Thursday, May 28, 2015
Tags Posts tagged with "benny likumahuwa"

benny likumahuwa




University of Indonesia, Salemba, 1976. At that time the students of Faculty of Economics wanted to bring up series of events that covered arts in general, including theater, painting, photography and so on, including music. During that era, jazz was already labeled by many as an expensive and exclusive music by many. One of the active student at that time, young Candra Darusman, wanted to prove otherwise. He initiated an event called Jazz Goes to Campus (JGTC) in late 1976 in a mission to ensure the society that jazz could actually be enjoyed by wider segments and also very affordable. So, the first ever JGTC was held in a park in Salemba, with minimalist stage sets and ticket price only IDR 500. Apparently, it became a huge start for something historical. Today, that very event has reached the 37th edition. That’s the longest running event in Indonesia and one of the longest in the world. How can an event run that long with different committee in each year? Kudos to the Student Board of Faculty of Economics from UI (BEM-FEUI), they did it and will keep doing it.

So here’s the report of 2014 installment. As usual the event started early, around 1:00 pm at noon with selected bands in varieties. We found familiar names from last year: Sekawan and Friends. What we like to see from this band is that they give solid evidence that jazz is actually alive healthily in a small(er) city like their hometown, Salatiga. Good to see that Salatiga’s groove was back to JGTC.


37th-JGTC-RnF (1)


The Jazzperience Stage began with a four-piece band called RnF. The name stands for Room Number Five and they are rooted in soulful pop jazz. They began their journey 5 years ago with Rendy Hendrawan (vocal/guitar), Alex Zulkarnaen (bass), Bobby Abdiawan (percussions) and Fauzan Billie (drums). Their first single was released last year titled “Cinta Adalah 5″ and reached another success with “Habis Kata” from OST Hijabers in Love. Their acoustic guitar sound with groovy rhythms was nice to hear and definitely suit the taste of young listeners. After 5 years in service, RnF seems to find a steady grip. Based on what we saw, 2015 may become their best year to date.




At the same time the Indosat IM3 Stage started its service with JBF Trio. You might wonder what sound would appear when  Jazz, Blues and Funk fused into one? The outcome may vary from one band to another, but one thing for sure, the music produced by this blend will make you unable to stand still. JBF, stands for Jazz Blues and Funk has the winning formula in combining these roots. We enjoyed their performance last year in the 36th JGTC and now once again we tapped our feet over their clean shots. So bluesy, so jazzy and funky at the same time. Fawdy (gitar and vokal), Soebroto (bass) and Ryan (drums) as usual demonstrated their smart brain, creativity and skills in cooking up their tasty platter. 2014 has been a great year for them. Being the winner of Jakarta Indie Music Festival (JIM Fest) that involved all kinds of genre is an evidence of their high quality. Their act in this year’s JGTC can become another proof as well.


37th-JGTC-NadoProject (1)

Nado Project opened up the Musik Asik Stage at 1:30 pm. We saw them in the Final Round of JGTC Competition when they served tight modern jazz, this time Nado, Ibnu and Nadya interestingly served experimental free jazz. Not easy to play, but full with action. SevenStrings Music School & Production used their performance in JGTC to give Tribute to 80’s and 90’s Jazz. It featured so many young talent. You’d know that a music school is good by how the students’ perform. Clearly they have done a marvelous teaching since the representatives played jazz neat and sharp.


37th-JGTC-FusionJazzCommunity (2)


Came all the way from Surabaya was a fast-growing jazz community in Surabaya which specialized in Fusion, the Fusion Jazz Community, better known as FJazzC. It was established on June 2, 2012 based on the mission to extend the jazz coverage area through fusion. Today they have 300 active members (500 if includes the inactive ones) and a regular show on local East Java tv. Other than that, they have graced many jazz events locally. An appearance at a prestigious festival like this is an important step because then they can expand the community with fusion lovers from Jakarta, Depok and beyond. Aside of that, it felt nice to have the jazz fusion shower during the hot weather. When “Billie Jean” and “September” were found among the songlist, what can be wrong?


37th-JGTC-5th-Avenue (2)


The winner of the JGTC Audition 2014 4/4 who gave a superb high class traditional jazz playing couldn’t come due to some reasons. Their session was taken by the consolation prize winner from Bandung, 5th Avenue. Chris Alfeus (guitar/vocal), Stella Inke (keyboard), AlbenOctorys (drums) and William Anthony (bass) gave a rich arrangement of fusion including some scat-singing that fell into exactly the same notes from guitar by Chris. Tjheir version of Indra Lesmana (JavaJazz)’s “Bulan Diatas Asia” was served gloriously like in the competition. And they presented some original songs too, including “Membisu”. They didn’t win the competition, but they did very well just like a champ.





1978 is the year when Jazz Goes to Campus was held for the very first time. At that time the students of Faculty of Economics from University of Indonesia got the idea to create art events not only about music, but also theater, painting, photography and some other art forms. During that era, jazz was already facing the stigma by being labeled as an expensive and exclusive music by many. Candra Darusman, -at that time still a faculty of economics student-, wanted to prove otherwise. He initiated the first ever Jazz Goes to Campus (JGTC) in late 1978, still in Salemba, with minimalist stage sets and ticket price only IDR 500. “But we got really great crowds. It was cool and familiar.” said Candra Darusman not long ago to us. The history proved that among those art events, only the JGTC managed to stand the test of time. Today this event proudly stands as the longest running annual jazz event in Indonesia and one of the oldest in the world (second to North Sea Jazz Festival). This year they are ready to back again with a mouth-watering lineup of artists. Let’s give it up for The 37th Jazz Goes to Campus!

The Ultimate Jazzperience

There are some interesting new movements being made by this year’s committee, which once again involves hundreds of current active students of Faculty of Economics from University of Indonesia (FEUI). First, they will be a Project called “Tribute to Salemba”, made by one of the playing artists in the first JGTC in 1978, Benny Likumahuwa with the initiator, Candra Darusman. This show will bring back all the memories and should be interesting since it will feature legendary names who were presented at that very first installment in Salemba. Therefore, the committee decided to use “Living the Inspired Jazzperience” as the theme which is focusing on “Inspired” and “Jazzperience”. “This year we wish to show our appreciation by presenting the senior jazz musicians that have given uncountable contributions in building up the jazz industry in Indonesia.” said the committee in the press release. In accordance to the theme, the 37th JGTC has “The Ultimate Jazzperience” as the tagline. This tagline pretty much shows their spirit in letting the audience feel the beautiful experience of enjoying jazz as well as ultimate satisfaction that can be felt by all this year’s stakeholders. “We are commited to give different jazz festival. We are going to bring variety of jazz musicians with balanced composition of senior and young ones. Other than that, “The Ultimate Jazzperience” should be able to represent the 37 years of our service.” said the committee. Not only celebrating the well known jazz musicians, Jazz Goes to Campus also aims to create a platform for young musicians to express their passion for jazz and exhibit their music talent throguh our very own JGTC competition.

The crowds of the 36th Jazz Goes to Campus (2013)


– Opening and Clinic

There are series of pre-event being held before the D-day. Starting with the JGTC Opening & Press Conference three days ago on October 31st, 2014 at Faculty of Economics, University of Indonesia, Depok, a JGTC Clinic was made exclusive for the JGTC Competition’s contestants on November 2nd. Given by guitarist Agam Hamzah, drummer Rayendra Sunito, pianist Boby Limijaya and bassist Fajar Adi Nugroho, this clinic enhanced the technical aspects and an overview of how to become a good player in the industry.

– JGTC Competition

About the competition itself, this event is one of the most prestigious competitions that has created so many well-established musicians. The JGTC Competition belongs to JGTC Exhibiton along with the JGTC Choice Awards. The Qualification Round will run on 8-9 November 2014 at Tribeca Central Park, but that’s not all because for the first time will also be held in Surabaya. This will give easier opportunities to jazz bands/artists in Surabaya to be a part of the competition. The Surabaya Qualifying Round will take place at Area Danau Kampus C, Airlangga University, Surabaya on November 14, 2014.  I (Riandy Kurniawan) will be one of the judges with Benny Likumahuwa, Rayendra Sunito and Boy Rhunos (Surabaya only).

– JGTC Roadshow

JGTC Roadshow is on schedule too. This year it will visit Surabaya in cooperation with Airlangga University’s students as a mini show on November 14, 2014 featuring ITS Jazz, Korek Jazz, C.Twosix Jazz Club, Fusion Jazz Community and special guest star Idang Rasjidi and the Syndicate.

– JGTC Scholarship

To show the Social Responsibility, JGTC is going to give scholarship to the FEUI students who need it. The fund raising is made through JGTC Gathering & Charity Night, inviting the donors and previous JGTC committees. This charity night is set to come on November 15, 2014 at Qi Dine and Lounge, Sultan Hotel Jakarta with a special appearance of a beautiful multi-talented lady who represented North Sumatra in Miss Indonesia pageant in 2013 that showed her ability in singing/songwriting, Yemima Hutapea.


Tulus at the 36th Jazz Goes to Campus (2013)

– JGTC Community Night

To show our care towards the jazz communities in Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Tangerang, Bekasi and Bandung, the JGTC Community Night will be held on November 21, 2014 at Airman Lounge, Sultan Hotel Jakarta. This Community Night is giving a platform for jazz communities in those areas to mingle and spread the love of jazz. Beben Jazz from Komunitas Jazz Kemayoran (KJK) and the living legend Benny Mustafa will be there as the guest stars.

– JGTC Choice Awards

This program has been running since 2007 in order to give the highest appreciation to those who have given enormous contribution to JGTC and to jazz development in Indonesia in general. This year the awards will be given to selected person in some categories such as Newcomer Artist, Most Dedicated, Young Talent, Album of The Year, dan Lifetime Achievement. The judges are Agus Basuni, Frans Sartono, David Karto, David Tarigan and Yance Manusama. These awards will be given at the main event.

– The Main Event

Now here comes the information you’re waiting for. The main event will be on Sunday, November 30, 2014 at Campus Ground FEUI, Depok. As for the lineup, the list are mouth-watering. The international artists are Sondre Lerche (Norway) and Ray Harris and the Fusion Experience (Scotland). We have covered Sondre Lerche’s show twice: at Java Jazz Festival 2011 and Kampoeng Jazz 2013, but this time surely he’ll highlight more of his new released album “Please”. As for Mr. wild keyboardist Ray Harris and the Fusion Experience, we watched his performance at JakJazz 2008 and still remember all the fun we had back then as if it was just yesterday.


 Sondre Lerche at Kampoeng Jazz 2013


From our own land there will be today’s front runners, living legends, experienced ones, rising stars and new comers, also special projects. They are Glenn Fredly, Tulus, The Groove, Adhitia Sofyan, JGTC Project “Tribute to Salemba” , Idang Rasjidi Syndicate, Like Father Like Son (Benny Likumahuwa & Barry Likumahuwa), ESQI:EF aka Syaharani and Queenfireworks, Monita Tahalea & The Nightingales, Oele Pattiselanno Quartet, Tjut Nyak Deviana & Friends, Bandanaira, Kunto Aji, HajarBleh Big Band, Yemima Hutapea, Bonita & the hus BAND and of course the JGTC Competition Winners. All these artists will be divided into four stages with wider and more comfortable festival area.




You have probably heard the new spot for jazz at the heart of Southern part of Jakarta. Yes, it takes place at Street Gallery, a new, happening ground as the extension of Pondok Indah Mall (PIM). Since last May this famous hangout area has launched its thematic music program that enables you to find live music entertainment every night, from 8:00 pm to midnight (8:00 pm to 2:00 am on Friday and Saturday). Especially for you who live around this part of Jakarta, you should be happy to be able to have full access on these shows that’s provided free from any charge. Put it simple, you don’t have to wait until weekend to get good quality music entertainment. Any day you need one, all you have to do is just come to the Street Gallery to have it.

Along with this program, there’s a section called STARDAY MONDAY. This section allows you to meet the stars and enjoy their cool, intimate performances from a very close range. Probably you’d ask, when the nearest date for it and who will it be? Here’s the answer. In this month of August, Starday Monday (Monday with Stars) will come on August 25, 2014, featuring papa-son BENNY and BARRY LIKUMAHUWA and the band, plus a very special guest star, THE GROOVE! Note: the show will start exactly at 8:00 pm all the way to midnight.

There are many great musicians who got it from their parents’ DNA, but not so many of them play together. From that few there’s Benny Likumahuwa –  a legendary jazz artiste who’s been active for more than half of a century – and his proud son, one of today’s most popular stars that serves infectious funk with his bass, Barry Likumahuwa. It’s always inspiring to see the harmonious soul and spirit connection between father and son being brought from daily life onto the stage. They have shown it many, many times either in Barry Likumahuwa Project, Benny Likumahuwa Jazz Connection, special project Like Father Like Son or in any other occasional event, yet we’re still wanting to see more. In any of gigs when they share the spotlight, the audience can always feel love and respect they are transferring to each other. It’s not easy anymore to find this kind of harmonious relationship in today’s self-centered oriented planet. Moreover, what you can also catch is Benny’s pure and traditional swing spirit that blends with Barry’s youthful funky bass bites and chops. They never place themselves in an exclusive manners, on the contrary they tend to show an interactive, intimate session that bridges the stage to where the audiences are.


starday monday, jazzuality, the groove, barry likumahuwa, benny likumahuwa


Next, The Groove. This band was established way back in 1997 and said to be the trendsetter and icon of pop jazz/acid jazz in Indonesia. Amazingly they are still standing tall and strong today. They have uncountable number of loyal fans from 17 years ago, they are popular too among the youngsters. They have many evergreens but they do have new singles too like “Let’s Go (Reunian)” and “Kusambut Hadirumu”. What’s inspiring for us is that eventhough they, just like life, have had their ups and downs, they are always close as one tight family. No matter what, in the end they always know how to find their way back, just like how they were reunited in 2010 after being in absence for a while.

There are many reasons why this band can stand the test of time. Other than the strong family spirit, their soul, funk, disco with jazz taste is ageless. Other than that, they are absolutely interactive and their high-octane energy is really entertaining to see. Today the band consists of Rieka Roslan and Reza (vokal), Yuke Sampurna (bass), Ali Akbar (piano), Rejoz (perkusi), Deta (drum), Arie (guitar) and Tanto (keyboard). If you love them then, you’ll love them now, if not even more.

Imagine the moment when The Groove meets father-son Benny and Barry Likumahuwa. Imagine when so many great musicians that love to involve their audiences share the same stage together. That would be something you don’t want to miss. And yes, it will happen less just in a couple of days from now at Street Gallery, Pondok Indah Mall, Jakarta.

If you want to see the other days’ gigs, there are plenty of choices that surely can set your night cheerfully to music. The schedule is as follows:
– Tuesday Latino “Zarro & the Vega” (8:00 pm – 00:00)
– Wednesday Rockoustic “Bravo” (8:00 pm – 00:00)
– Thursday Pop Jazz “Davina & Friends (8:00 pm – 00:00)
– I Love Friday “Mr Brightside” (8:00 pm – 00:00) and DJ Teddy Mananta (00:00 – 02:00 am)
– Saturday Romantic “Romantic 4″ (8:00 pm – 00:00) and DJ Stefanya Morgan (00:00 – 02:00 am)
– Sunday Acoustic “Heart Worker” (01:00 pm – 05:00 pm), “Le’ Lucky Coustic” (8:00 pm -10:00 pm) and “DJ Erick” (10:00 pm – 00:00)

Be there and be a part of August Starday Monday on August 25, 2014 with Benny-Barry Likumahuwa plus special guest star, The Groove. Bring your friends, family and loved ones. Enjoy a nice dinner while getting great entertainment from these stars. Why wait till the weekend when you can immerse yourself in the musical festivities if you can do so on extraordinary Monday? Other than that, there are so many options to choose that we’re sure will catch your interest as well. Time to recharge yourself and feed up your soul, swing on and groove yourself up!

Keep updated and log on to, follow their Twitter @pondokindahmall and like their Facebook fan page


For Further Information please contact:
Yunita Prima
PT. Metropolitan Kentjana, TbkPondok Indah Mall
Jl. Metro Pondok Indah Blok III B, Pondok Indah, Jakarta Selatan 12310
Telp: 021-7506750 ext 390, fax : 021- 7506755




“Presenting jazz in public places?  Well, I think it’s good, so people could get much closer to jazz, then become familiar with it.”

That was the words we got from one of the stars of the night, Barry Likumahuwa. Well, last night was cool! The Street Gallery, the new extension of Pondok Indah Mall (PIM) actually didn’t just serve variety of foods for the hungry belly, but also thematic musics for the hungry soul. Actually this is not the first jazz program they’ve done. They actually have been attracted to jazz for quite some times. Many previous jazz programs you could grab in a mall which is located in the Southern part of Jakarta. In fact, jazz has been on the menu every Thursday and Saturday, then regularly have Idang Rasjidi every weekend. And there’s more! But now, Street Gallery is fulfilling your thirst not monthly, not weekly, but daily. The program has more than enough varieties to answer your needs. And it’s served for free. Isn’t it cool or what?

We think it’s good that people can express their musical passion in public places. Jazz, a music that’s been widely known for its openness and freedom always has more than enough space to be a media of expression. If we usually can have it in a place that’s more private such as lounges, cafes, restaurants, or even jazz clubs, or occasionally in some bigger events festivals, Street Gallery Pondok Indah Mall is opening itself up to everyone who wish to have jazz treatment. Anyone could join and enjoy. The easy, totally free access should be beneficial to the jazz lovers in Jakarta, but Barry told us that it also gives benefit to jazz itself. Why? Because this move enables jazz to spread its wings wider and then reach people who might have never heard about how jazz really sounds like. In other words, it’s like a good way to introducing jazz to the public.



The Street Gallery’s new move in music entertainment started running since the first Monday of May. What’s interesting is, the program began with Jazz. It’s called  Starday Monday (Monday with the Star), scheduled to run every 1st Monday of the month, and for the premiere edition the Street Gallery presented father-son connection who are very popular among the jazz lovers, or even in our music scene in general. It’s Benny Likumahuwa and Barry Likumahuwa. While the father is a legendary multi-instrumentalist that’s  specialized himself in trombone who has been active for more than 50 years, the son is one of today’s top crowd-gatherers, a versatile bassist with a funky, trendy soul. They were empowered by some of their colleagues including the swinging guitar master Oele Pattiselano, drummer Dimas Pradipta, the genius saxophonist Bass G (Sebastian), young ‘Miles’ Jordy Waelauruw, and later on keyboardist Nadya Sella Belansky plus special performance by Dira Sugandi. What a team you might say, we thought so too.

In the first-ever Starday Monday they entertained people who come into Street Gallery in four sets. They were going to perform from 8pm to 12pm, and Dira Sugandi was set to seat-in with them. Wait, seat-in? Yeah, seat-in, as Barry said. “There’s a little difference between seat-in and jamming, and most of the time people got it wrong. Seat-in means they do it without any rehearsals, but they have played together before. While jamming means the players have never met before. Whatever happen on the stage would occur spontaneously. What they served on this beautiful night was a sheer jazz mainstream delights. “We bring it so everybody could enjoy this at ease. We won’t bring anything complex ”, promised Barry.




There are many live music events in Jakarta, spreading from one corner to another. Today you can find whatever music that suits you by going not too far from your home. It can be in cafes, malls and other spots, indoor or outdoor. But hey, we can never have enough, can we? If you agree with that, here’s the news: Street Gallery, a new, happening spot as the extension of Pondok Indah Mall (PIM) is going to entertain you with classy, thematic music program. Not once a month, not once a week, but it’s said to be daily! So, prepare yourself to have a full treat starting May, 2014. Keep reading, we will spill more beans.


benny likumahuwa, barry likumahuwa, like father like son, jazzuality


benny likumahuwa, barry likumahuwa, like father like son, jazzualityFirst thing’s first. You can start the first Monday (that’s on 5th May, 2014) with Starday Monday (Monday with Star). Starting at 8:00 pm til midnight, this session features Benny & Barry Likumahuwa and Friends. As usual, you can see how they inspire you with harmonious soul and spirit connection between father and son being brought from daily life onto the stage. As they have shown many, many times either in Barry Likumahuwa Project, Benny Likumahuwa Jazz Connection or their special project Like Father Like Son, you can feel love and respect they transfer to each other. It’s not easy anymore to find this kind of harmonious relationship in this lonely planet. Benny’s pure and traditional swing spirit will collide once again with Barry’s youthful funky bites at Street Gallery. If that’s not enough, they are going to have lots of friends supporting them, plus special performance by the soulful power house lady, Dira Sugandi. That’s surely a catch isn’t it?

That’s what you’re going to get on Monday. What about the other day? Hey, you’re going to get many more goodies. The next day you will get Tuesday Latino with Zarro & the Vega starting exactly at the same hour. You can have Rockoustic bites on Wednesday with Bravo and then enjoy the Thursday Pop Jazz with Le Jardin. I Love Friday will have Iwan Abide & Mr Brightside in it follows by DJ Teddy Mananta to make you dance all the way passing the midnight. The weekend continues on with Romantic Night on Saturday with the performance of Romantic 4 and DJ Stefanya Morgan, again until 2:00 AM and on the last day you will have Sunday Acoustic with Heart Worker (1:00 pm – 5:00 pm) and Le’ Lucky Coustic (8:00 pm – midnight).

Well, that’s about it. Since you already know what to have in this location in May, you can start picking your poison and come. Don’t forget to visit the first show Starday Monday on May 5, 2014 with Benny-Barry Likumahuwa and Friends featuring Dira Sugandi. It’s going to start on 8:00 pm all the way to midnight. Recharge yourself and feed up your soul, with nonstop entertainment food mall, Street Gallery Pondok Indah Mall from Monday to Sunday.

Keep updated and log on to, follow us on our Twitter @pondokindahmall and like their Facebook fan page


For Further Information please contact:
Yunita Prima
PT. Metropolitan Kentjana, TbkPondok Indah Mall
Jl. Metro Pondok Indah Blok III B, Pondok Indah, Jakarta Selatan 12310
Telp: 021-7506750 ext 390, fax : 021- 7506755




Since 2012, the world has been celebrating a special day for jazz lovers called International Jazz Day. Herbie Hancock as the UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador and the Director-General of UNESCO Irina Bokova proclaimed April 30th as the date and set it to raise awareness in the international community of the virtues of jazz as an educational tool as well as a force for peace, unity, and dialogue. Jazz musicians and enthusiasts around the world celebrate it in their own ways. Just as we are getting closer to that day we received a very good news that should make us all proud. The little boy piano prodigy by the name of Joey Alexander is invited to participate in the annual benefit Gala Dinner of Jazz at Lincoln Center on May 1, 2014.

If playing at this jazzy corner of the historical complex of buildings in the Lincoln Square neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City is already highly prestigious, Joey is going to get even more honor, because there he will perform with the living legend Wynton Marsalis and the great, great Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra (JLCO). The concert is titled “LOVE, LOSS AND LAUGHER: THE STORY OF JAZZ”, set to be held at the Frederick P. Rose Hall, “The House of Swing”. Standing at the host is none other than famous movie star/comedian/MC, Billy Crystal. Joey is native Indonesian, and he’s still 10 years old. What a beautiful way for us Indonesian to celebrate this year’s International Jazz Day. And for your information, Joey is the only foreign musician that has an honour to play at this legendary concert. Way to go, Joey!



In conjunction with Joey’s upcoming performance “Love, Loss and Laughter: The Story of Jazz with Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Orchestra, a press conference was held on Tuesday, April 22, 2014 located at iCanStudioLive, Kebayoran Baru, Jakarta. Joey was there to explain everything about his involvement in this concert. It was a bit rainy out there and the press conference started later than on schedule. But joey warmth us with his magical hands on solo piano performance.

Then MC officially opened this press conference by greeting us and let Lucy Willar as the host of iCanStudioLive to give a little explanation about this wonderful kid and how he become one of featured artist at that concert. Denny Sakrie were also there to give his opinion about Joey from the expert view. He told us that Joey has a common thing with Indra Lesmana. They got their beautiful talent since they were toddlers. Denny believes that Joey will bring a great impact to Indonesian music industry. Lucy Willar called him as a ‘black diamond’ while Denny Sakrie mentioned that medias have called him as ‘Harry Potter of Jazz’. As you know, Joey always wear glasses that make him look exactly like Harry Potter, of course also the wizardous jazz piano playing. That’s the way we love to call him since the first time we spotted him in 2011 (

With the innocence of a child, Joey gave us a little explanation about how he started all of these until he could receive so many achievements internationally. It went really well and intimately. The attending medias congratulated him and asked him about how he prepared himself for this concert. We asked him will this concert affect him, he said that this is going to be one of his life’s legendary moments. He’s really excited and he is also ready to play there.

By now you should already be familiar with this wonder-kid. Imagine where you were and what you were doing at the age of 10, Joey has done things that not even adults or seniors can achieve.



Here’s a little profile of him. Joey was born in Denpasar, Bali on June 25, 2003. His parents bought him a mini keyboard when he was 6 years old. They got caught by surprise when noticing little Joey was already able to play the melody line of Thelonious Monk’s classic, “Well You Needn’t” out of nowhere. His parents directly gave him piano lesson. This little boy chewed everything up in no time. In just a year or so, he could already play difficult jazz renditions, mastering the improvisation with perfect skill that enabled him to play alongside big names in spontaneous jam sessions. For him, jazz is really great. You can play it spontaneously, with a coll improvisation. Jazz also gives him a freedom at playing and also, swing… That’s why he prefer jazz rather than other genres, such as modern or classic.

We met him for the first time at Indra Lesmana’s RW Jazz Lounge: The Christmas edition 2 years ago. At that time when he was still 8 years old he already stunned everyone by executing “My Favorite Things” and “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” flawlessly, just like a pro. At the age of 9 he already played alongside jazz giants and legends. He was invited by UNESCO in December 2011 to play solo piano in front of the jazz living legend Herbie Hancock during his visit to Inodnesia as a goodwill ambassador of UNESCO. He has graced many international festivals such as the Java Jazz Festival, JakJazz, Jazz Goes to Campus, World Youth Jazz Festival in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia and gained spot at television. After winning the Grand Prix award of the first International Jazz Improvisation contest, Master-Jam Fest in Odessa, Ukraine last year by topping hundreds of other contestants (it was awarded not only for professionalism and talent, but also for whose performance became a phenomenon of jazz life), this year he’s in the news again by being featured in The Good News with the Ellen Degeneres Show.

In the invitation letter, Jason Olaine, the Director of Programming and Touring Jazz at Lincoln Center said this: “In my capacity as Director of programming and Touring for Jazz at Lincoln Center, I have the pleasure of inviting Mr. Joey Alexander to New York to participate in our annual benefit Gala with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, May 1, 2014. As a rising star on piano, we recognize his artistry and musicianship and would be honored to present him to our American audiences in New York City.”

If you ask us, Joey really deserves it. You will know it once you listen to his play or watch. We have seen him pinning complex compositions from Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Wayne Shorter and Chick Corea just like a long time experienced pro. The last time we heard his piano playing was in a track “Glory Glory” with Benny Likumahuwa Jazz Connection in the new CD “Rekam Jejak Vol. 1″. In this track if you don’t see who plays, you will never dare to take a guess that it all came from a little boy. He plays maturely with high skill, really good at controlling and fully understand his role when playing with other cats. His improvisations are flawless and always appear in the right moment. Normally something like this only come from players who have been doing it for many decades, yet Joey is indeed one of a kind. He’s cute, sometimes shy, just like any other kids, but once he’s placed behind the piano, it’s all a different story.




It’s always wonderful to see the harmonious collaboration between two jazz communities from different cities. It might be new for some, but for Bandung’s Klab Jazz and Depok’s Margo Friday Jazz, this is just another cooperative work. The joint between these two well established jazz communities has began since 2009. This is their 7th cooperation. Other than Klab Jazz goes to Margo Friday Jazz, Margo came to Bandung too in 2010. So yes, they have been walking hand in hand despite of living separately  in different city.

“There are basic similiarities between Margo Friday Jazz and Klab Jazz. Both of us regularly provide playground for bands that have the interest in jazz.” said Dwi Cahya Yuniman, the founder of Klab Jazz. Collectively, Margo Friday Jazz and Klab Jazz present several groups in each edition, from ‘just’ 3 groups to 6, even ocassionally exceed that number.

Since the beginning, Margo Friday Jazz has gotten its own spot located at the right wing of Margo City Mall. They have been running the program for several years, consistantly doing it every week on Friday. While Klab Jazz, which doesn’t have its own venue, chose to cooperate with several cafes around Bandung. All these similiarities enable them to establish close connection towards each other.



Just like before, Klab Jazz brought 5 Bandung bands to invade Margo Friday Jazz. The first band to perform was Bandung String Trio, this time consisted of Syarif Maulana (guitar), Afifa Ayu (violin/vocals) and Arnie Christanti (bass). Unique and diffefent, Syarif led the team to bring their concept in real Sundanese social vibes. They played Sonny Rollins’ “St Thomas”, the evergreen “One Note Samba”, Didier Lockwood’s “Barbiezorm Blues” and Ismail Marzuki’s “Panon Hideung”.

Syarif as usual did a good job with both his colorful guitar playing and funny speech. As for Afifa, well, this young girl is multi-talented. From our point of view, she is a great jazz violin player and also has the  voice and vibe that suit perfectly to sing Bossa.  The groove madame Arnie was as sharp as always. It’s not everyday we see the band format like this, but these team proofs that there’s nothing impossible in jazz. One thing we also have to tell you is that this group can perform without bass if neccessary. They have shown it at our own Terraz Jazz last February 2014 by the combination of Syarif and Estu (read the report here: With more variations like this, we can hope to see a good jazz future in Indonesia. And yes, we have enough human resources here. Kudos to the trio, keep flowering Bandung with your unique concept.



Next was another trio in normal formation, the group named E.I.P. The name is the initial of the personnels: Evan Natael, Muhammad Ilham (bass) and Ipung Permadi (guitar). The band was established in the early 2013 and based their core in edgy jazz rock. Look at how the start, pinning “Got a Match” , “Lucky Seven”, a song from Larry Carlton and their original which hasn’t been named yet. E.I.P gave a powerful punch tonight as well as showing that there’s more varieties can be found inside jazz and rock connection than just the style we call fusion.



The third band was the unofficial movement for jazz enthusiast in Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia (UPI) Isola  Jazz, consists of 5 personnels: Ilham Pamuji on alto saxophone, Galih Cahya on drums, Ilham Septia Inda Nugraha on bass, Gilang Pratama on piano and Erwin Apriliadi (guitar). They brought fusion/smooth adult contemporary mood with splashes of funk into this edition of Margo Friday Jazz. Playing set of songs such as Duke Ellington’s “It Don’t Mean A Thing if It Ain’t Got a Swing” Herbie Hancock’s “Butterfly”, a song from Japanese fusion band T Square titled “Explorer” and Chick Corea’s “Nite Sprite”, the band did a good job in making the quite hot night got breezy and relaxing, at other time it was totally re-energized. Solid playing made them bagged a lot of applause and cheers from the crowds. Good job, boys! Keep it up.




After the great first day, here comes the second and final day of Indonesian Jass Festival 2013. Just like yesterday, the event started early at 2:00 pm with two different shows. The male jazz singer also the road manager of Inna Kamarie, Joey Abdul brought his own band named Joey Abdul And Friends to fill the first session on the second day of Indonesian Jass Festival 2013 stage.


At the same time, Kosakata took the PP stage. In English, Kosakata means Vocabulary, and the band took this word for one good reason. “Arranging the music is kind of like arranging words, so it can produce senteces that could develop life’s spirit.” said Andri Brendley, the guitarist of the band. With Gerinov Medaimanto (saxophone), Baroka Ismail (bass) and Chrismareza Prakoso (drums), Kosakata carries that philosophy in serving jazz with delicate funk, rock, blues and gospel. In 20 minutes there are 5 songs played on the stage, “Dimensi”, “Growing”, “Lumpat”, Living Your Dream Yet?”. and the last one “Panca Indra”. We haven’t heard from them for quite some time, so it’s glad to see them still alive and kicking even harder than ever.


The ‘crazy gang’ of HajarBleh Big Band took the Telkom Stage. This big band combining their performance with choreography to put some new taste in their performance. Wildan Abdat who also a part of Jazzuality said they brought more Indonesian songs because they presented this performance especially for our country. Here it is their song list “Pick up the Pieces”, “Chameleon”, “Janger” (Balinese Folk Song), “Samba de uma nota so”, “Bananeira”, “Bulan diatas Teras Kota” (HajarBleh Big Band original song), “Barcelona”, and “Kopral Jono.”

Essence Stage then started to run with representative from Semarang Jazz Community, Jazz Ngisoringin filled that up. At the Samali, Peppy Probo & The Southside Fellaz. Haven’t seen this band since 2011 but we’re glad that they are still on. As usual, Peppy was joined by set of young but skillful musicians. This band gave nice jazz with slices of new concept; slow funky jam.  Approximately at 3 pm, Jojo & Friends came up as the second act at Samali Stage.


The progressive fusion band Heaven on Earth did another spectacular job in the big sized festival. This band has three ‘stunt’ musicians; Tedjo Bhayu Adjie (piano/keys/synth), Ossa Sungkar (drums/percussions) and Franky Sadikin (bass/all sequencers programmer). All these three stuntmen love to do maneuvers, wild exploration and unpredictable twists and turns in creating their musical presentation. Jazz guitarist David Pantouw’s band Dave & The Hollow Ensemble took over the stage from Peppy Probo and the SouthSide Fellaz.




Jazz Gunung 2013 (Mountain Jazz 2013) is one of the most anticipated annual jazz events in Indonesia. Since the first edition it opened up a new way of enjoying jazz by serving it 2000 meters up high on the mountain hill of Bromo in Probolinggo, East Java. You can imagine how cold it is to sit outdoor in that kind of environment from afternoon until night. It’s freezing, yet the jazz performance somehow warmed everyone.

This year Jazz Gunung has reached its fifth consecutive year. That’s quite an achievement for an out-of-the box jazz event. With the support from the government, local authorities and the people of Bromo, this annual event has been growing bigger, better and ‘badder’ than ever, with lots of surprises all over it.

“Indahnya Jazz, Merdunya Gunung” (Beautiful Jazz, Melodious Mountain) as usual stood as the tagline. It perfectly reflects the concept of this event. For two days straight the audience got tons of very special packages from many great artists performed in an open stage with beautiful mountain view on the background, clear blue sky and the full moon at night. It was magical and refreshing at the same time.


The hillarious MCs Gundhi and Alit plus Butet Kartaredjasa, came again this year to host the event. Last year they managed to add up the entertainment factor with their funny jokes. It became another key factor of Jazz Gunung’s success. People loved them and certainly didn’t dissapoint.

The First Day

The sky on first day of Jazz Gunung was foggy, yet the audience enthusiastically came to the venue. Blambangan Art School Banyuwangi gave an impressive opening act. Then the first surprise appeared. The wheather drastically changed and soon after, the rain started to fall. For the first time ever, Jazz Gunung got wet with rain. Sierra Soetedjo who was already on stage with Tiyo Alibasjah (guitar) and Fanny Kuncoro (keyboard) had to pospone her show due to the heavy rain. After almost 2 hours, the rain finally stopped and the weather got warmer.  Like having the rain washed the sky, we were stunned by the beautiful view above us with full moon and blinking stars were clearly seen in the sky.


The beautiful nightingale Sierra Soetedjo continued her performance. It was an unforgettable experience for her because she had to perform in a very cold temperature, wet weather & thin air. It was challenging, yet she prepared & enjoyed them all. She perfomed some jazz composition such as “It Could Happen to You”, a classic from Sergio Mendes’ 1968 album, “So Many Stars” and the evergreen “Autumn Leaves”. She also sang “Have I Told you Lately” as a birthday present for her father who came to watch her show. Then she continued to perform “Cheek to Cheek” & “Moody’s Mood for Love” which she delivered under a special collaboration with Idang Rasjidi.  



Once again an annual music event was held by Suara Surabaya (SS) in November 24th, 2012. This is the second Djarum Super Mild Jazz Traffic Festival  in Surabaya and it was made even greater than last year. What did make this year’s installment more special and outstanding? The better arrangement and bigger batch of lineup were the reason. This time Djarum Super Mild Jazz Traffic Festival 2012 offered more various jazz musicians which made it more interesting, the program was much better, and it also engaged international jazz artist. The process until it becomes an annual event was a good story where it reinforces Surabaya as a potential place for jazz event. We can see the brand title of Jazz Traffic itself is already strongly attached to jazz lover especially among the listeners of Jazz Traffic radio program in SS, the communities of jazz listener are increased, and also the music itself continuously grows broad. Probably these cases can signify the resurgence jazz in Surabaya and Djarum Super mild saw the opportunity, voila! It transformed into a massive Jazz Traffic Festival.

This year Jazz Traffic Festival really maximized the space and time so that the visitors would be satisfied. The gig started at 12 pm. until around 12 am. The committee provided three stages which are Convention Hall on third floor (indoor), Exhibition Hall on ground floor (indoor), and at the parking lot (outdoor). The society gave marvelous responses and really showed their excitement by crowding those three stages and get lost in the jazzy tunes. The setting of the stage indeed gave as much freedom as it could for the audience because it was structured in parallel, so the visitors could choose which stage they wanted to watch. JTF 2012 supplied jazz with its variety; they showed many genres we could enjoy such as fusion, ethnic jazz, and acid jazz, also the pure or mainstream one; those styles surely gave fresh air into Surabaya which had 34 degree Celsius at that time and cooled down the jazz lovers who already came to the venue in the afternoon.


Hoping you all get enough description about the venue and the situation in Jazz Traffic Festival 2012, now let’s hopped into the object of this event, list of the fantastic bands.  As the opening, we got Surabaya All Stars which consists of FX Boy on alto saxophone, Totok Afiat on bass, Tri Wijayanto on guitar, Muhammad on drum, Iwan Santoso on keyboard, Dodi on trumpet, Luluk on trombone, Syaifl on tenor saxophone, Ruland on percussion, Yunita, Kiki, and also Seno on vocal. They all are the students of the late Bubi Chen who was a jazz maestro from this particular city. For the play they had 5 beautiful compositions which were instrumental “Doctor Makumba”, “It’s Alright”, “Soul as Caital”, “Shaker Song”, and “Give Me the Night”. Their performance gathered the people who were in Exhibition Hall Grand City Surabaya lobby together into the Convention Hall to saw them on stage. FX Boy who is also the manager of Surabaya All Stars said that this band which was created in 2007 really enjoyed being the opening of Super Mild Traffic Jazz Festival 2012. This is their second time to be invited. He added, “Since Jazz Traffic Festival last year, we keep observing that jazz enthusiasm in Surabaya increases. This is very good and we hope we can include as one of that phenomenon”. For the next edition hopefully in 2013, FX Boy put out his dream that more and more Surabaya’s jazz musicians can participate this event, the more the merrier. “Surabaya has a lot of great jazz musicians for sure. We expect them to perform next year.” He said.