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donny suhendra




After three successful edition, 100.4 FM KLCBS off-air program JAZZ NOT JAZZ bagged another success in year 2014. This event is a KLCBS Jazz Alliance Community Gathering that stands as an amicable meeting of jazz people – from jazz listeners (from beginners to enthusiasts), collectors, experts, musicians, journalists, and everyone who have interest in jazz.

The combination between the music appreciation side, the market’s response, the blends between careful selection of musicians and music pieces will result into unique presentation in every edition of Jazz Not Jazz. Furthermore, the Marketing Director of KLCBS Khirzan N Noe’man has stated earlier that in more than 2 hours all the attendances would enjoy the presentation and collaboration altogether, including Meet and Greet.

KLCBS, BNI and the venue Prama Grand Preanger presented The 4th Jazz Not Jazz with high quality entertainment by presenting mouth-watering batch of all-star cast who have been placing their feet in between jazz and rock for many, many years. The band is Donny Suhendra Band, consists of Donny Suhendra (guitar), Budhy Haryono (drums), Krishna Balagita (keyboard) and Adi Darmawan (bass).


4th Jazz Not Jazz (6)

Donny is a guitar hero who plays just about everything. He’s capable to play all kinds of music. Other than maintaining his own band, he’s one of the pillars of ESQI:EF aka Syaharani and the QueenFireWorks. Let’s not forget that he’s one of the Krakatau and JavaJazz. Not only he is a great guitarist, he is a superb teacher and mentor too. There are so many successful guitarists today who actually learnt from him. Then, Budhy Haryono. This is a versatile senior drummer who was involved in so many famous jazz and rock bands like Jamrock/Jamrud, GIGI, Krakatau and Karimata. Krishna Balagita is widely known as the keyboardist of ADA Band, but this man is actually not far from jazz. He even had the opportunity to learn from Jack Lesmana. He just celebrated his ‘comeback’ to jazz by releasing his solo album “Sacred Geometry” earlier this year and a shot at the Java Jazz Festival 2014. As for the eccentric bassist Adi Darmawan, he’s one of the LIGRO madmen. He plays bass like none other. Not only using his fingers or thumb, he often utilized other materials such as nail, woodenblock, iron plate, spatula, hammer and so on in his act. Other than that, he often hum in high pitch to give some haunting sound of world music.

4th Jazz Not Jazz (2)

While Donny has played together with Adi many times, it was great to see the ‘reunion’ between Budhy and Donny. During the early stage of Donny’s career, it was Budhy who often accompanied him. “We even built Krakatau together.” said Donny. But then they went on separate way. Donny was clearly happy for having Budhy again on his side. “You know, Budhy is a true fusion drummer.” he said.

This quartet got full reinforcement by more artits. The soulful powerhouse diva Dira Sugandi and one of the Salamander Voices (also the background singer of Tulus) Lia Amalia were in charge of vocals. Trumpeter Brury Effendy of Salamander Big Band and the jazz Paganini from Bandung, one of the 4Peniti: Ammy Kurniawan got important roles too. Mouth-watering lineup that for us could stand as a fine representative of Jazz Fusion at its best.

The whole lineup is also perfect to bring the theme of “Absolutely Sensational Fusion” which was set from the beginning by KLCBS.

The venue Prama Grand Preanger is one of the most famous historical buildings. It was once a grocery store but in 1897 it became a hotel, named Preanger Hotel. For over a quarter of a century thie Indische Empire style hotel stood as the symbol of pride of Dutchmen in Bandung. Then in 1929, the hotel was re-decorated by C.P. Wolff Schoemaker with former Indonesia’s first president Ir. Soekarno as his assistant. You can still find the classy art deco nuance in this 5-star hotel until now, both on the structure of the building and the interior. Serving a jazz community gathering inside a historical hotel brought such beautiful vibe which added even more values to it.

4th Jazz Not Jazz (12)

The adventurous “Tales from Nauru” and a refreshing track taken from Donny’s first solo album, “Disini ada Kehidupan” titled “Pagimu” gave a beautiful sign that we were about to go deep into fusion. Donny then invited trumpeter Brury Effendi to play Chick Corea’s “Sea Journey”. Brury’s sharp attack was loved by the audience as he got a lot of claps. Right after Brury left the stage, Krishna took over the course with his sparkling melodies. This song kept him busy as well as showing his skill. Budhy’s cool solo drum was the highlight too on this one.




The 100.4 KLCBS is a jazz radio in Bandung which has been consistantly served all kinds of jazz since the year it was established in 1982. The KLCBS Jazz Alliance was born as a media that accomodates listeners (from beginners to jazz enthusiasts), collectors, experts, musicians and journalists. KLCBS Jazz Alliance already has its own regular event called Jazz Not Jazz. The founder/CEO of KLCBS Nazar Noe’man who is also a jazz expert in Indonesia is the one who recommend the selection of arrangements and compositions for this jazz community gathering event. So far Jazz Not Jazz has been served three times. The first one at Javana Bistro featuring Arief Setiadi, Oele Pattiselano and Jeffrey Tahalele, the second at Opulence Dago and the  third installment once again took place at the same place with Gilang Ramadhan, Pra Budidharma and friends. Each event was attended by at least 250 people representing communities from all over Indonesia.

Here comes the 4th Jazz Not Jazz as the fruit of cooperation between KLCBS, Prama Grand Preanger and BNI. Holding the theme of “Absolutely Sensational Fusion”, this fourth installment will make sure you get the best of fusion by featuring full batch of highly talented and experienced artists. Jazz Not Jazz is coming on Thursday, December 18, 2014 at Prama Grand Preanger, Jl. Asia Afrika 81, Bandung.

As you may have seen on the e-flyer above, big names are going to treat you with high quality of jazztertainment. First, the band: Donny Suhendra Band. Led by senior jazz-blues-rock and all-rounder guitarist Donny Suhendra, this group is indeed the home of the giants because it featurs names like Budhy Haryono (former drummer of GIGI, Krakatau, Jamrock/Jamrud and Karimata), pianist Krishna Balagita (former keyboardist of ADA Band who celebrated his comeback to jazz by releasing a solo album titled “Sacred Geometry” eaerlier this year) and bassist Adi Darmawan, a multitalented figure found in the mainbending trio, LIGRO. As you can see, these are artists who have been placing themselves in between jazz and rock (and everything else in between) for many, many years. They will serve madness, no doubt.

As if these are not enough, the lineup goes longer with guest stars. Who? Well, listen carefully. The soulful powerhouse diva Dira Sugandi, violist/string man Ammy Kurniawan (one of 4 Peniti), Lia Amalia (one of the vocalists of Salamander Voices and background singer of Tulus) and Brury Effendi (the trumpeter of Salamander Big Band).


jazz not jazz, donny suhendra, krishna balagita, budhy haryono, adi darmawan, lia amalia, dira sugandi, ammy kurniawan, brury effendi, jazzuality, klcbs


There are two ways to be a part of this event: Gold Package (Dinner and Concert) or Silver Package (Concert only). Scroll down to find the complete info about it.

BNI, KLCBS and Prama Grand Preanger are ready to warm you up during the rainy season with the 4th Jazz Not Jazz “Absolutely Sensational Fusion”. Interesting lineup that you won’t find elsewhere, featuring all players that could change the course of game with their presence. Other than that, it’s going to be cool to meet new friends who share the same passion or hobby inside a jazz community gathering like this. As we are a jazz-related media which happen to maintain our own jazz community through our two weekly regular event Braga Jazz Walk, we are proud to support this event. Alright. Jazz lovers, hope to see you at Grand Preanger on December 18, 2014.

BNI, KLCBS and PRAMA GRAND PREANGER Present: 4th Jazz Not Jazz “Absolutely Sensational Fusion”

Date: Thursday, December 18m 2014
Location: Prama Grand Preanger, Jln Asia-Afrika no 81 Bandung


Donny Suhendra Band :
– Donny Suhendra – (of ESQI:EF Krakatau and many other bands/projects) – Guitar
– Budhy Haryono (former GIGI, Krakatau, Karimata and Jamrock/Jamrud) –  Drum
– Krisna Balagita (former ADA BAND) – Keyboard
– Adi Darmawan (of LIGRO) – Bass

Guest Stars:
– Dira Sugandi – Vocalist
– Amy C. Kurniawan (4 Peniti) – Violinist
– Lia Amalia (Salamander Voices, Tulus’ background singer) – Vocalist
– Bury Effendi (Salamander Big Band) – Trumpeter


Gold Package : Dinner and Concert
Silver Package : Concert only

Dinner starts at 6:30 pm
Concert starts at 8:00 pm

Gold Package IDR 250.000,-
Silver Package IDR 150.000,-

Online ticket:

Ticket box:
Prama Grand Preanger Hotel
Jln. Asia Afrika No. 81, Bandung
+62 22-4231631

Studio KLCBS:
Jln. Karang Layung No.10, Bandung
+62 22-2032452

Get Lucky Dip with BNI Card

For more info, visit:, Twitter @KLCBS
and, Twitter @JazznotJazzGig




Nobody loves problems, but whose life has none of it? We don’t like to have it, but it’s all actually about  how you look at problems and face them, because any problem, even the biggest one can be a blessing in disguise.

This edition of Kampoeng Jazz should have the real experience of it. They just suffered big loss because the event had to be posponed due to the parliament election. It was hard for them surely, but they didnt surrender. They understood the situation and did everything to keep up. They took another date, dealt with the artists, the sponsors and of course, people who already bought the tickets. Instead of giving up, they brought in more talents and extended the duration, stretching it to start earlier than planned. As a result, they scored big time. They might achieve the same success had they ran earlier, but the stars they added in the lineup were just unbelievable. It can be a good moral lesson for us. After passing the stormy weather, they bounced back, being stronger than ever and made a spectacular blast. That’s qute a story to tell, that’s the story of The 6th International Kampoeng Jazz in 2014.

Following the fruitful years of the previous festivals, this year they did it with more enthusiasm, more crowd, more artists, wider kind of jazz, and more stages too. The people were seen happy with smile on their faces, some actually brought back some music instruments they bought at the venue, little kids asking their parents about jazz and music and wanted to study them, couples getting even more intimate, bunch of musicians reunited and seemed like having a good time, and that is how you know if a jazz festival is succesful.



This year Kampoeng Jazz presented two stages which played simultaneously, as if to let the crowd to choose which jazz suit them better, in accordance with this year’s theme “FIND THE JAZZ IN YOU”. While the main stage as usual became the reliable playground of who’s who in the industry, this time another stage was set and managed by the Bandung’s jazz community, Klab Jazz. Klab Jazz brought in some of the best bands under its flag to show that they are just as good as those who have made it. We think it’s a good sign. Finally there’s a jazz festival in Bandung that gives plenty of room to these potential local bands to be in action. What’s also great is that these community bands shared this second stage with some popular ones too. So, the second stage is clearly not for second class acts, but it simply gives the audience more choice to see. Speaking of the lineup, it was obviously seen that this festival is going uphill every year, and just by its sixth year, Kampoeng Jazz managed to bring high-caliber artists such as Renee Olstead and Tortured Soul, continuing the big catch last year with Sondre Lerche and Tetsuo Sakurai. And names from our own soil was just mouth-watering. Therefore, Kampoeng Jazz has established themselves to compete with other jazz festivals. Legends, supergroup, big names, potential new comers wthose who soon will be big, ere found crafting their pieces for 12 hours straight! 12 hours of jazz bash, we repeat, 12 hours of delicious jazz bash was just beyond believe. And mind you that it comes from university students, The Executive Student Board (BEM) of The Law Faculty of Padjadjaran University to be exact. Well done, team!



A press conference was held at an unusual hour, 7:30 pm in at Sheraton Hotel, Bandung. In this press conference we met some of the artists including Renee Olstad, French Kiwi Juice,   and… Krakatau! Krakatau? Yes, Krakatau. We have heard rumors about it, but the committee seems wish to keep it until the D-day. We will tell you more about Krakatau’s ‘come home’ gig, but let’s begin the coverage first.

Three winners from the auditions ignited the event. The first two sessions were filled by NYP and All Voices. All Voices has Boy Hylmy ad Simplicity (vocals), Dori and Trisna (guitars), Ciput (bass), Elko (keyboard), Puji (drums) and Rizfan (percussions) are all still students majoring other than music, yet they do have skill and passion into it. Good show in the early hours.  NYP also stands as a students’ band that’s  able to play catchy jazz tunes. Size-wise speaking, the band is also quite large: Nathania (vocal),Bagja (acoustic guitar), Rizaldi (electric guitar), Fabian (bass), Bobby (drums), Bhisma (keys), Widi (sax) and Virdania and Rena as the backing vocals. With groovy saxophone also stood in front other than the vocalist, the N.Y.P proofed that they do earn the shot to participate at the main event of this campus jazz festival.




In 2010 ESQI:EF made a big breakthough with a very successful album, “Anytime”. This follows the first one made 3 years earlier which created a solid start entitled “Buat Kamu”. We called Anytime a breakthrough because it got good result in cross-genre Indonesian independent music scene right from the first time it was launched. Some songs became big radio hit such as the disco beat “Sayang Sayang Sayang”, the power pop “Kekasih Palsu” and the candy sweet bossa, “Anytime”. Well, these songs were released 4 years ago. Many of their fans would wonder what’s next, where they would release the new album and most importantly, what concept would they bring. We have heard about the making process of this album since at least 2 years ago. We have even heard one song, “Morning Coffee”, sung by Syaharani herself on the stage of Jakarta Blues Festival 2010. But the album didn’t exist… until now. If you’re their fan, you should be excited because ESQI:EF a.k.a Syaharani and the Queenfireworks has finally released the third album by the title of “Selalu Ada Cinta” (In English: “There’s Always Love”) via DeMajors.


The first launching was held last Saturday, March 9, 2014 at Driving Range, Senayan Jakarta early in the morning, around 9:00 am. If you wonder why, ESQI:EF thought it would be perfect to launch the album where the single “Morning Coffee” existed at the morning coffee hour. Because of that, the scene we got was different than others, because before the ceremonial show took place we saw everyone enjoying coffees on their tables. You can imagine the scene.

Then the complete team of ESQI:EF came in. Surprisingly, they didn’t talk about the album first, instead they served an early morning live performance. Syaharani (vocals), Didit Saad, Donny Suhendra (guitar), Fajar Trias, Andy Gomez (keys), Sirhan Bahasuan (drums) and Kristian Dharma (bass) were all there looking happy like a happy family.


The first few songs surely set brighter mood for everyone. Then Syaharani led everyone to sit in front, explaining about the third and new album, “Selalu Ada Cinta”. In this morning talk, Syaharani explained that Donny Suhendra contributes big deal in this album as something like music supervisor. Meaning that he has to make sure that everything fit in place. So Syaharani writes, Didit works in the studio, and then the final word would come from Donny, the most senior and experienced figure in the team.

ESQI:EF actually is a brainchild of three musicians with quite different backgrounds. Syaharani is known as an iconic jazz diva, Didit Saad is an important figure in independent music scene, at since geng Potlot. Then there’s an all rounder guitarist, great in blues, rock and fusion besides the other music styles, Donny Suhendra. With the various background of these three figures, plus the rest of the players which bring many other influences, you can take a guess why ESQI:EF never stays in one particular genre. Hence, their music is rich and colorful in style.

According to Syaharani, what makes the ESQI:EF concept rich is that they all don’t stay under just one band. Each of them play in many projects or listed in different bands with different flavors. This fact gives the band plenty of variation to choose. Such evidence can be found in any of their album. Whether it’s Light Jazzy, Power Pop, Acoustic, Ambience, Lounge Dance, Groove, Blues, Soul, Rock, Bossa, the indie music, the sound of the 70’s and so on, that know how to present their flow of taste.


For this third album, eventhough they are still digging up wide variety of sounds, the concept is actually different. Syaharani herself explained that while they still keep the habit of highlighting something retro, this time it’s different. “We did different guitar reamping and so on, so soundwise speaking, it’s different.” explained Syarahani. Other than that, you will find cozier and calmer songs in this album and two vintage swing, scatting, except the album carrier “Morning Coffee” which lies inside the frame of rock n’ roll. Simply put, the ESQI:EF taste can still be felt, but it’s time for them to move into another zone, while still easy listening, melodical, fun and enjoyable.

Following the release of this album, ESQI:EF plans to go on tour, visiting West, Center and East Java.

Another story is coming from the title which clearly speaks about love. When we see this word, most likely our thoughts would go to romance between couple. Well, that’s not their intention at all. Listen to what Syaharani says: “This album is not about people fall in love, but it’s more about love as a blessing. As long as you have, find and feel love, no matter what your condition is, you can cope with everything.” She also said: “In the mortal world, everything will always come and go, but love will always exist.” The album is also made after a very long process. Even so, they weren’t rushing everything at all. Instead, they just let it all flow. It’s some kind of natural process of soul searching, where the hearts of the team go at present time that got translated into music. What’s also important is that every song they make is special. So in order for you to get the message and enjoy it at max, you should listen to all songs from start to finish.

After some more explanations, they performed again, carrying about three more songs including the carrier “Morning Coffee”. During this session they also presented video trip when they were in Banyuwangi for the purpose of making Morning Coffee video clip. We all could see that they were serious in exploring every side of Banyuwangi without losing the fun factor at all. They all looked happy, cheerful and took it actually as a long holiday.  The ceremonial tumpeng (a special rice dish that is usually served in Javanese traditional ceremonies or to celebrate events) cutting took place too. David Karto of DeMajors was the first one being handed by Syaharani.


Another thing that hopefully can be felt is that the group is getting more solid than ever. It’s not even a group, it’s more like happy family. So whenever they create something, you can expect good stuffs within. Listen to all the songs in the album, you will get their true heart and trueself, at the most honest way. Once again this album is made as a tribute and love to the roots of music, without taking any sides, served humbly but tasty in ESQI:EF’s cooking style.

We congratulate our dear friend(s), Syaharani and the QueenFireworks for the new album. May this album be as successful as the previous ones, or even manage to climb another height. Whether you’re one of the fans or not, as long as you’re into good music, ESQI:EF’s “Selalu Ada Cinta” will quench your thirst. Music to share, they say, we say it absolutely is, in a very lovely way.

See more pictures:

[flickrset id=”72157642108802025″ thumbnail=”square” photos=”” overlay=”false” size=”medium”]

Reporter/Photographer: Mia Damayanti
Written by: Riandy Kurniawan





Just several days ago we informed you about the comeback concert of the legendary, ‘volcanic’ group KRAKATAU, the Kembali Satu formation ((Donny Suhendra, Dwiki Dharmawan, Gilang Ramadhan, Indra Lesmana, Pra Budidharma and Trie Utami) who recently is in increasing seismic activity by reuniting after being separated for 25 years. Yesterday we were informed that the concerts which were supposed to be held in 3 different cities (Yogyakarta, Jakarta and Surabaya) are cancelled and to be rescheduled until further notice.

It’s a sad news to hear since many of the long-time fans are already excited to see the comeback of the most famous formation of this phenomenal band. We know you all want to know what cause the tour to be posponed, so here we share the letter from promoter regarding the situation.


Apologize Note

“Herewith, we, DSS Production is apologize for the postponement of the Krakatau-Kembali Satu Concert which was scheduled to be held at Skenoo Hall Gandaria City Jakarta on June 14, 2013.

The concert will be rescheduled as a part of Krakatau “Kembali Satu” Indonesia Tour 2013. During this tour, Krakatau plans to visit some major cities in Indonesia such as Bandung, Yogyakarta, Semarang, Surabaya, Malang, Denpasar, Medan, Balikpapan/Makassar and Jakarta.

The postponement has to be made due to Krakatau’s own wish and DSS Production as the promoter, to give a concert that’s more accessible and affordable to all fans throughout Indonesia.

Along with the rescheduling, we will change the ticket price, making it more affordable, so all segments of this explosive super-fusion-band’s fans would be able to watch the reunion of Krakatau: TRIE UTAMI – INDRA LESMANA – DONNY SUHENDRA – DWIKI DHARMAWAN – PRA BUDIDHARMA – GILANG RAMADHAN after more than 20 years of taking different path.

Once again, we truly apologize to everyone for this postponement. We will announce the new schedule as soon as we’re done with it.”

Krakatau Kembali Satu Indonesia Tour 2013 promoter


We know this news may cause trouble to some of you who already bought the ticket, taking the day-off from office or even booked the hotel. But we also believe that this is a hard decision to make by the promoter. But let’s look at the bright side, may the new schedule be more accessible and affordable so you all won’t have problem to witness the comeback of these legendary formation of supergroup, and let’s also hope for more spectacular one.




What do you have in mind when you hear the name Krakatau? You might think of the volcanic island located in the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra islands, but if you’re a music fans, especially those who were a radio fans in the mid 80’s to early 90’s, surely your brain will answer a legendary pop-fusion supergroup who has produced so many superhits. Now listen to this. If you remember the third formation which said to be the most solid and famous, comprised of Donny Suhendra, Dwiki Dharmawan, Gilang Ramadhan, Indra Lesmana, Pra Budidharma and Trie Utami, you should be really excited because after 25 years of not being together, they finally reunited again and ready to greet their fans in three cities: Yogyakarta (May 25), Jakarta (June 14) and Surabaya (19 June). The members of this ‘volcanic’ band is recently in increasing seismic activity and soon will erupt , melting you all with their new synergic energy. Hear this out loud: KRAKATAU, KEMBALI SATU (English: Back as One)!

This is really a big news. Perhaps this will be the biggest comeback of Indonesian band, ever. We have heard about the reunion since last year from Dwiki, Indra and Donny, but it wasn’t happen until February 2013, when they finally sat together in friendly, informal gathering, remembering the good old days when the group was in its heyday. With all the laughters of good memories, they actually found out that they wanted to go back again, playing together on the same stage. From there, the idea rolled fast to appear as something real. They met often, practiced regularly, playing their famous hits after a quarter of century in hiatus. Since all six of them now have emerged as top stars, their experiences and skills have raised to another height. That means one thing: while you can revisit their glorious hits, you can expect something new from the concert of the new Krakatau Kembali Satu version. What’s not to love from it.


Krakatau in 1987


To refresh your memory about their glorious achievements and the way they change the music trend back then, let’s travel back to Krakatau’s history. Krakatau as one of the most important pioneer of jazz fusion was founded in 1985 in Bandung. It started with the formation of Pra Budidharma (bass), Donny Suhendra (guitar), Dwiki Dharmawan (piano) and Budhy Haryono (drums). Pra was about to start his career after returning from Seattle, Donny was already a well-known guitarist in Bandung (he was already well existed with his then group, D’Marszyo), then Dwiki had been looking for a chance to start a fusion-oriented band. That’s the first formation of Krakatau who took shape during a jam session made by a regular event called Jazz Break in Bandung.


For jazz-lovers who have been waiting for their regulars, Red White Jazz Lounge is back after it’s pause during the fasting month and Eid-ul-Fitr. Many emails and questions have been sent to us relating to when Red White Lounge will be starting again and which artists will be on the list. Well we can happily inform that it will be held tonight,  the 5th of September covering Wednesday to Sunday. Particularly for Wednesday and Thursday it will now start at 8pm, so those who are on office hours can relax and enjoy a good time without having to rush. With five times a week to fill your cravings for jazz, Red White Lounge will include a list of legends, today popular jazz artists and also new potential and skilled groups. That’s why Red White’s schedule is something worth to wait for.

Just like last year, a lot of changes are made to provide you even better things while visiting the venue. Other than new management, Red White Lounge is now partnering with England-affiliate SSR who place some soundmen apprentice in. Sumberia is now in charge on the sound system. New kitchen, new chef and even new menu, all to give you better experience in enjoying jazz concerts from your favorites. “We want the audience to feel full of ease… not only they can enjoy good shows but also good foods.” said Indra Lesmana to us.

As we predicted, September is going to become another lovely month, based on the lineup which we have received from Honhon Lesmana. Together with Indra Lesmana, they have prepared mouth-watering list that you shouldn’t miss.

margie segers, jazzuality

Margie Segers with Aina Band

“I’m blessed for still being able to work at this age, praise Lord for that!” said the legendary lady with a soulful, bluesy and thick jazz vocal Margie Segers to us not long ago by phone. What she said is really true. Rose to stardom in early 70s, she’s still healthy, energic and full of ideas, not to mention her voice which we say like wine, gets better with age. From time to time we’ve been seing her in various styles, from singing with her own band, collaborating with big band or even performing in special projects here and there. The legend is coming back again at Red White Lounge, this time to fill the whole Wednesday of the month. She will perform with Aina Band, consisting of Achmad Ananda (guitar), Jesse Mates (drums) and Ellias (bass). “Come and join me with the trio” is how she invites you all. 4 times chances should be good enough for you not to miss it.
Margie Segers with Aina Band will perform every Wednesday: September 5, 12, 19, 26, 2012
First Drink Charge : IDR 60.000

Otti Jamalus Trio

The elegant lady behind the piano, a natural jazz singer, standout band leader, great teacher, a cheerful friend and a loving wife. Those are the qualities that stay in Otti Jamalus. In her hands jazz never appears to be difficult even to the common ears. She knows how to bring jazz in romantic tunes, and still lovely when she goes upbeat. By now she should be really familiar with the Red White Lounge’s stage since she’s been performing there many times. If you missed her previous gigs or still thirsty for more, here’s the chance to catch her again at the same spot, this time in trio formation. Not only once, but you’ll able to see her 4 times starting this Thursday. Be there and get intimate with jazz.


The 5th Asean Jazz Festival had finally arrived in the beautiful city of Batam! Ever since the launch of it’s publication two months ago, people from around the globe have been keen to come to this event for so many reasons including the chance to see wide arays of artists from more than 10 nations (along with many interesting collaborations from them). Better off was, the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy of the Republic of Indonesia, Kepri Province and Batam City supported and facilitated the event with what they had. With Dwiki Dharmawan seated as the Festival Director, we knew from the beginning that the quality of this festival would be very well kept.  The latter exaclty knew how this great event would boost up tourists to come to this beautiful city which is located in a very strategic site, able to be accesses by ferry or plane very easily from Singapore and Malaysia. So, pointing out the Cross Border Tourism, the festival wishes to attract tourists especially from the neighbrouring countries other than the local ones and also from other parts of the globe. How happy we are to see that jazz can be a great ambassador for this mission.

Nineteen shows, three stages, two days straight, and totally free! With all that provided, you could enjoy the feel of jazz brought by multi-national participants serving all kinds of jazz on various plates (where many traditional ethnical forms were being fully exposed too) while enjoying the gentle wind and sea breeze scent along the beach.


For the first day of the 5th Asean Jazz Festival 2012, the commitee had nine acts differing from stage to stage. Ardhya Band from Batam and the female band Starlite started heating everyone up before the festival officially opened. Ardhya Band started first with groovy pop jazz tunes such as Fariz RM’s hit from 1979 “Selangkah Ke Seberang”, Sheila Madjid’s “Sinaran” and also “Spain”.  Standing as one of two representatives of the homeland, Ardhya Band showed that they can give up a good show. This band appeared in complete team including vocals, keyboard, bass, drums, guitar and violin. What a surprise to see two little boys in this band, positioned on drums and guitar.  You should know that Batam also has a lot of potential young musicians. Way to go, Ardhya Band, we’re proud of you.


Starlite replaced them and carried on the action. All receiving their formal music education at Farabi Music Education Center, Sheila Permatasaka , Jeane Phialsa and Rieke Astari represented that girl power by bringing in  their fusion style and an astonishing drumming action by Alsa who had been in Farabi since eleven years old. With a background of music since their early childhood, they successfully brought moments that captivated the audience watching.

Such a stunning fusion blasted big early in this first day with them.  These girls rocked the audiences with their own songs such as their single “Di Dalam Hatimu” and pinned our own folk song “Cik Cik Periuk” nicely.  The popular young soulful singer Matthew Sayersz joined them and scat through “Night in Tunisia” before singing his single from his debut solo album “Bukalah Hati”. We’re really proud of you girls! All the best with your upcoming album and keep it up!

The opening ceremony started at 7 p.m a welcome speech by the Vice Minister of The Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy of the Republic of Indonesia Mr. Sapta Nirwandar. Head of Kepulauan Riau Province Tourism Office Mr Guntur Sakti, the festival director Dwiki Dharmawan and others joined the stage too. This ceremony followed by Dwiki Dharmawan  with his new trio consisiting of two lethal young guns, Demas Narawangsa (drummer) and Shadu Shah Chaidar (bassist). Also on stage were percussionist Steve Thornton originally from USA but currently living in Malaysia and British trumpeter having experience playing with many Indonesian jazz musicians over the years, Ian Ingram.


This multinational team heated everyone up with their hot-spicy fusion wrote by Kamal Musallam entitled “Rima”  that attracted every attendees and forced them to clapped their hands and cheered. “Not only we unite nations in this festival, but also generations.” Dwiki said before he called the beautiful songstress Sierra Soetedjo on stage.


Geographically speaking, Batam Island located in a very strategic site. This island with warm sunny weather and sandy beaches is situated about 40 km South of Singapore and can always be accessed easily by ferry from both Singapore and Malaysia and also by plane. That makes Batam stands as one of the most accessible islands in the South East Asia region. Therefore if we are looking for a spot where we can celebrate the friendship, unity and togetherness among ASEAN nations through music particularly jazz, Batam is the answer.

Now let’s see this fact. The number of foreign tourists to Batam rose 14 percent to 1.031 million people during January to November 2011 period. Realizing that Batam is more than capable to be a major tourist destination, the government is commited continuously to keep and increase this very good trend. One of the ways is by preparing various tourism events throughout 2012. How happy it is to know that jazz can be used for this mission, as how it’s been going on for 4 years.

Here comes the great news. The 5th ASEAN Jazz Festival is coming this month. It will be held grand for two days, from 22 to 23 June, 2012. So far this annual event has been serving artists in many collaborative projects in the spirit of peace not only from the ASEAN nations but also from other parts of the globe. This year once again the Festival will bring shining artists from more than 10 nations to merry it by giving up jazz delicatessen in assorted flavors, all will be served on 3 stages. Asean Jazz Festival is presented by the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy Republic of Indonesia, Province of Kepulauan Riau, the city of Batam and has Dwiki Dharmawan as the Festival Director. Once again it will be served at the Harbour Bay, Batam. Other than Indonesia as the host, the 5th ASEAN Jazz Festival has invited artists from Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, USA, Netherlands, England, Canada and France. As Dwiki is in charge and considering the mission of this event, there will be many authentic ethnic musics can be found all over the stages too, like the Sundanese’s traditional bamboo instrument angklung which was announced as UNESCO world intangible heritage, Rampak Melayu and also Minang (West Sumatra) music. Knowing that the people of Batam also likes pop, there will be shows where pop jazz being served at its best as well. What’s amazing is, you can access the whole shows for FREE.


Having Dwiki Dharmawan as the festival director for this event is perfect. He’s contributing most of his time for our music industry and even for the global world. Many people will relate him to Krakatau as one of the founders, but let’s not forget that he also stunned everyone by collecting and conducting more than 100 musicians consisting of wide diversity of backgrounds, instruments, styles and musical roots/disciplines in one mega project called World Peace Orchestra himself. It’s noted as one of the most important collaborations in history, something that Indonesia should be proud of. All rewarded to the man with magic finger and genius brain, Dwiki Dharmawan. This year he has much bigger role in making up this festival from selecting the participants, creating the creative concepts all the way to the promotional matters. When we speak about how a man can promote peace through everything he possesses within, how one can do so many impossible things, giving up the full efforts in supporting and preserving our own cultural heritage without stepping his jazz passion aside, Dwiki is the man.

At this 5th Asean Jazz Festival he’s also listed as one of the performers. Dwiki will bring his new trio, featuring two of the best young musicians bassist Shadu Shah Chaidar and drummer Demas Narawangsa and play alongside his compatriotes, percussionist of the Islamic reigious hymns group Raihan, originally from Brooklyn but now settles in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Steve Thornton, trumpetist from England who plays often with ESQI:EF and active in our jazz scene Ian Ingram and a very beautiful nightingale Sierra Soetedjo. In another session he will play in Angklung Jazz Ensemble, joining Wildan and Bira from Saung Angklung Udjo with his trio and some other special guests.

Supported by The Embassy of Netherlands, The Brag Pack will fly all the way from Holland to Batam.  This band consists of musicians from various countries, Indonesia’s young pianist prodigy Sri ‘Aga’ Hanuraga, Hungarian Dániel Mester (tenor/soprano sax), half Aruban/half Dutch Roald Becher (drums) and German Paul Rutschka (bass). This is the band to watch if you want to see all the jazz action packed as one. You can call it a contemporary fusion, but it is actually infused by uncountable inside influences from hardbop, swing, funk, blues, modern groove to progressive, experimental to even classical. On top of that, this band gives a daring twist in pinning some Indonesian traditional folk songs containing pentatonical scales and make them their own, all executed in mad creativity and top-notch skills. All these things can be enjoyed in their released album, “Just Braggin” (available at our online store). Aga was here for Java Jazz Festival 2012 last March with his trio (read our coverage here), now let’s give a warm welcome to Aga and the rest of The Brag Pack members.


Now let’s take a look at the trio formerly known as Trioscapes that we believe should be listed in our jazz history’s timeline. Consists of three wizards, keyboardist Riza Arshad, funky bassist Yance Manusama and all-round drum master Aksan Sjuman, the now-called Riza3scapes is ready to bring the reminiscence of the time when jazz had just found its way to be merged with rock harmoniously. Riza Arshad likes to call their music as subtle funk, though when you listen to their compositions, you will find a lot of other musical patterns within. The pleasuring vintage sound presented current, high dose of funky charm, steady but challenging beat, the Riza3scapes has it in store.

Just like the previous editions, the word collaboration plays big deal in this festival. Other than Dwiki’s sessions, you can expect so many unexpected collaborations throughout the show. Look at the group consists of French guitarist Jeremy Tordjman, US drummer Erik Hargrove and the popular young bassist from our own land, Barry Likumahuwa. They have been playing together a couple of times recently, like the performance at No Black Tie, Kuala Lumpur a couple of months ago. What this group bring is unique and interesting. It might be quite difficult to describe their musical pattern, but Tordjman tries to define it in a simple term as Fuzzy Jazz Groove. What’s even more interesting is their move to rise up the game by featuring rapper Kyriz Boogiemen with them. “Basically we’ll play it (fuzzy Jazz Groove) but we challenge ourselves to bring a new nuance by having Kyriz in. Plus, most of the audience are still looking for band with vocals aren’t they?” says Barry, smiling. How the jazz style called Fuzzy Jazz Groove will sound, and how it will turn out to be when a rapper joins in? Go check their stage.

Maybe not many jazzers found in Thailand, but from those few, Natasha Patamapongs should always have to be mentioned. She’s the first Thai jazz vocalist to be noticed internationally and remains dedicated to the tradition. This lovely girl who currently teaches at Rungsit University’s Jazz Department as an Adjunct Professor in Vocal Jazz has performed in so many places around the world. Listen to her satin-smooth voice, you’ll be seduced and dragged into a full-emotion singing style that makes every song she sings become alive. She loves to pin heart-moving jazz standards, delightful candy-like swing, the lively Brazilian/Latin music as well as original compositions. She’s best known as the lead singer of Thailand’s jazz band Mellow Motif alongside Eugene Ang and other band members and also in charge of the band’s arrangement, production, and artistic direction up to the public relations work. In her show she’ll play with Arnat Lamwrongsikul (guitar), Philippines contrabassist Jeri De Leon who’s known by his involvement in K10 Bands and currently plays often with Manila’s front-jazz man boy Katindig, the lady who knows how to melt classical, jazz and sensual Latin tunes all together Nita Aartsen, drummer Gerry Herb and British trumpetist Ian Ingram. This will be one of the show that features multi national players in one lovely collaborative action.


A supergroup has finally made its return after few years absence. It was a big surprise for the fans when Indra Lesmana confirmed JAVAJAZZ to play at Red White Jazz Lounge for January 2012 program. Located at Kemang, Jakarta, the group held two shows on Friday (January 27, 2012) and Saturday (January 28, 2012). Looking at this wonderful news, we planned to visit one of those schedules from the beginning, and we made it on Saturday.

It’s wonderful to see JAVAJAZZ appears again right on the surface. Before we continue the report from this event, let’s rewind their history first. This band was formed in August 1991 when Indra Lesmana was invited to perform in Hawaii and Los Angeles. The music concept was taken from the previous band of Indra Lesmana, Donny Suhendra, Gilang Ramadhan and Jeffrey Tahalele, the group that became the embryo of JavaJazz. A memorable move was made when the late legend Embong Rahardjo was called in to give much thicker jazz taste with his seductive saxophone playing. Then, the JavaJazz was born.

The group carried on after returning from USA. The group then was shuffled by having Cendy Luntungan, Jeffrey Tahalele and Ron Reeves in. Then came the first gem, “Bulan Di Asia” in 1994. The title track which contained the combination of Sundanese pentatonic scales, Mandarin and Balinese scence in the glorious fusion became the masterpiece that is still loved dearly by the fans until today. After they performed at the North Sea Jazz Festival, the second album “Sabda Prana” was released with another change on the formation.

Then came the big shock when Embong Rahardjo passed away. Realizing that he was one of the most important member and irreplaceable, the rest of the team decided to put the group on rest. “We suffered a great loss when he passed away. On one occasion we played in quartet in tribute to him and after that night’s performance, we realized something was missing in our music, and that was the time to put JavaJazz to sleep.” said Indra Lesmana in our interview with him. Years passed, apparently the friends and fans somehow still wished for their return. Due to the massive supports, finally Indra Lesmana decided to bring the band back but with a surprising decision. Instead of having a new saxophonist to replace Embong, he chose to bring two guitarists that bridged the formations, Dewa Budjana and Donny Suhendra altogether. After 11 years hiatus, finally the band made their return. Not only by various performances but also with a double CD album, “Joy Joy Joy” in 2009. (The album is available at our online store:  )