Tuesday, June 2, 2015
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java jazz festival



After two days of jazzsensation, here we come to Day 3, the final day of Java Jazz Festival year 2015. Great opportunity to spend our first weekend on March in this tenth edition of the festival. You can choose to come one day or three days in a row, and when you miss one of your favourite artists, there is still another day to choose. Some artists have two or three times to perform. These musicians had showed up on Friday or Saturday, and yes they came again today. There are Ron King Big Band, Blue Note Tokyo All-Star Jazz Orchestra, Naturally 7, Bobby McFerrin, Lisa Ono, Ramsey Lewis, Alain Caron, Harvey Mason’s Chameleon (Fred D. Jr. Chris T., Kamasi W., John B.), Iriao, Joshua Ledet & Ron King Quintet, Anthony Stanco and The Crucial Elements, Richard Bona, Michael Lington, John Primer & the Living History Band, Chris Botti, Mehliana (Brad Mehldau & Mark Guiliana), Etienne Charles, Snarky Puppy, Jumaane Smith & Ron King Quintet. On the other hand, there are many bands/projects/performers who just got their shot here on this day.

Java Jazz Festival 2015 Day 3 - Anthony Stanco Ensemble (1)

Just like yesterday, Day 3 started with swing. If Salamander Big Band was the band on day 2, this time it was Galaxy BigBand Jazz Orchestra. The Galaxy Big Band is a regular in this fest, filled with Japanese (and other countries’) expatriates who are still happily spare their valuable time to maintain their passion in music, particularly jazz.

It’s been great to see Warren Hill back again to Indonesia after 20 years. This man redefined the contemporary smooth jazz to be both sexy, relaxing and energetic at the same time way back then in the 90’s. He still has it all today.  Warren Hill plays every note with passion, up to the point that his music somewhat has spirit and alive. Action packed show, energetic and romantic. Bravo Warren!



The Salamander junior, Youth Jazz Orchestra ensured us that the future of swingin’ big band in Indonesia is on the good hands. Still around the future stars, Margo Rising Star made a blast at the outdoor stage. Once again, these young guns made Margo Jazz community proud. Harvey Malaiholo was back but this time in supporting the Malaysian orchestra, probably the oldest one, the RTM Big Band Jazz Orchestra, and he sang “Dara”, “Enggo Lari”, and also did several featuring. The senior jazz, blues, rock guitarist Donny Suhendra show came early this year. Fusion flowed naturally from his stage.



Ananda Sukarlan has made Indonesia proud in the international music scene. He is prominent in the field of composing, he has involved in so many international commissions and performances. He has played and recorded with more than 50 renowned composers. Mostly embracing classical, Ananda Sukarlan surprisingly brought his solo piano recital, Rapsodia Nusantara and fitted the selected numbers in jazz outfit.  A wonderful package from the genius.




After a full loaded Day 1, here we come to Java Jazz Festival 2015, Day 2. Just like before, plenty of attraction, mouth watering big names, today’s giants, rising stars and potential newcomers served their crafts on almost 20 stages.

Java Jazz Festival 2015 Day 2 - Lantun Orchestra (2)

Just like yesterday, the party started early. Lantun Orchestra opened up on Outdoor stage. This ensemble wishes to (re)introduce the richness of Indonesian traditional music especially the Batavian like keroncong, tanjidor and the likes. But what’s unique, in order to bring it they use jazz elements not only nin notations but also improvisations, solo runs and call & response. Keroncong appears modern with splashes of jazz without neglecting the original spirit is made possible, thanks to Chaka Priambudi on bass, Nesia Ardi on vocal, Kenny Gabriel on trumpet, Arman Chaniago on drum and kendang, Windy Setiadi on accordion, Armia Husein on flute, Tio Alibasyah on guitar, and Donny Prasetyo on keyboard. The interesting part was their mixing appearance where they wore traditional clothes from Betawi with sunglasses and sneakers and sang Betawi songs such as “Ondel-ondel”, “Jali-jali”, and Titik Puspa’s “Gang Kelinci”. Smart!

Java Jazz Festival 2015 Day 2 - Tesla Manaf (1)

While Hendrik Meurkens gave a nice jazz harmonica package early in the afternoon and Ron King Big Band treated the audience with swingin’ sensation, Tesla Manaf showcased the magic of music he called progressive acoustic experimental. This is his latest craft that made him go international under MoonJune Records. Hadis Hendarisman (clarinet), Khrisna Alda (bass) and Desal Sembada (drums) are his team mates. For us who know Tesla’s struggle in establishing himself inside the industry, we are more than happy to see him make it at this year’s edition. As usual, masterclass play just like a jazz veteran.

Java Jazz Festival 2015 Day 2 - Emerald BEX

The bassist of legendary group Uzeb and Se7entrion, Alain Caron heated the festival early with his fusion fire, and the Indonesian gem Emerald BEX set the fire exactly on the opposite side of the venue. Live at Wonderland, a group of musicians who frequently play their music in several jazz events and support its community finally arrived at the biggest jazz event and Symbiosis got their chance too around the same time. Symbiosis, a jazz band, with special composition and well-served jazz standards has Chris Dragotta on sax, Michael Kruge on bass/cello, Gary Fredriksen on drums, and Boris de Vries on guitar behind it all.

Java Jazz Festival 2015 Day 2 - Salamander Big Band

Ever since we know Salamander Big Band since 2007 they have been showing the life like wine, getting better with age. They consistently bring guest stars from Europe each and every year, learning new things from them and perform together. Getting more knowledge and experient shape them to be a big band with international quality. This year they are back again to this fest. From the facial expression they were proud and happy, we are also happy for them too.



The Java Jazz Festival 2015 has reached the 11th year. As usual, this largest annual jazz meeting in the world runs for full three days, presenting more than 50 acts per day (that’s hundreds of artists), spread over almost 20 stages for straight 8-9 hours. For this year there are many new names and interesting new projects, special tributes and so on. From legends, big names, today’s headliners to promising newcomers, all shaped each edition to stand strong both for jazz lovers and music fans in general.

Several stages started early in the first day. Farrah Di ; once a cute little girl but now 18 years old ; played with Jei Angklung in collaboration with Sol Project BPJS. Three more shows running almost at the same time were trumpeter Etienne Charles who represented Trinidad music vibe in jazz, UPH Conservatory Orchestra and the band from Yogjakarta consists of brave young lions, Rekoneko. Just like Farrah Di, Rekoneko got young players when the band was born in 2009. Ido (piano), Andreas (bass), Luke (guitar) and Mahesa (drums) is still the core of this band. The beauty of fusion shone from them, with some ethnic spices here and there.


Java Jazz Festival 2015 Day 1 - Akiko

First performance at Semeru was so much as expected. Labeled “Straight Ahead Venue”, the artist brought strong jazz bebop, uptempo swing with aggressive solo for real jazz aficionados at this festival. Straight way ahead! Her name is Akiko. Imagine that fused with Joey DeFransesco and Jimmy Smith, then voila! We have Akiko. Teamed up with a guitar, drums, and a trumpet, the band was full of energy and attractive. Not only that, Akiko included gimmicks such as playing “Circus Charlie” in her solo and also included a little bit of “Whiter Shade of Pale”. One of the song they played was called “Johnny Comes Marching Home”.

During a little speech in between her songs, she said that this year is her 50th year in music career, right after that speech she played a beautifully organ-ized cover of “How Deep Is Your Love”, which got the audience to sing along. Great vibe! The show was satisfying. Semeru is definitely THE place for straight-ahead jazz, thanks to its excellent acoustic settings.

The harmonica and vibraphone virtuoso Hendrik Meurkens made his comeback to this festival. Just like in 2011, his passion in blending jazz with Brazilian music (bossa, samba, chorinho and many more) is captivating especially with his quartet, the Hendrik Meurkens Samba Jazz Quartet. Meurkens doesn’t bring just Brazilian music flat; instead he infuses lots of bop. What a way to enjoy Brazilian music-bop style.

Java Jazz Festival 2015 Day 1 - Andre Dinuth

Some more shows ran on different stages. Four On A Swing, a band started by pianist Pradyumna Manot with William Walters (bass), Aniruddh Saha (drums) and French Emmanuel Simon (percussion) featuring New Yorker Megan Powers on vocal lightened up the B2 stage. At the same time, Andre Dinuth, the name behind Glenn Fredly, Afgan, Rossa, Sandy Sondoro, Once and one of the Six Strings (with Dewa Bujana, Tohpati, Aria Baron, Baim and Eross Candra) who recently appeared in front by releasing his solo album heated up the other spot. From fusion to progressive to rock, it’s about time for him to make his own story. Meanwhile, the Institute Music Indonesia (IMI) Soca Project gave a tribute to a legend who passed away not long ago, Rinto Harahap. Beautiful arrangement was heard through several hits by him, such as “Ayah” and “Benci tapi Rindu”.



Chinese New Year had passed, so had Valentine’s Day. it is already last week in February, get yourself ready to welcome the new month. Before that, close this lovely month with something special in accordance to the biggest jazz meeting in the world that’s amazingly made in Indonesia, the Java Jazz Festival. For jazz aficionados, the month of March must be the most exciting month of the year.

This year the Java Jazz Festival is going to celebrate its 11th aniversary, as usual with hundreds of shows and thousands of players.  Jazzuality in collaboration with Braga CityWalk, KPH Music, and Java Festival Production gave the best serving for you people who adore music, especially jazz. Bandung, a friendly city with its cool atmosphere, has not so many jazz events compare to Jakarta, but this year, Java Jazz has its eyes on Bandung, most especially at our own regular community event, the Braga Jazz Walk.  looking at the increasing rate of excitement Bandung people have for jazz gigs. Surely it is an honor Jazzuality and all the partners to be chosen as a partner in hosting the Java Jazz pre-event. Speaking for the venue, Braga, one of well-known areas in Bandung with its vintage yet sophisticated ambiance absolutely is an exact place to hold this event. Thankfully Braga City Walk and KPH Music continuously place themselves as our partners in crime serve the best for you who long to see jazz gigs in public places.

Pre Event Java Jazz Festival 2015 - Braga Jazz Walk Braga CityWalk- VAC ft Yeppy Romero Marcello Alulli (14)

At the very last Thursday on February 2015, Braga Jazz Walk had its special edition as one of Java Jazz pre-event. Not only you could feel Java Jazz vibes early, but also you had the chance to see some musicians who will participate at Java Jazz Festival 2015. It was also a good opportunity for the artists because they could warm themselves up before the main event next week. What a good luck for people in Bandung.

Pre Event Java Jazz Festival 2015 - Braga Jazz Walk Braga CityWalk- Drum Clinic (2)

It was 5 pm. not too many people yet, but it increased as the night came and this event was totally free charge, no wonder many people did not want to miss this opportunity. The show was started with a drum clinic with Israel Varela. If you haven’t heard his name just yet, you should now, since this man has a very unique way of drum playing, rich in variations and of course , dare to take any risks. Such quality brought this former student of Dave Weckl to play alongside big cats like Pat Metheny and Mike Stern.

For fifteen years he has played Flamenco Jazz as drummer and uncountable best players already he played with. It is not easy to start doing something new and so Flamenco Jazz did to him. The hard long journey started when he moved to Andalucia and stayed at some gypsy camp, a small remote area but it was similar to his hometown. Varela said the key to his success now is to respect the music and just start playing it. There is no shortcut in music and no one say it is easy, but you absolutely can nail it when you put full effort and pratice everyday. He already proved it, and it was the time for him sharing it to Indonesian audience at Braga.

Pre Event Java Jazz Festival 2015 - Braga Jazz Walk Braga CityWalk- Drum Clinic (5)

Speaking about Flamenco Jazz, Yeppy Romero and Israel Varela gave us some important pieces about it. Flamenco was originally formed in Andalucia, Spain and it is absolutely not Latin. Flamenco Jazz parts into two categories:  traditional and modern. The former is a little hard to understand, but we will see a lot of percussion and traditional dance if we refer it to Indonesian culture. The latter consists of guitar, dance, and song with upbeat style like Rhumba (dance). As Romero said, he cannot claim his group as the first Flamenco jazz, but they continually try to socialize it so more people know about this rare genre. Varela added that beat or rhythm is the most important part in Flamenco and second one is hand clap so it can harmoniously go along with the dance. Playing music like doing conversation is also important, Varela shared his experiences while working with some great musicians that your musical skill go after your listening comprehension because you have to be a good listener to produce some good musics.

Pre Event Java Jazz Festival 2015 - Braga Jazz Walk Braga CityWalk- Kafin (1)

No pause, the concert began. Kafin, young body with many wonderful gifts started sailing. He is only 10, he has long way to explore the other side of him; guess there are many hidden talents he hasn’t showed us. For tonight, this participant of Mickey Mouse Club Indonesia, Gita Gutawa/Erwin Gutawa’s  Above Average project and Laskar Pelangi team  showed us the beautiful voice and awesome piano playing through sets of difficult songs including “Lullaby of Birdland”, “Take the ‘A’ Train”, “Moody’s Mood For Love” and epically closed with Ismail Marzuki’s legendary song, “Layang-layang”.

Kafin, a living proof that age doesn’t matter, he is so young compare to another musicians, but you couldn’t take your eyes off ever since he was on stage. Right before he played, Kafin gave his thought about jazz. He got his heart on jazz because he loves how jazz gives so much freedom. He breaks the stereotype people think of jazz, for Kafin jazz is not hard, instead it is a playground where he can fully play the imagination and sharp the skill. Maybe you are wondering how difficult it is to play a piano and sing at once. For Kafin, it is not difficult, it is more a challenge and he takes it in fun way where he can challenge himself. A boy wonder he is.

Pre Event Java Jazz Festival 2015 - Braga Jazz Walk Braga CityWalk- Hariring (1)

Then the stage went warmer in different tone courtesy of  Hariring, Originally, this band consists of everal skilled craftmen show their talent with various genres of music and the blends between modern and Sundanese tunes completely chilax our senses. But since around half of them couldn’t make it, the number decreased to three, with Ringga Hardika (bass, angklung), Asep Everbeat (cajon, karinding) and a substantial help from Alfariz (guitar).

With Fariz, the rule of the game changed. If they usually served Sundanese ambient music, this time the course moved to sharp rock funk. But hey, as mentioned above, they used angklung and karinding too. The result is somewhat unique.  The aroma of Borneo traditional music was locked around their music, thanks to Fariz’s homeland. Experimental, jam mode with combination of instruments you probably never thought of. Well, the three pax Hariring is actually still groundbreaking. Not many people realize, but actually the work of Hariring is important for Indonesia, our music and our industry. We’re just happy to be connected with them.

Pre Event Java Jazz Festival 2015 - Braga Jazz Walk Braga CityWalk- Batavicada ft Yeppy Romero and Marcello Allulli (3)

Then, we got Java Jazz gets “Exploring Indonesia” as its theme for 2015, and as expected, both international and national musicians have all their supports to expand Indonesian culture through music then make it known worldwide.  Interesting experience it was, where we can see the blending between Indonesian culture and other countries in tunes. These two bands are multi-national but showcased the magic when East and West (and Middle East) collide.

First, the completely different genre, Batavicada, an acoustic band who cleverly mixed jazz with several traditional instruments like Marawis/Kepak from Batavia (Betawi) and Darbuka from the Middle East/Turkey. According to Nita Aartsen, Batavicada originally has guitar player, but this time Nita took charge in producing the melody. With Wisnu (acoustic bass) plus Erick, Roby, Graha (marawis and darbuka) , Batavicada proved that music including or especially beat is borderless but somehow connected from one side to another parts of the world.

Pre Event Java Jazz Festival 2015 - Braga Jazz Walk Braga CityWalk- Batavicada ft Yeppy Romero and Marcello Allulli (1)

The Middle-Eastern beat from Graha, Robby, and Eric made the crowd cheered enthusiastically. The crowds popped several times, and the number of audience suddenly jumped high. They popped several times, some were caught dancing and tapping according to the beat. It was when the ethnic tunes met jazz. The first time ever they tried to collaborate and the result was amazing. The blending between street music and jazz was naturally delivered to our ears and broke the image of exclusive and segmented jazz music. Soon after Yeppy Romero joined the others at front and spoiled us with his guitar play.

Pre Event Java Jazz Festival 2015 - Braga Jazz Walk Braga CityWalk- Batavicada ft Yeppy Romero and Marcello Allulli (17)

Continued with Marcello Allulli and his saxophone and smoothly went into the melody along with piano and marawis. Though it was rarely played together but the harmony was surely there, you could feel it and it was so much exciting. They played “Caravan” and the mixture between flamenco, jazz, and gypsy music were clearly heard.

A blazing showcase that flew miles higher than the ordinary, a breakthrough and magical beat and rhythm showdown. Batavicada opens up a new dimension that shows the unlimited possibilities as well as the unity between rhythm and music from different corners of the world. Very rich and solid. Magnifico!

Pre Event Java Jazz Festival 2015 - Braga Jazz Walk Braga CityWalk- VAC ft Yeppy Romero Marcello Alulli (8)

The number of (loud and vibrant) audience jumped over the roof – as  the main eventer  VAC grouped on stage. This band consists of trio Israel  Varela as drummer (Mexico), Nita Aartsen as pianist (Indonesia) and Daniele Cappucci as bassist (Italy). Three countries in one stage, you can see the riches through their unique Flamenco Jazz music.  Nita served as the state pianist for 15 years and known as a pianist who bridge classical, jazz and Latin. While Daniele Cappucci is a wide explorer, reaching from classical to jazz and beyond.

Pre Event Java Jazz Festival 2015 - Braga Jazz Walk Braga CityWalk- Batavicada ft Yeppy Romero and Marcello Allulli (8)

In order to add more colors to their performance, Yeppy Romero, a guitarist, showed up on stage. This MURI record holder (for playing guitar 10 hours straight, featuring 150 songs in 4 languages and 10 music genres, also collaborating with 100 top class musicians aside of his monumental Batakustik)  is in fact the frontliner in Indonesia when it’s about Flamenco Jazz. He’s been socializing this for some years, and now we finally got his performance in Bandung.

Pre Event Java Jazz Festival 2015 - Braga Jazz Walk Braga CityWalk- VAC ft Yeppy Romero Marcello Alulli (23)

As Nita Aartsen said in beginning, they will play together with Marcello Allulli and Yeppy Romero at March 7th, 2015. Luckily, here people in Bandung, had the opportunity to taste their performance live on stage and got a little preview about how they will perform later at Java Jazz Festival. For free. Totally a dream come true isn’t it?


Pre Event Java Jazz Festival 2015 - Braga Jazz Walk Braga CityWalk- VAC ft Yeppy Romero Marcello Alulli (11)

“Madrid”,  a song from Marcello’s first album became the opening and immediately jumped to second song from Nita Aartsen’s first album, “Blue Rondo” . Next song was the well-known hits by Beethoven “Fur Elise” played in interesting arrangement but still the classical touch was there. Then, Yeppy Romero and Marcello Allulli once again joined on stage and entertained the increasing crowd with exotic romance in “La Fiesta” and Mozart’s “Symphony 40″. Nita’s charm which lies in between classical, jazz, Latins and Flamenco naturally flew throughout their repertoires. The colorful Flamenco beat, the jazz-classical-Flamenco piano playing, and of course, the wild, wild fired up contrabass runs were hand in hand in creating a new musical dimension. Plus, Yeppy and Marecello’s fine works made everything even merrier. It was tight and delicious. Sharp like a dagger but also enchantingly exotic. Surely, the jazz fans who came to see them last night would already have something to remember for a long, long time.

Pre Event Java Jazz Festival 2015 - Braga Jazz Walk Braga CityWalk- Jam Session (1)

The musicians must have been tired already, but they still happily agreed to have some of the audience to jam with them. Marcello, Daniele, Nita Aartsen stayed on stage, the Batavicada percussion trio came back to the stage, and from the audience: Widiyanto Sutanto, Alman Naufal and Frank Navayo joined the party. Nita distributed the chance for each player to get their shot while making sure that the jam session worked as how it should be.

Pre Event Java Jazz Festival 2015 - Braga Jazz Walk Braga CityWalk- VAC ft Yeppy Romero Marcello Alulli (12)

The scene happened on this special edition of Braga CityWalk was simply unbelievable with that size of crowds. They were enthusiastic, responsive and lively. What a joy for us to see it. Thank you very much to you who came. And for the musicians, we send you huge respect. Many, many thanks for supporting a small community in Bandung like this. We feel honored and proud, we’re sure this brings wonderful benefits to jazz development in Bandung.

Pre Event Java Jazz Festival 2015 - Braga Jazz Walk Braga CityWalk- Photo Session

Finally, a serious reminder.  The day comes nearer; have you already bought your tickets for Java Jazz Festival 20155, fellas? As you can see from this event’s report, Java Jazz surely has many more things in order to satisfy your musical needs. Braga Jazz Walk had already tasted it, and once in a lifetime, you should feel the ambience of the biggest annually jazz event in Indonesia. So, mark your dates! It is on March 6th until 8th, 2015. See you there jazz lovers!

Watch the highlight of Pre Event Java Jazz Festival at Braga CityWalk on our Youtube channel:

See more pictures:

Reporter: Mellysa Anastasya, Riandy Kurniawan
Photographer: Titus Firmanto
Video Editor: Vierna Mariska Kurniawan
Special thanks to Nita Aartsen and Yeppy Romero



Jazz event is not a new thing for Bandung people and we can see they crave for more. This is a trigger for more innovations and the born of new talents. Since 2014 Jazzuality has embarked a new mission, working on jazz regeneration by establishing regular jazz community event. Edutainment is what we have been carrying, meaning that not only thinking of presenting jazztertainment to the society, but educational matters are also weighed very significantly in our consideration. Since September 2014 we have moved to an even better crime scene, Braga CityWalk, a happening renewed mall located in the historical Braga street in Bandung. So far the event has found many potential talents and attracted musicians from Bandung and nearby cities to showcase their crafts as a part of the community.

2015 is a special year for Jazzuality because we got this opportunity to start the year with collaboration with the biggest jazz event ever in Indonesia, big welcome for Java Jazz International Festival 2015. Braga Jazz Walk sees this chance as a good momentous to expand the glorious of jazz and together with Jazzuality Community, the very supportive Braga CityWalk and KPH Music this regular two weekly event becomes the PRE EVENT of JAVA JAZZ FESTIVAL 2015 for Bandung region. The date is 26 February 2015 in accordance to the regular schedule of Braga Jazz Walk.

It is an honor for Jazzuality and Braga Jazz to host one of Java Jazz pre-events and will be the only gig in Bandung. Get yourself ready to receive the extraordinary talents presenting highly nutricious concert at Braga CityWalk before you jump up to the main event at JIEXPO, and for your information our musicians below are going to perform at Java Jazz 2015 too!


vac trio, yeppy romero, nita aartsen, jazzuality, israel varela, daniele cappucci


VAC Trio is a multi-international trio consists of Isra Varela (Mexico, drums), Nita Aartsen (Indonesia, piano) and Daniele Cappucci (Italy, contrabass). They have visited many countries around the world and received amazing responses, not only for their master-class playing but for brilliantly bringing the unique combination as a new, exotic and magical hybrid, Flamenco Jazz.


Israel Jesse Varela is an amazing rhythm master from Tijuana, Mexico, with a long history of professional recording and performing with big names such as Pat Metheny, Mike Stern, Key Eckhart, Diego Amador. Varela is a rare talent, mixing super dynamic flamenco rhythm into contemporary style. He has released 3 solo albums to date.


Nita was the state piano player for Indonesia for a period of 15 years. She is a virtuoso pianist, specializing in the connection between classical, Latin, Jazz and contemporary music. She has performed all over the world with some of the best Latin and Jazz musicians. She is a regular performer at Java Jazz Festival and many other prestigious festivals inside and outside her homeland. Nita has released 3 international solo albums to date and is well known for her own unique brand of high energy, contemporary Latin Jazz.


Capucci studied music at the conservatory of Foggia, Italy, New Orleans Jazz University, Columbia College Chicago and the Royal Conservatory of the Hague, Netherlands. This genius Italian double bass player is an expert cross over musician, from classical to contemporary jazz.


This guitar virtuoso can play in any genre, but he’s specialized in Flamenco Jazz which is rarely found in Indonesia. Yeppy holds the MURI Record for playing guitar 10 hours straight, featuring 150 songs in 4 languages and 10 music genres, also collaobrating with 100 top class musicians (March 16, 2008). His Batakustik project claims many praises. He also supports and establishes many events in Jakarta.



batavicada, marawis, jazz marawis, darbuka



Batavicada is an acoustic band that blends jazz with some traditional instruments like Marawis/Kepak from Batavia (Betawi) and Darbuka from the Middle East. Played by 5 talented musicians: Wisnu (acoustic bass), Nita Aartsen (piano), Erick, Roby, Graha (marawis and darbuka), this unique ensemble is going to present Latin Jazz standards like Dizzy Gillespie’s composition, Juan Tizol, Chick Corea for the Pre Event Java Jazz Festival 2015. For the show in Braga Citywalk Bandung, Batavicada is going to present beautiful collaboration with saxophonist from Italy, Marcello Allulli.


Allulli is a prominent saxophonist prominent in the Italian national jazz scene, Marcello Allulli is leader and member of many ensemble including MAT-Marcello Allulli Trio, Maria Pia de Vito e Rita Marcotulli 5et, Glauco Venier ensembles, Israel Varela duoi, RAJ trio, Ettore Fioravanti 4tet. He graduated from Berklee College of Music in Boston. In 2011, 2012,2013 and 2014 he was voted at the italian JAZZIT AWARD as one of the best saxophonists.

The main feature that distinguishes the artist is the versatility to play different styles, his music is a result of a total fusion and no boundaries between neo-bop, funk, folk music, avant-garde and Mediterranean melodies. His concerts testify to the will of a direct relationship with the public, actively involved during live performances.

DRUM CLINIC by Israel Varela

drum clinic, isra varela, israel varela

As stated before, educational matters are important in our mind. Therefore there will be a Drum Clinic by Isra Varela, open for all-genre drummers and totally FREE from any charge. The clinic will start at 5:00 pm. If you are a drummer and wish to learn some Flamenco Jazz beat and all the twists, we invite you to attend this. Make sure you come on time.



Time flies so fast, after the special show of their 10th edition last year, Java Festival Production is back again with a promising and outstanding event for you jazz lover out there. Yes fellas, it is already 2015 and less than one month from now, the biggest annually jazz event ever in Indonesia is going to happen again three days in a row. Prepare yourself to welcome Jakarta International Java Jazz Festival 2015 at JIExpo Kemayoran.

Java Jazz Festival reaches the 11th edition this year and it promotes Barong, which is a character from Bali’s mythology, as the main design. The committees do a little improvisation with the color and it will be seen mainly in black, gold, and red in order to attract youngster attention but still highlight the beauty of Indonesia. The design itself goes along with its theme. Java Jazz Festival 2015 is going to use “Exploring Indonesia” as theme and we will see how the musicians also contribute in maintaining Indonesia culture with their music, special arrangement, and unexpected experiment. As clear as it sounds, the theme and design that Java Jazz Festival use is exactly to spread Indonesian culture worldwide and a couple days ago they provide an artwork competition publicly with Barong and Jazz as theme for those who want to take part in publishing good name of Indonesia through art.

Java Jazz Festival will be held on March 6th until 8th, 2015 at the same venue for couple years back, which is Jakarta International Expo, Kemayoran. For this year there will be seventeen stages, around sixty shows per day, and over a hundred artists are freely for you to choose and enjoy. Big event with big goal, actually there is no big difference conceptually compare to last year but Java Jazz Festival already set a target with 130 thousand visitors for three days and to reach this aim, as usual, Java Jazz on the Move and Java Jazz Pre Events is on their way to twelve different places in order to greet as many people as possible and spread the big news.

One new thing for 2015 is the publishing of Java Jazz Coffee. This idea started from a simple daily thing where many urban people love coffee and coffee shop. Using the well-built brand since ten years ago, Java Jazz Coffee uses the best quality of Indonesian coffee. What a smart way of expanding Indonesian heritage. On the other side, you can get the benefit from this program. Go get your daily pass ticket via Java Jazz official website or Java Jazz Outlet, then you can redeem one free cup coffee for each ticket you purchase.

The upcoming Java Jazz Festival 2015 has already received official confirmations from some of the legends and great ones both national and international including Jessie J, Christina Perri, Blue Note Tokyo All-Star Jazz Orchestra, Bobby McFerrin, Chaka Khan ft. Incognito, Chris Botti, Chris Turner, Lisa Ono, Harvey Mason ‘Chameleon’, Marc De Clive-Lowe, Iriao, Mehliana Featuring Brad Mehldau and Mark Guiliana, Richard Bona, Ramsey Lewis, Snarky Puppy, Warren Hill, Wayne Krantz / Anthony Jackson/Cliff Almond, Michael Lington, Akiko Tsuruga, Iriao, Ananda Sukarlan – Rapsodia Nusantara, Fusion Stuff, Dian Pramana Putra, Salamander Bigband, Mocca, Afgan, Kahitna, Sheila on 7, Andre Dinuth Solo Project, Dion Subiyakto Quartet, The Ladies Of Jazz ( Ermy Kullit , Margie Segers, Rien Djamain with Andra Karim & Trust Orchestra ), Dwiki Dharmawan Meets Violet Spin, Tesla Manaf, Ligro Trio, Emerald Bex, Indro Hardjodikoro The Finger, Rekoneko, and many more promising talents you have to watch live. The list has not ended here yet; they are only sixty five percent of the whole set, be patient to wait for some more, maybe your wish list can come true. However, looking closely to the already confirmed list, maybe you wonder why some names are not familiar in jazzy sector, but yes they will be on Java Jazz stage. Don’t be so confused fellas; it is common for jazz festival, even the abroad, to host non-jazz musicians. They who have widespread reputation are good to attract more people to come to the show and entertain people who are not fully into jazz. It is also a good thing to keep the variation of music in one event though jazz still be the center of our attention, isn’t it? Who knows, maybe we will be surprised by some of them who want to try exploring jazz music and mixing it up with their specialty.

Wondering why there are so many fresh names while you scan the list? In this 11th edition, Java Jazz tries another new notion. They are brave enough to take the risk and bring many new talents as possible then give them big stage to try on. Next pop-up question is why new names? In the press conference, one of committee said after these past ten years, almost all jazz musicians both national and international had been performed on their stage. Now it is a proper time for rotation and gives the spotlight for the new ones, let them feel the sensation of Java Jazz. Seventy percent are jazz musicians while the rest are not. This portion is made also to fill more color into the event and the more the merrier.

Collaboration is another new concept this year. Java Jazz is going to manage several collaborations so people can get two or three musicians at once in one stage and see how they blend musically. For instance, Tulus, youngster’s sweetheart is planned to perform in collaboration and acoustic concept, Dian Pramana Putra, Chaka Khan, Dwiki Dharmawan will collaborate with other musicians, while Sheila on 7 will perform with one international artist. There will be special project: Ladies of Jazz including Ermy Kullit, Margie Segers, and Rien Djamain. On the other hand, in order to pay honor to our beloved friend, music journalist who has passed away last month, Denny Sakrie, Java Jazz will prepare a special tribute for him. First time ever, 3 Diva, consist of Krisdayanti, Titi DJ, and Ruth Sahanaya will join the festival and Ruth Sahanaya will have love songs as concept in her own separated show. Can’t wait to sing along to their many hits, right?

The last updated info, Chris Botti and Jessie J are included in Special Show where you have to pay more than daily pass to watch their show. In other stages, there will be some special project like Chaka Khan who will has Incognito Backing along with her, Snarky Puppy will have three vocalists to sing their new songs, and Bobby McFerrin will perform with full band. Joshua Ledet, Jarrod Lawson, and Chris Turner are some examples of new talents that you’re going to fall into instantly, especially for you ladies out there. Not to mention what we have from our own Indonesian musicians, many new names like Mocca, Kahitna, Sheila on 7, Afgan, and Potret, who already get big fan base after years in music industry are finally come and love to taste the extraordinary Java Jazz. What a pleasant experience we will get.

The Pre Event of Java Jazz Festival in Bandung

Speaking of the pre event, as usual Java Jazz Festival showcased many artists for this occassion in many spot. Happy to say, one of the venue will take place on our own regular community event Braga Jazz Walk at Braga CityWalk, Bandung on February 26, 2015. This speical edition will feature multi-national artists including Israel Varela (Mexico/drums), Nita Aartsen (Indonesia/piano) and Daniele Cappucci (Italy/bass) as VAC featuring Yeppy Romero (Indonesia/acoustic guitar), then the marawis/darabuka ensemble Batavicada featuring Marcello Allulli (Italy/saxophone) plus some local performers. There will be Drum Clinic by Varela, former student of Dave Weckl and played with Pat Metheny and Mike Stern among others. The clinic and concert are both totally FREE as always. It’s time to show that jazz is really happening in Bandung and we are loud minority!

Back to the main event. Another special thing about Java Jazz is how the world comes to us in a musical form. You don’t need to travel abroad to get a little hint about how tunes are played in Venezuela, Georgia, India, Spain, France, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Holland and Japan. All you need is buy your tickets and come to JIExpo Kemayoran real soon.

After a long explanation about what to expect from Java Jazz Festival 2015, don’t you get yourself excited and thrilled? As the first official announcement has released, we will keep you updated on the latest developments. So far the lineup looks favorable. But what’s even better is the lineup isn’t final yet. There may be more big names to come, and it’s certainly interesting to wait for the confirmed Indonesian artists to join the gaiety this year. So what are you waiting for? Grab the ticket now and mark your schedule. The biggest Java Jazz Festival 2015 is in the making. Are you ready to have fun, people?


Date: Friday, Mar 6th 2015 – Sunday, Mar 8th 2015
Location: Jakarta International Expo, Kemayoran

See the complete lineup here: http://www.javajazzfestival.com/2015/lineup-list.php
Check out temporary schedule: http://www.javajazzfestival.com/2015/schedule.php
Buy the ticket at the Java Jazz Festival’s website: http://www.javajazzfestival.com/2015/ticket.php


Java Jazz Festival 2014 Day2

The first day of Clear Jakarta International Java Jazz Festival 2014 went on smooth. You can check our report here: http://jazzuality.com/jazz-event-report/clear-jakarta-international-java-jazz-festival-2014-day-1/.  Now let’s move on to the 2nd day. What’s happening on it? We were starting the day with friendly weather and good ambience. More genre with amusing stage act opened the Satrurday evening.

About 5 years ago we met a little girl with clear, crisp jazz vocal named Farah Di. Farah Dibaj Fuadi, that’s her real name, started to sing since she was still 5 years old and then rose to fame in no time. She released an album that suits to minor ages titled “Merah Biru (Red Blue)” which was supported by many seniors/legends such as Ireng Maulana, Cendy Luntungan and many others. From there we saw her gracing many events and festivals, where she even dared to sing with the big band. Time flies, we didn’t hear her that much anymore until finally we saw her again, now already 16 years old at this year’s edition. Eventhough she’s already a teenager, she still has it all. What’s unique is that this time she featured another child star, younger than her but also has many achievements that can be proud of. She is Lana Nitibaskara. Just like Farah, this 13 year old girl also has a crystal clear jazzy singing voice. She has also released her album “Spirit of Jazz” in 2011 and listed in Upin Ipin OST and starred in a famous children musical, “Ambilkan Bulan”, where she also sang the same title. Both of them have shone from a very early age, they have already paired with much older and experienced musicians without having any difficulties at all. We say, how joyful it is to see two very young talented jazz singers got together on stage. Jazz should fit all ages, not only the fans but also the artists, and these two lovely girls show they can do it just as good as those who started long before them. Meanwhile Sanur Jazz Project feat Damez Nababan ran early on the Java Jazz Stage. This band contains five fellows: Damez Nababan as alto saxophonist, Pramono A.P tenor saxophonist, I.B.Indra Gupta bassist, Edward Prasetya guitarist, and Iman Najib as drummer. The happy-special-moment of 10th year of Java Jazz shaped those Sanur Sunday Jazz Community Bali’s guys into a group who performed impressively.


Opened the show with I Don’t Remember, Endah N Rhesa Extended  gained a very warm greeting from the audience. Continued the show with their song from the second album, Wish You Were Here filled Semeru Hall with romantic ambience. The extended of Endah N Rhesa were additional musicians who brought a new touch of their performance. If they usually come up with accoustic concept, that evening they showed some fresh gig where we can see another side of them. This new conceptof full band are fully funk, interesting, different, but we still can feel the same taste of them and the power of independence. What a great show! Though it was early at noon, they still can attract many people to come.

At the A1 Tebs, Musikimia gave pop rock with some jazz flavors. If you haven’t heard this band, it’s a collaborative group consists of the members of Padi, a famous pop rock band in Indonesia. Fadly (vocal),  Rindra (bass) and Yoyo (drum) plus Stephan Santoso on guitar made their first visit in this world jazz meeting.  Just like Padi, the group is built in pop rock stream, but just as what the name says, they always try to embrace all kinds of music with no limitation and refuse to stay only in a small, closed box. They were established just 2 years ago, but they have launched a mini album last December where 5 songs creatively created to show their nationalism spirit. One of the song is Koes Plus’ masterpiece, “Kolam Susu”. Music is beautiful, ‘Indonesia is great’, that’s the vision behind the making of this group. Well, while Padi is still asleep, the fans don’t have to worry because this band will always keep them company.


Perhaps you still remember when a tender aged sister-brother duo became the center of attention among jazz lovers in Indonesia around 2006-2007. Not only they graced many prestigious stages both national and international as far as reaching Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai and Toronto, they also released an album entitled Sax Chemistry which was supported by multi-national stars including  Lewis Pragasam, Nicky Manuputty, Tompi, Benny and Barry Likumahuwa, Hendri Lamiri, and Obert Pomares MacLaughlin. Yes, we’re talking about sibling saxophonists formerly known as Gadiz V & Bass G. They started playing so early and reached the top faster than anyone could ever expected. They held record as the youngest female and male saxophonists in Indonesia by MURI (The Record Museum of Indonesia). From that point, many people looked for them but didn’t see them much often anymore. But now they are back again, stronger than ever! Since Gadiz has finished her academic study and reunited with her brother Bass, they are ready to reappear again on the surface. They still have those sharp sax-attax, the wild funky and up-tempo bites that used to put a spell on the fans. Gadiz and Bass-that’s the way the duo’s now called- mesmerized the coming audience and brought us back to the memory when they were all over the news. With them were Nicky Manuputty and Jordy Waelauruw. Gadiz and Bass have grown up, but hey, they still bite hard.




The annual biggest jazz fest in the world, the Jakarta International Djarum Super Mild Java Jazz Festival 2013 is getting closer, hitting us all on March 1 to 3, 2013 at JIExpo, Kemayoran, Jakarta.  Jazz Up the World, that’s the theme for this year promised many things along with mouth-watering lineup that none of us would dare to miss. This of course, including the most recent surprise created by this festival by announcing the participation of Craig David as the special show in this 9th edition of the festival, joining Basia, Joss Stone and Lisa Stansfield.

As a starter pack in spreading the jazz fever, the Java Festival Production held a series of pre-event as known as Java Jazz On The Move (JJOTM). In this pre-event there will be popular Indonesian or even some international artists to start igniting the fire. Served free, this series of event  takes place at popular hangout venues such as shopping centers, clubs, malls, and some occasions, universities. As the information from the official site of Java Jazz Festival 2013, the purpose of this event are creating a fever that only the main event,  Jakarta International Jazz Festival can cure.

February 16th – 17th, 2013 became the time when Java Jazz On The Move landed outside the main city Jakarta, visiting Bandung. The JJOTM only visited this city for two days but they successfully spread the fever in three occasions. On February 16th the events were held on the two different places. The first one ran from 3 PM to 6 PM at the Dago Plaza, then the second on 8 PM – 10 PM at the TFD Bistro Cihampelas Walk. While on the February 17th, 2013 the third occasion servedat Telkomsel Building Parking Lots on Riau street.

In the first session, Java Jazz On The Move came up with a super popular male singer from this city, Tulus, also the fascinating acoustic kids from Rumah Musik Harry Roesli Bandung 57kustik. Last but not least a local trio Fitzpatrick consists of Hinhin Agung Daryana (guitar), Soni Reffali (drum) and Paneu (bass).


In the same day a couple of hours after, TFD Bistro became the crime scene of the second round. The performer in this location jazz rockin’ the atmosphere high, dipping the crowds in total fun. The show featured a duo from Bandung called Suave with Aldi Nada Permana (guitar/vocal) and Lafa Pratomo (guitar). They played their own song “Make It Up” with ear catchy jazz style. Aldi and Lafa were actually a student from UPI and UNPAD that have performed far outside Bandung, for example at the Ambon Music Festival on October 2011.

After Suave came the talented set of street musicians from Rumah Musik Harry Roesli named their band as 57kustik. Consist of Ipan (violin), Negro (cajon), Yadi (guitar), Firman Ari (bass), dan Andry Septa (vocal). This band served acoustic jazz with splashes of beat and some experimental move. They have played with the famous saxophone artist Dave Koz last year at the Jakarta International Java Jazz Festival 2012. In this session they played jazzy instrumental song before delivering famous tracks such as “One love” and “Isn’t She Lovely” from Stevie Wonder. They carried on with the Bruno Mars’ “Runaway Baby”, Radiohead’s “High and Dry” until finally sealed it up with Sheila Majid’s “Sinaran”.


The second session was guarded by Mattew Sayersz, a young popular vocalist born in Bandung. Matthew found his fame after his sparkling contribution in Barry Likumahuwa Project (BLP) and has participated in many other groups or projects such as Idang Rasjidi Syndicate, Lopin Loop Band, Benny Likumahuwa & Young Jazzy Connections, Farabi Youth Big Band and Dwiki Dharmawan Project. Matthew collaborated with the 57kustik. He sang Chrisye’s classic “Kala cinta menggoda” and Sting’s “Englishman in New York”. His hit single “Cinta dan Sayang” became the last song that gained lots of cheers from the crowds.




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

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


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

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

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


“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.