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dewa budjana



Close your eyes and think of Bali. What’s pictured in your mind? Beach, forest, green paddy fields? The island of 10.000 temples? Majestic view of sunset and sunrise? The mystical fragrant of frangipani? Traditional dress and the Balinese gamelan music? Well, those are a few of the magical thing that you could get by visiting Bali. No wonder, Bali has been standing as one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world for ages. Now, what about picturing Bali as one of the top jazz destinations, not only in Indonesia but in the world? Why not. Since two years ago, the relationship between Bali and jazz has been getting closer than ever. There is an annual jazz event that serves cross-cultural entertainment that can be used as a knowledge and experience exchange. We’re talking about a big move made by the founder of Underground Jazz Movement Yuri Mahatma and the owner of ANTIDA Music Productions, Anom Darsana. Their brainchild added the specific jazz color into the Ubud’s heavenly landscape. It’s Ubud Village Jazz Festival (UVJF).

So here’s the big news. The annual 3rd Ubud Village Jazz Festival will be held, once again, on 7th and 8th of August 2015 at the same location, ARMA Ubud and will feature a world-class line-up that is guaranteed to be even more impressive than the previous festivals (read our report from last year’s edition:  UVJF Day 1 and Day 2).

Acclaimed jazz musicians from Indonesia such as Indra Lesmana, Nial Djuliarso, Dewa Budjana, Dodot & Co, Gustu Brahmanta Project, Kirana Big Band, Dion Janapria, Nita Aartsen Trio, Dwiki Dharmawan, Balawan etc, and international musicians, Oran Etkin (USA), a great bass clarinetist who has won a Grammy Award for his compilation CD “All About Bullies”. Etkin’s latest album on Motema Music, Gathering Light, features his trio with Nasheet Waits and Ben Allison plus guests Lionel Loueke and Curtis Fowlkes. This won’t be the first time for Etkin to visit Indonesia, since he has been here, also in Bandung to perform at the Saung Angklung Udjo in 2012. But now he’s going to paint the Bali sky with jazz. This amazing Trio just can’t wait to come to the island of God and experience the unique sensation of playing jazz in Ubud.

New Yorker Laura Brunner will bring you her deep voice, combined with Nial Djuliarso Quartet. Both, they have done some projects in USA and Asia. Nevertheless, Julian Banks Trio and Alex Lahey (Australia), the interesting Miles! Projects (Holland) which features Michael Varenkamp and Ben van den Dungen. The brain, guitarist Yuri Mahatma, his dear wife, pianist Astrid Sulaiman and many, many more artists, will play under the stars in the grounds of the magnificent Arma Museum, Ubud.

ubud village jazz festival 2014, ubud village jazz festival 2015, jazzuality

Last year’s Ubud Village Jazz Festival (doc., photo by Praditya Nova)

Encouraged by different kinds of local communities, Ubud Village Jazz Festival stands for one of the most respected Jazz Festival in the region. Most of the organizers who volunteered in the event, are coming from different backgrounds, such as art, media, video, design, music, even food! Yet, it keeps the spirit of UVJF, that is mall festival but big message.

Anom Darsana, one of the co founders of UVJF said, “Our talented young Indonesian artists are the key to the development and future existence of Jazz in Indonesia.” The Festival aims to provide important cross-cultural and networking opportunities between International and local jazz musicians and will showcase established and emerging musicians over two days, using three stages. It will collaborate with local industries, such as handmade drums from Jakarta and double bass from Solo and bamboo installation for the stage décor.

And for the second time, Ubud Village Jazz Festival 2015 is proud to partner with The Jazz Summer School in Korea-Netherlands as an exciting initiative to promote Jazz education in Indonesia. The Bali Jazz Summer School will be held over 5 days before the festival and will be divided into 6 classes featuring guitar, drums, piano, double bass, brass and reed instruments and vocal.  Said Yuri Mahatma, Festival Co-Founder , ”This is a great opportunity for young Indonesians to gain valuable knowledge and improve their skills through classes in theory and daily jam sessions”.

Ubud Village Jazz Festival says this in their official website. “We wants to keep it elegant, small, but we will maintain the quality.” They will work with whatever they can to make a clear statement that this is not only about concert and party but we concern about the regeneration and the high quality music education for the youth. A festival with character, that’s what they intend to be in each and every year. This event will come in a few months, arrange your trip to Bali and be a part of this fest. It’s time to feel the magical, mystical vibes of Bali not only by everything this land possesses, but also from its jazz spirit.

For more info, please visit:

Early bird Ubud Village Jazz Festival tickets are now available online and will be available until July. Don’t miss out on this extraordinary deal!

– Early Bird ticket price (Including taxes) February- July 2015 period
Please log on into our website to get the most updated tickets’ price.

– Normal ticket price (Including taxes) Aug 2015 period
One day ticket: IDR 385.000
Two days ticket: IDR 550.000
For further information or inquiries, please check our website:




Jazz was born in America, but enjoyed worldwide. Jazz belongs to the entire world and is an integrated part of world’s history. That means, having a jazz festival inside a historical site should be an excellent choice. Right at the end of this week, a new jazz festival will be born, taking place at the historical Kota Tua (Old Town) area of Jakarta. The name of the festival is JAZZ @ KOTA TUA, Saturday, December 13, 2014 at Taman Fatahillah, Museum Sejarah Jakarta starting from early in the morning to late at night. And yes, it’s FREE!

If you visit Jakarta, you should visit this particular location. Kota Tua is also known as Old Jakarta or Old/Oud Batavia, a small area that still preserves the reminiscence of the city during colonial times in the 16th century. It was once the administrative headquarters of the Dutch East India Company and a trading port. Some places of interest include the Maritime Museum, the Fine Art and Ceramic Museum, Wayang Museum which periodically showcases shadow puppetry and of course the Fatahillah Square, where The Fatahillah Museum (also familiar as the Jakarta History Museum) has been standing tall against the time. This building was built in 1620 as the Stadhuis of Batavia by Jan Pieterzoen Coen and then rebuilt in 1710. Other than being the Stadhuis of the Dutch East India Company, it’s also used as a Courthouse, Civil Registration Office, the sermon, House of Sunday worship and City Council (College van Scheppen).

The Fatahillah Museum has around 23.500 objects including the Jagur Cannon, the prison of Untung Suropati and Pangeran Diponegoro, the painting of Dutch East India’s governor all the way to some prehistorical stuffs. Another history’s added by the appearance of Jazz @ Kota Tua.


dwiki dharmawan, jazz at kota tua, jazzuality


It was Dwiki Dharmawan who had the idea. He thought about it around 8 years ago, but he got no positive reply from the related authorities at that time. But suddenly he was asked to make it happen. In just a short time Dwiki collected everything and everyone. He makes sure the audience to enjoy variety of performers, from the jazz masters to the newcomers, from local to international jazz artists, from rag time to modern jazz, from standards to ethnics. Assorted artistic jazz will be served in the artistic representative of Jakarta in some centuries ago. How cool is that.

Hundreds of musicians divided into more than twenty acts will run on two stages, plus one sharing session/talkshow with the CEO/Founder of MoonJune Records. Leonardo Pavkovic. Leo believes that Indonesia is the next big music country in the world. He has been keeping his eyes on our local scene and so far has recruited almost 10 bands from Indonesia (still counting). Currently he’s promoting the IndoJazzia, a division of Leonardo The Vinci Entertainment with Arlo Hennings in charge as the chief operational activities in Indonesia.

MoonJune proudly presents many of its talents too in this festival. The latest recruit is this festival’s initiator and director, Dwiki Dharmawan. For this fest Dwiki is going to bring two of his sensational legendary groups: the Krakatau-Ethno and Dwiki Dharmawan World Peace Orchestra. The Krakatau-Ethno is the version that embraces the ethnic music, specify in Sundanese (West Java) traditions. The ensemble utilizes the micro-tonal system of ancient gamelan musical structures that is based on S’lendro scale. About the World Peace Orchestra, well, this is beyond believe. Think of this: an orchestra comprising of musicians from around the world. If all members are present, it would resemble a ‘World Music Union’. No gap, no differences, just peace, love and respect to one another. The participants came from USA, China, Japan, Australia, European countries, Malaysia and Indonesia, including traditional musicians from Java to North Sumatra. Wide diversity of backgrounds, instruments and styles. Since it was quite impossible for them to gather in the studio, the recording process took place in various countries. The phenomenal mega project is simply called Dwiki Dharmawan & The World Peace Orchestra.


jazz at kota tua, jazzuality


In this festival, the World Peace Orchestra will be carried by a smaller ensemble yet still reflects the spirit perfectly by multi-national musicians. First, Beledo. Often considered as a real myth among Uruguayan music connoisseurs, the guitar hero Beledo plays with the proficiency of a man that has been sharing life with his instruments for some decades. He was born in Montevideo, Uruguay, but he is a New York based musician and composer. Other than standing as a guitar hero, he is also a prominent pianist. His music lies in between Jazz and Rock with some touches of exotic Spanish-flavored melodies, polyrhytmic rhythms and some other diversely stylish sound. This MoonJune artist isn’t far from Indonesian Jazz. As he is listed as one of the MoonJune Records’ artists, he has collaborated with the cross ethno-progressive ensemble simakDialog, with its pianist Riza Arshad and guitarist Tohpati in 2013, also as a duo with guitarist Dewa Budjana and recorded with Indonesia’s Jazz icon, the one and only Dwiki Dharmawan.

Also joining the World Peace Orchestra is Dale Barlow. The legendary composer/musician from the land of Oz is back again to Indonesia. He is a multi-instrumentalist who plays especially the saxophone and flute. As one of Australia’s most accomplished and internationally recognized Jazz artists, he has played with uncountable who’s who in the Jazz scene, even once joined Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers in the 1980s, including several albums with his compositions. He was also a member of The Cedar Walton Quartet. After his shiny appearance in Ubud Village Jazz Festival, he’s ready to grace this fest as one of the WPO team. The kind-hearted and highly respected percussionist Steve Thornton is one of the catch in this act too.

Dewa Budjana and Tesla Manaf are the other names from MoonJune listed in the lineup. Coming from different generations, both players are amazing artistes who should be listed in the world’s greatest guitarist. They will perform under quartet formation. One more MoonJune representative is the cross ethno-progressive ensemble simakDialog. Led by Riza Arshad, this group has gained so many critical acclaims worldwide. Also found on board are Tohpati (guitar), Adhitya Pratama/Rudy Zulkarnaen (bass), Endang Ramdan and Cucu Kurnia (kendangs) and Erlan Suwardana (metal toys). Watch them to see how the using of kendangs as a replacement of drums could open a new musical dimension.

The last to mention from MoonJune is LIGRO. Agam Hamzah (electric/acoustic guitar), Adi Darmawan (electric bass) and Gusti Hendy (drums) succesfully create the mind-bending musical concept wonder since 2004. They give something unusual and might never been or seldom explored by others. They are powerful, chaotic, in some parts can be derange, provocative and even able to deliver some terrors within their music, yet they create lovely harmony.

Bassist Chaka Priambudi and vocalist Nesia Ardi established LANTUN Orchestra to (re)introduce the richness of Indonesian traditional music especially the Batavian like keroncong, tanjidor and the likes. But what’s unique, in order to bring it they use jazz elements not only in notations but also improvisations, solo runs and call & response. “We’re searching for the similiarities between jazz and Indonesian traditional music especially the Batavian, and that’s important because we need to preserve our own cultural heritage and keep deveoping it under today’s condition.” said Chaka proudly. Lantun Orchestra proves that there are still many music corners to explore with limitless possibilities. They also brilliantly shows that jazz can be used to preserve our own traditional music, and for us, Lantun Orchestra is considered as one of the most interesting new concept at present time. Intan Soekotjo, the proud daughter of legendary keroncong singer Sundari Soekotjo who once made surprise with her keroncong rendition of “Over the Rainbow” is featured in this act.


jazz at kota tua, jazzuality

Two of Indonesian pianist who pursue their career overseas will be here too: Dutch/European-based Sri Hanuraga and New York/USA Nial DJuliarso. The ‘El Montuno’, Rio Moreno is going to play too. Then the Jakarta-based Big Band who redefine the Big Band’s way of performing, HajarBleh Big Band is confirmed too. Ever seen the members of big band took selfies and did high-five during performance? This crazy gang will show you that the member of big band can be funky and trendy too. Born in Jakarta but live in Brisbane versatile guitarist Yuri Jo will have a session under Yuri Jo Collective.

Two ladies with the music that symbolizes the beauty and everything that’s 100% Indonesia, Lea Simajuntak and Irsa Destiwi as Bandanaira are in the lineup as well. With the sweet rearrangement of some Indonesian classics and anthems served by top notch vocal technique which appears as the combination of ‘soprano’ and pop, they will give you something nice and easy to chew yet classy. The ‘girl-power’ will also shine from a group of five named Ina Ladies. Senior singer and trumpeter Happy Pretty (she’s the youngest of the legendary Pretty Sisters) led the team consists of Bonita (vocal, harmonica, guitar), Metta Legita (pianist) and two Starlite members: Sheila Permatasaka (bass) and Jeane ‘Alsa’ Phialsa (drums). You will never underestimate the power of ladies anymore after watching them. Presenting the traditional music of Atjeh is Keubitbit. Formed by young musicians, this band plays songs with genuine traditional Atjehnese nuance in progressive fusion corridor.

While top national and international have confirmed their involvement, many newcomers/young lions become an important part too of Jazz @ Kota Tua. Farabi sends two groups: Farabi Percussion Ensemble (with GMB’s percussionist Adi Prasodjo and Steve Thornton) and Farabi Rising Stars featuring Ita Purnamasari and Ify ‘Blink’. Arnando Putra’s Triology, WTF and Revival Generation Project (RGP) also represent the great young talents from today’s generation. Last but not least, don’t miss the Flores proud son Ivan Nestorman and the female singer with shiny international achievements who is famous both in gospel and secular world, Eka Deli.

The most recent update is the final show. It’s going to be the group of colourful pianist who plays all kind of music, from classical, jazz, blues, pop to Latin, Nita Aartsen. The show’s called  Nita Aartsen for Batavia.  Joining her are all star cast including Indro Hardjodikoro, Jalu Pratidina, Arif Darma featuring Yeppy Romero. You should stay until the very end because this final act will give you a special treat.

Jazz @ Kota Tua is ready to showcase heady mix of talents from Indonesia and around the world. This event is meant to celebrate Jazz in a city which is at ease with its rich cultural diversity and drawing a multitude of venues around the old town of Jakarta. Up to 3000 people are projected to enjoy many genres of Jazz at this historical site surrounded by heritage colonial buildings. You can imagine the magical atmosphere. While getting the best of jazztertainment, you can also romancing the snapshot of how the city looked before the skyscrapers move in. It’s time to go jazzy in the Old Town Jakarta.

1st Annual JAZZ @ KOTA TUA

Date: Saturday, December 13, 2014
Time: 09:00 – 22:30
Location: Taman Fatahillah, Museum Sejarah, Jakarta



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If you ever been to Bali, Ubud should be one of your most favorite destination. This town is surrounded by rice paddies, creek with steep, located in the central foothills of Gianyar. For more than a century Ubud has been popular as a large tourism site since there are many fine arts, dance, music and other forms of cultural can be found throughout the place, not to mention so many sacred nature reserves like Ubud Monkey Forest, temples, cave or even art/painting museum. Now think of this. What if this land with beautiful nature surroundings adds its charm by serving jazz, not a single show but festival, for two days? That sounds great, right? Well, that’s what going to happen. Here comes the first ever International Jazz Festival ever held in the heart of Ubud-Bali, the capital of Art of Indonesia by the name of UBUD VILLAGE JAZZ FESTIVAL 2013.

The idea of this event was triggered a musician/composer/teacher and the founder of Underground Jazz Movement Yuri Mahatma and the director/owner of ANTIDA Music Productions, Anom Darsana. This is a new higher step for them after partnering for some regular jazz concerts that has different themes in every edition. The idea of making up a community concert came in the early 2012, but then it rolled bigger by having the involvement and support from majority of community artists. Hence, the concept of hosting a community concert in this unique village was born.

The Ubud Village Jazz Festival 2013 is created in medium size with around 20 performances, involving about 100 musicians (local and international) for two days which will be divided into 2+1 stages (two main performers and one stage for amateurs, new talents and music students). As how the jazz festival normally goes, you can find plenty of jazz forms to choose. Just in case if you’re hungry and thirsty during the event, the event also provides variety of best food in the culinary section. Other than live performances, Ubud Village Jazz Festival also facilitates workshop of local and national music educators to investigate ways of getting more people to be interested in playing jazz. The festival will be held on August 9 and 10, 2013 at the 5-star Arma Museum and Resort, Ubud, Bali.


ubud village jazz festival, lineup, jazzuality


Now let’s talk about the artists. As we have mentioned earlier, the lineup consists of local, national and international stars, either with their own groups or through special collaborative acts. Representing Netherlands is Peter Beets, a world-acclaimed pianist with classy, infectious swing. Then look at the combination of Mexico, Japan, England and Malaysia under the name of Diego Maroto and No Black Tie Artists. From Japan comes an interesting ensemble Yokohama Association of Artist Orchestra also known as YAA. After visiting many Asian regions like Korea, now they are going to expand their coverage area by playing in Bali.



Where were we all in 1988? A question that everyone has a different answer to. Well, as for Jakarta International Jazz Festival, there was one. It was the birth of a music event that has resounded through time and emerged clearly in Indonesia’s music development. And until now, Indonesia’s participation in the globalisation era of music has reached to another step and keeps getting better. After it’s warm and delightful welcome since years ago, The Djarum Super Mild Jakarta International Jazz Festival 2012 is back and is ready to fulfill your jazzilicious cravings. For the thirteenth time, this three-day event (19,20,21 October 2012) held at Istora Senayan Jakarta holds the theme of “Jazz The Way You Are” and marks another history in the national and also international scope. This event prepares the finest artists and performers from a variety of backgrounds uniting with one vision to deliver a great passion towards music highlighting jazz as it’s main course. With eight stages of amazing showcases, this event will surely get you up and going in enthusiasm to satisfy your wants and needs for jazz.

Jazzing up this fine friday evening, opening performances started off on separate stages with The Doctors, Time Warp, and Karim Suweileh & Friends. What words come instantly in your mind when you hear the word “The Doctors”? If you ponder about a bunch of medical professionals, you got it exactly right. Instead of only discussing a range of various health-related topics, they also teamed up to share their passion in music. Yes, this is a music community whose members are genius, talented doctors. A group that has “Music is the Medicine” tagline consists of dr. Noel (vocal), dr. Bram (piano), dr. Yassin (keyboard), dr. Fariz (gutiar), dr. Rizky (bass), dr. Hery (guitar) and dr. Bima (drums). It’s their fourth time performance at JakJazz and they brought an instrumental of “Perjalanan Panjang“, “Lupakan Diriku” by Noel feat Nina and continued with G Voice’s “Capacity of Love” and “Masihkah“. Then there was “Hanya Bayangan“, “Is It You“, and “You Make Me Feel Brand New“. Their last numbers ended with “September” and the maestro Gesang’s “Bengawan Solo“.

Using Time Warp as a band name? Why not. This band of expatriates from USA, Australia and UK together with some Indonesian suit the word if we take a look at the concept. They play infectious road blues really well, but they move on by opening various dimension through time and space by infusing jazz, funk, classic R&B and soul (sound of Motown) all the way to rock and roll and stuff. In the end, it’s like having a wonderous party over some eras, just like riding into a time warp. They delivered a few songs such as “Peter Gunn“, “Cant Turn“, “Everybody Needs Somebody” and “Sweet Soul Music“.If they claimed to be the South East Asia’s premier Blues Brothers revival band, they really do, because their act and song choices always remind us of the legendary Blues Brothers. They also jazzed away with “Respect“, “Hold On I’m Coming“, “Funky Nassau” and “New Orleans” A whole lotta fun indeed we got from their stage.

We saw Devian at JakJazz 2008 (that time featuring Dina Mariana) when it was served big. Now we watched him again at this edition. Yes, we finally got the chance to see the great saxophonist Devian coloring the jazz sky above Istora Senayan. Playing at Anggrek room at night, Devian once again saw that he can play more than just pop and smooth jazz. He explored jazz in wide perspective view, making the audience drown in extacy. Joining him on stage were Triono on piano/synth, Faisal (guitar), Fajar Adi Nugroho (bass) and Dezca Anugrah Samudra (drums). We digged his show as much as we loved his action 3 years ago at the same event.

This event also includes mini-workshops, performances and Coaching Clinics by IMI (Institut Musik Indonesia) on all three days of this event. And on the first day there was a vocal session by Indra Aziz who is a well known vocal coach for most of us. He is also known for his skill and ability to compose songs, and play the saxophone. This clinic featured Anjuan Julio for the guitars.


Syaharani and the QueenFireworks or mostly known as ESQI:EF is a group who certainly knows how to entertain the crowd. It is because that they are not only presenting ear catchy songs but also by involving their fans into their performance. Syaharani, the queen herself positively enjoys about how she communicates to audiences, both on and off stage. A very delightful group to watch and listen. ESQI:EF appeared right here at JakJazz along with Donny Suhendra (guitar), Kristian Dharma (bass), Sirhan Bahasuan (drums) and the backing vocals. As how we predicted, they gave a highly entertaining performance which a real satisfaction for the crowd. There’s nothing better than serving a party with songs like “Say A Little Prayer” and an acoustic version of “Anytime” and “Kiranya” with a beautiful French nuance. There was also a special touch of accordions by Andy Gomez. It was truly an act the way we expected from ESQI:EF. Way to go!

There was also DAC, Emerald Bex and another Clinic by IMI from a guitar session with Andre Dinuth. DAC or short for Dynamis Action of Chord which describes their music concept of jazz fusion/pop group from Semarang with Momo (Guitar), Dudut (Bass), Aditya (Drums), Iga and Atok (Keyboards) and Shanty (Additional Vocalist). They have been around since 1987. If you’re an adult jazz fans who had listened to jazz albums in the 80’s, you might remember them. They’ve also released an album in 1989 then stepping into hiatus for quite a long term. They came back in 2010 on Fusion Nite 80’s at Jajan Jazz Teras Kota BSD City. Fusion flowed thorugh our ears as they let their fresh modern touches tingle too. The 80’s fusion hype with some fresh and modern treatment was the menu that enjoyed by many of their fans and the passers-by.

Also from the same era and fusion jazz is Emerald Bex, which was formed on the 11th of July 1986. They are Iwang Noorsaid(Keyboards), Roedyanto(Bass), Morgan Sigarlaki(Guitar) dan Inang Noorsaid(Drums). Both these groups, entered the Band Explosion (BEX), a music competition held by Yamaha. Andre Dinuth, yes a guitarist you might remember from several groups such as Tohpati Band, Magenta Orchestra, Erwin Gutawa Orchestra, Indro Hardjodikoro Band, Glenn Fredly Banda and Rio Febrian Band. With his guitar he’s travelled from one stage to another and this time he gives out more than just the music. With his experiences also as session palyer for various artist and recording guitarists, who doesn’t love a plus on the guitar and the jazzy side of it. The Emerald-BEX is the embryo or the earliest formation of the band. We didn’t hear the band at all since that hey-day, but then they decided to come back since last year for good. If you love them back then, you’re going to love them even more today. Why not? Wild exploration of jazz-rock, fired-up stage action, all wrapped with the experience, passion and love make this band stands in the different fusionesque corner. The setilst such as 11 July, Altimeter and Night Walk became the benchmark of people’s expectation watching this group. In the end you’ll find out that you’re not watching a group of musician playing their instruments anymore, it’s become a show where the jazz-rock comes alive. Oh yeah, before we forget, the young man named Muhammad Iqbal did very well too in providing the raunchy beat over the drums.


The Quatro consists of musicians who have appeared often in jazz festivals in Indonesia. They are Eka Dewanto (bass), Hosdiman (saxophone), Donny Prasetyo (keyboards) and Hanli Saputra (drums). This circle of friends decided to form the band to fulfill their passion and simply chose the name based on the number. In this gig The Quatro got empowered by two vocalists, Sherly’O and Hans Bartelz. Resides in Bali, Sherly’O made her solo album entitled Pop Jazzy in 2007 which got good response from the market. She also participated in Akordeon and Totong Wicaksono’s albums. About Hans Bartelz, this guy has the kind of soulful voice like black singer and labeled as Phil Perry from Rote/NTT. Showing an appreciation for this fest, they made a special instrumental song named “Song For JakJazz“, written by Donny Prasetyo. “A Night in Tunisia” and “Sexy Back” was sung by Sherly’O before Hans joined her for a duet on the evergreen “Moody’s Mood For Love“. Hans carried on right after by groovin’ the audience with Al Jarreau’s “Boogie Down“. To close this session grand, Sherly’O came back to do another beautiful vocals on “Every Breath You Take“. Carrying well known song in pop jazz tunes like this including “Don’t Ever Wonder” delivered by Hans, made the audience could sing a long merrily, it was nicely done and entertaining.

There was also Higher D and another Clinic by IMI from Willy Haryadi with the keyboards who majored in Film Scoring with emphasize in computer music techonolgy. Fascinated right? Well he let out his knowledge of tips and tricks with his incredible fingers tapping the notes. His proffesional experiences are worth double thumbs up being a composer and music programmer for tv shows and movies including international movie “The 1985″. A glimpse of where passion can take you. Higher D went on stage with their colorful costume. They presented their “Album Maluku” by recycling “Ayo Mama” and “Tanase“. There was also an appearance from Danila which also completed a unique performance. Their energetic aura and colorful costumes lit up the atmosphere. With different voice ranges, they created a beautiful harmony in delivering their sweet Ambon songs.

Talk about a lady who’s done a tremendous job in many fields, the name Yuyun George should always be the perfect role model. She’s highly experienced in the music scene since she plays saxophone and sings really well, she’s great in composing/arranging, a standout band leader and also teach. Off the stage, she’s a full loving and caring wife and mother, not to mention that she’s warm hearted and very friendly as well. Her family supports her fully, that should be one of the factors that enable her to give her best in multi-roles. Yuyun George & The Jazmint Band is her brainchild that was formed in 2000. Starting only with 6 musicians and pop singers, it kept growing both in experience and creativity. Swingin’ jazz appears grand from this band and seemed set to give a joyful entertainment to the audience. No matter how often we cover her gig, she never fails to surprise us. Some classics from the American and Indonesian Songbook appeared beautifully from Yuyun and the band. To complete the vocal position, there was Grace Simon with her first song Ismail Marzuki’s “Kopral Jono” and Titiek Puspa’s “Kupu-Kupu Malam“. She also let the crowd sing along with her making it an interactive performance while Yuyun blew away the saxophone elegantly. Nunus Utomo with his musky rocking voice singing songs taken from the Rod Stewart versions with “What A Wonderful World” and ” I Love You for Sentimental Reasons“. Yuyun Jazzmint also made a different arrangement with George Irfan singing “Bujang Dara” a number from his album The Indonesian Songbook. Really nice!


Some people would refer Jeff Lorber as a fusion jazz respected artist and one of the smooth jazz pioneer. For us, Jeff Lorber is someone who has contributed many things for passion and his eternal love of music. He has become a prominent figure in the movement of jazz fusion. Jeff himself performs regularly at the  Java Jazz Festival, or what we usually call it better as “In-House Residence”.  Tonight at JakJazz, Jeff Together with (his band or some other artists) they treated our thirst for jazz. This is his project which first honed their craft in the Portland, Oregon Club scene and rapidly expanded their aim for national and international audience. Their formation of Jimmy Haslip (bass), Eric Marienthal (saxophone), Vinnie Colaluta. They have just came back from Manila, Phillipines. While the strong fusion smell attracted the fans like having the best coffee beans to sip joyfully, the all-star casts in this session really brought something great yet natural. What a challenging stage we got, we are happy to have Jeff Lorber Fusion at this JakJazz 2012.

A senior fusion guitarist formerly known as the member of Cannizaro and Canzo, Totong Wicaksono continued his participation after the Road to JakJazz 2012 held several months ago. Just like at that time, he delivered the kind of classy 80’s jazz fusion with some Latins and jazzy pop. His Hollow body guitar and the classical acoustic nylon guitar are his favorite weapons that he believes can represent his musicality at best. Some songs from his solo project album were played nicely too at this festival.

Well they say, two is better than one. But three makes the musketeers. Dewa Budjana, Balawan, and Tohpati are known as guitar virtuosos in Indonesia. Normally guitarist at this level would prefer to play alone, but that’s not the case of these masters. They surprised us some years ago by joining forces and called themselves as Trisum. What’s even more surprising is they can actually blend harmoniously with high tolerance guide to one another. The first album received huge success, the second one received the same acceptance from the market. They synchronize each other to create a whole new world of music, they rock the jazz like no one have done before. Three wizards showed us how far guitars come in handy entertaining us, courtesy of these masters. Unpredictable twists, heart-pounding manouvers, acrobatic improvisations were all over their stage, all thanks to the harmonious connection between them. Eventough they busy with their own agendas, we hope it won’t obstruct them to make another album after “Five in One” and participate in more events in the near future. Kudos to Trisum for making such an unbelievable show. Tonight, accompanied with Muhammad Iqbal (drummer), they played “5 in1″, “Bubi“, “Keroncong Kemayoran“, “All You Can Eat“, “Guitar in the Midnight“, “Saka/Lukisan Pagi“, “Pulang“, and “Rahwana” to entertain us.


One Man Acapella Boris Savoldelli, vocal performer from Italy just has no limits in learning. He’s been singing through classic, rock-funk, avant-garde and yes, jazz. A list of albums such as “Biocosmopolitan”, “The Miss Kiss”, “Protoplasmic”, “Insanology” and a vocal solo arrangement of The Beatles’ classics “Get Back Evolution”. Many fans who hadn’t known him before were pleasantly surprise with the treat. The concept had A Capella in it, but still it wasn’t like the way a capella we used to hear. Imagine a singer who does more than just singing, instead he used his voice as the whole ensemble roled as one. He placed the base, the rhythm, the backing vocals and then he put his singing on top of them. What a miraculous work, something that might seem impossible came true through his voice. As the title of these followong songs appeared, the Mexican-feel “Mindjoke“, then “Blue Child” that he played in the name of remembering his grandmother not in sad but sensitive way, Monk’s “I Mean You“, Miles Davis’ “All Blues” and no forget to mention about cover of one Beatles’ song “Tomorrow Never Knows“, all in a way no one ever did before. Talk about unique, you gotta see this man. He’s like having the whole instruments in his throat while he also used his whole body as a part of the ensemble. On top of everything, this is the man that strecth out the concept of ‘having-fun’ on stage to the max. Man, you gotta see to believe.


Like a mix of everything with toppings of each? Jazz funk, soul jazz, nu jazz and acid jazz, you have it. It’s all there in Incognito! You know the names, yeah, Jean-Paul Maunik, a.k.a Bluey (Guitar & Vocals), Matt Cooper (Keyboard), Pete Biggin (Drums), Julian Crampton (Bass), Jamie Anderson (Saxophone), Sid Gauld (Trumpet) and Alistar White (Trombone). Arriving from the United Kingdom, they have flew in to Jakarta to greet the crowd. This legendary band never fails to create a communicative interaction with the crowd making it such a welcoming atmosphere. Their positive vibes in songs such as “N.O.T“, “Still a Friend of Mine“, “I’ll be Loving You Always“, “Always There“, “Colibry” were delivered on stage. Bluey’s introduction to the next song started off with “Larc en Ciel”. Bluey called his bestfriend, our lovely Indonesian diva: Dira Sugandi and rock the stage with “Talkin’ Loud” surely with the high tone of her voice, flawlessly powerful. No need to wait longer, another surprise came up suddenly, each of the personnel switch their role in playing musical instrument and had Bluey as the main vocalist within the song.There were many great moments such as when there was a saxophone moment which amazed the crowd. There was also a duo double session by the percussions and drums. With eyes closed they just flowed with the rhtyhm and the beat. At the end of their performance,


It’s a pleasure too watch Dixieland Crackerjacks, why? Because we can ride the time tunnel to visit the early jazz scene around the early 20’s and enhance our lore about the jazz history. From its name we know that this group played dixieland music, an embryo for jazz musical. This genre really close with swing, one of the earliest styles of jazz that is still known by the jazz fans. For you who are still unfamiliar with the name/style Dixie, this genre born from combining the early blues and ragtime which is believed as the root of the modern jazz. This Netherlands based band formed in 1994 and still goes on strong up to this day. What’s unique about Dixieland Crackerjacks is that the band  can change the formation/member, from small combo to supersize orchestra, depend on the event they participate.Lodewijk Johannes Bink, Michael Bruno Wijnand Muller, Arend Gerard Huisman, Anne Van Der Wal, Lielian Tryfena Tan were the ones behind this amazing band. This unique formation also affect they musicality, therefore they can play a lot of jazz genres no matter the classics or the modern ones.


Appeared in unique vintage Happy-Dixie outfit they added up the color to this JakJazz Festival 2012. With loads for song list from the past including “Maskrut Rumble“, “Bourbon Street Parade” and plenty of other classic songs like “Basin Street Blues” and so on. We have been waiting long enough to have a Dixie style in jazz festival in Indonesia. Finally we got one, and that’s from one of the best in today’s jazz scene, thanks to JakJazz. We hope their appearance can stimulate the Indonesian bands to form a dixie groups, because, no matter what, Dixie is one of the most important legacy we have to preserve. Dank u wel Crackerjacks Dixieland, it was like riding a time tunnel to see where jazz started came from.

About a month ago, Rio Moreno, a keyboardist we first knew as the Cherokee member released an album entitled “El Montuno”. Here in this album he poured his passion which seems to be rooted in jazz and Latins, like samba and salsa, something that we can always clearly discover from him. At this year’s JakJazz he appeared with that concept, playing the songs from the album and also the popular ones such as “Moliendo Cafe” and The Beatles’ “Come Together“. Something that no many knows, he also did a good dance. As the album is still new, it’s good to see him introducing the music of the album by playing live in front of the audience. Rio Moreno is a great keyboardist that can play as good as his idol, Arturo Sandoval and Michel Camilo. We hope the best for you guys and the newly released album. Long live Rio Moreno and the El Montuno!

And then there was Manna which name comes from the combination of the two personnels who established the group, the legendary bassist A.S Mates and superb guitarist Achmad Ananda plus the power rockin drum beats of Jessi Mates and vocalist/rapper Fajri Rusani. They deliver their music through the eye of progressive rock jazz yet also having a touch of blues and funk.

So from the era of flashbacks to the present, from fusion to blues, from instruments to education, Djarum Mild Jakarta International Jazz Festival 2012 Day one gave it all to you, but there’s still heaps more names and performances you just don’t want to miss. National, international, you name it! See you on day two jazz lovers!

See more pictures!

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Reporter : Riandy Kurniawan, Khairiyah Sartika Syofian, Dwi Ratri Utomo, Ata Michaella, Apey Idris, Ghea Sagita, Novan Yahya Renatal
Photographer: Praditya Nova, Omar Maulana, Bayu Warjiyo, Wowo Wahono, Akhmad Ikhbal


We are excited to tell you that the pioneer of international-scaled jazz event in Indonesia, the Jakarta International Jazz Festival, better known as JAKJAZZ  IS BACK! Some of you might have heard it since April 2012 when the pre-event called Road to JakJazz Festival was launched for 2 days straight at Gandaria city, Jakarta. At that time the pre-event was made so big, featuring who’s who in the Indonesian jazz squared-circle including some past superstars/legends who made their return on jazz stage. You can read our report from that event here: Day 1 Part 1 :, Day 1 Part 2: , Day 2 Part 1: and Day 2 Part 2: Looking back at the Road to JakJazz Festival and the previous editions, it’s not exaggerating for us to say that JakJazz is one of the biggest malls of jazz in Indonesia. We can find the best ones performing here on several stages, from today’s popular stars, the legends, to some of the names who we haven’t heard anymore for such a long time. This year Sharkindo Komunika has announced that The Djarum Super Mild Jakarta International Jazz Festival (JakJazz) 2012 will be held next month on Friday-Sunday, 19-21 October 2012 again at Istora Senayan Jakarta.

From the official website we got an official statement due to the return of JakJazz.
“JakJazz is back!
Now JAKJAZZ is stepping up a gear to be re-launch and expand its high calibre image, and therefore extending the festival’s position as a one-of-a-kind jazz festival.

In its upcoming 13th production, JAKJAZZ remains one of the most respected jazz festivals, critically focused on jazz as an art form, by showcasing the most innovative accomplishments in Indonesia and around the globe’s jazz and creative improvised music.”


ireng maulana, jakjazz 2012, jazzualityThe idea of JakJazz firstly came from the legendary guitarist Ireng Maulana. Ever since its first launching back in 1988, JakJazz has featured thousands of stars both international and local and held 12 times. In 1988 and 1991 at Ancol, 1993, 1994 and 1995 at Plaza Timur Senayan, 1996 and 1997 at Pasar Festival Kuningan, 2006, 2007. 2008 at Istora Senayan. In 2009 JakJazz came with a special theme: A Touch of Jazz served at Airman Planet, Sultan Hotel and then in 2010 appeared as a charity show called JakJazz Cares at Gandaria City. All the way, JakJazz has successcully gained millions of hundreds of thousands or might be millions of jazz aficionados either from the Jakarta residents, other cities or even from other parts of the globe. Just like life, this legendary festival also has its ups and downs. But the efforts to keep it alive is always intense. This year JakJazz 2012 returns big time by holding the theme of “Jazz the Way You Are”.  We hope this one will become the new dawn of even bigger future.


incognito, jazzuality, jakjazz 2012


Not just making its return, JakJazz is ready to make it a huge one. Look at the mouth-watering participants. The leading group of acid jazz who has million of fans in Indonesia, the one and only Incognito is one of them. Last year Incognito held its solo concert in Indonesia where they successfully dropped the funk bomb with serious groove radiation to us. So now Bluey is set to bring it back. If you’re a fan, make sure not to miss it. The famous jazz-funk/fusion band from Iceland, Mezzoforte is also ready to revisit JakJazz since their participation in the 90’s. Their hit “Garden Party” was highly popular back then and still played in some radio stations from time to time, so let’s wait and see if we could hear it again while watching them live in the festival. Full package Grammy Award-nominated keyboardist/producer/composer Jeff Lorber has confirmed too. This time he will bring his group Jeff Lorber Fusion featuring great saxophonist Eric Marienthal, Sonny Emory and Nate Phillips. For jazz-fusion lovers, it’s a sin to miss it. Attenzione, the great singer who always loves to challenge his own vocal to work like a lethal instrument passing the territory of funk, avant-garde to experimental from Italy named Boris Savoldelli is joining the lineup as well. He has done a lot of projects like Società Anonima Decostruzionismi Organici (S.A.D.O), Insanology (using a looper machine without any instrument) and a duo project with Elliott Sharp, this time he will give something new called “One-Man Acapella”.  Don’t miss the special performance of Tetsuo Sakurai too. Just three weeks ago Casiopea came and greeted their fans with the most current formation called Casiopea 3rd (read the report here: Though Yoshihiro Naruse does a great role as the bassist, many fans missed Tetsuo Sakurai’s existance in this legendary band.  So now you got the chance to see the one and only Tetsuo Sakurai at this event. Get ready to have a tasty bassline from him!


Across the echo of mountains, “Welcome to the highest jazz in Indonesia!” was exclaimed from the founder of Jazz Gunung, Sigit Pramono to Jamaah Al-Jazziyah (a name used to refer to the audiences at Jazz Gunung). This year is the first time Jazz Gunung is presented in a two-day show which is held on Friday 6th and Saturday 7th of July 2012 with a wider composition and range of performers.

According to Sigit Pramono, this event is held as a way of rebranding Bromo to attract more tourists. The revitalization of the Bromo area (between the 3B areas that has been through many disasters lately) compared to Borobudur and Bali is considered going through the slowest fase. Jazz Gunung lifts a theme of ethnic jazz with touches of collaboration. It is an event held with a bunch of super spirits and a gathering bond that does not hold on to a business priority. With the existence of Jazz Gunung, there are high hopes of being able to brighten up the economic conditions of the society around there. Such a beautiful site in a very different climate and surroundings we must say, that created a whole new experience in enjoying jazz.

Jazz Gunung 2012 is held on two days, so we will have a separate report on what happened on each day so you don’t miss those delicate details! So what did we have on Day 1 and what did 1200 pair of eyes get to see that day?


As a characteristic opening for the event, a traditional art performance of Jathilan and Jaran Bodhog from Probolinggo made an eye-catching attraction outside the venue, welcoming the people who came on the first day. While inside the arena, Gita Taruna Probolinggo played the traditional music with a tickle of jazz in it. This group is an arts group from the local government of Probolinggo where many young people gather and play these instruments specifically from Probolinggo colored with an ethnic jazz nuance which is very unique and different.

They started off with Glipang music followed by a composition called “Sasasa” which means washing clothes that was inspired by the activities of women in Bromo. A folksong from Madura titled “Tanduk Majeng” was the next composition, and arranged with an interesting and dynamic interpretation. The last composition from them was “Sekar Gunung Bromo” which delivered a romantic smooth jazz creating a magical scene. This title of the song comes from the unique things of Probolinggo which is ‘Sekar’ that means flower.


It may be easy to find jazz in big cities. But if you go all the way to the mountain top, let’s say 2000 meters high, can you still find live jazz shows there? The answer is, yes you can! Get ready to have Jazz Gunung 2012 (Mountain Jazz 2012), which is set to be bigger and better than ever.

Some of you may still remember our coverages from the previous three editions (You can read them by clicking these links respectively: Jazz Gunung 2009 , 2010  and 2011 ).  Each year the event got bigger with more participating artists and rising number of audiences. For this fourth edition, Jazz Gunung will be presented not only one day but two days at Java Banana Bromo, Wonotoro, Probolinggo, East Java.


Enjoying jazz in a place surrounded by stunningly wonderful scenery of nature in cool breezy mountainous tropical climate with the temperature around 14-18°C (about 57-65°F) during daylight and hit as low as 6-10°C (42-50°F) at night will certainly give you kind of different pleasure, underscribable feeling and new experience. “Beautiful Jazz Melodious Mountain” seems perfect to be the tagline for this year. What’s amazing is you can enjoy it all at the same time, because the show will be held under the open sky as usual. The cold weather can be tricky both to the audiences and bands. But fear not, they will lit some fires on the furnaces or torches here and there, including near the stage like before to warm everyone up. So, watching the bands playing just beside the fire, that’d be something too.

At the press conference held a couple of days ago, one of the initiators of this event Sigit Pramono explained some interesting infos about this upcoming event. “There are at least two reasons why this event has the most unique concept among other jazz events in Indonesia. First, because this event is held 2000 meters above the sea level. Second, it presents the combination of jazz and ethnics.” he said. Is it possible to run an event by having this blend? Why not. At least Djaduk Ferianto and Sigit Pramono have proved several times that it can work very well, even able to create magic. Jazz really is an open and dynamic music form that can always reach the heart of everyone with its flexibility and sincerity. We can love jazz as much as we want to, but that  doesn’t mean we should forget about our own traditional heritage. We should be proud to be Indonesian since we are rich in ethnical cultures, so rich until we can’t even count them anymore.  Having both jazz and traditional ethnics side by side is surely a good option. If some of us have forgotten our own treasures, this can be the good way to bring them back to life again and then start respecting and preserving them.


Red White Jazz Lounge has been running really well for several months now in presenting so many great  bands/artists in various jazz colors. It didn’t take long for this 5 days a week event to capture the heart of jazz lovers in Jakarta and nearby. Not only because it continued the previous Mostly Jazz that already has loyal fans from both jazz enthusiasts and artists but also because this event provides more than enough space for everyone who are into jazz to express themselves while enjoying series of performers with affordable price. After a very cool March program, another interesting program has been announced for the April edition of Red White Jazz Lounge, again featuring colorful lineup in variety, from the legends, maestros up to the potential young cats. “This month we’ve come to our seventh month in service as a full time jazz club. Thank you to all musicians and jazz enthusiasts for your continuous support”, said Indra Lesmana proudly. Without further ado, let’s see  the complete rooster for the April calendar of Red White Jazz Lounge.

Mostly Jazz’ Open Jam Session with Sudden Jazz Fanny & Friends
If you’re a regular visitor of Red White Jazz Lounge you should still remember when Fanny Kuncoro led his fellows in Fanny & Friends to present Sudden Jazz 3 times back in February. This month the young man who’s recently pursuing his passion in organ with his Fanny Kuncoro Organ Quartet will be back again presenting the joyous part of jazz, the open jam session. In this April Fanny Kuncoro and his friends will guard the jam session for four Sundays. Check out the date and don’t miss it, especially if you’re a big fan of the unpredictable and spontaneous jammin’.
Fanny Kuncoro & Friends will perform on Sundays, April 1, 8, 15 and 22, 2012
First Drink Charge: IDR 60.000

Bubu Giri
The dynamic duo Bubu Giri continues their path on Red White Lounge’s soil after their first attempt in March. Yes, it’s Bubu, the vocalist of Contra Indigo and Giri, a guitarist we know from the Stonation behind this minimalistic group. Joining their forces together they bring delightful groove and blues over their acoustic pattern. For you who like this kind of jazz, Bubu Giri will definitely pleasure you.
Bubu Giri will perform twice on April 4 and 11, 2011
First Drink Charge: IDR 50.000

Donny Suhendra Big City Blues
Just in case you missed Donny Suhendra Big City Blues two months ago at Red White Lounge, here’s the chance to pay it off. Donny Suhendra is definitely one of the Indonesia’s most influential guitarists. Starting with blues and rock, later he played more to fusion and established himself strongly within this sub-genre. Having said that, his earlier pattern always shine during his play. You can hear a strong, thick sound of the root of the modern music we know as blues from him which often comes in humble but challenging method. This is the group where he can go freely in painting up his blues passion. Last January he brought Sue Bonnington, Amiroez, Rishanda, Eddy Syahroni and Najib Osman to fill up 5 sessions of the program. This month they are going to give two shows. Let’s celebrate blues together with them.
Donny Suhendra Big City Blues will perform three times on Thursdays: April 5, 12 and 26, 2012
First Drink Charge: IDR 50.000

gugun blues shelter, red white jazz lounge

Gugun Blues Shelter (Special Show)
Behold, the popular group which has gained their international fame especially in England is coming to grace the Red White Lounge this month! Gugun Blues Shelter which is consisting of Gugun (guitar,vocal), Bowie (drums) and Jono (bass) is ready to bounce you upside down with their dangerous rockin’ blues music. Being a blues group that has appeared many times in jazz festivals/events, we know that sooner or later they will come to this jazz lounge. Get ready to go rockin’ and roarin’ with them in a special show next week. Long live the blues!
Gugun Blues Shelter will perform on Friday, April 6, 2012
First Drink Charge: IDR 100.000

Balawan BiFan Trio (Special Show)
A month ago we tasted the new dopin’ collaboration between the guitar maestro I Wayan Balawan with a great young bassist Fajar Adi Nugroho at the Java Jazz Festival 2012. Yes the Balawan BiFan Duo was formed not long time ago, but so far they have played in numerous events, including at Jazz Market Taman Bagawan Nusadua bali before landing big at the Java Jazz Festival. From duo now they are shaping up as trio by having drummer Dion Subiakto in. “We now has two formations, duo and trio, depending on what the event needs” said Fajar to us. Watching Balawan ‘drowned’ in guitars and watching him play like no others is always entertaining, plus now he has a bassist who can match his ‘craziness’ in pouring streams of notes. Imagine when they both got empowered by drum beats courtesy of Dion. A collaboration that should be kept and has to go further into the recordings we should say. If that’s not enough, guitarist Aria Baron Suprayogi is confirmed to be the special guest. Let’s enjoy these nutricious collaboration while they are listed in  this month’s program.
Balawan BiFan Trio will perform on April 7, 2012
First Drink Charge: IDR 100.000

Barry Likumahuwa : Dance According to Jazz ft Monita
It’s a fact that Barry Likumahuwa is now one of the most important frontliners for youngsters when it comes to jazz. It’s also a fact that he can play seriously cool funk in thicker jazz pattern the way he shows in LLW or with his Barry Likumahuwa Quintet. Apart from these groups, he’s also focusing in establishing the connection with his father Benny Likumahuwa as ‘Like Father Like Son’ which based on the his idea to facilitate his father for making a solo album that suits his hearty expression. Now listen to this. If you’re a fan of Barry Likumahuwa and you like to dance, you got to see this one. Here Barry will bring you all to dance together, in jazz way. The beautiful girl with lovely voice Monita Tahalea joins in as well.
Barry Likumahuwa ft Monita will perform on April 13, 2012
First Drink Charge: IDR 60.000

sierra soetedjo, red white jazz lounge

Sierra Soetedjo
Many jazz lovers have already got seduced with the smooth and soft voice of this stunningly beautiful lady named Sierra Soetedjo. She’s already realized that music is her energy eversince his childhood. Taking the Bachelor Degree of Music, in Jazz Performance at Edith Cowan University, Australia was an important step for her to take before she jumped inside the industry since 2008. Soon after she captured the attention of many people including some of the VIPs in our music scene. That of course includes the late Bubi Chen who asked her to join his every performance right away up until he passed away last February and dubbed her as a scatting song bird. Her first landing on Red White Lounge’s center stage will definitely be a wonderful news for her fans. For you who still doesn’t know her yet, she sings bossanova, latin and standards with good scatting ability in a beautiful way. Please take some time to read our exclusive encounter with her in this article: ‘Something About Sierra’. If 72 years ago Manning Sherwin and Eric Maschwitz wrote a classic standard “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square”, be sure to catch the moment when a nightingale sings in Red White Lounge.


Java Jazz Festival 2012 keep continuing with another six superb groups which are Dewa Budjana, Aboda, Indrawan Tjhin Group, Cindy Bernadette, Dwiki Dharmawan, and The Urban Gentlemen. Six stages epically entertained the audiences and gave the happiness as the night came by.

Dewa Budjana is one of the names that pop up in our mind if we talk about Indonesia’s finest guitarists. Not only because he is a guitarist in GIGI Band, but also he has made traces in other super groups such as JAVAJAZZ (with Indra Lesmana, Donny Suhendra, Gilang Ramadhan, and AS Mates), Trisum (together with Tohpati and Balawan) or his former contribution as a part of Spirit Band. But other than his memorable contributions with these bands, we also have to remember his brilliant career line in solo. He always shows his true-self in his solo albums, which often contain pieces of ethnical elements and disciplines within. Just two months ago he just released his new album independently entitled “Dawai in Paradise” (Buy the album here) This new album contains of three new songs and eight rearranged well-known compositions becomes a proof that he’s still having full spirit in his solo line.

Perhaps one wonder how or why he likes to embed some traditional pattern in his compositions. Here’s what he answered us. “Many people say that they can feel Balinese nuance inside the character of my compositions… So, ethnic is it? Maybe it is my blood which cannot lie… But I love it better than having people say my song sounds like the western style. And that’s because, truly, I really love our culture.” Such evidence can be listened in one of his new songs, “Gangga” which appeared as an epical, mythical or even should stand as one of his masterpiece. With his new kick by releasing this new album, it’s of course the right time to have him doing great on Java Jazz stage; along with four talented fellows who are Shadu Shah Chaidar as bassist, Sandy Winarta as drummer, Irsa Destiwi as pianist, and Jalu D. Pratidina as kendang.

Menwhile on Brava Esquire Stage, Aboda, an unique name with mission, which means ‘working, praising and serving’ in Hebrew. It is a former famous Christian band turning secular as a continuation of their journey. The bandís history was actually started in 1993 when their mother and father were still active as the member of Worshippers. Later in 2006 the band changed its formation which consists of Noya siblings: Timotius (keys), Fanuel (drums), Filemon (guitar) and Clement (bass).

After regularly playing around churches in Jakarta, it’s time for them to spread the joy and God’s love outside the church’s walls. They decided to extend their journey to bless more people with their music. We had seen their play before and they showed a steady plays through catchy tunes. Within the range between funky,groovy fusion and smooth jazz, they try to praise God in everything they do based on ABODA’s meaning. Still young but heavily talented in playing smooth groove lines, plus the mission to glorify God in it, those are the strength that will definitely place this band as a serious contender in the near future.

The history of Indrawan Tjhin Group began coincidentally when the leader Indrawan Tjhin was asked to perform at Serambi Jazz 2010. At that time he planned to bring his previous group EJQ Quartet, but then due to some problems he had to form a new group. It became a blessing in disguise, because the Indrawan Tjhin Group has been keeping its existance ever since, now even took a big leap by having the shot to perform at the Java Jazz Festival 2012.

Playing with all new and young team members including the young drummer William Sugianto we previously knew from the winner of JGTC 2009 named 414 and also with Boby Limijaya Trio, the young but wild saxophonist from Nilakandi, Sailendra Sextet and Mr Funkenstein Yudha Gautama Putra and Ella (Gabriella Sava Puteri Miranda) also from 414 and Hemiola Quartet. All these high energy young musicians are the most current team to bring out all the cool straightahead concept of Indrawan Tjhin in one complete package. “We’re just starting a new chapter, and I’m working hard with it.” Indrawan told us. It’s not easy of course, but since Indrawan has potential young guns on his side, surely the group is going to succeed. No doubt about that.

These young musicians showed that age is just a number when they started resting their case on their stage. They brought the combination of widely known jazz standards like Monk’s “Straight No Chaser” and Indrawan’s own compositions including “The Problem Is Yours”, “Get Well Soon”, “Pete’s Tune” and “Amalia van Solmsstraat”, based on the street where Indrawan lived in Netherlands when he was still studying there.

Indrawan Tjhin Group is one of the groups to watch for. Just as the name, the group is liquid when we are talking about the number of players inside. But now with the shape of quartet, Indrawan seems to find the balance he needed for the group. Indrawan aims high for it, and by having outstanding young compatriotes like this, we don’t see why not. One thing for sure, one potential group which based themselves deeply in the traditional jazz are here to give more spices into our jazz scene. Landing on the Java Jazz Festival’s stage is the start of something big. Let’s give them warm welcome, and let’s hope for the best.

Next stop, If you looking for pop R&B singer with some jazzy colors, here it is the beautiful one, Cindy Bernadette who also writes songs and directs vocal in Indonesia. She started her music life with learning classical piano since early age until she figured out her passion is singing. Cindy had done three impressive albums and now she is in process doing the new album in Aru Studio, Bandung. Speaking of idealism, she had shown hers by moving from big label to independent for the sake of it.

She was once the member of New York Voices when she was still in New York, where she was given the authority to write 11 out of 12 songs in the album, also acted as the producer. She has worked with many popular names in musical sector and this really helped in raising her ability more and more as we can see in every albums. Here at this year’s edition we finally heard her lovely voice tone which always has full of emotions. Grateful to see her back again especially in this huge international event.

Then we would be entertained by a prominent Indonesian pianist, the member of a legend jazz music group, Krakatau, and one of the most amazing brains in Indonesia’s music industry for the past 3 decades Dwiki Dharmawan was properly included in the list of great composer for combining jazz with Indonesian traditional music influence. He gave the big influence for music development in Indonesia and kept the platform of his own field on music which hold on ancient traditional tunes. Speaking of the role of a leader, this very friendly man stands out too. Look at how he led more than a hundred top musicians from all around the world in his amazing World Peace Orchestra, playing his magical compositions in the most spectacular way.

This time he brought one unique show by collaborating with the Sa’unine String Quartet. This quartet consists of Dimawan Kresno (cello), Adi Nugroho (viola), Fafan Isfandiar (violin), Eko Balung (violin), plus Doni Sundjoyo (acoustic bass) in the team. Having these very reliable musicians enabled Dwiki to reflect his creation of new chapter in jazz evolution. This collaboration presented assorted rearrangement of folksongs, in Dwiki’s composition without erasing the classical and traditional taste that had been attached as Dwiki’s inscription. After playing “Arafura”, “Cik cik Periuk”, “Paris Brantai”, and a medley which included “The Janger Bali” his long time friend Steve Thornton joined them on percussion as Dwiki and team played a song written by his team mate in Eastmania, Kamal Musallam entitled “Rima”. What a very beautiful concert that brought different atmosphere. Bravo guys!

Another cool fellows was here. Began their career as the highschool band in 2010, The Urban Gentlemen affirms soul as their signature until present. Based on the similiar vision in music and mission to bring back the soul genre on top, the word Gentlemen was added to show the state of maturity, musically speaking. Soul was served nicely on the plate in this show. Keep being soulful guys!

Still a lot performances are worth to wait. Stay tune and we will see another superb artists only at Java Jazz Festival.

See more pictures:

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Team on duty:

Reporter: Riandy Kurniawan, Ata Michaella, Mellysa Anastasya, Ghea Sagita, Bintang S Tania, Fardhani Ramadhana, Daniel Irawan, Vierna Mariska, Muhammad Fadhly
Photographer: Omar Arif Maulana, I Putu Surya KB, Praditya Nova, Dwi Ratri Utomo, Febrian Dirga


Artist : Dewa Budjana
Album : Dawai in Paradise
Released : December 2011
Label : Demajors Independent Music Industry

Bali has been worldwide known as one of the most beautiful islands in Indonesia. In other name, this is Land of Gods which is surrounded by sunny beaches, Hindu temples, or Balinese rice paddy sites in Ubud area and Pupuan. Meanwhile, Bali is also famous for its culture and art with strong influence from Hindu spirit and its philosophy. As the result, most Balinese artists pour their talents in painting, sculpture, literature, and even music. Among all these famous Balinese artists, there is one talented guitarist named Dewa Budjana.

Aside from his fame as guitarist in GIGI Band, Budjana already has long journey in his career; both in solo and other well-remembered groups, some of them are still exist until now. His musical history began after he bought his first guitar at the age of eleven and learned guitar by himself. He finally had a chance to explore guitar more after he moved to Surabaya, where he took a classic guitar class, and formed his first band, Squirrel. At that time he was still a high school student.

Budjana’s lifework expanded after he moved to Jakarta and met Jack Lesmana. Jack taught him about jazz and introduced him to other musicians. Budjana started becoming a session player before he joined Spirit Band in 1987 and released 2 albums. He left the band to join Indra Lesmana’s JAVAJAZZ and released ‘Bulan di Asia’ album in 1993. In 1994, along with Armand Maulana, Aria Baron, Thomas Ramdhan, and Ronald Fristianto, he formed the band GIGI and it aimed its famous. Today it stands as one of the most famous rock bands in Indonesia.  While JAVAJAZZ recently made its return in Red White Jazz Lounge (read the report from that event here), we have to mention another group where he has involved, Trisum. Here, he collaborates with two other guitar maestros, Tohpati and Balawan and surprised people with their explorative creation. Trisum so far has made two albums, ‘1st Edition’ and ‘Five in One’. This March Trisum will come back to the Java Jazz Festival 2012 and that is certainly worth to wait. Besides these groups, Dewa Budjana also has a successful solo career since 1998.

Endways year 2011, we got a pleasant surprise knowing that Dewa Budjana finally launched his new solo album, “Dawai in Paradise”. Dawai in Paradise (Dawai means String in English) is his fifth album after ‘Nusa Damai’ (1998), ‘Gitarku’ (2000), ‘Samsara’ (2003), and ‘Home’ (2005). In this album which was produced independently we can hear 3 of his new songs (“Gangga”, “Masa Kecil” and “Dawaiku”) plus compilation of his compositions from the previous albums. The reason of placing selections of his previous tracks was explained by Budjana as “My previous albums are no longer available, so I picked each two songs from them and added 3 new songs that have never been released into album yet. Some of these compositions were recorded live and the others reinterpreted again in studio recording.” he said.  A very artistic cover art gives more nuances into this album with interesting title. “I named the album “Dawai in Paradise” as interpretation of my passion for guitar. It is my great hope that these Dawai can sound like Paradise on earth.” he says.