Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Tags Posts tagged with "java jazz festival"

java jazz festival



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.


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: http://store.jazzuality.com/products/cd/manna/), 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.

See more pictures:

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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