Regeneration is a very important process if we want to keep a development stays on track. This becomes even more urgent in the Indonesia’s jazz scene because this particular genre requires skills which often gain by learning it through school or privately. The jazz development could suffer if we don’t care about the importance of it. Imagine how jazz would be if there’s no player in it anymore. If that sounds too extreme, let’s just say that we do need a lot of new players to continue the step of those who have made to the top.
If we speak of getting these young players to be ready to face the ‘real world’, they need to practice not only inside the school or private teaching, they also do need the chance to feel the atmosphere of real stage presence with live audience facing them. Thus we have to provide them enough space to learn and grow. The fact is, we still don’t give them enough room for that. From some conversations we did with today’s successful jazz musicians, they once struggled to find a place to perform when they were still studying. So as we are focusing on this genre, we have to really think about this.
Through Infinity, an independent institution that is established to improve the quality standard of human resource in facing the challenges in society, we established a connection with a mall located on the southside of Bandung owned by Agung Podomoro Group, the Festival Citylink. This mall has been growing rapidly during the last years. They are now marching on by inviting communities to exhibit their creativities. A community of jazz definitely can take a part in it while holding the importance of regeneration at the same time. When there’s a place being provided for the still-learning musicians or the new bands/musicians, we believe a pool of people who share a common interest will occur. When it happen, a community will be formed automatically. Another thing that we believe, eventhough we are emphasizing the still-learning musicians and new bands, they can still bring surprises and joyful entertainment. That’s one of the magic of jazz. Who knows what would happen later on. One thing for sure, we know that this mission can grow if we keep carrying it on and will give benefits to the jazz development especially in the local Bandung area. With these all in mind, we invite you to come to the first edition/premiere of CITYLINK JAZZ N’ JAM, Friday, February 7, 2014 at Terazzo, the Food Court of Festival Citylink, starting at 6:00 pm til drop.
During our first campaign, we visited some music schools around Bandung, got their excitement and directly got their supports. For this premiere edition some music schools have confirmed their participation. For instance VMS which stands for Venche Music School. This is the first jazz school in Bandung, established in 1988 by Venche Manuhutu, a senior jazz guitarist. This school gives lessons on many instruments such as guitar, piano, drums, bass, vocal, saxophone and even combo/ensemble class. Many successful jazz musicians graduated from this school, so we think it’s very important to have their support. As Venche told us of how important it is to provide reliable playgrounds for the students, he sent a team representing the school. The group of VMS consists of a duo, Anjuan Julio (guitar) and Alman Naufal (drums). The guitar-drum connection in one session isn’t something that we see often. Quite impossible to adapt in pop scene, but very possible in jazz. It’s interesting to see what these young players will deliver. What we heard is that they are going to play some mainstream jazz. If you’re curious of what exactly they are going to bring, you should come and see yourself. While we visited VMS, coincidentally we spotted a handsome 8 year-old boy in M. Yahya Salam’s class. This kid’s talent attracted us immidiately. Not only he could play jazz piano really well after learning from Yahya for only a year, he can also sing very well with correct technique and already know how to improvise with his voice. He’s brave, loves to talk but innocent at the same time. His name is Kavin. He’s defenitely more than worth to take a look at.
Another school that has given enormous support is KPH Music. Founded by Andre Mangunsong in 2009, KPH is a good source to learn piano and other instruments or even sing. With very affordable price – only IDR 100.000 (+/- US$ 8)/month -, their curriculum standard is based on the character competence along with the understanding and application of all kinds of music genre. This music school also has a division which provides music entertainment service. They are sending a band under their management, Wedding Mafia. This group was established by the wedding players who have the same vision and mission. They have filled many weddings with variety of genres from pop, love songs, oldies, to 40 all the way to jazz fusion. The band consists of 5 players including the founder of KPH Andre Mangunsong (piano), Angga (drum), Fira (vocal), Ibnu (sax) and Wibi (bass).
From the bands’ side, we invited two quite new bands but great in play. First, there’ll be Out of 7 (OO7). This band has been showing tremendous growth since its birth in March 2013. All of them started by being the praise and worship band in church, now they are expanding the horizon to the public world. While they are clearly rooted in jazz, they often appear as an ‘acrobatic’ band, meaning that you can catch action-packed tradings, cool improvisations or even duels among them. The vocalist Erick Gabe is one complete package. He has wide vocal range, able to do mouth-trumpet, trombone, guitar, bass and some other instruments, fast in scatting and fancies wild style. The keyboardist who also deals with the arrangement for the group is Widiyanto Sutanto. As the captain of the band, he’s commanding the whole troops while demonstrating frantic jazz piano playing at the same time. The guitarist Herman Yulianto is reliable in enriching their tone and Abet Darmaji works on the melodic and rhythmic bass lines. Last but not least, the drumset is guarded not by a man but a young girl, Marissa Wiguna. Don’t be fooled by her cute looks, because she can be really hyperactive and dangerous when placed behind the drums. For this time they promise to give something different. What will that be? Come and see.
As the vocalist of OO7 Erick Gabe also works as a vocal tutor, there’s a group of 7 moms he’s currently focusing at. This seven mommies serve regularly in a church at Maulana Yusuf street in Bandung, now Erick is taking them out as a vocal group called MY MOM (MY is an abbreviation of the street name of their church). Other than stating to bring Gospel Blues, they are going to show that mothers can still go funky on stage eventhough they hold responsibility in taking care of the children and husband. Imagine 7 mothers on stage singing some jazz… that would be something wouldn’t it?
The band we haven’t mentioned is Chakraborty. Not to be mistaken with a highly famous Bollywood actor in the past, the name actually refers to the Sanskrit word from North Indian ancient mythology meaning ‘the best/the ruler’. For them, it also means ‘(becoming or doing) the best’, showing what their goal really is. This band also formed last year in April, consits of Venche Music School (VMS)’s students and often supported by sessionists from other music schools. While rooted in traditional American jazz, they are always happy to expand their musical horizon to reach the other families of jazz or music in general. The band has some talented boys such as Adya Amru (guitar), Nicodemus Horrison (keyboard), Jerry Gates (guitar), Yosua ‘Josh’ Setiawan (bass) and Joo Yang (drums).
As we intend to keep the tradition of jazz alive, as the name of this event says, there will be jam session after all the performances. You’re welcome if you want to join the party. Just bring your instruments and jump right in. If you’re one in the middle of learning jazz, we do hope you can feel the magical atmosphere of jam session by letting yourself in. But if you just want to see and cheer the players, that’s okay too.
We are giving a tagline of “fun jazzin’, fun jammin’, fun learnin’. This event holds education as one of the goals, but the entertainment factor is also a priority. We picture it as a Jazz edu-tainment anyway. Whether you want to help us in pushing the regeneration of jazz musicians forward or you’re just simply looking for jazz-tertainment, we’ll be more than happy to have you with. The event is totally FREE from any charge. Let’s visit the cool mall in southside of Bandung and groove with us!
Citylink Jazz n’ Jam
Date: Friday, February 7, 2014
Time: 06:00 pm – onward
Location: Terazzo Food Court,Festival Citylink, Jl. Peta no 241, Bandung
Supported by: Infinity, Klab Jazz, VMS and KPH Music School