Tuesday, September 2, 2014
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dwiki dharmawan

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Ubud Village Jazz Festival 2014 - Day 2 (2)

 

The beatiful day of jazz already took place at Ubud yesterday, courtesy of Ubud Village Jazz Festival 2014. (read the report here: http://jazzuality.com/jazz-event-report/ubud-village-jazz-festival-2014-report-day-1/). Now we are going to let you know what’s happening on the second and final day of this second episode of this annual party.

 

Ubud Village Jazz Festival 2014 - OpenMind Quartet (1)

 

Two bands started exactly at the same time: Openmind Quartet and Gustu Brahmanta Trio. The Openmind Quartet consists of musicians from the Universitas Pelita Harapan Jakarta such as Michael Setiawan (grand piano), Kevin Yosua (Electric Bass), Dion Jana Pria (Electric Guitar) and Joshua Setiawan (Drums). Once again reprised their great role in last year’s edition in pouring this event with cool swingin’ straight ahead. They played the traditional style of jazz, yet felt very fresh, something that we really needed while covering the event under the warm Bali temperature. Not only they cooled us up, but they also gave a beautiful start for the second day. Neat, tight and clean play from these very talented and skillful younger generation. They were playing originals by Michael and also some standards such as Rhythm-a-Ning by Thelonius Monk.

 

Ubud Village Jazz Festival 2014 - Gustu Brahmanta Trio (3)

 

For those who wished to enjoy jazz with authentic Balinese taste, Gustu Brahmanta Trio gave exactly that on Subak Stage. Think of this: a trio with the combination of western and Balinese instruments, you should get something different from it. The group which has Ida Bagus Putu Brahmanta (drums and percussion), Ida Bagus Indra Gupta (contrabass) and I Wayan Suastika (rindik, gamelan) served mystical pentatonic pelog scale with jazz as the foundation. What’s a rindik, you might ask? Well, a rindik is an instrument made from bamboo with 11-13 keyed xylophones tuned to a fairly even tempered scale.

Other than rindik, the trio also modifies the drumset with kelenang to add even more Balinese nuance. What’s unique is that, if the usual Balinese gamelan orchestra could have from 10 to 20 players with varieties of instruments, this three dudes dare to bring the Balinese jazz concept alive with just minimalist formation. From what we heard, they proofed it to work perfectly. This is the kind of jazz that we really want to see from jazz fest in Bali, thanks to Gustu Brahmanta Trio, we could get it very early on Saturday. The attempt of fusing traditional music of Bali with jazz has been done by so many musicians both from our own source and international, yet this trio is able to give something different while still rooting in the same spirit. Mind you, they are all native, so what we got from them was the authentic Balinese music with seamless jazz vibe inside. They showcased true Balinese ethnic music fused with modern jazz grooves, and they kept the rhythm in the pocket with just this formation. The show was simply educational, interactive, entertaining, magical, without having to lose the strong ethnic element. Ubud Village Jazz Festival just got defined.

 

Ubud Village Jazz Festival 2014 - Yuri Mahatma Astrid Sulaiman (5)

 

Then came the time to be entertained by the founder of Underground Jazz Movement also the founder of this very event, Yuri Mahatma. Once again he teamed up with dear wife, lady pianist Astrid Sulaiman. Using his weapon guitar, he led the quintet consists of Helmy Agustian on bass, Steve Bolton on drums, and Pramono Abdi Pamungkas on saxophone. One song that caught our attention is when they played “Hallucinations”. That song is always overlooked by many musicians but Yuri and Astrid nailed the song just right. Anyhow, the crowd seemed very relaxed from the cool grooves this band offered. This team opened up the Giri Stage just a few minutes after 5 o’clock in the very late afternoon.

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6th-International-Kampoeng-Jazz-Festival

 

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.

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ubudvillagejazzfestival2014

Julia Roberts and Javier Bardem’s excellent portrait of Elizabeth Gilbert’s memoir Eat, Pray, Love has shown the mystical and magical scene of Bali to the worldwide movie-goers 4 years ago. This Hollywood made movie reflected the stunning scenery of Bali almost in every scene. While Bali, just like other cities are developing with modern buildings, the scenes from this movie shows that Bali still preserves the heavenly nature in many locations. It was filmed in Ubud, Bali’s cultural heart that’s still preserved all the natural essences of how a paradise island should be. It still has strong spiritual atmosphere by the existance of ancient temples and castle, traditional art shows, art/painting museums, sacred forests and caves. Hey, even the rice paddies found in that area can be really relaxing to watch. Since last year Ubud has added another thing that can make it even shinier than ever. It’s related to music, it serves cross-cultural entertainment that can be used as a knowledge and experience exchange. And yes, it’s very ‘jazz.’ 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).

Last year it was held for two days featuring the combination of local, national and international artists, divided into 2+1 stages either performing separately or collaborating at the same show. The result was magnificent. The fest got big success by getting loads of praises both from the playing musicians and audiences. Since we are already in year 2014, the festival is ready to launch its second edition. The annual 2nd Ubud Village Jazz Festival will be held, once again, on 8th and 9th August 2014 at ARMA Ubud and will feature a world-class line-up that is guaranteed to be even more impressive than the first.

The co-founder Yuri Mahatma said that he’s been wanting to present a jazz festival in his hometown, but it has to be different than any other jazz festivals which have been already running in Indonesia. As we know, there are so many existing jazz festivals in Indonesia, spreading from the Northern end of Sumatra to Ambon in Eastern Indonesia. The atmosphere and spirit of Ubud itself should already give contrasting values, yet as an active jazz musician Yuri knows exactly how to cook it differently. He invites only quality artists in good amount of percentage between original Balinese, Indonesian and international musicians. Furthermore, he also thinks of how to provide enough room for collaborations which, based from last year, created spectacular jazz scenery that’s still mentioned by many until now.

 

ubud village jazz festival, jazzuality

 

So who are inside this year’s batch? Acclaimed jazz musicians from Indonesia and Bali such as Musicology, Yuri Mahatma, Astrid Sulaiman, Shadow Puppets, Kirana Big Band, Dwiki Dharmawan, Balawan, Widi Noor Answara, Eko Soemarsono Band are listed among the participants. About Balawan, most likely this time he’s going to perform in an interesting project called BID Trio which gathers him with Indonesian drummer who has successfully pursued his career in Australia, Deva Permana and Ito Kurdhi. Think of how amazing it will be if it really happens. Astrid Sulaiman will team up with Yuri Mahatma Trio, and just like last year, the fantastic female singer who has natural jazz breath and distinctive phrasing all over her voice, Dian Pratiwi will perform together with Uwe Plath, her music partner in Germany, the leader of the Glen Bushman Jazz Akademie Big Band where she joined since a decade ago. Ondrej Stjveracek (Czech) is going to join them as they promised to give you a different perspective of jazz. Other cross-nation collaboration will occur between Australian Erica Tucceri and Bali’s Underground Jazz Movement.

Now let’s check out more international stars. From USA is Gilad Hekselman, an Israeli jazz guitarist who has claimed his position inside the jazz squared-cicrle  in his mid 20s of age. Since he arrived in New York five years ago, Hekselman has set himself roughly up in the line of Pat Metheny and Kurt Rosenwinkel. He has a warm and clean guitar tone, clear articulation, crazily extended improvisational ideas. He can speed when needed plus an advanced understanding of harmony are also known as his major force.  Deva Permana will also play in The GAPP Project (Australia) which features one of Australian Jazz Icon Dale Barlow. Japanese pianist Seiji Endo, Brazilian drummer Alexandre Cunha (Brazil), Ben van den Dungen 4tet with Martijn van Iterson and the swing lady who was born in USA, grew up in Hawaii and Japan and now is living in Netherland, Deborah J Carter have confirmed too.  All will play under the stars in the grounds of the magnificent Arma Museum, Ubud. More artists are still expected to come, so make sure you’re updated.

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36th-JGTC-2013

 

Reaching the number of 36 isn’t easy. Imagine how much the world of music change over those long years. To keep the continuation, an event should have to pass many obstacles, ups and downs, not only to preserve the legacy and the important causes, but also to make each edition stands as something to remember by the fans. The Jazz Goes to Campus (JGTC)  has done it. The tagline this year was “Jazz It Your Way”, showing their intention to answer the needs of jazz aficionados in Jakarta, Depok and beyond no matter what their jazz taste is. You want it, you get it, exactly your way. That’s what they wanted to serve more or less.

This is the story of Jazz Goes to Campus, the longest running annual jazz festival in Indonesia. It was initiated by Candra Darusman when he was still a college student of the Economic Faculty of Universitas Indonesia back in 1978. We don’t know if he already pictured this event to keep running this long at that time, but as we know, this event still has reliable engine to maintain its pace and existance up until today. Passing the torch from one generation to another by holding the same spirit and quality, fitting it to the latest music trend, find new innovation and differentiation, selecting lines of performers that can satisfy various interpretation, expression and inspiration of Jazz from and for all segments. That’s certainly isn’t easy. But this year’s committee from The Executive Student Board of Faculty of Economics of Universitas Indonesia has once again done it. Held at the legendary ground zero, Campus Ground FEUI in Depok, the 36th edition presented one interesting batch of cross-generation,multi-national jazz artists that dipped Depok in full jazz for at least a day.

The show started as early as 1 pm with Victorian Music. Bravely the band brought instrumental numbers, led by the sound of funky saxophone. Not long after they started, Pretty Lotion and Apertunes began the other two stages. Pretty Lotion is not a product of a beauty clinic, but this is the name of one band that highlights wide range of musics. Their musical territory spans from reggae, hip hop, neo soul and electronic. This is the other group of Dimas Wibisana other than the one he’s famous with, Sketsa band. You might not hear their name so often yet, but this band already plays like a pro. Apertunes is a band with 9 Universitas Indonesia students, combining instrumental, vocal and beatboxing. They played whatever they like, from blues, funk, rock, latin, gospel to even dangdut. Nice early shows.

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krakatau-kembalisatu-indonesia-tour-2013

 

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.”

Regards,
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.

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krakatau-kembalisatu

 

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.

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Ubud-village-jazz-festival

 

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.

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DWIKI-live-at-Jazz-Fest-Wien

 

When someone loves art so much and blessed with such talent that enables him to explore the unlimited musical terrains, you can only imagine how many special things he would create. That can be applied to Dwiki Dharmawan. He has been having colorful journey in the music industry as well as opening many creative fields in it. As a proud Indonesian son, he has represented the art and culture forms of his nation to the international scene. Along with the “Wonderful Indonesia”, Dwiki has done lots of positive campaigns about Indonesia around the globe.

This campaign landed mostly in Europe through appearances in prestigious fests such as Montreaux Jazz Festival, North Sea Jazz Festival, Umbria Jazz Festival in Italy, Floriade Netherlands, and in Vienna (Jazz Fest Wien), where Dwiki has been visiting almost regularly since 2005. He performed not only with Krakatau and fellow Indonesian musicians but also with his international friends. This including two shining projects he has presented live also made into the recording, the World Peace Orchestra (2009) consisting of multi-national stars and Eastmania (will be released this year) where he’s joined by Kamal Musallam, Bill Cobham, Kai Eckhardt, Rascha Rizk and Nasser Salameh.

 

The last time Dwiki landed in Vienna was last year (July 8, 2012), at the Jazz Fest Wien (Vienna Jazz Festival) in Austria. In this occasion he presented his collaborative project with Oliver Steger (contrabass) and the Violet Spin String Quartet consists of Lukas Lauerman (cello), Judith Reitner (viola), Paul Dangl (violin) dan Irene Kepl, a violist who’s also in charge as the leader of the quartet. This session was recorded and now officially released in the shape of DVD. The launching of “Dwiki Dharmawan String Quaret Project mit Oliver Steger & Violet Spin Live at Jazz Fest Wien” DVD was held last Friday afternoon, February 22, 2013 at D’Consulate Lounge, Jakarta.

How did he came up with the collaboration with string? It all started from a talk with the curator of Salihara Theater, also a world class composer Tony Prabowo. He urged Dwiki to do a solo piano concert, back to the first instrument Dwiki learnt when he was still a child. Then Dwiki got another inspiration when watching Chic Corea performed with string group Kronos Quartet and Turtle Island Quartet. Combining the first idea from Tony and the Chick Corea’s performance, Dwiki established a new concept. He took his own compositions and the Indonesian folk songs into repertoires played by piano, acoustic bass and four strings (two violins, one viola and one cello).

This concept was launched for the first time at Salihara at the end of 2011. Finally, after playing the electronic keyboard and synthesizer, Dwiki came back to the root by playing piano together with the string quartet.

This newly launched DVD is the result of the mutual friendship between Dwiki Dharmawan and Fritz Thom, the founder/director of Jazz Fest Wien who’s also active as the Head of IJFO (International Jazz Festival Organization). Thom’s Live Performance Service company enables Dwiki to bring his String Quartet concept all over Europe by involving local string players. These selected players not only consist of proffesional musicians but also some professor in music institution in each particular cities.

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JavaJazzFestival2013-Jazzuality

 

For the past 8 years it’s been set in our mind that March is the month when we can experience the gigantic jazz-vaganza which now appears as the biggest one in the world, the Java Jazz Festival. Since we have come to the last day of January, it means the Jakarta International Djarum Super Mild Java Jazz Festival 2013 with the theme of ‘Jazz Up the World’ is right around the corner, coming soon on March 1st-3rd, 2013. Just a month from now we will once again get the chance to enjoy three full days of magnificent artists from around the world. From international and national legends, Grammy winners/nominees, today’s top lists, the masters of the ‘game’ and shiny newcomers are ready to bring their winning formulas on stage. Jazz-ly speaking, Java Jazz Festival is like a hypermart or superstore, where we can watch, enjoy and listen to all kinds of jazz varieties. All kind of playing styles, sub-genres, instruments, combinations all the way to special projects, tributes and surprising collaborations will be within reach. We don’t have to go far abroad, it’s going to be served right here, in our own nation Indonesia. Think of how lucky we Indonesians are. Through the Java Jazz Festival, Indonesia can claim itself as the Jazz nation, where nothing but the best performers share their joy under one roof. We see the international superstars come to Jakarta and play, we see our own jazz heroes making their names internationally without even having to go anywhere. Java Jazz Festival also promotes Indonesia in a very positive way to the world countering so many negative news about the country that people out there digest almost every day, therefore we should be proud of it and support it.

Year after year we’re surprised by the lineup which can reach the number of around 200-300 groups, 2000+ musicians/singers spread in more than 50 sessions daily, around 8 hours straight, for three days. Some international musicians even admitted that eventhough they live in the same city or country, Jakarta is the only city that they can meet and greet each others, sharing ideas or even make spontaneous collaborations. These are all the things that can create unforgettable experience to us. So many memorable or even historical moments have been given by the Java Jazz Festival, and this fest will keep on giving a lot more.

 

So, what are we going to get in this 9th edition? Many of you should have heard or see the fantastic names on the list, but allow us to share more insights from the Official Press Conference which was held yesterday (January 30, 2013). The Founder Mr Peter F Gontha himself was there along with the President Director of Java Festival Production Dewi Gontha, the Festival Director Paul Dankmeyer, Program Director EQ Puradiredja and some representatives of the main sponsors (Djarum Super Mild, BNI and Telkomsel). Together they shared the news, updates and what’s going on with this year’s festival.

“This time there will be many great, popular female stars in Java Jazz Festival, such as Joss Stone, Lisa Stansfield and Basia among others on the spotlight.” said Paul Dankmeyer. The English lady Lisa Stansfield has been famous since the 80′s mostly with her style of soulful disco tunes such as “All Around the World”, “All Woman”, “Change” and the ballad from Indecent Proposal OST “In All the Right Places”. We haven’t heard too many news about her lately, yet she has enormous number of fans right here in Indonesia. It’s true that she mostly stands in between soul, RnB and disco, but she has shown her swing/jazz abilities on several occasions or songs, for example “Down in Depths” or “I’ve got the World on a String” in Mona Lisa Smile OST. The Java Festival Production has been trying to invite her since the first edition 9 years ago, finally this year she’s confirmed to participate. Then let’s talk about Basia. If you grew up in the 80′s, this name should be really familiar to you because she has tons of hits both from her solo career and her moment when she was still supporting Matt Bianco. We love this beautiful lady with the real name of Basia Trzetrzelewska’s unique singing voice thorugh songs like “Promises”, “Cruising for Bruising”, “Baby Your Mine” or “Half a Minute” with Matt Bianco which are still aired in some radio stations until now. The buzz about her participation was big in 2009 but she didn’t come at that time, now she’s also stated her participation at the 2013′s Java Jazz Festival. Representing superstar from newer generation is Joss Stone. This girl rose to fame ten years ago, but it actually started two years earlier at the age of thirteen when she auditioned for BBC London’s talent show “Star for a Night”. Standing in between soul, RnB, blues, pop and jazz, she has earned multi platinum albums, two BRIT Awards and one Grammy. These three fantastic ladies are the Special Shows for this year.

Other than these three girls, we will also have many great names. Bob James and Chuck Loeb will have their own shows besides playing as Fourplay with the other two compatriotes. The piano prodigy Eldar Djangirov who stunned everyone when he was still a very young boy some years ago is also listed. Special collaborations which will bring back the memories will be there too, such as George Duke and Stanley Clark with their all time hit “Sweet Baby” and of course Lee Ritenour and Dave Grusin who have been supporting each other for some decades both on stage and recordings. Special Project tributing Miles Davis named Miles Smiles will be brought by big cats Larry Coryell, Joey DeFrancesco, Omar Hakim, Daryll Jones and Rick Margitza. Don’t forget to see the Grammy Award winning and one of the best post bop saxophonists Kenny Garrett with his Quintet, Magnus Lindgren with special guest Gregory Porter, Jose James, James Carter Organ Trio, Wouter Hamel, The Soul Rebels, Emily Elbert, David Helbock and Gregory Porter Quartet. Legendary groups Sypro Gyra will make its return in Indonesia, also Phil Perry, New York Voices, Roy Hargrove (in RH Factor and Quintet), Roberta Gambarini, Marcus Miller and the in-house residence Brian Simpson. There are many names who will make their first appearance at the Java Jazz Festival such as the legendary Jimmy Cliff, the person who can place soul and gospel into his reggae taste, the famous Japanese-American singer whose music embraces mixtures of jazz, soul, RnB, pop and dance Monday Michiru, Balance and The Traveling Sounds, Butterscotch, Chucho Valdes from Cuba and Fernandez4 from Argentina among others. Representing our own neighbouring country is Mellow Motif from Thailand. The lead singer of this group Natasha Patamapongs was performed at the 5th Asean Jazz Festival last year in Batam. Now she’s back with her group which also feature Eugene Ang in it. Complete confirmed International Artists can be seen in this page: http://www.javajazzfestival.com/2013/artistslist.php .

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Slow but sure, jazz festival is spreading further to reach more areas in Indonesian archipelago. Speaking of the western side of it, in the island of Sumatra to be exact, the furthest so far is in North Sumatra (North Sumatra Jazz Festival) and then Batam (Asean Jazz Festival). Now the jazz virus spread more towards the upper side, where Special Region of Aceh lies. If you go up north in Aceh, you’ll find Sabang, a city consisting of an island called Pulau Weh (Weh Island). In order to introduce Sabang as well as rising the number of tourists to visit it, The Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy Republic of Indonesia is going to present Sabang Jazz Festival for the first time, which will come on Saturday, December 22, 2012, starting from 7:00 pm at Sabang Fair. This event will be served for FREE, open for public.

What we are thinking is this: we are actually lucky to have the ministry that supports jazz, even use it as an universal language to promote and carry a mission. The vice minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Republic of Indonesia, Mr Sapta Nirwandar said this: “We’d like to support series of jazz festivals all around Indonesia, from Sabang to Merauke, because as a form of music, jazz is very open to collaborate with variety of Indonesia’s ethnic musics. So it fits perfectly to be a part of our main program to promote the tourism. At th same time it can be used as a vehicle to rise the creative economic industry especially in music.”

Meanwhile the Festival Director Dwiki Dharmawan explained that this event will become the embryo and inspiration as well as the first serie of Jazz Festivals in Indonesia along with introducing Sabang as a favorite tourist destination.

Just like how Dwiki did at Asean Jazz Festival, this time he also prepared the combination of local and international musicians to take part in this grand, premiere festival. It may be smaller than the Asean Jazz Festival, but if you look at the lineup, you’ll find out that this one is not less interesting at all. In a very short time, Dwiki came up with set of artists which can represent the kind of jazz that suit the spirit of Aceh without leaving the multi-colors of jazz behind. Let’s take a look at the artists.

Andien will once again accompany by the Nikita Dompas Band, just like she did at the Asean Jazz Festival some months ago. This beautiful lady that has jazz stick in her throat is like an icon, very popular to everyone, even to those who are not into jazz at all. Nikita Dompas who’s been supporting her for many years, even stood as the music director of her latest album “Kirana” is a perfect partner either in live performance or recordings. We still haven’t received any details yet, but usually Nikita Dompas Band will have partners in crime like Rayendra Sunito and Bonar Abraham. Now Sabang is going to have a chance to watch Andien live in front of them from close range, that should be interesting for you, Sabang residents!

Then the legendary supergroup Krakatau is also listed. Established in Bandung by Dwiki Dharmawan and Pra Budidharma. What’s unique about this group is that they can build stong character in no matter what they play. They have marked many path, from jazz-rock fusion, pop jazz to the exotic, mystical ethnic musics. Since now they are getting deeper in digging the world music, you’ll get such experience of listening to the combination of Western diatonic and Javanese Slendro pentatonic altogether in jazz. If that’s not enough, Dwiki brings some of his international compatriotes too to collaborate with the band such as percussionists Steve Thornton who now resides in Malaysia and Ron Reeves from Australia, plus a singer with unique vocal ability originally from Aceh, Rafly. Just last month Rafly just stunned the North Sumatra Jazz Festival 2012′s audience with his groundbreaking grip. Guitarist Agam Hamzah was with him at that occasion, this time he’s on too. The tagline “One must see and hear the difference” is perfect to describe the different dimension this band brings.

sabang jazz festival 2012, jazzuality

 

Then there will be a collaboration between Farabi all Stars ft Iwan Abdie and Ita Purnamasari. They did tremendous companionship at the Asean Jazz Festival 2012, where the band led by Roberto Joko perfectly backed both Iwan Abdie and the loveable Ita Purnamasari in one lovely session. They are ready to reunite again in a whole new package for the people of Aceh.