Bandung finally has its own party that makes its 207th anniversary very special. The party is called Seni Bandung #1, served grand for one full month, from 25 October to 25 November 2017 by presenting 5 art forms such as MUSIC, VISUAL ART, THEATRE, SCULPTURE and DANCE, integratedly. 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).
We are honored to be chosen as one of the representatives in music, particularly jazz. We have been running our own regular jazz community event for more than 4 years by holding a mission to push the regeneration and development of this particular genre. Looking at the fact that jazz is actually accepted as one of the art forms in Bandung motivates us to keep going and would be happy to walk extra mile.
As one of the characteristics of jazz is its openness towards local music, it’s easy to find jazz assimilating with Sundanese traditional music which has been going on for some decades. What’s great is that the combination have limitless possibilities and variations. Different band has different way to fuse it with their own formula and portion, creating many delightful styles of Sundanese jazz. One of the evidence is the ensemble we featured in the first part (13 October 2017), where Sundanese traditional music found its harmony with the diatonic-based Minangkabau (West Sumatra) music inside progressive, chromatic jazz fusion. This combination was played by West Java Syndicate collaborating with Palanta Line Art and 11 year-old wonder girl, Nadine Adrianna.
Now we are ready to roll with the second part. It’s scheduled exactly a week after the first one, on 20 October 2017. It’s going to be served at another popular hangout place in Bandung, the Cikapundung River Spot starting from 3:30 pm onwards. We have prepared some of the best talents we found in Bandung jazz scene over the past several years who have supported and gave their best shot to our regular event: Nayra Dharma Group and Sasadana.
First, let’s take a closer look at the mind-bending band of young stunts, Sasadana. This band was built upon the freedom and fun way of play which certainly never sticked too tightly into any particular genre. It was born in 2013 by a circle of high school and junior high school friends. As you can see, they were still boys, but what they showed with this band was beyond believe. Everytime they appeared, they exceeded anyone’s expectation. They were like bunch of kids playing in the fun park, throwing the laughters, jokes and sounding their instruments producing amusing, highly entertaining performance.
4 years passed, the band is still in business. Just like life, they have had some ups and downs, but what’s really important is they are still alive and kickass. The founders Pangestu Hning Bhawana (violin), Rifky Adam Rahman (bass) and Diaz ‘Digun’ Guntara (drum/tatabeuhan) still stand tall inside the band, plus a cute young lady positioned on keys: Ratih Putria who has been joining the team for some times now.
Having a violinist in front with colorful backgrounds, a young girl who could surprise people with her key-ploration and the wicked connection between the bass and drum, spontaneous jokes and play from Sasadana guarantee a highly entertaining show. This band is really liquid, so liquid that they could let you taste the madness of traditional music from Sundanese, Balinese and beyond, and the modern western music from jazz, blues, rock, rock and roll and so on back and forth before you notice.
Like the West Java Syndicate we featured in the first part, the Sasadana has the tendency to explore the archipelago too, even across nations with their own style and way. If you have seen them you should know what we mean, but if you haven’t seen them, do come and see why we really have to feature them in an event as important as this. Three playful boys and one girl who deceives you with her cute look, Sasadana redefines what music entertainment should be like.
The second featured band we are proud to mention is Nayra Dharma Group. Nayra Dharma, the leader of the band is a 17 year-old singing guitarist. As she was born right in the millenium, you probably could tell that she should have been around the scene not that long, and that’s true. She began appearing in public just two years ago, shortly after she decided to have a career as a musician like her daddy, maestro Pra Budidharma, the co-founder of superband Krakatau.
We have featured her from the beginning of her career, since she was still playing solo. But then, she has been progressing and evolving really fast, probably the fastest we have seen so far. Inheriting the DNA from his father, Nayra equipped herself with technique and skill fast. But that’s not only because of it, because she is commited and passionate in playing music. While girls her age mostly love to hangout with friends, she spends hours and hours everyday to practice. She plays guitar like a pro, taking on complex compositions from jazz and bossanova songbooks and surprisingly sing too at the same time. From solo to trio (with bass and drum), then changing the formation to guitar-keyboard and bass, from using just guitar to combine it with ukulele.
She emerges fast as she got the chance to play alongside so many jazz giants which surely helps in enhancing her maturity as a musician and performer. It’s certainly fascinating to watch her transformation. We have mentioned her before as the female Joe Pass due to her guitar playing style, but now we like more to describe her progress as ‘Nayravolution’ based on the rapid (and daring) changes she has been making in a very short period.
Recently she decided to change her band’s name from using ‘Trio’ to Nayra Dharma Group. This change would enable her to extend her formation as much as she likes. The recent trio formation (without drum) is still kept, but now she has added kendang that could really spice her concept up.
For this event, the young key-wiz Jason Limanjaya will be standing side by side with her. Nayra and Jason are the key of the group, so in whatever formation they bring, these two have to be present. From what we have seen, even when they appear only as a duo, they could already serve attractive appearance.
Once again, our second participation in Seni Bandung #1 is set to go on Friday, 20 October 2017, starting at 3:30 pm at CIKAPUNDUNG RIVER SPOT, Bandung. As always, this event is totally FREE of any charge. Alrighty, hope to see you there!