Saturday, May 30, 2015
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java jazz festival 2010


harvey mason, fourplay, bob james, chuck loeb, nathan east, lee ritenour, larry carlton, interview, java jazz festival, java jazz festival 2010

What can the music be without the drums? Not only guarding the base line for the songs, controling the rhythm and giving a specific pattern to it, but also to give more taste, feel and even the character to the song. The same goes in jazz. There are many drummers who have given a lot of contributions to make the songs appear as tasty and infectious as the way we like it. There are many standout jazz drummers from time to time, and if we’re looking at the names for at least the last half century, we have to mention Harvey Mason as one of them.

Harvey Mason has been doing it for 50 years now. He has been playing drums in all kinds of fields, but he is remembered mostly as an amazing jazz drummer. Mason has a tremendous career and has played with many artists over the decades, including Bob James, Lee Ritenour, Herbie Hancock, George Benson, Barbra Streisand, James Brown, Sergio Mendes to London Symphony Orchestra, just to say the least. He has had the privilege to perform together with the legendary Duke Ellington and Errol Garner when he was just started on his onstage jazz career in the late 60’s. Harvey has been there, experiencing, tasting and living with jazz for so long. Nathan East said “Harvey Mason is probably the most recorded and most influential drummer/percussionist in this genre.” And that’s very true.

Harvey is one of the member of the supergroup Fourplay alongside with Bob James, Nathan East and three different guitarists over the years, from Lee Ritenour to Larry Carlton and now the newest member Chuck Loeb. His reputation as a superb jazz drummer who can play just about any genres fits perfectly with the style and concept of Fourplay, and we can see him still exist in the group until today. Together with Fourplay he received Grammy nominations and “The Best Group Assignation” award. He was also given four”First Place Awards” from Modern Drummers’ Studio Poll and three “Most Valuable Player” trophies from NARAS. In the year 2000 he was dubbed “Best Percussionist” by Oasis Smooth Jazz Awards. Still, with so many achievements and experiences, he appears to be a really friendly and down to earth man as he’s always been.

Harvey Mason Interview (3)

Not only playing, he also cares about raising up young talents from all over the world, including Indonesia, as he’s become the producer for Rafi, a phenomenal young drummer since he was still 9 years old. Harvey has appeared in several edition of Java Jazz Festival, including the most recent Java Jazz Festival 2010. And we can never have him enough. We like to see him coming and playing more and more in years to come. And what a moment it was when we actually got the chance to invite Harvey Mason to do an interview in our corner at the media room of Java Jazz Festival.

You have been known as one of the best drummer of jazz all time. How do you see the progress of jazz drumming so far after you’ve been doing it for more than 4 decades?
It’s progressing in tremendeous amount. Technically the guys are watching videos and so much more instruction that drummers are proggressed in great place of a very technical..  technically sound.. so it’s become pretty amazing what the guys are doing now. so it’s defenitely progressing.


lee ritenour, captain fingers, six string theory, java jazz festival, java jazz festival 2010, interview

It was truly an honor to finally able to approach Lee Ritenour and had an interview with him right before his performance at this year’s Java Jazz Festival 2010. (Check out the report and pictures of Lee Ritenour at Java Jazz Festival 2010 here).  Lee Ritenour is one of the most influential artists that has become the inspiration for many guitarists all around the world for some generations. One of our photographer who also play guitar admitted that the reason he play guitar was only because he was heavily inspired by Lee Ritenour. And that’s really no wonder. Lee Ritenour has been doing it for more than 30 years. Ever since he started his career at the tender age of 16, so far he has recorded over 40 albums, made an appearance on more than 3000 sessions, performing in every side of the world and definately has very solid fans in everywhere he goes. He charted over 30 instrumental and vocal jazz hits and also known as one of the pioneer in smooth jazz and jazz funk.

With that achievements there’s no doubt to place Lee Ritenour as one of the living legend. Even after this long span of career and experience, he still has his passion as strong as the time when he started it all. He showed it at the interview section as well, as he kept playing his guitar while he answered the questions we threw at him. Lee always loves to experiment with different styles of music, trying new things, exploring all kinds of music and place his signature in them. He has been a standout fusion player, but he also famous as a smooth jazz, pop, blues, classical to Brazilian or even rock. The nickname “Captain Fingers” was given to him for his amazing fingering skill, the name that he also used for his third album and song, released in 1977.

Currently Lee is focusing on a project named “Six String Theory”. This comes from the unique vision of Lee gathering 18 superstar of guitar players in a majestic collaboration, internationally, across genres and generations, from legends to the new ones. This project also includes an international guitar competition where he became one of the judges besides being the producer and artist for this magnificent project.


In just a short time given for an interview, we managed to ask Lee about many things. From his past, his coming to Indonesia, his thought about the Java Jazz Festival, his vision and more. Let’s hear what the Captain Fingers had to say.

Lee, it’s great to have you back again at the Java Jazz Festival. What made you decided to come back?
Well I’ve been coming to Indonesia since the late 80s, maybe the first time was in 1988 or something, I love Indonesia from the beginning. I love the people, I love the place, I love the way fans turn to the music, I love Bali (laugh)

What do you think about the Indonesian musicians?
In the earlier years it was a little too simple, too much coping of their cultures but now Indonesian sounds are getting stronger, the musicians are getting stronger, they are getting more individualistic..

Would you like to collaborate with more Indonesian musicians?
Yeah, it’s interesting. Maybe tomorrow finally I can come to hear more music at the festival. I wanna hear more on what the Indonesian artists are doing.


the manhattan transfer, tim hauser, cheryl bentyne, janis siegel, alan paul, interview, java jazz festival, java jazz festival 2010

What do you have in mind when you hear this name, The Manhattan Transfer? For me personally, I guess my mind would refer to one of the finest vocal harmony quartet of the century. When this formation came up in 1972 with Tim Hauser, Alan Paul, Janis Siegel and Laurel Masse, the music world especially the jazz side got enriched by the beauty of vocal harmony. It became more obvious when “The Manhattan Transfer”, the selftitled first album with this formation came out in 1975,  even when Laurel Masse was replaced by Cheryl Bentyne in 1979 . The test of time has proven that The Manhattan Transfer has proven themselves to be a strong, consistant and very solid as a group with many achievements and awards, and that goes on until today. I personally can’t imagine how jazz would be today without The Manhattan Transfer.

This year of 2010 became a very special year for us, all the Manhattan Transfer’s fans. After 5 years without making any album, this year they are back with a very interesting album entitled “The Chick Corea Songbook“. My first thought when I saw this album was, how is it possible to pin Chick Corea’s complex compositions into 4 piece vocal harmony? I rushed to listen, and I got wow-ed immidiately. It’s such a masterpiece that I’m sure will still remember many years to come. There are many singers or musicians have tried to interpret Chick Corea’s collections, but with the new outfit made by The Manhattan Transfer, suddenly I saw some sides of Chick Corea’s compositions that I’d never heard before. The songs are made very well to fit the harmony of their vocals, and that includes the rhythm, tempo and so on. Chick Corea Songbook appears to be a very creative and smart album, showing that The Manhattan Transfer is still strong, solid as a unit and still have a wonderful future ahead. It’s a high degree of difficulties album ever be made by any vocal harmony group. Having said that, the way they brought the songs were very enjoyable and delivered ellegantly. You will keep guessing what’s coming up after hearing each song. Try to listen to “Spain”, and you will know what I mean. Their rendition of this song will surprise you from the start.

The-Manhattan-Transfer-int1The Manhattan Transfer’s Press Conference at the Java Jazz Festival 2010

This year The Manhattan Transfer made two phenomenal performances at the Java Jazz Festival 2010. The first one was The Chick Corea Songbook which served with rhythm section and more electric (read the report and see the pictures taken from the show here), while the second one was a very sweet and intimate session with Ron King Big Band. (check out the report and pictures from the session here).  Right after their 2nd Night Performance at Java Jazz Festival 2010 with Ron King Big Band,  all the members of The Manhattan Transfer made  a press conference. We got the chance to ask them about the album material and stories behind the making.

Let’s talk about your album, The Chick Corea Songbook. We know Chick Corea as a composer who like to write complex compositions. It must be difficult for you to translate them into the shape of vocal harmony. Was it?
Cheryl: Yes, it was very complex. We didn’t know it would be that complex until we actually did it.

Where did you get the idea?
Cheryl: The idea came from Yusuf Gandhi (the excecutive producer of 4Q/Four Quarters Records). He approached us to do it. We have been friends to Chick Corea, so we thought, why not? We were thrilled to do it.


griffith frank, unusual way, java jazz festival, java jazz festival 2010, interview

Attention girls! Prepare to have your heart stolen by this new sensation in the music world. Meet Griffith Frank, a young man who is gifted with many things. He’s handsome, cool, down to earth and really can sing very well. With 3 octave vocal range that connected perfectly to his heart, he’s ready to reshape the music industry very soon.

We are not exaggerating. All the audience who came to watch him at the A 2 BNI Hall witnessed a stunning performance they would never forget. His vocal is amazing, and he has his soul attached in every note he sings.  Songs from wide range of genres were personally selected by him to show that he could sing just about any song perfectly. And for us, he should be listed as one of the singer who has the greatest voice in this century.  You’ll love Griffith Frank from the very first time you see him and hear him sing.

Recently he made headlines by singing his debut single, “Unusual Way”, a very heartfelt song that was made to fill in the Golden Globe nominee “Nine” OST.  He’s finishing his debut album right now that is scheduled to come out later on this summer.  His appearance at the Java Jazz Festival 2010 was a huge success, we heard many compliments from the audiences from the stages area to the media room about Griffith’s performance.

We got a chance to have an interview with Griffith Frank just an hour before the Java Jazz Festival 2010 began. In one of the cozy and comfy room at Borobudur Hotel we asked him some questions. Let’s get deep with Griffith.

Griffith Frank Interview (8)

First of all, welcome to Indonesia. I know you’ve been travelling so far from US to reach here, was it tiring?
Thank you. Actually, somehow, it was like 20 hours on the plane, it doesn’t seem that long. I’ve flown across United States and it was take about 6 hours, but those plane trips seemed longer than this one. I wasn’t bad at all. It’s interesting.

What do you think about Indonesia?

It’s great. I like it a lot. I love spicy food so we work it well here. And the climate is very humid wet here and actually it makes very easy to sing. And everybody here is very nice.

Griffith Frank Interview (6)With your three octave vocal range, it should be easy for you to sing just about any genres. Which genre do you like the most?
Well, in any genre I would find the song that I’d like to cover to sing..something rock, something pop, something classical, it could be anything. I don’t really have a preference because you find individual song that could really connect with you in special way. So I’d like to sing it all.

As you mentioned special way, now let’s talk about your song, “Unusual Way” which appeared in “Nine” OST. Was it based on your personal experience or it was strictly only for the movie?
It’s actually from the musical itself. It’s not my own song. Surprisingly enough it does connect with me very well because I had experiences like that, but it’s a great song. And it was very easy for me to connect with.


java jazz festival, java jazz festival 2010, java jazz titbits

So many things were happening at the JIExpo, Kemayoran, Jakarta, the venue of Java Jazz Festival 2010 for 3 days in a row! Hundreds of show took place in 21 stages that spread around the big venue. The venue itself was prepared amazingly. It almost looks like a big jazz city, that was the impression we got when we went around every inches of the place to give you reports for 3 days.

Right from the entrance you’d see long queue ready to experience the most spectacular jazz event on earth with their own eyes. There were many interesting spots to take pictures, there were enough lifts to bring you up to the 6th floor, where you could find the media room, the press conference room, some performing stages and merchandise booths.

There were many big stages located on the left and right side of the outside hall. And in the middle you could find the biggest food market selling all kind of foods you could ever imagine. Thousands of people filled the whole areas. And it became quite an attraction for us besides all the amazing artists around the world who performed in each stage.

Many interesting things happening outside the music halls were captured by our photographers, and we believe these pictures would tell more stories of the Java Jazz Festival 2010.  That’s why we decided to make this article.

You can also see what’s been going on at the media room as well, the checkpoint spot  for us and many other medias. crews took the center of the room preparing the news and pictures before they went to reach you, all of our excellent readers.  The table was messy with lots of stuffs, some of us did nonstop writings, some kept resizing and tagging the pictures and cooked them all as the reports.

A picture speaks a thousand words, we hope you enjoy these titbits that were taken around the venue. It was an unbelievable festival, and we are very happy to be a part of it. See you  next year at Java Jazz Festival 2011!

serba-serbi3The Chairman of Java Jazz Festival, Mr Peter F Gontha accompanying the Vice President of Indonesia, Mr Budiono


Mr Peter Gontha and Mr Budiono at one of the merchendise booth


java jazz festival, java jazz festival 2010, toni braxton, john legend

As the theme of this year’s festival, Jazzin Up Remarkable Indonesia, Java Jazz Festival has finally established themselves as the greatest jazz festival in the world. Java Jazz Festival has been continuously carry on its mission to introduce our country and its best musical talents around the globe in general, especially jazz in particular. With its wide range of exploration in jazz genre, some to rock, some to blues, RnB, ethnical, dance and even pop, it’s one huge event where we can watch big and famous artists from every corners of the world doing their performance, sometimes collaborates, into the three days of pure joy and entertainment. Alan Paul of The Manhattan Transfer stated that there are no other places that can provide the number of performers plus the names like what the Java Jazz Festival does. This also becomes a reason why the audiences getting bigger year after year.

The needs of space made Java Festival Production now moved the place to JIExpo Kemayoran, with all the consequences for one better purpose to be able to provide the whole 21 stage that can contain over 1300 artists for 3 days and 75-80 shows per day. That’s an unbelievable achievement that brought them to receive a MURI records for The Biggest Jazz Festival in the World. This year, the event even attended by the Indonesia’s first and second man. For some, the hall’s range might be difficult to reach in short times, but for some others they might get the bigger walking area that feels more comfortable, although at some hours the venue still looks a little bit difficult to hold the crowds. The event’s progress was also breaking the opinion that our own local artists being neglected in the first place. With these venue and promotion that could reach bigger audience, not only the numbers of local performers had raised, now you could see the crowds and queue among local and overseas performers comes almost the same. The other main complains came from the difficulty to communicate via cellphone around the areas.  It’s not easy to deal with a big event like this of course, and we understand that. Plus, since the venue was used for the very first time,  some difficulties that occured were mainly because we are still not familiar with the new venue.


The shows themselves have some notes to take, with more new highlights came in many shapes and packages, from Diane Warren‘s Greatest Hits to the great special show from The Manhattan Transfer, Babyface, Toni Braxton and John Legend. Two of them, Babyface and John Legend was also became the most spectacular shows ever held in Java Jazz Festival, alongside of Incognito and Level 42 in our opinion. Lee Ritenour (8)From the other side of Jakarta, the performers also grown more varies, such as Batak Sensation from Medan and Surabaya All Stars, and at some points, the event felt complete by the comeback of Indonesian jazz icon, Indra Lesmana with his JavaJazz band, that consists of another jazz maestros ; Dewa Budjana & Donny Suhendra (guitar), Gilang Ramadhan (drum), and A.S. Mates (bass).

Complete composition of musicians should become our note as well. From the newcomers to the legends, highly skilled performers across generations, all kinds of instruments from western to the traditional, and we are talking about this in terms of globally. George Duke (2)This year we got the presence of legendary artists such as Bob James, Hubert Laws, Rufus, George Duke, The Manhattan Transfer, Sly Stone, Ivan Lins, Bubi Chen, Benny Mustafa Van Diest, Oele Pattiselano, Idang Rasjidi, Benny Likumahuwa, Indra Lesmana and many more. We got the presence of world’s greatest songwriter through Diane Warren and Babyface. We also got to see the beautiful divas with remarkable gifts such as Toni Braxton, Sheila Majid, Jane Monheit, Roberta Gambarini, Mindi Abair, Jessy J, Andien, Syaharani and many more, the one who rocked the music industry such as John Legend, Eric Benet, the rising stars like Griffith Frank, Dira J Sugandi, Sandhy Sondoro, Alexandra Sterling, David Manuhutu, Rafi and many more. The brilliant players with distinctive style like Riza Arshad, Adonis Puentes, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Christian McBride, David Murray, Roy Hargrove and many other big names. If we look at these names, we would easily realize that Java Jazz Festival is the one and only jazz heaven that could place them all under one roof.


In this venue we also found more attractions such as increased exhibition stands, more foods and beverages, more merchandise from the performers, more art and photography exhibitions. The venue itself was designed more creatively that you wouldn’t bored exploring the areas the whole day.

We should feel fortunate to have these all, and we should thank Java Jazz Festival to make it happen. Growing 6 years in a row, the festival is getting bigger and better through the unbelievable efforts of Peter F. Gontha and the rest of Java Festival Production. We hope to see more surprises and highlights in the upcoming years. It’s like jazz itself. It’s a dream that coming true.

“Jazz is the light at the end of the day”.

Writer: Daniel Irawan, Riandy Kurniawan

Photographer: Praditya Nova, Mark Swapo, Omar Arif Maulana, Eghi Gabred

Editor: Ardhi Saputro, Ata Michaella





The last great special show in the festival this year caused another incident by the attendance of Indonesia’s vice president. Again the overprotective bodyguards doing the screening checkpoint that resulted the very long queue outside the hall, even when the concert had begun for quite sometimes. Booing by the queuing audience, luckily, the man finally leaving the festival. And the fully crowded concert was a great success for Babyface, who talked lots to the audience, about his teenage lovelife, his passion for Michael Jackson and also his career working with many famous people such as MJ and Eric Clapton.

Kenny 'Babyface' Edmonds (5)

Being a little different from other artists known as the hitmaker composer and writer, Kenny ‘Babyface’ Edmonds could sing all his hits perfectly well, and also a good guitarist. So Kenny built over the one and a half show from his stories, did the medley of his many hits from Bobby Brown’s ‘Don’t be Cruel’ to Boyz II Men’s phenomenal ‘End Of The Road’. Before the encore ‘When can I See You Again’ that played acoustically, Kenny closed his story with the huge hit that won a Grammy for ‘song of the year’ category. It was his collaboration with Clapton, the theme song of John Travolta’s Phenomenon, and the song we all did remember ever after, Change The World. Compare to his performance in JJF 2008, this one is longer, better and way more satisfying. Rarely has the festival presented two of the greatest special show in a row, and this year, it was finally happening!

Reporter: Daniel Irawan

Photographer: Praditya Nova

Editor: Ardhi Saputro, Ata Michaella


See more pictures:

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griffith frank, unusual way, java jazz festival, java jazz festival 2010

It’s really not exaggerated to say that Griffith Frank is one of the greatest voice of this century. Performing the songs of his upcoming debut album and some classic tunes like Michael Jackson’s “She’s Out of My Life” also the classic Westside’s Story’s “Maria”.  Griffith brought the ultimate Brian Simpson, his own father David Frank who always stand by him on the keyboard,  plus special performance by Jeff Lorber, Harvey Mason, Mindi Abair, Nate Phillips and also a special duet with the Indonesian sweetheart, Andien.


The show itself reached its peak moment as Griffith Frank sang his debut single and music video from the Golden Globe nominee “Nine” titled “Unusual Way” that flew beautifully enchanting. Griffith Frank is a heartthrob that will make the girls’ heart melt away with his handsome face, charm, persona and amazing vocal quality. With everything he has within him, we are sure that he will reach the top in no time. It was a great show. Thanks,  Griffith! We hope to see you again.

See more pictures:

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Reporter: Daniel Irawan, Riandy Kurniawan
Photographer: I Putu Surya K.B


Ever wondered why Bob James becomes a legend? One main reason is his skills on playing the piano is superb, and he always play by pouring his heart and soul.  Anywhere his fingers move would create melodious sounds.  We used to say, give some notes to Bob, and he will turn it into a masterpiece composition. That’s how amazing Bob James is. What we heard is a natural creation of the perfect jazz tunes. On the last day of Java Jazz Festival 2010, Bob James performed with his trio including Harvey Mason on drums. Bob James (3)Unlike the day before, in the much smaller Semeru Hall Bob could interact more intimately than ever with the audiences.  Bob once again ended his performance with his new composition that successfully made the crowds popped. On this second show, Bob James played a bit different and managed to get standing applause by the audiences.  What a perfect tune to close this his performance at this year’s Java Jazz Festival gloriously.

Bob James (11)

One of the last show of Java Jazz Festival 2010 was Nita Aartsen and her Latin Jazz Mania. Nita Aartsen is a senior and complete pianist that also sing also gifted as a stand out music composer. Whether it’s pop, rock, blues, classical, or any other genres, she could breath a soul into it to make the  song feels so alive.  Nita said “Music is like home to me.. It’s like a dining room where I have my harmony food, it’s like a bed to lie down and relax my mind from my restlessness, it’s like a living room where I join my fellow musicians, and even a spiritual room for my peace and inspiration. Music is also like a big garden for joy, fun and excitement.”

Nita Aartsen (1)

We could clearly see that music is everything for Nita, and that was what she gave in one of the last shows of Java Jazz Festival 2010. Bringing the cool Latin Jazz Mania as the concept, her show was enjoyed by many audiences. And with Nita Aartsen, Java Jazz Festival 2010 finally reached the end.

Reporter: Riandy Kurniawan, Daniel Irawan
Photographer: Praditya Nova, Eghi Gabred


This band who brought Chaka Khan into the light of fame now came back to java Jazz Festival. After being in the hidden nest of crowd, Rufus the showed themselves back in the year of 2006. It is out of Tony Maiden idea – Guitarist of Rufus to do a show collaborating with Sly Stone. Helding it in Java Jazz Festival 2010, they made people watched in awe for their magnificent performance.

Rufus ft Sly Stone (3)

One of the JJF’s Best Pals, Jeff Lorber, who were widely known as fusion jazz respected artists, was also one reason the festival could going along so well until now. Together with Brian simpson, Michael Paulo and some other artists, Jeff has never absent support the shows. This year, like before, Jeff has again performed with Michael Paulo and Jimmy Haslip from Yellowjackets as a surprise guest appearance. There’s not much to say about his performance which always treated our thirst for jazz every year but totally remarkable.

Jeff Lorber (1)

Randy Brecker, legendary trumpeter and flugelhorn player from The Becker Brothers, and Bill Evans, famous saxophonist who once being the members of Miles Davis band, comes with a  special package named Soulbop Special Edition featuring guitarist Robben Ford, bassist Darryl Jones, pianist Steve Weingart, and above all Toto’s Steve Lukather. Steve’s appearance was one of the most expected performance this year since Toto had became many band’s inspired style. Steal the show one after another, they explored the other side of jazz, rock, soul and blues alltogether, and rarely we could see music legends collaborate together in one big stage at the main hall. Even Babyface’s special show couldn’t hold the audience’s enthusiasm to see their performance.

See more pictures:

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Reporter: Riandy Kurniawan, Daniel Irawan, Ata Michaella
Photographer: Omar Arif Maulana, Praditya Nova, Daniel Irawan
Editor: Ardhi Saputro