Some bands make their comeback through a concert. Some others make it for farewell. Many bands also use their concert as a launching album ceremonial. We have heard these a lot. But what if a band decides to combine all three inside one package? That means, as a way of announcing their return, saying goodbye and releasing their album? That’s unsual for sure, but this month a jazz fusion band from Bandung is going to do it. It’s Sekapur Sirih, and the concert is called “Hello Goodbye!”, scheduled to be held on Saturday, June 15,2013 at Potluck Kitchen, Bandung.
Some of you should still remember this band who was all over the jazz scene especially in Bandung several years ago. It’s okay too if you forget, because they have been in silence for quite some times. Just to refresh your memory, let’s take a look to Sekapur Sirih’s brief history.
Sekapur Sirih was started in early 2004 by Bonar, Sandhy and Lukman (all of them were active in the student activity/art unit APRES ITB), based on their common love of jazz. The name they selected was taken from the Melayu/Malay tradition of eating/chewing betel leaf which has been ongoing since at least 3000 years ago, in the modern day used as an idiom of preface or foreword. This suited their mission, which is to introduce easy listening jazz to wider audience, even the common listeners without sacrificing the heart, soul and elements of jazz. To bring the mission alive, they took jazz fusion with energetic beat.
The first formation of Sekapur Sirih was Bonar (guitar), Sandhy (bass), Lukman (drum), and Andre (guitar). After Pekan Jazz Priangan event in 2005, Rara joined the group as the pianist. Some other musicians came in as a part of collaborative acts such as Lisa (vocal), Dimas (guitar), Fahri (guitar), Isti (accordion), Arief (sax), Rangga and Pippi (vocal), Ardiles (violin), William (drums), Vero (sax) among others. It was all good, but in 2006 the band had to miss Bonar and Rara. These empty position soon found new souls: Keke (guitar) and Agung (keyboard). These two players gave a whole new color to the band. The formation was proved solid in no time. They flew up high across the horizon, made a huge landing on international events including Jakarta Fair 2006, JakJazz 2008, Java Jazz Festival 2007, 2008 and 2009, also music events in campuses such as Kampoeng Jazz Festival 2010 UNPAD, Jatinangor Jazz Event UNPAD, Ganesha Jazz Event 7 ITB, Parajazz UNPAR, Musik Sore KM ITB. Other than that they have also performed in numerous KlabJazz events (since 2005), Bandung Jazz Statement, Jazz Depot III RMHR and so on.
Speaking of their music style, Sekapur Sirih’s earlier formation was deeply inspired by the music of Tohpati, Acoustic Alchemy, Lee Ritenour and Fourplay. But as Keke and Agung joined the club in 2006, the band changed its course to meet Casiopea, T-Square, Mezzoforte and/or Dewa Budjana’s style. This is the style of Sekapur Sirih we remember since the first time we caught our eyes on them in 2008. What we know of them is their passionate jazz fusion that’s reflected on their attractive play in serving melodious and ear catchy tunes. They can play smooth, but when needed they can be real wild on stage. Two guitarist Andre and Keke can be another attraction to watch. They fuse jazz and rock in an equal platform with the fully energized stage act.
About their repertoires, other than covering some famous fusion songs, they also have their originals such as “Alamanda (The Wild Flower)”, “So Long”, “Don’t Worry”, “Musician’s Life”, “Midnight”, “Nuansa”, “Jakarta-Bandung PP (Via Cipularang)” and two new songs written in 2013: “7 Pagi” and “It’s Complicated”.
What we thought back then when they were still active is still the same today. This band has all the ingredients to reach the top of the game. They are still young, they are creative, they are passionate and very talented. The music they craft is not difficult to enjoy by common listeners, yet the jazz aficionados will certainly dig them up. They do all kinds of manouvers, making twisted improvisations, they can be edgy without scaring the ears. They play full of joy, that includes smiles, laughs and jokes appear from their stage. They know how to rock the jazz, and certainly able to jazz up rock. Explorative, explosive, Sekapur Sirih brings fusion with sheer ecstasy. A group like this should never end their journey, but due to their individual busy schedules and Sandhy’s decision to continue his study on doctoral level in Germany.
It’s a mixed feeling for us. We are happy to see them back, we are excited to know that the album will finally be launched after being posponed for more than 3 years, but we are also sad to see them go. But the good news is, Sandhy told us that they never plan to quit. “We are just going on a pretty lengthy hiatus, not breaking up.” That means in the future we may see them back again, hopefully for good. For this “Hello Goodbye!” concert, Sekapur Sirih will feature some friends inculding keyboardist Bayu Kristanto, guitarist Tesla Manaf Effendi and Diles Violinist. For the opening band, Cameo is ready to start the engine. If you’re a fan of Sekapur Sirih, if you’re into jazz-rock fusion, if you like Casiopea, T-Square or Mezzoforte stuffs, you should come and see this event. Let’s say hello to Sekapur Sirih, let’s give a warm farewell and at the same time, let’s support their album. It’s going to be Sekapur Sirih’s final performance for now, make sure you won’t miss it.
Sekapur Sirih “Hello Goodbye!”
Date: Saturday, June 15, 2013
Time: 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Location: Potluck Kitchen, Jl. H. Wasyid 31, Bandung
Sekapur Sirih are:
Prasandhya Astagiri Yusuf (Sandhy) – bass
Lukman Agus (Lukman) – drum
Andreas Nandiwardhana (Andre) – guitar
Kandria Kananta (Keke) – guitar
Agung Dwi Prakasa (Agung) – keyboard