We have been running the Braga Jazz Night (formerly known as the Braga Jazz Walk) for more than 3 years. We sometimes fit the event to special occassion and event, at other times we run it just as a regular community event without any specific theme. With or without theme, whether it’s made as a celebration of any special day or not, one thing remains the same: we showcase the united colors of jazz brought by variety of bands, groups, performers, ranging from newcomers, well-established artists to even legends, from kids, teenagers, young adults to seniors. We are trying our best to push the regeneration of jazz musicians right from the bottom, on the other hands we gladly welcome the successful ones to show their support to the youngsters and give our attention on any new movements they make in their career. As you can see, what we think is very simple, but so far we are happy that there are many good fruits coming from this small and familiar community jazz event.
In the previous two editions we were focusing on young guns. Many of them surprised us by playing like experienced pros, some others showed high potential that we would love to keep our eyes on. Now the Braga Jazz Night #39 is right around the corner. What we have in this edition may surprise you, because of the wide variety, rare and unique presentation which brings the traditional, diatonic-based music from the western part of Sumatra island into the progressive, modern style, the runner-up of an international singing competition, a promising young man’s debut and a smooth, sweet vocal-guitar duo. All of them have many stories to tell, and we believe they all deserve your attention. As we said earlier, the variety will be wide, united in one genre that we all love, jazz.
Now, let’s see who we are going to feature in more detail.
First, allow us to introduce one of the ensembles that we feel lucky to find, a progressive ethnic ensemble who dares to cross the horizons and go beyond limit. They represent the beautiful, distinctive sound of West Sumatra’s tribe Minangkabau, one of the hundreds of recognized ethnic groups in Indonesia and certainly, one of the most recognizable ones. We say progressive, because they don’t only use the traditional instruments such as the talempong (set of small bronze or brass kettle gongs) and woodwinds such as saluang (an oblique bamboo flute), bansi (a small end-blown bamboo block flute), sarunai (bamboo pipe), tanduak (ancient flute made from bull’s horn) and so on, but they combine it with modern western instruments such as keyboard, bass, drums and guitar, creating such harmony which for us pushes the transformation of Minangkabau music to fit the modern music trend. Consisting of musicians (mostly youngsters) and dancers, this mind-blowing ensemble’s name is Palanta Line Art.
Palanta Line Art was born in 23 July 2012 as the brainchild of a senior music master Maspon Herizal. For 5 years they have flown over many weddings, but they have also landed their feet on traditional/non traditional events here and there. Maspon graduated from ASKI (Art Institute of Indonesia) Padang Panjang and STSI Surakarta where he earned his Magister degree. During this period he was selected as the arranger of musical dance named “Ada Apa di Balik Bambu” by Indriyeti. From there, he served as one of the musicians for the 18th Pekan Olah Raga Nasional (PON) at Pekan Baru, Riau. He is the master of traditional Minangkabau woodwinds as mentioned above, but he is also a multi-instrumentalist and brilliant songwriter/arranger/composer. Aside of all these astonishing gifts, he can do the high-pitched voice humming that will send chills down your spine.
The last time we saw them was when they became the opening for the West Java Syndicate’s Bubuka launching album (http://jazzuality.com/jazz-event-report/west-java-syndicate-bubuka-album-launching/). At that time they caught everyone off-guard with their magical diatonic version of Chick Corea’s “Spain”, the Minangkabau taste of “Djanger Bali” and Maspon’s masterpiece “Andalas Raya”. Some of West Java Syndicate’s personnels are found joining the Palanta Line Art once in a while, but for this event Maspon is leading his junior team to spread madness. They are Arts Fiaris (guitar), Regi Permadi (drum), Shendy Susanto (bass), Qorry Restu Qodirullah (keyboard) and Kiky Septian (talempong). They may be young, but don’t underestimate their ability to chew complex and difficult compositions, especially those who fuse two worlds like what the Palanta Line Art rooted in.
You might wonder how jazz would be built upon diatonic scale, how it would sound from talempong and traditional woodwinds. Technically speaking, you could also see how sets of gongs tuned chromatically, accomodating both major and minor scales resonating the harmony of basic ‘western’ chord progressions, especially jazz. This ensemble has opened up our musical perspective. We hope they will flip yours too. If everything we mentioned felt too complicated, let’s make it simple that the Palanta Line Art is very rare and play music like no others. It’s venomous in the world of progressive-traditional ethno-jazz. Beside the unique music style, this ensemble is a visually captivating representation of Minangkabau art, culture and music at present time. It’s time to see Minangkabau/Padang Jazz!
In an early episode of The Voice Indonesia Season 2, we saw a familiar face. It was a young lady we found in Salamander Voices, the vocal group of Salamander Big Band. She sang Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me” in the Blind Audition. She kept on singing eventhough none of the coaches turn their seat around. We were like, “come on now, this girl is really talented! Go press the button and turn around, anyone!” We nervously looked at the time and started preparing ourselves for the worst.
As our hearts go pounding faster, at the last second Agnez Mo finally hit the ‘I Want You’ button, followed by Judika and Ari Lasso. She earned the right to proceed, joining the Agnez Mo’s team then Judika’s, went all the way to final, where she stood as the runner up for that season. For you who live in Indonesia and followed this talent search competition, you should know who she is. Yes, she is none other than Sekar Teja Inten.
Born in 1993, Inten is gifted with beautiful singing voice. Not only she has wide vocal range, high technique, perfect pitch and creamy vibration, her vocal has a strong character as well. Whether it’s RnB, Jazz or Pop, she would comfortably suit in. Other than The Voice Indonesia 2016, she also competed in Nez Academy 3 years earlier. Beside in Salamander Big Band, you could also find her among the backing vocals of Tulus.
Earlier this year, Inten released her single titled “Bukan Karena Kita” (“Not Because of Us”), an easy listening bitter-sweet pop ballad which represents the case of many youngsters who failed in their love lives. She appeared in RCTI’s program Dahsyat few months ago singing this song. Written by a pianist/song writer Aldi Nada Permana and arranged by Tito P Soenardi, this song has a very strong emotion through Inten’s voice, so strong that it could make all the broken hearts cry. You can watch and listen to this song here.
We still remember what Agnez Mo said about her in the Blind Audition. “I think it’s the magic of surrendering ourselves to God… right when you did that, all the magic in you came out!” We agree totally. This girl has magic inside her. She has the ‘It’ factor, the star quality that sometimes could become an even bigger key factor on someone’s career. The fact that she overpowered more than 3000 participants to be in the grand final is a straight prove of that magic. And when she sang Billy Joel’s “New York State of Mind” accompanied by Irsa Destiwi’s tasty bluesy piano, for us she established such new height of this song which would be difficult to beat as well as claiming her spot among the greatest Indonesian female singers from the new generation.
For this event she is going to perform with pianist Rafael Yefta from Jakarta. It’s a great privilege to finally have her gracing the Braga Jazz Night, and we are proud also excited to bring the lady with a sweet smile closer to public. We do hope you won’t miss this golden chance of having this runner up of The Voice Indonesia 2016 in an intimate session.
Next, let’s take a look of a young man ready to sail his solo career, Antoni Sidjabat (full name: Antoni Hamonangan Marsahala Sidjabat). We first knew him as the vocalist of a blues-funk alternative band Green Dolphin Street. But then, at some point in 2016 he decided to quit the band that he co-found. He decided to pursue his solo career instead, using his own name. In just four months, he managed to pack an album titled “The End of the Beginning” which is supported by solid musicians including Rizky Eka Putra, Khrisna Alda, Rully Parulian, Muhammad Azmi and James Argo. The album is now available on all digital platforms such as iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, Amazong Music, Deezer, Shazam and many more. A carrier single of his debut album has been getting positive response. The single is titled “Thanks To You”, a song dedicated to his mother, Soyanita Sinaga who once was also active as a singer with an album in the 80’s. Speaking of the single, you can watch it below.
Speaking of music style, this man has been reflecting every music he has encountered along his journey. When he was still active in Green Dolphin Street, we saw him as a rebelious singer who shouted blues and Brit-pop/rock under the style of Kurt Cobain. But here in his solo career, he chose to go different ways with his music style and refer it as indie pop. However, it’s not an ordinary indie pop since his music draws reference to variety of genres he’s been in touch with, including jazz and folk pop. The relaxing, ambienced atmosphere in some ways creating such ‘obscura’ feels which directly reminds us of the tone of bands like SORE or Camera Obscura. At other point, he can bring us to feel like being at the countryside breathing fresh air.
For this event, he will perform alongside his buddies Otniel Pangaribuan (backing vocal, guitar), Marlon Fridolin (backing vocal, acoustic guitar), Boy Nainggolan (bass), Andrian S (drums) and Jamie Argo (keyboard).
Looking at his material and the way he carries it, we believe Antoni Sidjabat has the chance to succeed in pursuing his solo career. We won’t be surprise if some day soon he will become popular. Therefore, we are proud to be a part of his early promotional steps. He sings, he plays piano, he is charming. If you love the indie music without caring too much on any specific genre, this man provides it nicely.
From time to time we search for a good duo who can bring out the beauty of jazz in simplicity. A duo is a minimalist set, but certainly not easy since both have to work side by side in harmony to build each song to perfection. Allow us to introduce a vocal-guitar duo recommended by Dwi Cahya Yuniman of Klab Jazz to land on our stage for the very first time: Ael/Hardi.
Ael is the shortened name of a girl with lovely voice, Putri Rahel Sihombing, better known as just Putri Rahel. She came from a strong classical background and active in choir, particularly the ITB Student Choir which bagged shiny achievement in d’Arezzo’ International Polyphonic Competition in Arezo, Italy in 2013. She has also appeared in Childhood Fantasy Concert with Simfonia Music School (2015) and theatircal performance of Sunset Deity Cost. Other than stage performances, she did a jingle for Indonesia’s Hari Pohon (Tree Day) in cooperation with the Ministry of the Environment.
Later on she found her interest in jazz, triggered by her love towards Disney songs and also Jane Monheit. Since it came from her own wish, she adapted easily to jazz standards, as told by her mentor Hardi Suryana who is also her partner on stage.
Hardi is one of the recommended jazz guitarist teachers in Bandung. He started learning guitar seriously since 1994 from Yono AR where he was introduced to Modern Jazz/Jazz Rock. However, he was more interested in Mainstream, specifically Straight Ahead. Other than his teacher, he also mentioned more names as important figures in his career. They are Mas Dib (KLCBS Radio) and senior pianist Yongky Nusantara (Mara Radio). From these gentlemen he began to get guidance and more information about jazz from the angle of repertoires to the history of jazz and its musicians. He then started collecting cassettes in variety of styles ranging from Rag Time, Swing, Bebop, Hard Bop, Cool Jazz, Modern Jazz all the way to the Contemporary. He also continuously attended any jazz events available in his hometown throughout the years. But then, during 2003-2007 period, he took a pause from music to work in geological field, the subject he took during his college years.
But then, he couldn’t deny his passion in music much longer. He came back to it in 2008 by becoming a guitar instructure and got regular gig at some cafes/restaurants. He has also attended many workshops and clinics which enhanced his skill and technique both as player and teacher.
Pretty colorful isn’t it? Well, once again, The Braga Jazz Night #39 will come soon on 21 September 2017 at the entrance of Braga CityWalk, starting from 7:00 pm til drop. In case you still don’t know, the event is totally FREE of any charge. So come, bring your friends and family along and have a good time. See you there!
Braga Jazz Night #39
Date: 21 September 2017
Time: 07:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Location: Braga CityWalk
Jl. Braga 99 – 101, Bandung
:: SEKAR TEJA INTEN :: – Runner Up of The Voice Indonesia Season 2 (2016)
Sekar Teja Inten – vocal
Rafael Yefta – piano
:: PALANTA LINE ART :: – Progressive Traditional Ethno-Jazz Minangkabau Ensemble/Combo
Maspon Herizal – traditional woodwinds (serunai, saluang, tanduak, bansi, beluk padang/humming etc)
Arts Fiaris – guitar
Kiki Septian – talempong
Qorry Restu Qodirullah – keyboard
Shendy Susanto – bass
Regi Permadi – drum
:: ANTONI SIDJABAT :: – New ‘Obscura’ Indie Pop Singer
Antoni Sidjabat – Vocal, guitar
Otniel Pangaribuan – Backing vocal, guitar
Marlon Fridolin – Backing vocal, guitar acoustic
Boy Nainggolan – Bass
Andrian S – Drum
Jamie Argo – Keyboard
:: AEL/HARDI :: – Acoustic Vocal-Guitar Duo
Rahel Putri – vocal
Hardi Suryana – guitar
Special thanks to Gita Bawana and Zahar Mustilaq for providing the instruments