, he doesn’t like to show off, instead he keeps it simple, letting his heart pours into streaming melodies in jazz tone.
Performing under Oele Pattiselano Quartet with Arief Setiadi on sax, Dezca Anugerah Samudra on drum, and Jeffrey Tahalele on contra bass. Oele delivered a beautiful traditional jazz full of improvisation, just like watching a jam session. Monita Tahalea who was featured added more sweetness into the act. We can always learn from the masters on how to deliver a pure jazz with the exact articulation. It doesn’t always have to be complex, even the simplest one can be so beautiful if the players attach their soul to it. Monita with her beautiful voice opened the show with Kenny Rogers “It Had to be You”, also a song from Arief Setiadi, “Song for Maya”.
A warm, intimate and interactive show as usual belong to Syaharani and the QueenFireworks (ES:QIEF). There’s always love being transferred naturally from her to the audience that also became the title of ES:QIEF’s third album released on March, 2014: Selalu Ada Cinta (There’s Always Love). What’s unique about ES:QIEF is how liquid they are in concept. They don’t want to stick in just one genre, instead they embrace wide variety of sounds and styles. Light Jazzy, Power Pop, Acoustic, Ambiance, Lounge Dance, Groove, Blues, Soul, Rock, Bossa, the indie music, the sound of the 70’s etc, often fuse these elements into a melodic ES:QIEF signature along with the simple ‘slice of life’ lyrics. Founded by three pillars: Syaharani, Donny Suhendra and Didit Saad, the band has been contributing in countless events all over the nation. It’s good to see them again gracing the Jazz Goes to Campus, which is actually not a new place to them. Two of the three founders (Didit wasn’t there since he had to play somewhere else) treated their fans with several songs from their newest album along with Kristian Dharma (bass), Fajar Trias and Andi Gomez (keyboard) and Sirhan Bahasuan (drums). “Arisan Hujan” is a song inspired by a beautiful poem from Syaharani’s beloved friend and they closed with “Morning Coffee”. As Syaharani said, a song can tell beyond the reality because imagination is wild and wide, and yes indeed it was a sweet Sunday where we all felt ease at home.
At the Jazzperience Stage we spotted Monita Tahalea & The Nightingales when the sky began to go darker. Led by the beautiful singer with lushy vocal Monita Tahalea, this group has very, very talented male players including Indra Perkasa (bass), Yoseph Sitompul (piano), Ricard Hutapea (flute & sax), Gerald Hiras Situmorang (guitar) and Jessi Mates (drums). There was a new song made by Monita and Gerald found among the repertoires, the song’s called “Memulai Kembali” (“Starting Again”), an easy to love mid tempo folkish pop jazz that suits all kind of listeners. A little info: Nightingale is a singing bird with peaceful and calm sound, it’s a perfect choice for Monita to choose this name since she also breathes the same soul. Sweet, charming and relaxing show courtesy of a gang of young but very talented players. For JGTC this year, Monita specially sang some songs were once popularized by our legendary musician, Chrisye. “Dibatas Mimpi” became the opening song, then continued with “Serasa”, and “Kala Cinta Menggoda”.
A historical moment happened in this year’s installment. Since most of us were not present at the very first one in the second half of 70’s, perhaps you might wonder how it was back then. Well, that’s the interesting part of this session, because at this edition JGTC wished to bring us back to feel it by inviting some of the living legends who performed at JGTC numero uno. Standing as the music director was Benny Likumahuwa (trombone). Joining him was the initiator of JGTC Candra Darusman (piano), Abadi Soesman (keyboard), Benny Mustafa (drums), Iwang Gumiwang (percussion), AS Mates (bass), Rien Djamain (vocals) and a drummer who didn’t play at that time but also a senior musician and important name in our jazz history, Eddy Syakroni. The project’s called: JGTC Project Tribute To Salemba.
In a mission to reminisce all the memories from the first JGTC at Salemba in mid 70s, this project brought back all the glory, beauty and spirit of how it was back then. The artists in this session are not young anymore, yet they still have the energy just like 1976. There’s a little twist: if in 1976 Benny Likumahuwa (with Bubi Chen, Jack Lesmana, Maryono and Jacky Pattiselano) played the traditional jazz, this time with the appearance of Abadi Soesman and Candra Darusman, a little rock was felt here and there. For us, watching them together gave goosebumps. Not only we felt happy to see them all healthy, happy and technically awesome, but this project is also very important in terms of our jazz history. Finally we could take a peek of what happened in Salemba 38 years ago presented by these living legends. Benny Mustafa who recently recovered from sickness surprisingly performed really well and energetic. His love for music was truly seen and this is something we can learn from him. Passion wins it all. Other than that, it was nice to hear Chaesiro’s hit “Ku Lama Menanti” sang by Rien Djamain. We hope to see more, may this project be carried on with more names next year.
We enjoyed his performance back in JakJazz 2008. For us it was like an unforgettable performance. Good fusion with the real spirit, executed sharp and clean, very dynamic and in many parts, wild, and served chilled with lots of fun. We have been waiting for them to come back again, now the Jazz Goes to Campus made it happen. Yes, we’re talking about the fusion band from Glasgow, Scotland founded in 2007, the Ray Harris & the Fusion Experience. What they play is the amalgam of great music across ages, like a time tunnel but in one dimension. Contemporary but still embracing the traditional, modern yet utilizing vintage elements. And what’s also good about them is that their music can satisfy rock, soul, blues and of course jazz fans, including the common listeners.
Another thing that you have to know is that they are not stranger to Indonesian music soil. Other than the previous gigs in here, their album can also be found in the market distributed by DeMajors. The album is available at our online store: http://store.jazzuality.com/product/ray-harris-live-impressions/. Just like what we mentioned 6 years ago, the way Mr Raymond Harris play the keyboard kind of reminds us of The Doors’ Ray Manzarek in present time. Once again they stunned us with their funky formula, and clearly the audience loved what they played too based on what we saw. Intense, high octane action and joyful. Plenty of wild attraction too served from Ray. Another unforgettable one from them. Wicked! For this time Ray Harris collaborated with an Indonesian singer named Marcelia Lesar as vocalist in three beautiful songs. Another collaboration also happened between Ray and Hannabiel, an American percussion player and saxophonist, who recently resides in England. Tonight she played percussion along with the band.
How would jazz sound in the hands of a professor? Well, we actually know how incredible it would be since we have seen this professor’s gigs many times. Tjut Njak Deviana Daudsjah was born in Indonesia but she studied in Germany and pursued her career there for some decades. One of the most successful one when she was there was a female jazz trio that reigned all over Europe during 1990 to 1993. She came back to Indonesia and established the Institut Musik Daya Indonesia which adopts international curriculum in their education system but still holding tight to keep our own cultures and all its values. She gives birth to many successful musicians and listed as one of the most dedicated names in Indonesian jazz history.
Everytime we watch her, we can always feel her jazzy heart. Being a professor and a highly experienced jazz player doesn’t make her music sounds difficult. She often takes folk, children songs and evergreens from her own land and crafts them effortlessly beautiful. At this 37th JGTC edition she performed under Tjut Njak Deviana & Friends. Madame professor ‘und Freunde’ gave such a beautiful, heartfelt and connected session that would surely make the audience fall in love with jazz. She played around folk songs from various area of Indonesia like Maluku and Minahasa.
Imagine a romantic man sits alone in his bedroom, picking up his guitar and starts pouring some notes along with singing. Honest but poetic lyrics written in simple way, melodious streaming notes which you can learn to play too. Well, Adhitia Sofyan got his success starting with this concept. Three albums were made under “Bedroom Recordings” concept and reached success: “Quiet Down” (Vol 1), Forget Your Plans” (Vol 2) and “How to Stop Time” (Vol 3). What’s unique is, while the albums are available in the shape of CDs, the fans could also download them for free, provided directly by himself. While performing, Adhitia likes to bring some more players to accompany him. Eventhough he plays as a team, his cozy acoustic bedroom concept is still kept. An inspiring man with tender but manly voice, good in playing guitar and making songs, what’s not to love from him. While the girls melt, the boys can learn how to be romantic from him, the least.
Sondre Lerche has a very strong fan base here in Indonesia. Even though they visited Indonesia just a year ago for a jazz festival in Bandung, the fans seemed to eagerly expect to see them live. Sondre is famous for his songs “Two Way Monologue”, “Sleep On Needless”, and he also wrote some original soundtracks for drama movie like Dan In Real Life.
Sondre Lerche is a versatile musician: He studied classical guitar and explored bossa nova, psychedelic, and even 60’s pop. Yeah, now we know where the distinguished sound in his music came from. As a recording musician, he is also a productive one. He just released his album “Please” this year, which songs were also performed in this festival. A little bit about Please, Sondre is reaching out through this album. He went out of his usual zone, infusing indie-rock scratching with a ballroom-blues glaze, and JGTC is blessed to be performed some of his latest work.
How about his performance? It was romantic in a kind of break-up way. Bittersweet, haunting, beautiful, but also out of this world. As it was a part of his Please Tour, Lerche’s song list was dominated with new songs. “Lucifer”, “Airport Taxi Reception”, “Like Lazenby”, and his hit “Two Way Monologue” were some of them where he performed solo. He added some surprise to the show where he collaborated with Soundscapes in “Everyone’s Rooting for You”. The ‘zoning out’ moment was there, leaving the audience in a long awe. Definitely something we rarely see in any live performance of anyone. At the same time, Sondre Lerche with his expertise spoiled the audience by playing some of his most popular tunes and get them to sing along. Such a treat in a perfect day in University Indonesia, where Jazz Goes To Campus was held at.
Proud to say we could got the answer for our curiosity about the reason why Sondre Lerche love to keep coming back to our beloved country, Indonesia and he mostly performed at jazz event although he is not known as jazz musician. He explained to us the reason behind it is because a lot of Indonesian jazz festivals wish him to be here and he takes it as an honour. Although Sondre Lerche is not known well as jazz musician and has no training in it, but actually he grew up within jazz. He already listened to “Night and Day” when he was 8 and he still fall in love with that song until now. “I like jazz music, I like the freedom you can get in jazz, I like improvisation, I like experimentation, and sometimes those are found more in jazz music than pop”, said Sondre in order to satisfy our question about his relation with jazz.
17 years and still running, with even more loyal fans behind? For us it’s a great achievement. It’s The Groove. Imagine this: they have been grooving the stages including those who were built in the campus grounds for that long. Nothing change at all: they always make the audience happy not only with their music but also with their lively performance. Throughout the years the personnel show strong family spirit. Their soul, funk, disco with jazz taste is ageless. Rieka Roslan and Reza (vokal), Yuke Sampurna (bass), Ali Akbar (piano), Rejoz (perkusi), Deta (drum), Arie (guitar) and Tanto (keyboard) amazingly proved that even the songs they wrote more than a decade ago still perfectly suitable for this generation, while the new singles like “Let’s Go (Reunian)” and “Kusambut Hadirumu” are made with the exact The Groove flavors but fit the currend trend at the same time. Happy stage with happy people, both the performers and the crowds. We always love the scene from their show, and surely we will see them again as one of the main treat at many upcoming festivals. “Bagaimana bisa”, “Khayalan”, “Dahulu”
And now, ladies and gentlemen, here’s the phenomenal man. Once again, Tulus created an unbelievable view on his show. Like a magnet, he dragged everyone in the venue, making his concert area overload again just like last year. Two albums with phenomenal success, plenty of mega hits, lots of appearances everywhere and some prestigious achievements/awards. He held his second solo concert in Bandung just a couple of months ago with about 3500 fans watching. In just a few days Tulus will make his grand Konser Gajah in Jakarta (December 2, 2014) at Kartika Expo Center, Balai Kartini Jakarta, aiming no less than 5000 audience. But before that, he landed first on 37th JGTC. Several years ago he was still a talented young man trying to make his way to the industry, today he’s on top of the game.
What’s good about Tulus is that he knows how to show his passion in jazz without having to go too hard in it. He has some bop and swing in his albums, but he goes wide across borders, embracing pop acoustics, ballads, folk, doo woop and Motown soul. In his concert/show, he likes to combine the original and new arrangements, making his act feels fresh yet familiar. At this year’s edition Tulus was supported by his full team including Fuad Rudyan (drums), Sindhu Banyusekti (bass), Ferry Nurhayat (synthesizer), Anto Arief (guitar) and Yonathan Godjali (keyboard). He cheered everyone with his numerous hits from both albums. Though 2014 was not his first experience at JGTC, but every year is different experience for Tulus. While last year he was still tried to make his songs familiar, this year Tulus got his audiences sang along with him in whole song list. Another huge success for Tulus and JGTC. We still amazed by the number of audience and how loud they were during the show. He said he wished to be a part of the music history in Indonesia and the world, he already is now. His success would be difficult to follow by others, and his number of audience is always beyond believe. Magnificent.
We were happily exhausted, but the JGTC still got one final act. It’s Glenn Fredly, the man who establishes himself as an indie artist but somehow still gain popularities like a commercial major ones. That means, his fans accept his new idelism and support his mission: Prosperity, Love and Peace. That makes his show both entertaining and important, especially when he meets the young campus generation like this. Glenn along with his fellows which are Nicky Manuputty who stroke us with his sax attack, Rayendra Sunito who provided us with his rich bit, and Bonar Abraham who gave funky rhythm on bass, all at once lively closed this event. He’s great in doing ballads, he can bring in happy feet. He can cheer everyone, he can send the positive messages and reminders. He’s digging more of the entertainment world to spread his message like movies too, or look at the way he shows his care of saving one of the biggest labels in Indonesian history, the Lokananta. Well, Glenn Fredly is a man on a mission. Isn’t it inspiring when we see a big artist uses every chance he has in his life to do something good? Glenn definitely realizes that. And for that, we salute him.
Like the previous editions, there were so many things to catch for almost 12 hours straight. Almost 40 performances and hundreds of artists from Indonesia and far away lands were spread over 4 stages. What a surprise to see this festival free from rain all the way to the end. Seems like the number of audience wasn’t as much as last year, but it was still totally happening. Some stages got good number of crowds even at the early hours.
As one of the oldest jazz festivals in the world, Jazz Goes to Campus successfully maintain its existance among so many other younger events. The fact that it’s been held in campus ground since the first one shows that jazz has been living inside the students’ hearts for decades too. For this year, the selection of artists reflected the variety of jazz quite enough. We found all kind of jazz, from traditional to modern, from swing to pop, from fusion to free jazz and experimental. Not just the famous names, variety is an important subject in creating a festival. That will give the audience better access to find the kind of jazz that suits them the most.
The JGTC Choice Awards were given to artists who have given much impact towards the jazz development along with their shiny achievements. Tesla Manaf from Bandung who is soon going to have his album released internationally by MoonJune Records proudly received the award as Newcomer Artist. Is he new in this business? Definitely no. But he’s making a lot of breakthrough for the past couple of years, so for us he earns this prestigious award, not as a newcomer in Indonesia but a newcomer in the world who soon will stand among the giants.
We extend our appreciation to the committee from BEM FEUI for all their hardwork to make this edition once again a success. What or how will it be in 2015? Let’s wait and hope for the best. Thanks JGTC, we loved it. Keep the jazz spirit alive.
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