Greetings to all Jazzy people around the world! We would like to welcome all of you who wants to know the full report of Indonesia Jass Festival 2013. Indonesia Jass Festival, one of biggest events that overwhelmed you guys the Jazz lovers with loads of nothing but talented, skillful and creative Indonesian Jazz musician. Presented by ALBA Productions, Indonesia Jass Festival was held at Istora Senayan, Jakarta on August, 30-31, 2013. More than a hundred musician gathered at this place to fulfill the two days of fest with joy and happiness through every tones.
Some of us might be still curious why it became Jass not Jazz, aren’t we?
At the first era of Jazz, actually it was well-known as “Jass” not Jazz. Music which originally came from New Orleans contains the mixture of a fine mixture of ragtime, driving brass bands/marching bands, gospel and of course the growl of the blues. It was The Original Dixieland Jass Band (ODJB) born in 1916 as the evidence of the “Jass” term. Bringing back the good old times is just the nicest way to get some info and also beautiful music of Jazz. In short, the committee of IJF 2013 wants to present an unpublished part of Jazz itself.
Indonesia Jass Festival also trying to bring back the spirit of old times of Indonesia since we just celebrating our independence day on August, 17th. This event happened as a gift from all musician for Indonesia. Undoubtedly, music especially Jazz take a part in introducing Indonesia to the world wide. Many musicians from our country successfully build their carrier in international music industry, so here comes our turn to welcome the talented musicians of our own. For you guys who unfortunately could not come to Istora Senayan, we supplied you the full report, here they are!
30th of August when the sun just came back after the rain, Indonesia Jass Festival was opened by the performance of Kirana Big Band. It’s around 2pm when all of a sudden the ‘crazy gang’ HajarBleh Big Band rushed in, creating a flash mob scene, just like the way they did it on International Jazz Day last April. Two big bands joined hands, that was already spectacular, but wait, the Muslim intellectual figure Emha Ainun Nadjib (Cak Nun) gave an oration and read a poem, while the vocalist of HajarBleh BigBand sang the National Song “Tanah Airku.” Cak Nun would play again later on with his gamelan ensemble KiaiKanjeng by collaborating with Inna Kamarie. Such an incridible way to open a fest.
After that early heavy act on stage, Aboda took over the same stage. Aboda is a sibling band of four brothers: Timotius (keys), Fanuel (drums), Filemon (guitar) and Clement (bass). From the church, they went to the secular world, sending the positive message in a way to bless people. They like to tell a lot of stories, not by talking but through songs, both covers and original ones. Basically they delivered the messages in smooth jazz fashion but we captured other musical patterns too here and there enriching their concept. The word Aboda is taken from Hebrew word means ‘working, serving and praising’, or in Indonesia means ‘ibadah’. One thing to learn from Aboda, if you wish to bless people, it doesn’t always have to be done only in places of worship, but it can also be taken outside the walls. Music can always be a good media to use, and since Aboda chose jazz as its main course, we can get the evidence that jazz can bless people too, especially when it comes with positive messages such as friendship, peace and love. Their first song was “Backyard” which tells us about being honest in life just like when we are in the backyard. Next was a song about beautiful life, titled “Today in Paradise”; and the last was folk songs from Papua and Maluku where they did in medley with jazz, also “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” that uniquely came in 6/8. Meanwhile RGP, stands for Revival Generation Project did their best on Essence Stage, FOD at Welcome Stage and High & Low took the Samali Stage.
Three Songs, a group with five siblings on it was very unique. There are 11 years old drummer named Josafat Song, 15 years old bassist named Samuel, two guitarists named Abed and Abe, and 14 years old singer named Caeli. The drummer and bassist showed amazing skill and speed, simply incredible. Altogether they played their own two songs and another two covered songs (Somewhere Over The Rainbow and Overjoyed). Previously they played on Java Jazz and JakJazz, next event they are invited as the delegation from Indonesia on Youth World Jazz at Bogor. One of their songs titled “Hippo Track” simply because they like watching National Geography and they also like hippo.
While High & Low served some swings, Kandank Jurank Doank sent out a message that we should preserve the nature. Kandank Jurank Doank was established by famous artist Dik Doank in 1993, made as a school for poor children which is placed right in the natural environment. In there he’s been giving the children school education plus an awareness that the beautiful nature is a gift from God that needs to be conserved. They brought up some traditional instrument from natural materials. Dik Doang stated that Next, step our feet to check out the left corner where Zarro & De Vega played. Many people still remember him as one of the Jakarta-based band Clorophyl, but actually he has moved on to a new course where he utilized his mother language, Kaili (lingua franca of where he came from, Palu, Central Celebes/Sulawesi). We have seen him with his Kaili-Bossanova Project, now he chose to bring his other well established project, Zarro & De Vega. With this project he presented Latin/Brazilian Jazz with the combination of Kaili and Portuguese language. It was a very interesting and unique show.
The legend Ireng Maulana brought a memorable, spontaneous and humble show as always. Swing was on in a very beautiful way by him. He just let his fingers flew all over the guitar fret in producing harmonious jazz sound that came from his deepest soul. Looked so happy when he played on the stage with Yuyun George on saxophone, Happy Pretty on trumpet, As Mates on bass, Rudy on drum, Sam Panuwun on keyboard for 15 minutes, they played “One Note Samba” and “Route 66″ happily. We’re all also happy to see him glowing in his age. May God bless him with great health so we can enjoy his pure, natural swingin’ jazz touch for many, many more years to come. Came from Surabaya, senior keyboardist Yohanes Gondo with his trio colored up the Essence Stage with well known jazz standards. Meanwhile female singer Rahel Pradika and her Quintet gave a pretty bossa and light jazz with deep smokey voice in good control.At 6 pm the stages got busier than before. Manna which has fusion as their indirect power in music got their turn. With senior bassist A.S. mates, his son Jessi Mates and ellegant guitarist Achmad Ananda and rapper/vocalist Fajri Rusani, this cross-generation band becomes more solid as a team. The pleasuring jazz joy was served through combination of acoustic and groove sound with electronic. Speaking of genre, they creatively fused jazz, blues, rock, funk and other patterns. They played simple but really charming.
Moving on to the next stage on the right corner of the venue, we spotted Monita Tahalea & The Nightingales. Led by the beautiful singer with lushy vocal Monita Tahalea, her most recent group which filled by Chaka Priambudi (bass), Yoseph Sitompul (piano), Ricard Hutapea (flute/sax), Gerald Hiras Situmorang (guitar) and Jessi Mates (drums). After finishing a Christmas album produced by Indra and Hanny Lesmana, her busy schedule with the group finally landed at this Indonesian Jass Festival. As information, Nightingale is a singing bird with peaceful and calm sound, it’s a perfect choice for Monita to choose this name since she also breathes the same soul. It was a fast swing played when “Sebatas Mimpi” closed the session, unpredictably Monita sang it in ballad. Beyond unique!