Wednesday, June 3, 2015
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java jazz festival 2012


“How do you feel after meeting Dave Koz in person?” said a friend to us right after this interview’s done. For us it feels like meeting an old friend, or even a brother who hasn’t come back home for many years. Dave Koz has been a very successful artist, even listed as one of the most famous artist under Smooth Jazz category in the world, but here in South East Asia especially Indonesia he’s very special. Whether one like jazz or not, the name Dave Koz would surely be familiar. It’s very special, so special that he even made two Asian edition albums (Lucky Man and The Dance) where he added popular songs from this region such as Ruth Sahanaya’s hit “Keliru” and Sheila Majid’s “Sinaran”.

2 years ago he released “Hello Tomorrow” with all star cast and got the Grammy nomination. This album marked the 20th anniversary of his career which shows his positivity in dealing with changes. You can read what he said about the album and what message he wanted to send in the interview below.

Outside his activity on stage and studio, Dave is also concern about the humanitarian causes, especially to the suffering kids all around the world. He’s been joining Starlight Children’s Foundation and helping them constantly to raise money and awareness for this good cause. Then he also hosts the Dave Koz Cruise which provides a unique opportunity to hang out with the performers and many more highlights during a cruise to beautiful cities in Europe. Yes, he’s busy, but he still looks fresh and happy, not to mention his high energetic shows with full crowds at the Java Jazz Festival 2012.

How great it was to be able to personally greeted him on his return to Jakarta. A 10 minutes session was established by the help of the Java Festival Production, where we got more like friendly conversations rather than Q and A’s. He was delighted to know that some of his old songs were still occasionally played in some radio stations here in Indonesia. “I love hearing stories like that!” he said excitedly.


It’s been wonderful to see the special connection between you and the Indonesian fans. For us, you are really a very special artist. Are the Indonesian fans also that special to you?
Sure! I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t the case. so I’m always thrilled to come to Indonesia. I’ve been here since.. I think my first trip was in umm.. 1993. So almost twenty years of coming to Indonesia. I’ve seen many changes here, but one things remain consistent, since the very first time i put my feet under the ground here in Jakarta is that Indonesian people are very passionate and very special and they love their music. You love your music which make it easier for people like me to come here.

You started in 1990, with Emily, Nothing But the Radio On.. those songs are still played from time to time in some radio stations in Indonesia you know..
Oh really? That’s great!

And you released Hello Tomorrow in 2010. Besides the title, the cover kind of tell us many things…you know, you look up to the sky, smile happily, bright background, flowery landscape.. and the fact that you just changed label too after 20 years, we get some kind of impression that it’s like the beginning of a better tomorrow. What message do you actually want to tell us by this album?
The message in the album is really about change. Everybody, no matter where you lived in the world, no matter what you do, what age you’re at, right now, at this time period, it’s all about  change. So many things change and so fast! And in my own life I was experiencing that. And i was feeling like a lot of people do with change.. disoriented, scary times, and through the making that project i realized a very important lesson, which was instead of fighting it, it’s better to say like, “okay, I’m gonna embrace it. I wanna embrace these changes, I wanna embrace the new aspects of my life and yes it’s true. I found a whole new reservoir of life, a whole new inspiration. and so when it did coincide with new label, with new producers, with new ways of recording in this album, the whole album was all done in live, new friends in the studio, so alot of new. As a result, i’m very happy and excited about, you know after you do something for so many years you’d feel like this is the end of my career. But by making this album, i felt like, okay, this is a new beginning.


When one talks about jazz, the name Herbie Hancock has got to come up. It’s obvious, since this man has done so many things in this side of music that we all love. There were so many of his musical inventions that helped to redefine jazz from one era to another. From his golden moment of being in ‘Miles Davis academy’ as one of the members of the Miles Davis Second Great Quintet (with Ron Carter, Tony Willams and George Coleman or Sam Rivers before it got finalized with Wayne Shorter in the late 1964), the defining moment of modal jazz/hard bop in one of his classic album Maiden Voyage (1965), his phenomenal landing on funk in Head Hunters which was released in 1973 after 3 his previous experimental oriented albums (Mwandishi, Crossings and Sextant) where you can find his all-time hits such as “Chameleon” and “Watermelon Man”, to the moment when he surprised many people and established a new foundation when he embraced the breakdance era by releasing Rockit! featuring DJ with turntable.

Eventhough jazz seems to be so ingrained in his head, that no matter what he plays jazz would appear instantly or spontaneously, he has the spirit of openness and vision of looking at music in a global view. He always want to bring something new, creating a whole different thing based on his ever wide-open vision. Aside of that, he also cares so much to bring the message of love, peace and togetherness in this era which he believes the biggest century of globalization. Being the founder of ICAP (The International Committee of Artists for Peace) and a good-will ambassador of UNESCO should place this legendary jazz-man in even higher position in the world. This spirit of love, peace and togetherness can also be seen by various collaborations he’s made like in his 2010 album The Imagine Project which involved so many artists from wide arrays of genre.  What’s also interesting is his vision also makes him look at the Indonesian food in a way we might never realized before.

With 10 minutes interview, plus we had to share it with other journalists, there might be not too much stuffs we could dig from him, but still thanks to Java Festival Production who accomodated us for this exclusive interview, we still managed to let him share what lies in the heart and mind of this legendary man. It’s been a big opportunity, a privilege and an honor to be locked up with the one and only Herbie Hancock. Eventhough Herbie was suffering a jet-lag at the time when this interview took place, he was still happily answered our questions and explained many things in details. You can watch the excerpt of the live interview in the video below, but here we have written it out for you. Happy reading.


We have been waiting for you for many years to join the festival. Great that you’re finally here, but why it took so long?
It just wouldn’t work out before to do that. I have performed in Japan many, many times. But most of the times it’s been another part of the year. None of the touring that I was doing before was gonna work out to be around the time of Java Jazz.

How about this time?
So this time, I’m flying actually from Jakarta to NY and planning two concerts there and I got to hold tours there. This time I’ve got to work it out in my series of concerts. I was able to make it connected with my tour in US.

What do you think about the Java Jazz Festival so far?
I haven’t performed here, so I dont really know about Java Jazz..

But surely you have heard about it the least.
Yes I have. I have heard about this festival before. I know George Duke has been here many times,and some other musicians… Nathan East has performed here, and they all said that this is some kind of wonderful festival.. you know.. (they said)  I;m missing the Java Jazz, their eyes lights out, big smile on their faces, and they all love coming here. They said it’s great, people are enthusiastic, and the food is great (laughs). Yeah!


Since you brought the food subject up, have you tasted the food here and what do you think about it?
I came actually in December for the UNESCO field trip. I’ve been eating Indonesian food for a long time, even when I was in Holland and I always enjoy the different combination of taste. First of all I like spicy foods. I also like food that combines a lot of different flavors. people are enthusiastic, the food is great. I love Indonesian food, I love thai food, I love know this combination of foods make an Indonesian food because you got various influences from other countries in South East Asia. And there’s a little portions that they put together (in one table) so people can share together.


Ain’t no mountain high enough to climb, ain’t no river too wide to cross. No, I’m not playing around with Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell’s evergreen, but this verse really fits the story of a triumphant  artist who takes the meaning of independent literally, Frank McComb. Not only he’s blessed with full bag of talents but he also possesses the strength and spirit to keep going, no matter what it takes. His belief in God does take stand in each step he makes, making him a rare human who can do things that we think impossible to be done. He does everything solely on his own, from creating music, mastering, mixing up to selling the CDs, also when it comes to concert booking, promoting and so on.

Having said that, the road is not always easy to pass on. He has experienced some bad weathers during his journey, things that might make a good artist quit instantly. But McComb is different. He has the power and spirit to carry on, most importantly is that he realizes that the Lord has anointed him and provides him everything he needs to do his mission. Playing music is his mission. He’s been blessing the audience and listeners with his music and sharing his knowledge to many other musicians. From the bad experience in previous labels, the memorable years with Branford Marsalis’ Buckshot LeFonque to the time when he decided to do it by his own and became a winner ever since. We believe this should inspire all struggling young musicians especially those who are commited in taking the jazz road, in wider scene his life story could inspire us all, human who face struggles every now and then.

We were happy to see Frank McComb again at the Java Jazz Festival 2012, but we were even happier when we got the chance to do an exclusive interview with him right after he hosted the music clinic right in front of the press room. Being such a nice man as he is, he followed us to the press room where this interview occured. Let’s hear what Frank McComb has to say.

Frank, you were once signed to Mo-Jazz (Motown Records’ Jazz label). But from what I heard it didn’t go pretty well. What happened back then?
Nothing..that’s what happen (laughs). Nothing was done for me.I recorded two different projects for the label, but they pretty much didn’t know how to market me. All they had to do was just release the music but we never got to that point. And now that I’m getting older, a little wiser and have more experience in the music business I believe I got lost in the company because some of the owners of Motown were in the process of selling the label to a company called Polygram. So because that was taking place, the other things were kinda took a back seat. But I wanted to leave. I choose to leave because in times like that you’re not thinking of the artist that was coming in, new artist wasn’t making a lot of money for the company. That’s when I connected with Branford Marsalis.

For Buckshot LeFonque.
Yeah, Buckshot LeFonque.

Before we dig more about Branford and Buckshot LeFonque, let’s talk first about another label you once signed in, the Columbia Records right?
Yeah, that was after releasing two CDs with Buckshot LeFonque. The second CD being a new revolution which was the home for “Another Day” that became such a big hit. Because the song, it enabled Buckshot LeFonque to take another tour. They were gonna shut Buckshot down sooner than the time, but since the song became an instant hit, it allowed us to go on the road for another tour. When that toor was finished, Branford asked me to sign to Columbia to record and release my first CD.

Did it work well?
Well, at the time I thought it was working well because I didn’t really know the business as much as I know it now. In the end, no. Because once again they signed the artist but they didn’t know how to place it.

So once again the same problem with Motown.
Yeah, the same thing. But you know, at least they released the CD. By releasing the “Love Stories” it was like having a Platinum Credit Card, something that you can show.. to show your credibility as a recording artist. The release of “Love Stories” did open some doors. But because they didn’t promote it a lot of doors that should’ve been open weren’t open.

It was better in a way, but yet it didn’t go that well..
It was bittersweet. It was good that they released it but they didn’t get the best out of the whole situation. And the issue had nothing to do with the music or even me. It was about politics and power. Who’s gonna make what decision.


Java Jazz Festival 2012 has been passed, yet many of us should still experience the jazz-lag after receiving the blows from stage to stage. Aside from enjoying jazz being served by around 2000 musicians from all over the world, it’s also interesting to see what’s happening outside during the festival.


It’s clear that Java Jazz Festival has become an important part of the lifestyle. Speaking of fashion, many people tried to dress up jazzy for this occasion as we found vests, blazers and of course the Sinatra’s fedora hats everywhere, other than the casual dress like t-shirts and jeans. Looking at the number of attendance, we can have a solid proof that jazz is actually not that difficult to digest. All ages from small babies to seniors packed in to catch their favorite artists, or even just to absorb the sense of jazz. For us, all these showgoers brought a different kind of excitment to see in a festival as big as this. It’s normal to see puzzled face when they were trying to find the stage or people running in full speed because they didn’t want to miss the selected show. There were many funny things, cool moments or unique situations all around the venue that we didn’t want to miss, not to mention the lovely blue sunset sky which appeared above the venue for the whole three days.


Salute to our photographers, they still managed to snap some shots in between their duty to take stage photos and squeezing through crowds. So now we want to share their off stage during the foremost music bash on earth. (Please click each thumbnail at the end of this article to see the photos).


There were many sweet couples seemed to drown their romance into Java Jazz by hugging each other while enjoying the show. Java Jazz Festival has also become the meeting point for artists around the world, including those who came from the same country said hi to one another. Fans took the chance to take pictures with the artists if they were lucky enough, while others had such a good time with their family and friends inside.


“The people in the world is like a big orchestra.” said Herbie Hancock to us a day before the party started. At that time he was explaining his vision to see the music in global perspective where he always wants to take part in. He always loves to collaborate with people from different cultures to show the kinds of things that can happen that one culture can’t do alone. So think of one mammoth sized annual jazz party which involved nothing but the best musicians from all around the world, presenting the global big orchestra that fit their tune in the harmony of jazz. You can have assorted delicatessen jazz served on hundreds of plates. It’s not happening in any other part of the world but it’s here in your own soil, the Republic of Indonesia. It’s provided in a large area where you can either just enjoy your moment with all kinds of jazz as you wish, learning, being inspired or trying to add some more unforgettable moment in your memory. Thanks to the Java Jazz Festival, something unthinkable like this could actually happen for real.

It only took 8 years for the Java Jazz Festival to become a mega annual music event in the world as big as this. Since 2005 this festival has been serving grand jazzin’ party with growing number and rising intensity. The 2012 edition is considered spectacular with lots of goodies found in each stage for 3 days straight. The lights are off, the party’s over for now, but surely there are lots of new experiences and everlasting memories added from this year’s edition.


What an edition it was. Who could imagine to see so many jazz legends under one roof? Genius artistes who have  contributed so much for the richness of jazz and VIPs in the music business, the return of some all-time great bands/artists, the inspiring ones, innovators, today’s popular stars, Grammy winners and the potential young talents filled all slots in this year’s edition, divided into around 18 stages, about 70 shows per day for three days. Estimated 2000 artists (divided into 145 Indonesian groups and 52 internationals) and tens of thousands of people gathered in the name of jazz. Names like Herbie Hancock, Al Jarreau, George Duke, Ron Carter, Pat Metheny, Dave Koz, Erykah Badu, Swing Out Sister, Bobby McFerrin, Bobby Caldwell, Phil Perry, Gerald Albright, Chante Moore, Everette Harp, Carl Allen, D’Sound, Sheila E, Maurice Brown, Trijntje Oosterhuis, Frank McComb and Laura Fygi, in-house residents including Jeff Lorber, Brian Simpson, Michael Paulo, Ron King, or from our own soil Indra Lesmana, Dwiki Dharmawan, Dewa Budjana, Riza Arshad, Tohpati, Oele Pattiselano, Bob Tutupoly, Titiek Puspa, Andi Wiriantono, Donny Suhendra, Andien, Dira, Tompi, Glenn Fredly, Sandhy Sondoro are just a few mentioned name listed in this year’s edition.  Crazy list of artists? You bet. The 2012 lineup is considered as the best lineup so far by many. Jazz is an universal language that can carry and spread the message of peace throughout the world. Through the Java Jazz Festival we can see the evidence clearly, we even should know by now that it has become one of the most effective vehicle for that.

“Congratulations, you are now the number one jazz event in the world.” said Philippines singer Moy Ortiz together with real life and stage couple Miguel and Evelyn of Aquarela who we met inside the venue and hope to see on stage some day at this festival. They are just 3 of many attendees who came from abroad. There were 300 jazz fans only from Singapore alone, we also saw many from Malaysia, Japan and many other sides of the world. “If this wasn’t a good festival people wouldn’t come. Right now Java Jazz Festival is the biggest festival in the world. Bigger than North Sea (Jazz Festival). I never thought I would have seen such a thing.” said Frank McComb to us. That shows the big appreciation from jazz/music lovers, not only from Indonesia but also from so many other parts of the sphere.

Every year we got many things to highlight. The same thing happen for the 8th edition of Java Jazz Festival too. Let’s see some of them.

The Home of Legends

“What an unbelievable festival. It’s a wonder how you guys could bring more than 20 legends in one shot.” said one lady from Germany who we caught around the venue about this year’s Java Jazz Festival. Being a long time jazz fans for many decades, she simply amazed by the legends listed in the Java Jazz Festival 2012’s rooster and that really make sense.


This year’s edition had a long list of names who have contributed big deals for jazz and its history. Herbie Hancock, George Duke, Stevie Wonder, Al Jarreau, Pat Metheny, The Manhattan Transfer, Ron Carter, Bobby Caldwell and Bobby McFerrin would surely fit into this category, also the jazz legends from our own land such as Oele Pattiselano, Benny Mustafa Van Diest, Bob Tutupoly, Titiek Puspa, Grace Simon, Jopie Item, Chaseiro or even the all-time rock legend God Bless who extended a friendship to the jazz fans with their sensational performance. If we continue to the younger musicians who should also be listed, we can add some more names such as Indra Lesmana, Dwiki Dharmawan, Addie MS and so on. Big names who are prominent in their fields such as Carl Allen, Rodney Whitaker, Jeff Lorber, Everette Harp, Dave Koz, Phil Perry, Laura Fygi, Trijntje Oosterhuis, Gerald Albright, David Sanborn, Tohpati, Dewa Budjana, Riza Arshad, Balawan, Yance Manusama, Aksan Sjuman, Bintang Indrianto, Indro Hardjodikoro, Cendy Luntungan, Jeffrey Tahalele, Andi Wiriantono and many other names were also merry this year’s jazzavaganza. Many long-time highly popular bands also joined in like Swing Out Sister, D’Sound, KLa Project for example. With all said, we have no doubt to call this year’s event as The Home of Legend.

Beautiful Ways of Tributing Legends

Yes, it’s true that Java Jazz Festival often included some tributes in each edition to honor the names who had contributed  a lot for jazz or music history, but this year felt more special with very interesting projects. In Memoriam Bubi Chen, a tribute made to honor the Art Tatum of the East, Bubi Chen who passed away a couple of weeks ago appeared grand with friends/fellow musicians or ex students participated in, including the founder of Java Jazz Festival Peter F Gontha shared his memory and playing the piano in this show. Benyamin S on Jazz respecting the Batavian artiste Benyamin S with Indra Aryadi as the music director also consisted of many guest stars. The same thing happened in Tribute to Utha Likumahuwa with Barry Likumahuwa stood tall behind it together with many Utha’s relatives and friends.


The last day of Java Jazz Festival 2012 was spectacular! Colorful music styles and lots of unique performances from all jazz artists hypnotized everyone at JIExpo Jakarta. It became an essential big music event for world jazz scene. Several musicians who eventually rocked that venue are Hector Infanzon, Chaseiro, Joey De Francesco, Shadow Puppets feat Nesia Ardi, Emerald BEX and Nils Wogram Nostalgia.

If you want to hear jazz with all its improvisation being channeled into Latins in perfectly fine blend, one of the artists you should listen to is Héctor Infanzón. This Berklee College of Music alumnus doesn’t just put over some Latin percussions or sound into jazz, or trying to squeeze in jazz into Latins, but he just naturally use both as the media to pour out his feelings and expressions. Some traces of classical can shine here and there, adding up the tonal hues into her sparkling music.

Perhaps one might wonder how this man find this winning formula. Listen to what he said: “I was raised on Latin music and improvisation is the channel for me to express all my emotions, ideas and the personal way I conceive the world; through improvisation I can explore different musical forms, that..s why I try to experiment with different musical elements every time I play and compose”. Yes, Infanzon established himself in between Mexican folklore, classical, Latin American music idomis, Afro Carribean tradition plus jazz where he can express himself totally through improvisations.

Standing tall as a pianist, composer and arranger, he has worked with so many names in the Latin world, took part in two Grammy Award winning albums with Sin Bandera, involved in Ricky Martin‘s world tour between 1999 to 2001 and performed with Dave Valentin and Carlos Santana among others. He has written music for various shapes of band and wide array or genres, from jazz trio to string quintet and piano even further to reach orchestra and piece for harpsichord and piano. After performing in some international festival such as Montreal Jazz Festival in 2009, finally he got the chance to share his sophisticated taste of music for us at the Java Jazz Festival 2012.

It’s not easy to keep the same band members for many years. We have seen many solid bands had to suffer when some of their fellows decided to leave the band for many reasons. But here we have a legendary vocal harmony group that still solid as one team after passing through the test of time. This year they will celebrate their group’s 34th anniversary. That’s not a short time. Everything could happen during those years, but somehow they are still together, even closer than ever. Yes, we are talking about Chaseiro.

Ear catchy melody, top-notch vocal harmony and smart lyrics (including many socio-political critisms and spirit-uplifting words) served in rainbow-like variety of genres have become their strength from the start. Candra Darusman (keyboard, vocal), Helmie Indrakesuma (vocal), Aswin Sastrowardoyo (guitar, vocal), Edi Hudioro (flute), Irwan Indrakesuma (vocal), Rizali Indrakesuma (bass, vocal) and Omen Sonisontani (vocal) are still passionate to sail over the most current music scene along with much younger bands we know today. They still have many things to prove, and what’s great about it is that they still have the power to do so. Not long ago they released a new album entitled “Retro”, consists of their rearranged hits to suit today’s music trend. Soon they will hold their special concert entitled “Chaseiro Music & Friends” at The Hall, Senayan City on March 16, 2012 featuring stars such as Andien, Lala Suwages, Iwa K, Riza Arshad and many more. Before that, they landed first on the Java Jazz Festival’s stage and brought their fans into a memory lane with their evergreens.

Joey DeFrancesco is one of the most famous jazz organists in the world that has inspired many successful musicians and has been working for years in music scene with uncountable wondrous artists such as Ray Charles, Bette Midler, David Sanborn, Arturo Sandoval, Frank Wess, Benny Golson, James Moody, Steve Gadd, Elvin Jones, Jimmy Cobb, George Benson, John Scofield, Joe Lovano, and more. During his career he has received many prestigious achievements. Two of them are Down Beat Critics and Readers poll since 2002 and Jazz Journalist award. In 2004 Joey was nominated for a Grammy for his record “Falling In Love Again” and again for “Never Can Say Goodbye” in 2010.

Along with his trio, he has played around the world and also with David Sanborn. If we look back to his history, we’ll find that he grew up in musical family, his father John DeFrancesco was a jazz pianist and his grandfather is Joseph DeFrancesco was a reed man. When he was in his teens he signed a contract with Columbia Records and released “All of Me”. He made his own quartet and years after he jouned into a group “Free Spirits” with drummer Dennis Chamber. At last year Java Jazz Festival, he amazed the audience by playing hammond organ together with Byron Landham and Paul Bollenback on his side in bringing out the special tribute to Michael Jackson, just like the theme of his album “Never Can Say Goodbye”. It was a really great performance, so great that he made some of our musicians got inspired by him. Some have even established their own bands right away, like Mr Funkenstein and Fanny Kuncoro Organ Quartet. This year he’s back again with another selected songs, but still with the same strong jazz statement over his Hammond weapon. It was an honor to watch Joey again at the same festival in 2012, public was treated to smart compositions and posh arrangements by world class musician like him.

From four to two, this is the latest formation of Shadow Puppets after the separation of two fellows. This time Irsa Destiwi on piano and Robert Mulyarahardja on guitar brought two additional players, Elfa Zulham as drummer and Kevin Yosua Makarawung as upright bassist without losing the original ingredients of Shadow Puppets. This group is well-known for their uniqueness and productivity in music, especially jazz. Irsa and Robert also do some other projects besides shadow puppets and these things add the richess of their musical taste and make them expert in playing many genres outside jazz. Their creativities were poured out within the tracks they served tonight for the flocks and the performance was complete also because Nesia Ardi as one of few competent jazz singers. Recently she is trusted to be the occasional vocalist in Shadow Puppets, giving freshly ambience, and Irsa said they will selectively choose some tracks that suit Nesia’s voice.

It’s not easy of course to keep the band balance after losing two of its members, but we know Robert and Irsa will fight to keep it shine. Having some highly capable musicians to replace what’s empty inside the band is one of the right move. All ran smooth tonight without any problem. It’s interesting to see the new shape of Shadow Puppets, and it’s even more interesting to see what will come next from them. Keep going and keep the spirit up, Robert and Irsa! And as we always say, Long live the Puppets!

You might be familiar with the name Emerald-Bex (BEX=Band EXplosion) or you might be enlightened by the first word of the name, Emerald. Yes, Emerald or now will be more known as Emerald-BEX is the same as the legendary jazz fusion band you knew in the old times. They reunite again with the same players such as Iwang Noorsaid as keyboardist, Roedyanto as electric bassist, and Morgan Sigarlaki as electric guitarist. Besides the three seniors, this group also presented one potential young drummer, Riyandi Andaputra, still 15 years old.

As a prolongation of the former famous Emerald, they already have their own special segment of fans. We can see their truly lovers assembled tonight to listen the power fusion they played and the way they brought us back into the glorious late of 80s and the early of 90s. A long journey of music career has taught them to maintain the spirit, energy, and passion within their selves; therefore an audience once said, “They are already blended completely with their instruments…it’s not someone playing music anymore, it’s the music that comes alive.” when they performed in North Sumatera Jazz Festival 2011.

This worth-waited, across generations collaboration group brought their famous hits such as “Meet at Peacock”, “Journey to Sabang Street” and “11 Juli”, a song that reflected the day they were born in 1986, among other cool explosive fusion compositions. BEX Emerald consists of experienced musicians who can make their band and music shines and valuable like emerald. May they keep on shining in the future.

Nils Wogram is not only a German composer but also a well-known trombonist, counted as one of the most enterprising jazz musician in European music industry. A flawless formation of the great talents when he together with Brian Charette (Hammond organ) and Dejan Terzic (Drums) proposed a formation of live performer in those stages of jazz sphere in the name of Nils Wogram Nostalgia, but for exception we can listen to Florian Ross’ tunes on B3 Hammond organ in one of their recording format.

Wogram is a real multitalented musician as we know he dived into some different genres in his journey in music industry. About the group Nostalgia, it came from his love towards stunning trios using Hammond organ that he had seen many times in Harlem during his stay in New York. He finally established his own trio in 2004 and due to the idea of bringing back the memory, he named the trio as Nostalgia.

Tonight we are indulged with his ability in playing European contemporary tunes. These German artistic musicians delivered manic explorations without losing the grip to have fun on stage. He could rely himself on the unconventional beats (like the way the group play their song “Friday the 13th”), reggae and pop arithmetic shimmering with melodica (for example in “Swing ‘em Home”), stomping analog fake electronic beats (“Copenhagen”) and epic melody and harmony arcs (“Fundamentals”) in addition to the obligatory syncopated 4/4 trips through time. Many tastes, flavors and styles on the plate, but no matter what they are always connected one to another just like a triangle, where you can find your delight in every corner. A really wonderful choice from Serambi Jazz to include this group as their represntative at the Java Jazz Festival for the first time. We really enjoyed it. Ein herzliches Dankeschön, Nils Wogram Nostalgia Trio and Goethe Institut!

So, that was some great and world class shows. How time flies too fast. Sunday was over but the atmosphere, the crowd, and whole situation at Java Jazz 2012 was unforgetable. Public was addicted to this event, and for sure Java Jazz will get more and more number of audience next year. Are you ready to make a fantastic blast in 2013? Don’t miss it.

See more pictures:

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Team on duty:

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


How often could we see Stevie Wonder in a live show? We could see him as much as we want through DVDs, listen to him through his recordings, but unless you live in the other part of the globe or willing to go far to watch his gig, it’d all be impossible. The Java Festival Production had tried to invite him for many years, from one edition to another. Finally it happened. Many people were shocked when Peter Gontha announced the final confirmation of Stevie Wonder for the first time through his twitter account.

When the ticket for Stevie Wonder started to open exactly at midnight (January 20, 2012), the tickets with opening early bird price of IDR 350.000 were sold out in just minutes. The ticket price went up slowly, but they all still got sold out quickly. Well, there’s no surprise at all, it’s the one and only Mr Stevie Wonder.


Born by the name Stevland Hardaway Morris, this multitalented American singer-songwriter, multiinstrumentalist and record producer is one of the most legendary musician. Stevie Wonder, his stage-name has became a wonder-phenomena behind his physical disability. He got signed by Motown Records since the age of eleven, and still continuing his career until now with 22 Grammy Awards winning including Grammy Lifetime Achievement Awards, and over 30 US Top 10 Hits.

It’s true that this soul man with a very unique vocal and singing style has been singing all kinds of songs in wide variety. But interestingly he actually began with jazz. His first record, “The Jazz Soul of Little Stevie”, Stevie Wonder showed his capability in singing jazz when he was still twelve years old. In the age of 13 he already had a major hit, “Fingertips (Pt.2)” and collaborated with famous artists such as Marvin Gaye. Continued with another huge hits in the late 70s, from “For Once In My Life” to “Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I”m Yours”. The success went on from the 70s to late 80s with another classic albums such as “Talking Book”, “Songs In The Key Of Life” and singles/hits such as “Superstition”, “You Are The Sunshine Of My Life”, “Sir Duke”, “I Wish”, “For Once in My Life”, “Higher Ground”, “Living for the City”, “Don’t You Worry ’bout a Thing (popularized again big time by Incognito), “Pastime Paradise” (used by Coolio for his “Gangsta’s Paradise), “Isn”t She Lovely”, “You And I”, “Lately”, and “Overjoyed”. Again, time to time we find his jazzy touch over the Motown’s soul.


Many unforgettable hits, but perhaps the most famous hit of him is “I Just Called To Say I Love You” from the romcom The Woman In Red OST, which not only became #1 hit on charts all over the world, but also won an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1985. Almost all of those hits are still covered over and over by many musicians from various genres until now. His other soundtrack works including “Stay Gold” from the Francis Ford Coppola”s “The Outsiders”, “These Three Words” from the Spike Lee’s “Jungle Fever” and the song “It”s You” which sang in a duet with Dionne Warwick (also from “The Woman In Red”). The song “Happy Birthday”, which’s still used in many birthday”s anthem until now, originally written for Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday campaign as a national day in 1980, and “Ebony and Ivory” (duet with Paul McCartney) was also marked his spirit as an human and peace activist.

Later on, Stevie Wonder was also collaborated with many great artist such as Michael Jackson, Julio Iglesias, USA For Africa”s “We Are The World” and the AIDS-inspired charity song, “That”s What Friends Are For”. It”s been over 20 years since his 1989’s show in Indonesia, but now here he’s again.


So many people queued long before the gate was opened. All of those patience are paid off when he stole the audience’s attention with the compilation of the track such as “How Sweet It Is”, “You and I”, “Overjoyed”, “I Just Called To Say I Love You”, “The Way You Make Me Feel” , “I’m Every Woman”, “For Once in My Life”,  “Don’t You Worry Bout A Thing”, “My Cherie Amour” and “Superstition”. Stevie looked as always, trying to cheer everybody’s mind up with sing along together with all his masterpiece and follow him scatting some words accompanied by his piano playing. One thing that we should note, Stevie Wonder’s daughter Aisha Morris was spotted within the backing vocals and they did a duet nicely.

Stevie Wonder is simply the biggest highlight of this year”s festival, and could be the greatest ever. There were too many moments to remember during the show, but for us it’s truly a blessing to be able to cover his very special show. Imagine watching Stevie live on stage for almost 3 hours. What a joy! One interesting fact: he didn’t even sip any drink at all during the show. How could he do that, we don’t know, but we do know he’s a wonder. Thank you Java Jazz Festival for inviting him here, and thank you Stevie for giving us such an unforgettable concert. May you be back again in the near future.

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Team on duty:

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


Tjut Njak Deviana Daudsjah is one of the most famous names when we talk about the importance of music education, particularly jazz in this country. She spent her life for many decades in Germany, but then she came back home and established the Institut Musik Daya Indonesia together with the late jazz legend Nick Mamahit. This school adopts international curriculum in their education system but still holding tight to keep our own cultures and all its values.

Back then when she was still in Germany, she once established her own group Deviana Daudsjah Trio with Karoline Höfler  (Double Bass) and Béatrice Graf (Drums) playing all over Europe during 1990 to 1993, they became one of the best-known outstanding Female Jazz Trio in European Jazz scene. Now they are having a wonderful reunion in the name of Deviana und Freunde, and how fortunate it was for us to taste this special moment of reunion by watching such a beautiful show on stage.

From learning classical before he reached his teenage years then changed the course to jazz by studying with Indra Lesmana, then shortly after won the Jazz Goes to Campus Competition and arrived at the first ever Java Jazz Festival in 2005 was just some of the highlight you’ll find if you trace an amazing young pianist named Sri Hanuraga‘s history.

This young man has the complete skill like a pros who have done it for decades. His fingers can float amazingly fast when needed, so fast that your eyes won’t able to see the them anymore. That’s what he got after pursuing more education in Conservatorium van Amsterdam. While learning in there he already bagged many achievements including winning the soloist prize at the East of Eastern Jazz Festival in Nijmegen, one of the famous oldest cities located in the east of Netherlands (2006), runner up at the YPF Jazz Piano Competition, The Indonesian Young Talent Award by Java Jazz Festival and The European Keep an Eye Jazz Award 2011 for “Best Band” category. Staying in Netherlands enables him to go playing all over Europe as well as enriching himself with loads of experiences to become a world class piano player.

Speaking of recording, we have heard Aga’s tremendous playing with Riza Arshad, Indrawan Tjhin and Sandy Winarta in a group called “W/H/A/T”. (The album is available at our online store here:). Now Aga (that’s how his friends call him) steps higher by releasing his brand new album “Just Braggin'” as the debut album of his group named The Brag Pack this month. Other than himself on piano, for the festival Aga brings Slovenian drummer Kristijan Kranjcan and German bassist Theo Balbig. Just Braggin’ features lots of stunning free improvisations with mixtures of genres from Bebop, Post Bop to 20th Century Classical Music, pop and to rock. Other than the original compositions, the album contains original arrangements of Polish and also Indonesian traditional songs/anthems such as “Cublak Cublak Suweng” and “Bangun Pemuda Pemudi” in the style you’ve never heard before. (The album will be available at Jazzuality Online Store soon). Since the album’s still fresh from the oven, Aga and his trio used the album as their repertoires for this occasion.

Sri Hanuraga Trio‘s show was a sheer extacy for ‘hardcore’ jazz lovers who always expect a manic improvisations over varied rhythms, melodious compositions in tight harmony. What Aga showed tonight was amazing, just as his new album that we’ve listened eariler. We admire his worldclass skill and braveness in presenting jazz in such challenging, jaw-dropping way like this. Way to go, Aga!

Manna, a harmonious quartet which has fusion as their indirect power in music, consists of a marvelous bassist A.S Mates, multi-colored guitarist with delightful touch Achmad Ananda (Nanda), a superb drummer Jessilardus (Jessi) Mates, and an additional vocalist/rapper Fajri Rusani. After watching their performance several times in some other stages and listening to their debut album produced independently (the album is available at our online store:, it’s about time for us to see them again gracing the prestigious event like this.

After several years in business, this cross-generation band becomes more solid in harmony. One of the secret ingredients of this band is the way they keep each of their technique without making their music sounds difficult to the common listeners. About the vocal, Fajri stated that in this band vocal is functioned as the filler for the music which comes out from the instruments held by the rest of the band. “Guitar, bass and drums are not used just as the instruments to back the singer up, but they all go hand in hand with the vocal. We fill in each other, wrapped as one. That’s what Manna’s is about.” said Fajri.

From Nanda we got more insight info about the concept of Manna for Java Jazz Festival 2012. “We are trying to build a new concept of blending acoustic and groove sound with electronic music.” He gave an example of that with one of his composition called “Cross Culture” which they combined Asian melody, modern harmony and electronic groove with the ellegant touch of contrabass.

It is a contentment to had them on stage, a great group who creatively fuses jazz, rock, blues, funk, and other kinds of tune into one epic performance. Other than the song mentioned above, they played the light progressive song “Whatever”, “Something Different” which played with a little “odd meter” and rock touch, “Blues for Yan” and their winning song from Monk’s repertioire “In Walked Bud”, a cool tropicalistic song with some Michael Jackson’s “Black or White” and GnR’s surprising twist in the middle. If you are a big fan of jazz, rock and blues, if you love to see the combination of acoustic and electronic, these people are really into you. Java Jazz Festival 2012 is one of a promising event for Manna to show their musical characters, and we are happy to see them landing on this event. Keep up the good creation guys!


Do you still want to dive in jazz and feel ambience of this event? Some tributes highlighted this year’s Java Jazz Festival 2012. One of the special them was served grant at Kementrian Pariwisata (Ministry of Tourism) Stage 1 in paying the respect to a legendary Batavian artiste, Benyamin S. Born as Benyamin Sueb at Kampung Utan Panjang, Kemayoran, he pursued his career in many fields, from movie/television actor, comedian, singer and song writer. Benyamin often wrote funny lyrics, but make no mistake, he could give more than just entertainment with that. He could bring some reflections, critics or inspiring things along with the content. He’s made/involved in more than 75 albums (the last one was Al-Haj with Keenan Nasution), played in 53 movies and some populer soap opera for television. When we talk about his song style, he always stayed true in having his own culture exposed. He sang and wrote some songs dipped in gambang kromong style, some keroncong and dangdut were included, but amazingly he also infused wide arrays of western genres like soul, blues, funk, rock, latins, seriosa and even rap. His openness was supported with his love of improvisation, and there we see the connection between him and jazz.

Is that the only connection between Benyamin and jazz? Actually not. There was a time when he got encountered with jazz during the 50s and 60s. In his Melody Boys era in 1950s he did jazz with legend Jack Lemmers (the real name of Jack Lesmana) and Bill Saragih at Hotel Des Indes Jakarta. He passed away of heart attack in 1995, but his contributions, works and legacy will live forever.

To honor Benyamin S, some musicians joined hands together in paying him a special tribute. This idea is also appear in the shape of album through collaboration project consists of Indra Aryadi and Friends and as a surprise the CD launched today. Benyamin on Jazz – Tribute to the Legend was the name where they brought full respect to Benyamin S. The personnels are Indra on music director and accoustic guitar, Demas Narawangsa on drums, Zoltan Renaldi on electric bass, Yoseph Sitompul on keyboard, Reno Cast. They did several massive collaborations on stage. They greet the audience with a collaboration with Didiet on violin in “Sang Bangau”, next featuring Subway Heat they played “Nonton Bioskop”, then Indra Aryadi and Brinets Idol nicely served medley “Perkutut” and “Hujan Gerimis”, together with Indro Hardjodikoro they played “Nangke Lande”. Next stop was with Yessi Kristianto on “Superman”, then in harmony with Kristian Dharma Kriskruise on “Keluarga Gila”,  “Badminton” was brought by Krishna Balagita, Brinets ft IYR’s Albert Fakdawer sang on “Janda Kembang”, Soundshine ft. R2Rythm and all artists prominently closed their performance together on medley “Yang Paling Enak” and the most famous song of Benyamin S, “Kompor Meledug”. Many flavors, many vibrant colors, musical exploration in full variation of styles were performed by these talents. Thank you for an amazing show, guys! Rest in peace, Benyamin S, we will carry on your legacy.

In Bromo Serambi Jazz Room, another part of European – German jazz was ready to serve. Franck Amsallem is a French singer, conductor, composer, but well-known as jazz pianist who has already been in this environment for more than 35 years. No doubt for many famous artists he has colaborated including Maria Schneider, Charles Lloyd, Bobby Watson, Joe Chambers, Tim Ries, Gerry Muligan, Jerry Bergonzi, Harry Belafonte and Blood Sweat and Tears, but on the top of it, he always loves more to play by his own. His own way, his own composition, and his own concept. but on the top of it, playing alone in jazzy playground is more excited for him because of the deliberacy in exploring, creating, and having fun. Eventhough he gave up on classical piano at the first time, but afterwards he has proven that his decision now is the right one.

Franck who is on behalf of Serambi Jazz has performed in many major festivals and got a lot of experiences with other musicians. As the result, he earned many commendations and has released eight CDs under his name until now. We could clearly see how important the role of composition is for him by watching his show. Franck Amsallem on stage delivered the beauty correlation between him and the piano under lovely compositions, resulted one intimate moment for the people coming to his show. Perhaps music is never enough for him to explore and it is a positive profit for Franck’s lover to see his existency more and more.

For many years we’ve hooked into Chante Moore‘s mesmerizing soulful voice through some songs in our playlist directly from C2 Hall. Her seductive vocal touch in “Wey U” from Waiting to Exhale OST, the lovely collaboration with Kenny G in “One More Time” or her debut single in 1992, “Love Taken Over”, these songs have accompanied us for many years. She’s best known as a soul and RnB singer, but we’ll easily find some jazz splashes in her songs. It’s really a privilege for us to finally able to see her performing live right in front of our eyes.

Chante has been doing it for no less than 15 years. She grew up singing chruch, filled with lots of gospel music plus jazz albums from the likes of George Duke to Lee Ritenour. Being havily involved musically made her come to an important decision in her teens, that is to be a singer, especially after her peformance in the high school rendition of The Wiz. Outside the music career, she was also a successful beauty pageant contestant.

She joined El DeBarge in “In the Storm” before she made her debut album. More album came up after that such as “Precious, Love Supreme”, “This Moment Is Mine” all the way to her glorious duet album with husband Kenny Lattimore in “Uncovered/Covered”. After that she still released more albums such as “Love the Woman” and the upcoming “Changed”.

With the sparkling vocal quality that can easily be distinguished from other singers plus the over a decade career, Chante brings back the beauty of soulful RnB the way it was before this genre got ‘contaminated’ by far less melodious and profane lyrics. Moreover, her simple and natural jazzy touch is always a winner. For Java Jazz Festival she surprisingly brought Everette Harp along, so not only we got the chance to hear her wonderful voice, we also got the tasty sax lines from Everette as well. Thank you Java Jazz Festival for bringing this soulful songstress to Indonesia!

Those all for this section and do not forget to keep your mind updated in this last day of Java Jazz Festival 2012.

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


It was afternoon on Blessed Sunday; even though the weather was not so friendly but It did not restrain the intention of people to come here at Kemayoran and feel the nuance of Java Jazz Festival 2012. Around 4 until 7 pm there were six musicians with quality greet their loyalty lover and entertained them. For instance, In Memoriam of Bubi Chen, KLa Project, Andi Wirianto & the Next Generation, Benny Likumahuwa Like Father Like Son, Swing Out Sister, Monita Tahalea Quartet, Tomorrow People Ensemble.

The piano virtuoso, the Art Tatum of the East, the legendary Bubi Chen had been battling with his health for several years, but still we got shock when we received the news from his son about his passing last February 16, 2012. (Read our obituary article here). We grief, we miss him, and to be honest, we still need him so much. He had given uncountable contributions towards the Indonesian jazz. He was one of the earliest jazz artists and a teacher who had built hundreds of successful talents. He was still passionately active on stage up until his last breath, the kind of spirit that we all should be inspired at.

Another important thing about Bubi Chen was said nicely by Indra Lesmana. “Indonesia has just lost one important figure. Bubi Chen was one of the first men who brought good news about Indonesia to the international scene, showing that Indonesia was already modern at that time. Imagine this, we already had such modern pianist in the 60s like the virtuoso Bubi Chen. Indonesia could already showed it during 1967-1968, thanks to him. I think it’s a big achievement that we should always remember and look up to. Itís something that not many aware of anymore, especially the present generation. Heís a figure that we should always consider as one of the greatest artistes like Affandi for example. I witnessed it myself, so I know for sure how important Bubi Chen is in our history.”

He should have joined this year’s Java Jazz Festival, but unfortunately God has called him before that. Some of his closest fellow musicians, ex-students and friends made a quick move to hold a special tribute to pay him respect at this Java Jazz Festival. They called the show “In Memory of Bubi Chen”. Look at the long list of stars joining in for this show. There were Sri Hanuraga, Sierra Soetedjo, Idang Rasjidi, Dewa Budjana, Oele Pattiselano plus the brain of the Java Jazz Festival himself, Peter F Gontha among the lineups, all were paying their most respect to this legendary artiste.

As the opening, Indra Lesmana, Peter F. Gontha, and Sandy Winarta played “It Had to be You” . Next, Chet Baker’s “There Will Never Be Another You”  was played by Donny Sundoyo on bass. It continued into Jeffrey Tahalele  as bassist together with Benny Mustafa as drummer, and Bob Tutupoli as vocalist sang “Polkadot&Moonbeans” from Frank Sinatra and it is one of Bubi’s favorite ballad. Next stop, “Soverin Hill”, a song by Budjana in Samsara album where Bubi Chen played the piano in Surabaya in 2001, was brought up today by Dewa Budjana on 1st guitar, Robert on 2nd guitar, Sri Hanuraga on piano, Donny Sundjoyo on bass, and Sandy Winarta on drum. In the end, Bambang Nugroho said that Bubi had taught him piano since his age 0f 10 then a video about Bubi Chen was played which was made by H. Suryo. Andi Wiriantono as one of the closest relative was supposed to join the ensemble too, but due to some circumstances he didn’t make it eventhough he was already there before the show started.

We lost him, we may not see him in person anymore, but his spirit and music will live on forever. We will always have him in our heart. Farewell, Bubi chen, rest in peace, we’ll carry on your legacy. Thank you to all the participating artists, you’ve made one very beautiful tribute.

Meantime at B 1 Hall, KLa Project, our legendary band that known famously by their exploration of progressive pop, was formed in 1988, right when the creative pop became a trend in Indonesian music. KLa, which refers to its personnels : Katon Bagaskara, Lilo (Romulo Radjadin), Adi Adrian, also got famous by their ways to create poetical lyrics and song title, mostly written by Katon. Have won many Indonesian music awards and platinums for album-selling, the band who has given us many everlasting hits from “Tentang Kita” to “Yogyakarta” has had their ups and downs through the new millennium, but then reunited in 2010 after a mini album called KLa Returns and the recent ‘Exellentia’. Jazz, however, from their first performance in JJF 2008, was a challenge for their music exploration. But as KLa’s music still remains as a pop progressive, it also had many influences spread from any genre including jazz, such as “Waktu Tersisa” which has lots of jazz chords, their collaboration with the late Embong Rahardjo in ‘KLakustik’ tours and albums, a young jazz singer, Sierra Sutedjo in their recent album, and mostly, Adi’s style of arranging keys often came with strong jazz felt in it. This year, KLa went back to the festival bringing their taste of jazz.

This time KLa had shown the whole new atmosphere by having thick jazz pattern inside their arrangements. They played with Aryo as saxophonist and Bintang as bassist. This time they had “Gerimis”, “Baiknya”, “Tak Bisa ke Lain Hati”, “Jogjakarta”, and “Tentang Kita” within they songlist. “Semoga” by using “Belahan Jiwa” as intro became the encore within their performance. It is unusual to be said but it is interesting to see them on Java Jazz.

Andi Wiriantono brought 7 of his students and called the group “Andi Wiriantono and The Next Generation”. This show happened at the Java Jazz stage. As an amazing pianist, naturally he should have built his career on stage after graduating from Berklee College of Music which he completed only in two years. But he decided to fulfill his calling for an ever better cause. He took the role as a teacher and created full bags of great talents. Many of his students now have achieved their success in the music business while many are still in the making. At the Java Jazz Festival 2012 this humble and phylosophical teacher brought the magnificent 7 that he believes will become the next jazz generation of the nation. They were Tiza Mafira, Yen Yen Nuansa, Rafael Yefta, Andreas Narwastu, Grace Ng, Boston Gunawan and Allan Maulana. All these young pianists stood bravely on the prestigious stage of Java Jazz Festival to do grand piano – Hammond RT3 duet with their teacher.

We came to see them and there we witnessed the future stars in the making, sharing all the joy with Andi Wiriantono by playing their personal picks. Andi let them chose the song they would like to bring, and he’d join them during their recitals. Alan Maulana with “All Blues”, the Institut Musik Indonesia’s alumnus Rafael chose “Mr PC”, Boston took “Take Five”, ex Bubi Chen’s student and one of the most senior student of Andi, Yen Yen picked “It Could Happen To You” and Andreas selected his favorite, “There’s No Greater Love”. Grace Ng became the only student that did scat plus sing during her part, pinning “Blue Bossa” in perfection and last but not least, Tiza Mafira brought “Beautiful Love” back alive. “She’s so unique…” Andi said to us. Why? “This girl graduated from Harvard Law School and work as a lawyer. But she can’t help her passion and love toward jazz, so she’s willing to spare her busy time happily for playing jazz. That’s so unbelievable!” said Andi in awe.

Speaking of the concept, not only we see the collaboration between students and teacher, but the unique and rare combination of piano and Hammond RT3 in one show brought a distinct color into this year’s Java Jazz Festival.

As lovely as this show was, we feel happy and touched to see the new faces for the future of jazz. They are absolutely ready to enter the industry, based on how good they were on the Java Jazz stage. This is a showcase that should remind us all of how important the education is and as for Andi, this is a strong proof of how great he is as a teacher. “Regeneration is the key if we want to keep Indonesian jazz alive into the future.” said Andi. He mentioned some generation of jazz pianist, from Didi Chia, Nick Mamahit, Bubi chen, then Indra Lesmana, Riza Arshad among the second generation, then we got Ali Akbar, Mery Kasiman, Imelda Rosalin to finally meet Irsa Destiwi and some other young jazz pianist we have from the present generation. “Preparing the next generation is indeed crucial” he said furthermore. That’s what he’ll always work for. Andi also asked us to mention this to the Java Festival Production. “On behalf of Andi Wiriantono, please send my grattitude and respect to EQ Puradiredja and the whole Java Festival Production.. After they learn to play jazz seriously, they need a chance and experience to play on stage. thank you for accomodating these young kids and giving them chance to play at a very prestigious stage like this.” he said.

Andi Wiriantono would probably be more busy in the future since he’s playing much more often on stage too besides teaching, but with God’s help, we are sure he will do both at best. Thank you for all your efforts in shaping up great jazz musicians, thank you for caring of the importance of regeneration, and thank you for giving us such a lovely show. We wish you all the best and will always support you.

Meanwhile at Kementerian Pariwisata & Ekonomi Kreatif, One legend with more than 50 years career and his highly popular rising star, shared the stage in lovely harmony at this year’s festival. Likumahuwa family is notable to many people in all generation. Benny represents the senior while Barry is a representative of the youngsters. Both are famous for their capable music career and a very matching couple in collaboration called Benny Likumahuwa Like Father Like Son.  Joining them in this show were Indra Aziz, Dennis Junio (saxes), Fanny Kuncoro and Doni Joesran (pianos).  Whether you are the big fan of Benny or Barry, their site was a great scene to feel the good connection of father and son, plus jazz, and felicity from the crowd. In togetherness they offered several nice songs. Hopefully, they still going on and on together.What a strong family bond.

We have seen their collaborations many times, but now they strengthened the bond in a group that clearly states all the love between them. So at this show we witness the harmonious father-son relationship which now appeared beautifully in melodies.

Though currently known as a duo of Andy Connell (keyboards) and Corinne Drewery (vocals), Swing Out Sister began their career as a trio in UK. The name itself came from a 1945 movie called ‘Swing Out, Sister’. This British ‘sophisti-pop’ group and considered by many as contemporary vocal jazz band with the massive hits, “Breakout”, “You On My Mind” and “Am I The Same Girl” has also performed in the 2009ís festival. (see our coverage here).

If at that time they played under the concept of acoustic, this time they’re coming back with a different atmosphere, with a big band. Lucky for their Indonesian fans, this time they didn’t come as the Special Show artist, so everyone who holds the daily ticket would definitely able to see them live on stage. It’s not everyday we see Swing Out Sister performing with big band. It might possibly be the first attempt for them too, but surely it was the first time we saw them in this concept. We were excited from the first time we heard about this, not only because we knew the concept would be interesting but also because we truly believed Corinne’s voice would be strong enough to stand in front of the big band.

For almost 30 years Swing Out Sister has entertained us with their music. We still listen to their classic hits from time to time. That’s why we’re always excited whenever we got the chance to see and cover their gig. Tonight, they greeted the audience by saying “It’s Good to Be Back in Jakarta”. Tonight they entertained the crowd with “La la la Means I love You”, “The Look of Love”, “The Super Hit”, “Breakout” was played medley with “I’ll Be There”, “Forever Blue”, continued with “Now You’re not Here”, “Am I the Same Girl”. Thank you Java Jazz Festival for bringing them again, and thank you Swing Out Sister for presenting another lovely show.

You probably have known Monita since she was competing in Indonesian Idol 2005. Her jazzy voice attracted one of the judges, Indra Lesmana, and long story short, Indra managed to be the producer for her 2010 debut record, Dream, Hope and Faith. (Available at our online store)

At the other time, team up with Jantan Gerhana Surya (drums), Kevin Yosua (contrabass), Andy Gomez (keys) plus Indra Dauna (trumpet), Monita Tahalea Quartet brought an ellegant show just like how they did in the pre-event Java Jazz on the Move weeks ago. Her sensational lushy voice is perfect to serve jazz. From doing jazz in pop dish, it’s great to see her embrace the jazz standards deeper. Having three talented compatriotes would help her in doing it, just like what we saw tonight.  She sang “Di Batas Mimpi”, “Kekasih Sejati”, “I Love You”, “God Bless the Child” and “Over the Rainbow” featuring Oele Pattiselano on guitar. Nice one, Monita!

Going on with Tomorrow People Ensemble, a group of four with their famous track, “Wham Bam Thank You Maíam!!!” once again hit Java Jazz festival with complete formation which contains of Nikita Dompas on guitar, Indra Perkasa on contrabass, Azfansadra (Adra) Karim on piano/Fender Rhodes/synthesizer, and Elfa Zulhamsyah on drum. Year 2003 became the starting point of their long musical journey until now where they have had many experiences by appearing in lot of events and those surely help them in amending their talented skill. Eventhough they had apart because of academic thing abroad, somehow they are still able to maintain the harmony and appear occasionaly as a team whenever they got the chance for it. We respect him not only for the harmonious friendship and high individual skills but also for their braveness and creativity in presenting different sound of jazz. For more detail biography please click here).

All of those were proven on stage when they played several cool songs. Great to have a band who can maintance their solidarity as jazz group like them. More shows of Tomorrow People Ensemble to come such as at the Just Jazz Vol 4 in Surabaya. If you reside in this city, don’t miss to see this excellent and brave supergroup while they are united in complete unit.

It is close to the end od Java Jazz Festival 2012 but do not worry, it is not dark yet. Let’s gather around and see another cool jazz musicians only at ji-expo Kemayoran. Stay tune!
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Team on duty:

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



Here we are at the last day of Java Jazz festival 2012. Even though it’s a final day of the festival, but it doesn’t mean the lineup become less interesting. We actually have some legends and popular international stars that scheduled to appear in this very special day such as Stevie Wonder and Swing Out Sister. Not to mention that some other illuminate artists will also reprise their performances. Dave Koz, Al Jarrerau and George Duke Trio, Frank McComb, Phil Perry, David Sanborn, Pat Metheny, Bobby McFerrin are just some of the names. Other than that there are several important tributes to the late giants who have contributed big deal in Indonesia’s music history, most importantly jazz.

Four men united in a group called Streamline Quartet came with a mission of representing Solo’s SoJazz Society in this ocassion. Gave the chance for Aryo Ardityo (contrabass), Daniel Hibriyanto (guitar), Aditya Ong Permadi (piano) and Daniel Nugros (drum) plus three vocalists Cati Rahayu Wulandari, Monica Dyah P and Guruh Susilo ‘Sudavid’. to warmed up the stage and introduce another variant of music in different taste from the city in Central Java. The shade of Indonesian folksong appeared from the tracklist tonight. Their appearance at a festival as big as this is very important, because through them we can see that Solo actually is a city with huge jazz potential.

What’s interesting is they still carry on their culture in their peformance. Look at the song selections which included “Solo Di Waktu Malam.” After performing at jazz festivals such as Ngayogjazz and Solo City Jazz and regularly joined the local Solo event Parkiran Jazz, Streamline Quartet has taken another huge step by playing at the Java Jazz. Now they can aim much higher, not only because they were selected to join this year’s lineup but also for all the talent, passion and energy they have within. Keep jazzin’ Solo city!

From Solo we flew to Semeru Garuda Indonesia Hall where Sujiwo Tejo performed. We see him lots of times in television as someone who dares to express his opinion fearlessly. He’s one of the most famous artistes/humanists today in Indonesia where his activities range in many subjects and known as the ‘insane puppeteer’, painter, poet and of course a music artist who always care about the preservation of our cultures. Excentric, brilliantly smart and full blessedly gifted.

Speaking of music, he has released 4 albums, from the first one “Pada Suatu Ketika” (1999) until the latest one Yaiyo (2007). “Yaiyo is an idiom used by sindens (Javanese traditional singers) when they are already speechless over psychological pressings” he once said. What’s interesting about this album is that it was arranged jazzy by the senior bassist Bintang Indrianto. So, jazz is not something strange for him. One of the song from Yaiyo entitled “Ole Olang Wanita” was also adapted in Bintang Indrianto’s group “Akordeon” in a new bossa nova outfit. Other than this, Sujiwo Tejo has also performed in Java Jazz 2005 so he’s already familiar with the environment the least. For this year he brought a concept of combining singing and reading poems. Bintang Indrianto and Sruti joined him in this show.

As far as we know, this is the first time in Indonesia a symphony orchestra perform jazz repertoire in a segment. Twilite Orchestra, a group that established in 1991 by Addie MS, Indra U Bakrie and Oddie Agam, initially only with 20 musicians but later grew to hit the number of 70 musicians in it, did a brilliant job for that at this year’s Java Jazz Festival.

Of course, Addie MS is indubitable famous as maestro of orchestra in Indonesia, as we can see from his track record in having collaboration with numerous international musician such as David Foster, Maksim, Richard Clayderman, Il Divo, Robin Gibb of Bee Gees and Natalie Cole, just to name a few. Lots of achievement had been delivered to Twilite Orchestra in both regional and global level.

What a moment to remember in this show. The amazing Twilite Orchestra went totally out in bringing their jazzy side. They played jazz standards taken from American songbook and some bossanova classics. Some guest stars were featured in this magical show, including Japanese pianist Dr Kazuha Nakahara who wore traditional balinese outfit that gave us more traditional ambience on the stage. What a beauty when Dr Kazuha Nakahara, a versatile pianist/teacher and also the head of piano program of UPH Conservatory of Music played Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” with the orchestra. Addie MS told a little story about the legendary arranger before playing. It was magical, glorious and unforgettable. The orchestra was also brought The Beatles’ all time classic “A Hard Days Night” with Addie MS’ wife Memes, “What a Wonderful World” with Raisa, “Aquarela do Brasil” with The Brothers, “Cheek to Cheek” with Andien, “The Big Spender” with Dira Sugandi and “My Way” with Sandy Sondoro.  The 14 year old Rega Dauna and pianist Hector Infanzon from Mexico were also participated in this interesting show.

It’s rare to see a symphony orchestra plays full jazz like this, but thanks to Java Jazz and of course Addie MS’ Twilite Orchestra, now a new experience of jazz is added to our memory. Salute to this team for giving such a cutting-edge in this live performance industry.

It is not strange to see this man wandering Java Jazz Festival area year by year. Jopie Item along with his big family are well-known for their musical heritage. Three generations of musical greatness, from the big contribution of Lodi Item in the early Indonesian jazz years to his son, Jopie Item, and three children of Jopie, including Audi. Lodi famous as guitarist who played melodic with three fingers with enormous speed and Jopie is surely heired this musical talent in another way. Once again he has the opportunity to meet his loyal lover on B2 Hall Kementerian Perdagangan. Age will never be the right measurement of everything, including the ability in playing music. Jopie showed the yougster that he still got it all among the newcomer after many years did so many experiences in showbiz. No matter what the genre is, jazz, blues, rock, pop and whatever, this man can always pin them all perfectly with his exceptional, personal touch. Experiments in life tell everything, his skill and stage-act are no need to doubt. Together with his son, they entertained us on jazzy Sunday at B1 Hall. This reminded us of spontaneus stage-act on 2008 and was followed in 2009 when he performed with Audi, his daughter. Keep jazzin’ Jopie Item, hope to see you again next year!

Moved into Lawu Medco Accoustic Hall, Heaven on Earth (HOE), a bold, energetic dynamic and explorative Progressive Fusion Jazz group finally has landed on Java Jazz Festival’s soil. This is the group to watch if you are a jazz lover that enjoys challenging compositions got perfectly executed. This group was first formed by the playing keyboardist Tedjo Bhayu Adjie in 2003. After releasing one album, he and another personnel Ossa Sungkar (drums/percussions) felt the neccessity to bring this band into a new height. They wanted to create more daring and more experimental group, something that could become a home for their artistic ideas without thinking much of the major trends in music industry. Having that in mind, they brought a skillful bassist Franky Sadikin in. They needed two years to form a solid concept. Hence, in 2007 they made their first appearance at the JGTC and a year later at the JakJazz 2008.

From there this group of three worked on their first album, which finally launched last year. Giving it the title of Metamorphosis, Heaven on Earth intended to show their growing process. Just like a butterfly that has to go trhough some phases: from egg to catepillar, pupa and finally transformed as a beautiful and ellegant butterfly. Now that they are ready to fly, nothing better for them to arrive big at the biggest jazz bash on earth.

Speaking of Java Jazz Festival, this group is not a stranger at all. They have performed three times before at the 2005, 2007 and 2008 edition. For their 4th appearance HOE specifically brought songs from their Metamorphosis album. “Camel Rider” became the first song where they pictured the intense heat burning a camel rider in a hot Sahara desert. They kept going with “Drum Overture”, “Cheer, Tear and Fear”, “Song For Revina” and “Buenos Dias Mi Cielo” which appeared in unique rhythm format, challenging and dynamic.

Speaking of a trio who dares to explore fusion in progressive pattern in full freedom, this group gave another different atmosphere in this festival. Happy to see them again for the fourth time, best of luck to Heaven on Earth. After the metamorphosis phases are done, go fly high, butterflies!

Ask your parents, they would surely know the song called “Widuri”. Most of the youngsters would still know this song too. This song belong to a legendary male singer with more than half a century career, Bob Tutupoly. He’s been called Indonesia’s Harry Belafonte by many, not just because his vocal style and ability match with Harry, but also since Bob used to sing his songs too in the old days, especially when he joined the Jazz Riders with Didi Chia, Oele and Perry Pattiselano and others back in the 60s. Beside singing Harry Belafonte’s songs, Bob also sang a lot of standards during that time, before he switched to pop and sang a lot of evergreen hits that are still well remembered until now.

Last November Bob Tutupoly announced his comeback into the music industry by having Maia Estiyanti as his producer. As a result, a new album titled “Melodi Cinta” was made, and of course that marked his return to live stage performance as well, including a big landing on the Java Jazz Festival 2012. For this event, Bob Tutupoly prepared a very special theme of tributing two of Indonesia’s biggest artistes ever, Bing Slamet and Sam Saimun. What’s even better is that he brought two other legends on stage, Titiek Puspa and Grace Simon.

Bob is now 73 years old, but he’s still healthy and passionate as ever. This wasn’t his first appearance at the Java Jazz Festival though, because he was already did that several times, such as in 2006 (together with Bubi Chen) and also in 2009 as a part of Amboina Jazz. We’re happy to see him again though for this year’s installment.

Bing Slamet was very well known as a comedian and movie actor especially in his period with Ateng, Iskak and Eddy Soed in the early 70s, but only a few still remember that he was once a famous singer too and also capable to write songs. He sang pop, traditional, keroncong and also jazz. His tender smooth vocal was often compared to Nat King Cole or Bing Crosby, his idol, the star that he took his first stage-name from. In the 50’s he often played with some earliest jazz legends of Indonesia such as Nick Mamahit, Max Van Dalm, Van Der Capellen and Dick Abel. He also sang often with another jazz legend Eddy Karamoy during that period. Another group he was involved that we have to mention is Eka Sapta, joining Ireng Maulana, Benny Mustafa, Itje Kumaunang and Idris Sardi in the early 60s.

Sam Saimun was a pop/keroncong singer with thick and soft vocal too, similiar to Bing Slamet. The name might not be familiar to the modern generation, but you would remember some of his ageless songs such as Ismail Marzuki’s “Juwita Malam”, “Di Sudut Bibirmu” or Mochtar Embut’s classic “Di Wajahmu Kulihat Bulan”. Just like his long time friend Bing Slamet, his vocal tone was often compared to Nat King cole too. He also performed a lot with Eddy Karamoy in his hey-day.

In this very very touching show they brought several evergreens from the legends. Bob Tutupoly sang “Nurlaila”, “Nonton Bioskop”, “Esok Malam kan Kujelang” (with Grace Simon), “Di Wajahmu Kulihat Bulan” (with Titik Puspa). For the last presentation, the three of them sang a song which Titiek Puspa wrote in full sadness when she heard about Bing Slamet’s passing titled “Bing”. This show also feature band which consisted of legendary musicians including Oele Pattiselano (guitar), Jeffrey Tahalele (bass), Benny Mustafa Van Diest (drums).

What could be better than having this very special tribute served by their own friends? Bob Tutupoly, Titiek Puspa and Grace Simon were all their close friends when they were still alive. For Titiek Puspa, Bing Slamet and Sam Saimun were both dear friends and teachers. It was such a very special show that could bring tears to the senior audience’s eyes. Legends tributing Legends, that’s what we call it. It was memorable, it was touching and full of respect. Four thumbs up to Java Jazz Festival for having this show!

Jumped in to the B2 Kementerian Perdagangan Hall. This trio is bunch of Indonesia’s well-known singers, we can tell. We mean, if there are Tompi, Glenn Fredly and Sandhy Sondoro collaborated in a one hell of a group, that’s the words you are going to use. Crowds expectations will rise above the bar for those guys gather altogether on stage.
We give you a peek about what to expect when you see Trio Lestari perform: they bring out a whole new concept in music staging. They are not only collaborating in singing but also in both idea and concept sharing. Tompi said “I’ve been waiting for singing with them from the start.” Thus, related to those idea and concept sharing, he added “and that’s why we love to share to the public.”

They mean the words “we love to share to the public” because based on what we watched, they gave out the best they can. In this stage they also brought a band that included Nicky Manuputy (saxophone) and Jordy Waelauruw  (Trumpet) along. The venue was packed up because as you know, the three of them has a lot of fans. So you can imagine when they establish a group together. We wish Trio Lestari a tons of luck in the future!

All the very best of Java Jazz Festival 2012 Sunday lineup is yet to come, so stay tune for our reports at!

See more pictures:

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Team on duty:

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