Jazzuality Jazz Community at Seni Bandung #1 : First Event


Bandung, the capital of West Java has been known as a city of art for ages. While this city shows an openess towards modern artworks, amazingly the local wisdoms, arts and cultures still alive healthily among the people. The people are not against the modern urban lifestyle, but they still embrace the traditional arts too. Because of that, Bandung has so many art groups in variety of forms who are progressive and creative in crafting their stuffs which often create something new in the world of art, not only in Bandung but also nationally or even internationally.

As a creative city, this year Bandung finally has its own grand celebration of arts, created after a meeting between the Mayor of Bandung Mr. Ridwan Kamil, the Department of Culture and Tourism and some artistes at the Celah Celah Langit (CCL). If before the art shows mostly stand alone according to its type, in this festival they are integrated in equal portion. It is called “Seni Bandung #1”, a big art festival scheduled for one full month – from 25 September to 25 October 2017 – presenting 5 forms of arts:

This festival involves around 2500 artists spread on over 600 events at 48 different locations around Bandung (conventional and public areas). “A Collaborative Arts Event” is the theme, underlining the collaborative work ethics which shows the characteristic in Bandung’s world of arts. The title given to this first installment is “Air, Tanah dan Udara” (Water, Earth and Air).

3 curators were chosen to shape each of the field, with Heru Hikayat as the Artistic Director and Iman Soleh as the Executive Director. For music committee, the curators are Budi Dalton, Ismet Ruchimat and Syarief Maulana. They did research and selected who to represent the particular subject.  Jazzuality.com is selected to represent jazz as a part of Bandung’s world of art.

Of course, we feel honored to be selected as one of the representatives of Bandung’s music scene. But what makes us happy is that, jazz, the genre we are based on, is actually considered to be one of the art forms in Bandung by the committee. Jazz was born in USA around a century ago, true. But this captivating genre has become one of the world’s global musics. Bandung is one of the first cities in Indonesia where jazz first landed, and today this city is one of the places where you can find talented players who play good jazz. Jazz is also accessible in this city, as you can find its existance in several spots including our regulars. So, jazz is definitely a part of Bandung’s arts. It has every right to be involved in this mega fest, and we are happy to be one of the representatives of it.

We get not just one but two schedules: on Friday, 13 October and 20 October 2017. Both will run at 4:00 pm in the afternoon, located at a popular hangout place in the heart of Bandung, Jalan Dalem Kaum. Just like our other events, both are totally FREE of any charge.

Through our 4 years’ experience in creating jazz event, we have featured so many talented players, from legends, seniors, today’s toppers and amazing young guns. There have been musicians who have built their career for decades, there are those who have just started. Speaking of genre, we try our best to feature all kinds of jazz. One of the style we have presented is ethnic jazz fusion. Many of them aren’t just fuse it but also serve the collision of two worlds progressively.

Sundanese music has a very strong character in melody and rhythm has been brought into the modern age by some creative artistes, often give birth to variety of new breeds of music. Some widen their exploration further to find the harmony between pentatonic and diatonic scales using combination of instruments from the traditional ones to the westerns. So, imagine when there’s not just two worlds collide but three or even more. As this event is made for Seni Bandung #1, we decide to bring the kind of jazz that highlights the beautiful traditional Sundanese music, but with a twist! We say a twist, because there will be Minangkabau music too blending in harmony along with swing, bop, rock and rock n’ roll among other goodies. This rare, ground breaking progressive fusion stuff will be served by a large number of artistes who take music as a free, borderless world: West Java Syndicate Collaboration.

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As the name says, West Java Syndicate is a group established 7 years ago. From day one, this band has been embarking quite a journey in the multi-dimensional world of music. They built their castle upon two spheres: the Sundanese traditional and the modern western music. Today the band consisting of the creator Zahar Mustilaq (drum), Yopi Nafis (keys), Dede SP (bass), Randy Gevenk (woodwinds) and IpinZbet (kendang). Having such fearless and skillful stunts like this make them able to go wider.

Look at this: they just launched the 2nd album titled “Bubuka” last month (read the coverage of the launching here: http://jazzuality.com/jazz-event-report/west-java-syndicate-bubuka-album-launching/), presenting compositions which are far from simple yet ear friendly, but they don’t stop there because they have been expanding their canvas too by having splashes of Minangkabau traditional music inside, courtesy of a maestro from Payakumbuh, West Sumatra, Maspon Herizal and his successful ensemble: Palanta Line Art.

The Sundanese-Minangkabau connection was established in public for the very first time at the Asian African Carnival 2017 which involved sets of traditional Minang woodwinds including sarunai, tanduak, saluang and so on. From there, they continued to enhance the collaboration by having talempong (set of small kettle gongs) at our event, the Braga Jazz Night Ramadhan 2017 Edition (http://jazzuality.com/jazz-event-report/braga-jazz-night-36-ramadhan-edition-the-report/). For this time the West Java Syndicate will involve two sets of talempong for the very first time, which we believe will surely create much richer tonal color and new experience for the audience. So yes, other than Maspon, two talempong players Kiky Septian and Sandy Ndung will join the party.

If that’s not enough, a wonder girl on piano will make it even merrier! Nadine Adrianna, still 11 year-old is ready to double up the pleasure on keys. Imagine a little girl fearlessly step up the plate, not only to play with much older players but she also has to cope with pentatonic, diatonic and chromatic madness over the progressive jazz twists. That’s going to be a big ‘wow’! Oh yeah, the concept will be “Exploring Archipelago”, meaning they won’t play only Sundanese and Padang songs but also other traditional and well known songs from other parts of Indonesia.

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Next, we proudly feature a soul diva who has a five-star vocal quality, strong character and charisma. This lady will hook you up right from the start with every gift she possesses within. she is a force to reckon with in the Indonesian music scene, most particularly soul, jazz and blues. She is none other than Agis Kania.

Probably not many people know that Agis actually began her musical journey not from any modern music, but from Sundanese music. And she started early by writing a Pop Sundanese song about her hometown, Sukabumi which became the icon of the city.

The word journey is perfect to describe her career. Entering the college, she eagerly dipped herself in variety of genres, from Keroncong, Soul, RnB, Blues and Jazz. Agis and her soulful vibes could easily be found in jazz and blues communities with some of her successful group like the vintage Gypsy Swing band Satura and a dynamic acoustic duo Agis Bape in jazz scene, also as the vocalist of Trias Acoustica and Blues Libre on blues stages.

After a short hiatus, she was suddenly back with a vengeance. It was Ajier T-Five who contacted her and offered her a composition with lyrics to add and sing. Like a match made from heaven, Agis loved the song and jumped right in. She took the offer and worked on the lyrics, recorded the material and amazingly made everything done in just 2 hours. From there, everything has been flowing smoothly, as if the path was already prepared for her. A video clip, photographs, solid team, even establishing her own label, AK Music Concept.

Now let’s talk more of this single, “Baby You”. Ever since it was launched actually in the 36th edition of this event on 15 June 2017 (read the coverage here: http://jazzuality.com/jazz-event-report/braga-jazz-night-36-ramadhan-edition-the-report/), she has been getting praises and positive feedbacks from everywhere. Not only from her fellow artists in Indonesia but also from other parts of the world. The song has been doing very, very well too in the digital outlets. And that’s actually no wonder because this song has all the essence to win the heart of music listeners, especially those who are into Neo Soul. It’s current, trendy, made in English language, superbly composed and her voice which has a very strong character made this song so alive. If you haven’t heard it just yet, you can watch the ‘steamy’ videoclip here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CM3RyTUbMU4 .

As this song is still doing great and reach more and more admirers, we believe she has to be in this event. She can inspire people and she is a perfect example of Bandung’s success story in arts especially music. Other than that, she is charismatic and sings like a senior soul sister from the nation where this music style was born. She has all the right to represent the world of soul and jazz in Bandung, and we can’t be prouder of having her to represent us. She will be accompanied by pianist Aria Nugraha.

Once again, this event which stands as Jazzuality’s first presentation in Seni Bandung #1 Festival will take place at the Dalem Kaum street on Friday, 13 October 2017 starting at 4:00 pm. Jazz wasn’t born in Bandung, but this captivating genre has been living and growing healthily for ages in this city. We are very happy that the committee and the government agree that jazz is indeed a part of Bandung art and include it in this wonderful series of event. Do come join us and let’s see how wide the coverage area of jazz really is!

Jazzuality Jazz Community at Seni Bandung #1 : First Event

Date: Friday, 13 October 2017
Time: 04:00 pm – onwards
Location: Jl. Dalem Kaum, Bandung




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