According to jazz history, Big Bands came to life around mid 1920’s then found its solid grip about a decade later. This jazz or jazz-influenced large musican ensemble took its origin by storm, and soon after, the world got into it. “It don’t mean a thing, if it aint got that swing”, said Duke Ellington and Irvin Mills, that’s how it was back then. And Big Band had a huge contribution to make the world swinging.
Almost 80 years has passedsince then, how’s a swingin’ Big Band doing today? The music trend has been changing so much, but the Big Band apparently still has its place. It’s still relevant, it’s still pulsing and it’s still growing. What’s amazing is that in a country far away from where it was originated like Indonesia, there are some Big Bands who manage to maintain its own lifeline to achieve big things. And Bandung, the city we live in is blessed to have such a great one, the good ol’ Salamander Big Band.
The Salamander Big Band has been running for 11 year. That’s one thing they should be proud of. There are many reasons why this big band can go this far. Other than it has skillful and passionate players (some of them are capable to be band leaders), they have good compositions and repertoires to fit any occasion. One thing you have to know that Salamander Big Band is not a band that’s big in size, but it’s a real one who adopts the standard Big Band format like Cole Porter or Duke Ellington’s and has the real sound of it too. Just like how Big Band is, they do swing, but they often take their audience to embark such musical journey from the roaring 30’s to the funky 70’s chops and beyond.
Salamander Big Band was established on September 17, 2006 at Bumi Sangkuriang, Bandung by Devy Ferdianto. It began with young jazz talents from the city with good, continuous process of regeration. They have gained experiences and learnt from world’s best musicians. Look at these names they have played with: Frank Reinshagen, Dieter Mack, Thorsten Wollmann and Ack van Rooyen, Benny Likumahuwa, Bertha, Gilang Ramadhan, Sam Bimbo, Margie Segers and Bob Tutupoly, just to name a few.
Speaking of appearance in prestigious events, they have quite a journey from JakJazz to Java Jazz Festival to Ubud Village Jazz Festival in Bali, even to Bangkok at the end of 2013. We have been supporting them since 2008 and witnessed the progress until they become who they are today: a big band with international standard.
Based at the Salamander Music School, Jatayu, Bandung, they often make workshops where young musicians can learn jazz in big band format from the experienced and knowledged seniors. What’s also cool about Salamander BB is that they are commited to hold two concerts every year: the Mid Year and Anniversary Concert. Since we are now in the mid 2017, they are preparing the 2017 Mid Year Concert. The Salamander Big Band: 2017 Mid Year Concert is coming soon on Thursday, 13 July 2017 taking place at the artistic, monumental amphitheatre of Selasar Sunaryo Art Space, Bandung. The concert will start at 7:30 pm. The ticket price and booth can be found below at the end of this article.
Before we share more about the Salamander Big Band, let’s talk about the venue for a while. Other than developing fine arts and performances through selective programs, the Selasar Sunaryo Art Space (SSAS) has been showing its support towards the music development, especially jazz. One of the fruits is a program called JazzSphere @ Art Space in cooperation with many performers and jazz musicians both local and international. This is not the first time for Salamander Big Band to perform here. They have done it a couple of times for example in 2012 (featuring Iwan Abdie: http://jazzuality.com/jazz-event-report/jazzsphereartspace-salamander-big-band-mid-year-concert-2012-buble-night/) and 2013 (http://jazzuality.com/jazz-events/salamander-big-band-mid-year-concert-2013-love-above-all/). This year SSAS is proud to be the host again for the big band’s Mid Year Concert.
For this year, the Salamander Big Band features the very well respected pianist, composer, arranger and music director who has hatched so many great pianists/musicians: Imam Praseno, better known as Imam Pras. Speaking of his role as active musician, he was a proud member of Combo ’83, Wachdach Band and Patria, also Bambang Nugroho and Friends. His quartet was included in the legendary album “Jazz Masa Kini” released in 2006. Too bad he suffered vascular hand injury around 2006 which forced him to decreased his career as an active musician drastically. But since a couple of years ago his hand has been getting better, which allowed him to occasionally re-appeared again on the surface.
Other than Imam Pras, the Salamander Big Band also proudly presents their line of vocalists, including the jazz-spirited singing pianist Imelda Rosalin, the crooner Gail Satiawaki, the Diane Schuur of Indonesia: Nenden Syintawati and the awesome Salamander Voices consisting of Lia Amalia Ramdhan, Sekar Teja Inten, Devi Remondi and Addi Sigera.
If you wonder what they have inside the repertoires, allow us to tell you that there will be lots of famous/well-known romantic songs that could take you into a pleasant musical journey.
For the fans of Salamander Big Band, for you who love the harmony created by multi-brasses and rhythm section, for you who are into swing, if you are looking for a chance to go back in time just to feel the moment when swingin’ jazz ruled the music scene around the world, you shouldn’t miss this very special concert. Let’s have a mid year party with the big band!
Ticket Price *
(Special Price IDR 75.000 for Students)
SALAMANDER MUSIC SCHOOL
Jl. Komodor Udara Supadio no.4-6 Bandung
+62 81220535099 – Nanda
RADIO MARA 106.7 FM
Jl. Dipatiukur no 5 Bandung
+62 8112101067 – Oky