New year, new dawn, new hope. Yes, we all have entered the year 2018. For many of us, 2017 was not an easy year to pass. We got to struggle so hard to survive, and this year is predicted by many to be just as difficult, if not worse, especially in a developing country like ours. But as we always look on the positive side, we know that we have to keep going with our mission as much as possible. We want to keep our contribution in the process of regeneration as frutiful as it’s been. We are happy that our regular jazz community event is continued. The Braga Jazz Night – previously known as Braga Jazz Walk – is now in its 4th year of service. So many success stories have been made here. Some debutants have now reached the higher ground, some are going there, and some are waiting to have their chance. We are happy if we can support them in any which way we can, while at the same time we happily welcome the successful musicians to share their knowledge, skill and experience by sharing the stage with the young ones.
We are ready to launch the Braga Jazz Night #43 on Thursday, 18 January 2018 taking place at the usual ground zero, Braga CityWalk starting from 7:00 pm onwards. In this episode, we are welcoming a new band that takes jazz into the edgier side where rock and blues live on. We are going to have an update of a young bassist who is still crawling to establish himself, and a very special reunion between two musicians who recently join forces again after more than 10 years. This reunion involves piano and violin, two instruments that’s probably found often in classical scene. But now, we can see that this combination could create beautiful music too inside jazz. For us, this lineup could describe our continuing mission at best, and certainly it’s a cool way to start our service in 2018.
Alright then, let’s now dig a little deeper into the reunion, which we simply named : MICHELLE – AMMY REUNION. As the name suggested, the reunion is between two renowned musicians: violinist Ammy Kurniawan and pianist Michelle Efferin. They met and started playing together around 14 years ago in 2003. “Michelle was still so young back then. But she played jazz really well and I felt connected with her right away.” said Ammy. At that time they played together quite intense, from Cellar Cafe to several jazz events here and there. “It was all good, but then suddenly she’s gone.” said Ammy. That’s because Michelle needed to carry on with her formal study to Sydney, Australia.
Ammy then moved further, establishing his career rock solid, placing his feet on jazz, blues and everything in between. Other than being active as sessionist, we often found his appearance in community events and existed in some bands including the stunning 4Peniti and Ammy Alternative Strings where he showcased his students (he is also a teacher by the way). Just a few months ago Ammy just launched his debut solo album titled “Let’s Play Violin” which gives a beautiful portrait of his illustrious journey in music.
Meanwhile, after finishing her college, Michelle established her own music school not long after she returned home. The M.E. Music Centre, that’s the name of Michelle’s school which uses her own initial is proved to be fruitful up until now especially in equipping children with good ability in performing on jazz stage.Ammy played at Michelle and Richard’s wedding party in 2009, it was so cool that both Michelle and Richard couldn’t help themselves not to jam with the band. “There were two pianos at that time, we jammed also with Didi Mudigdo, an amazing musician, a friend of mine back in Oz. I remember, we even managed to play 6 hands piano. It was so cool!”, said Michelle. They did play together again here and there like in Klab Jazz event and at Melinda Hospital, but they rarely crossed path as both parties have been busy with their own agenda.
Last year Michelle told us that they felt it was time for them to reunite. The only thing was, they were still unsure about how and where to do it. They had to wait until the end of 2017 where they finally got it: it was at M.E. Music School’s event: Christmas Jazz Night. We were fortunate to be able to see that golden moment when they ‘talked’ happily to each other through music by using their instruments and feels.
Michelle told us that’s what happen when they play together. “When I play with him, it always feels like we have so many things to talk about, endlessly, through music.” she says, while stating that she really enjoys playing with Ammy. As for Ammy, Michelle is a perfect partner in crime. “To me, she is like a pianist with complete jazz scale. I want to ‘wake’ all the scales up and bring out the best of her, jazz speaking.” he chuckles. Ammy also told us that he’s still not satisfied with their first reunion at the Christmas Jazz Night. Therefore, we offered them to make another reunion gig in this event, and they happily agreed.
Just like in the first gig, Michelle and Ammy are going to be supported by two more players: Michelle’s husband Richard Sirait on drums and Iwan on bass. For the sake of friendship, memory and love of jazz, we know this is going to be beautiful. If last year Michelle brought her reunion with her former college friend in Australia, Jessica Kung, this time we have the privilege to hold her reunion with the jazz ”Paganini’, Ammy Kurniawan. They are inviting you to share the happiness through a merry-go-round performance, make sure you won’t miss it.
We welcome the bassist who is still crawling to establish his name in the music scene, Joe Bastian with his project: JOE PROJECT. This young man is certainly not a stranger to us since he’s been appearing in here many times with variety of groups, from the duo with a baritone vocalist that has left the scene due to religious reasons Billy Likumahuwa, as a part of now inactive Fine Taste, supporting Fadhilla ‘Lala’ K Pramastij and of course his own project. He chooses bass as his major by learning from Rudy Zulkarnaen, but when needed, he can be a guitarist with just about equal skill.
Since last year we have been pushing him to step up the plate by working on his own project. He brought it for the first time in this event last July in the 37th edition (http://jazzuality.com/jazz-event-report/braga-jazz-night-37-young-guns-the-report/). 6 months passed, it’s time to bring him back again and see how he is doing this recent time.
While he is clearly passionate in fusion, for his first single which he is currently working on, he choose pop in a hope to be able to reach more people. Even when it’s pop, for us it’s important to see his move especially since this is a bassist’s project. This time he will bring some new players. Other than his original drummer Kevin Bernard whom he played with in supporting Lala last year, he brings in Abdul Aziz (keyboard) and Rendi Dwiyanto (guitar).
Another change is the name. If before he used Joe Bass Project as the name, now he decides to drop the ‘bass’ and goes with just Joe Project. What we also heard is that he is going to feature a vocalist on one song, but let’s just wait until then. Jazz rock fusion was the menu when we got him on stage last time, let’s see what the next chapter is like. As you can see, we don’t just invite bands, but we also follow their update, as it is important if we want to give better support.
Last but not least, a new found band is going to make its debut gig. The name is RED ZONE. This is the new band of a regular visitor of our event, rockin’ blues guitarist Eki Johan after his period with Little Dutchman ended, or at least is inactive.
There’s an interesting story behind the establishment of the band as told by Eki. According to him, the band was birth from an odd coincidence. It all began from a music test at Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia (UPI) some months ago, at 9 am to be exact. At that time, there were two boys sitting and playing guitar. Slowly but surely, more boys came in until it became like a group with 8 personnels. They played together before they even introduced themselves to one another, but they felt a strong chemistry as if they have played together before. They kept playing and playing all the way until the late afternoon. Realizing that they feel comfortable playing as a team, they established a band named Red Zone, referring to their meeting point.
For their debut gig, Eki Johan (guitar/vocal) is coming with the core team including Amir Fiqih (drum), Alfi Ibrahim (guitar/vocal) and Moch.Diva Sundara (bass). They are going to play variety of styles, but mainly will use jazz, blues and rock as the roots. It’s always fun to meet new band, we hope they will have a pleasant and progressive journey after landing on our stage for the first time.
If we still have some spare time, jam session will be available. Just bring your gear and let us know if you wish to participate.
Once again, the Braga Jazz Night #43 is coming soon on Thursday, 18 January 2018. The location is right in front of the Braga CityWalk’s main entrance, starting from 7:00 pm all the way until the mall closes. In case you don’t know, this event is 100% FREE of any charge. A reunion between two stellar musicians with their team, an update of a project we have been supporting and a debut gig of a newfound band are ready to bring the multi-colors of jazz. From swing, bebop, jazz fusion, pop to rock and blues, all can be enjoyed in this episode. Do come and support the band and the community. Mark your calendar and see you then!
Braga Jazz Night #43
Date: Thursday, 18 January 2018
Time: 07:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Location: Braga CityWalk
Jl. Braga 99-101, Bandung
:: MICHELLE – AMMY REUNION ::
Michelle Efferin – piano
Ammy Kurniawan – violin
Richard Sirait – drum
Iwan – bass
:: JOE PROJECT ::
Joe Bastian – bass
Kevin Bernard – drum
Abdul Aziz – keyboard
Rendi Dwiyanto – guitar
:: RED ZONE ::
Eki Johan – guitar/vocal
Alfi Ibrahim guitar/vocal
Amir Fiqih – drum
Moch.Diva Sundara – bass