Tuesday, June 2, 2015
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Ubud Village Jazz Festival 2014 - Day  1


Imagine this: Horizons of paddy fields, hills, steep ravines, chilly weather, smiles of the locals, and a jazz festival. You read that right fellas, a jazz festival in the middle of those beauties. If few months ago we had a jazz festival up 3,000 meters high on a mountain (Jazz Gunung 2014), the annual Ubud Village Jazz Festival 2014 offers jazz-lovers-festival-goers another unique experience for the second consecutive year. Ubud is a small town in Bali island, and is regarded as the cultural centre of Bali. This town was even featured in a 2010 movie Eat, Pray, Love starring Julia Roberts for its natural beauty, artsy atmosphere, and spirituality. Now since jazz has been added in it, the area is surrounded by even more magic. It was truly a wonderful experience to feel the spirit of jazz and island of God blend in. It created such feeling that you won’t find elsewhere.

Ubud Village Jazz Festival 2014 came in handy in terms of providing great value of jazzertainment. Plenty of great acts, rainbow-like variety to choose, all packed in nonstop pleasure for 8 hours straight, for two days in a row. The face of Ubud would never be the same again after it got a jazz painted colors which was initiated by the founder of Underground Jazz Movement Yuri Mahatma and the owner of ANTIDA Music Productions, Anom Darsana.


Ubud Village Jazz Festival - Underground Jazz Movement 1 (4)


Divided into three stages (Padi, Giri and Subak), the festival started at around 3.30PM at Padi and Subak Stages, simultaneously opened by Underground Jazz Movement 1 and Underground Jazz Movement 2, two local community-based jazz projects. This community has the mission to introduce jazz to young musicians, especially those who reside in Bali. They gather mostly on Sunday afternoon until night and fill it with open discussion, talk and even play jazz. They went swinging in pure delight with tradings and improvisations included in every song . From what we saw, this Underground Jazz Movement already bear fruits, delicious ones. From now on you have to know this: if you are a musician living in Bali and wish to be familiar with jazz, all you have to do is come to their meetings. You can get a lot of information, knowledge, playing tips and many more regarding jazz. Jazz is very much alive in Bali, and there’s a community that you can put yourself into.


Ubud Village Jazz Festival 2014 - Seiji Endo (1)


Carry on now. Up next at Padi stage, Seiji Endo took his turn. Endo-san is an expert in straight-ahead jazz and bebop, but for this event, his concept is solo piano. Wanna know what was up? A piano recital in nature, that’s what! Heart-capturingly beautiful, mesmerizing, clean and accurate, he immediately caught people’s curiosity and attention, and made them fall in love with the performance. It was romantic, sometimes funny, cool, and intense. Overall, his performance was story-telling. Great experience.


Ubud Village Jazz Festival 2014 - BID Trio (2)


BID Trio consists of Balawan (guitar), Ito Kurdi (bass), and Deva Permana (drums). The funky Ito, the ethnic-rock-fused Balawan, and the ever-versatile Indonesian-born drummer but pursuing his career in the land of Oz, Deva Permana. Their concept was conversational-like performance. A lot of calls and responses, sometimes tempo-free, which formed the performance to seem like they are having conversations on stage: with their instruments. The use of effects from Balawan and his expertise in playing double neck guitar brings strong flavors to the band. They were also rhythmically strong with the combination of metric modulation and polyrhythm based on pure responding. From a composition inspired by the melody of “Gundul Gundul Pacul”, original songs Three huge names in one project, these guys really showed what we wanted to see from them. The unique collaborative performances that appeared as if it was a melting pot of three music wizards. Awesomeness overload.  Another interesting fact: eventhough this is some kind of experimental project, they move fast to even has an album already.




Tell you what, this doesn’t come everyday. There’s a young French bassist who have played with so many giants and gained respect from every corners are heading to Indonesia to play alongside some of our own musicians. Not that long ago we got stunned to his electrifying bass lines in Chick Corea‘s latest album, “Chick Corea & The Vigil”. Chick Corea? Yes, you heard us all right. If that name can already be a guarantee, this young bassist has played with so many other big names that we will tell you a bit later. When being asked about him, John McLaughlin said: “…for me, he’s the new Jaco (Pastorius).” For sure he’s the true heir to the Jaco Pastorius’ throne, or you can say that he’s the modern day of Jaco. Still don’t get it? It’s none other than HADRIEN FERAUD.

None of us dare to predict that Feraud would visit our nation this soon, not just to play once but will land on many spots from Bali, Jakarta to Bandung. So if you’re a musician especially a (jazz) bass player, his coming should make you really excited. There are a lot to learn from him, even if you don’t feel like learning, you can just enjoy his play and find out why McLaughlin gave him that compliment. You can find the complete schedule of his Indonesian Tour Debut and who will be his playing partners in each trip. (He will also perform in our own Terraz Jazz too!) But before that, let’s take a closer look at Feraud first.


hadrien feraud, jazzuality
Hadrien Feraud
Hadrien Feraud was born in Paris and grew in a musical family. That’s why he became familiar with wide arrays of genres, including Jazz. He then learned guitar when he was still 8 years old from his own father. He was once interested in drums, but when he received Jaco Pastorius’ “The Birthday Concert” CD (at age 12), suddenly everything was clear for him. He was born to play electric bass.

Right after that turn, he seriously analyzed the techniques of some masters in the bass land, ranging from Jaco Pastorius, Christian McBride, Victor Bailey, Gary Willis, Anthony Jackson, Matthew Garrison, Richard Bona, Skull Sverrisson, Linley Marthe and Jeff Berlin. As he seriously digged and chewed all these heavy stuffs, he was ready faster than expected. He already performed and involved in the recordings with iconic figures and famous names like John McLaughlin, Chick Corea, Dominique di Piazza, Billy Cobham, Jean-Luc Ponty, Jada Pinkett, Dean brown, Chris Coleman and Scott Kinsey, just to mention a few, while he was still in his 20’s!

Hadrien Feraud has been announced as “Rising Star, Electric Bassist of the Year” by the Down Beat Critics Polls, also the “Most Exciting New Player” by Bass Player magazine.

He recorded some remarkable albums with John McLaughlin (including the Industrial Zen” which marked his first appearance in the recordings) and Chick Corea, but he actually has released his own album in 2007 which amazingly featured so man renowned musicians such as John McLaughlin, Bireli Lagrene, Flavio Boltro, Jean-Marie Ecay, Jean-Pierre Como, Marc Berthoumieux, Mokhtar Samba, Jim Grancamp, Jon Grancamp, Dominique di Piazza, Thierry Eliez, Linley Marthe.

Who will play with him  in his tour debut? Feraud will be accompanied by three musicians: one keyboardist: Erik Sondhy and two drummers: Sandy Winarta and Yandi Andaputra.




Since 2012, the world has been celebrating a special day for jazz lovers called International Jazz Day. Herbie Hancock as the UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador and the Director-General of UNESCO Irina Bokova proclaimed April 30th as the date and set it to raise awareness in the international community of the virtues of jazz as an educational tool as well as a force for peace, unity, and dialogue. Jazz musicians and enthusiasts around the world celebrate it in their own ways. Just as we are getting closer to that day we received a very good news that should make us all proud. The little boy piano prodigy by the name of Joey Alexander is invited to participate in the annual benefit Gala Dinner of Jazz at Lincoln Center on May 1, 2014.

If playing at this jazzy corner of the historical complex of buildings in the Lincoln Square neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City is already highly prestigious, Joey is going to get even more honor, because there he will perform with the living legend Wynton Marsalis and the great, great Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra (JLCO). The concert is titled “LOVE, LOSS AND LAUGHER: THE STORY OF JAZZ”, set to be held at the Frederick P. Rose Hall, “The House of Swing”. Standing at the host is none other than famous movie star/comedian/MC, Billy Crystal. Joey is native Indonesian, and he’s still 10 years old. What a beautiful way for us Indonesian to celebrate this year’s International Jazz Day. And for your information, Joey is the only foreign musician that has an honour to play at this legendary concert. Way to go, Joey!



In conjunction with Joey’s upcoming performance “Love, Loss and Laughter: The Story of Jazz with Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Orchestra, a press conference was held on Tuesday, April 22, 2014 located at iCanStudioLive, Kebayoran Baru, Jakarta. Joey was there to explain everything about his involvement in this concert. It was a bit rainy out there and the press conference started later than on schedule. But joey warmth us with his magical hands on solo piano performance.

Then MC officially opened this press conference by greeting us and let Lucy Willar as the host of iCanStudioLive to give a little explanation about this wonderful kid and how he become one of featured artist at that concert. Denny Sakrie were also there to give his opinion about Joey from the expert view. He told us that Joey has a common thing with Indra Lesmana. They got their beautiful talent since they were toddlers. Denny believes that Joey will bring a great impact to Indonesian music industry. Lucy Willar called him as a ‘black diamond’ while Denny Sakrie mentioned that medias have called him as ‘Harry Potter of Jazz’. As you know, Joey always wear glasses that make him look exactly like Harry Potter, of course also the wizardous jazz piano playing. That’s the way we love to call him since the first time we spotted him in 2011 (http://jazzuality.com/jazz-event-report/red-white-jazz-lounge-christmas-jazz-special-the-report/).

With the innocence of a child, Joey gave us a little explanation about how he started all of these until he could receive so many achievements internationally. It went really well and intimately. The attending medias congratulated him and asked him about how he prepared himself for this concert. We asked him will this concert affect him, he said that this is going to be one of his life’s legendary moments. He’s really excited and he is also ready to play there.

By now you should already be familiar with this wonder-kid. Imagine where you were and what you were doing at the age of 10, Joey has done things that not even adults or seniors can achieve.



Here’s a little profile of him. Joey was born in Denpasar, Bali on June 25, 2003. His parents bought him a mini keyboard when he was 6 years old. They got caught by surprise when noticing little Joey was already able to play the melody line of Thelonious Monk’s classic, “Well You Needn’t” out of nowhere. His parents directly gave him piano lesson. This little boy chewed everything up in no time. In just a year or so, he could already play difficult jazz renditions, mastering the improvisation with perfect skill that enabled him to play alongside big names in spontaneous jam sessions. For him, jazz is really great. You can play it spontaneously, with a coll improvisation. Jazz also gives him a freedom at playing and also, swing… That’s why he prefer jazz rather than other genres, such as modern or classic.

We met him for the first time at Indra Lesmana’s RW Jazz Lounge: The Christmas edition 2 years ago. At that time when he was still 8 years old he already stunned everyone by executing “My Favorite Things” and “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” flawlessly, just like a pro. At the age of 9 he already played alongside jazz giants and legends. He was invited by UNESCO in December 2011 to play solo piano in front of the jazz living legend Herbie Hancock during his visit to Inodnesia as a goodwill ambassador of UNESCO. He has graced many international festivals such as the Java Jazz Festival, JakJazz, Jazz Goes to Campus, World Youth Jazz Festival in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia and gained spot at television. After winning the Grand Prix award of the first International Jazz Improvisation contest, Master-Jam Fest in Odessa, Ukraine last year by topping hundreds of other contestants (it was awarded not only for professionalism and talent, but also for whose performance became a phenomenon of jazz life), this year he’s in the news again by being featured in The Good News with the Ellen Degeneres Show.

In the invitation letter, Jason Olaine, the Director of Programming and Touring Jazz at Lincoln Center said this: “In my capacity as Director of programming and Touring for Jazz at Lincoln Center, I have the pleasure of inviting Mr. Joey Alexander to New York to participate in our annual benefit Gala with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, May 1, 2014. As a rising star on piano, we recognize his artistry and musicianship and would be honored to present him to our American audiences in New York City.”

If you ask us, Joey really deserves it. You will know it once you listen to his play or watch. We have seen him pinning complex compositions from Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Wayne Shorter and Chick Corea just like a long time experienced pro. The last time we heard his piano playing was in a track “Glory Glory” with Benny Likumahuwa Jazz Connection in the new CD “Rekam Jejak Vol. 1″. In this track if you don’t see who plays, you will never dare to take a guess that it all came from a little boy. He plays maturely with high skill, really good at controlling and fully understand his role when playing with other cats. His improvisations are flawless and always appear in the right moment. Normally something like this only come from players who have been doing it for many decades, yet Joey is indeed one of a kind. He’s cute, sometimes shy, just like any other kids, but once he’s placed behind the piano, it’s all a different story.




Master-Jam Fest 2013 will bring together more than 40 best jazz improvisers from 16 countries in June 5-8, 2013, in Odessa (Ukraine)

Prior to the first announcements and other updated news we have informed you earlier (read the articles here http://jazzuality.com/jazz-events/master-jam-fest-online-preselection/ and http://jazzuality.com/jazz-news/7-indonesian-jazz-artists-have-qualified-into-the-2nd-round-of-master-jam-fest-ukraine/), the Master-Jam Jazz Fest 2013 has decided the finalists and ready to roll!

For the very first time of the world jazz festivals’ practice, more than 40 brilliant improvisers from no less than 16 countries will meet and unite in star music bands to determine the best improviser in the high jazz-octane atmosphere, located at the beautiful seaside tourist resort area in Europe, also known as the cultural capital of Ukraine as well as the jazz capital of  the nation, Odessa.

The Master-Jam Jazz Fest 2013 will be held from 5th to 7th of June. There competition will be divided into three categories for each days: Swing and Bebop (June 5), Ballad, Jazz-rock and Funk (June 6), and then Latin jazz and Fusion (June 7). You can expect the new music compositions to be born in front of the audience, spontaneously and creatively.

Then at the last day on June 8, the Festival Gala concert will come featuring simultaneous performance of all the Master-Jam Fest Stars, joining the Master-Jam Big Band conducted by Anatoly Kroll.

This festival stands as the biggest competition that involves jazz musicians from around the world. More than 270 jazz improvisers from 41 countries have participated in the Master-Jam Online Preselection. Professionals and jazz lovers from more than 140 countries have been following the development of this project as seen from the official website of the fest, http://master-jam.com.

So, from June 5 to 8, 2013 Odessa will offer four extravagant days of the Master-Jam final. Serve live, full of quality music. You will witness the summit of both young and famous virtuosos of improvisation from the USA, Cuba, Indonesia, Russia, the Netherlands, Spain, Israel, Austria, Ukraine and many other countries.

The specification of this project is not involving bands or ensembles, but individual performers. This festival is the first one who draws attention to the most important quality of a jazz musician, which is the ability to improvise, as said by the Jury president, the People’s Artist of Russia, Anatoly Kroll.

The contest program of each of those three days will be divided into three parts, given to each ensembles. Two of them are from the list of recommended jazz standards which often played during jam sessions. Then the third part is a composition at contestants’ choice that suits the style of the theme of each contest day.

The international composition of the organizing committee and jury consists of prominent jazz musicians, journalists and connoisseurs of jazz, figures of politics and cinema. The chairman of the organizing committee is a well-known Russian TV host, Yelena Khanga.

Sandy Winarta and Joey Alexander are Among the Finalists



Happy to inform you that from about 10 players who made into the second round, two of Indonesian jazz musicians are officially selected to compete at this highest round. First, from the drum category, there is Sandy Winarta. This very talented young man are said to be one of the busiest drummer in the Indonesia’s jazz scene and consered to be the best modern jazz drummer from younger generation. He’s involved in many bands, active as a sessionist and also established his own band where he can freely demonstrate his self jazz taste. Lately he’s been busy in tributing the late maestro Bubi Chen in various occasion and soon to release the album, playing Chen’s compositions including the unreleased ones.

Then if you want to see the magic, you should take a look at the next finalist from Indonesia, a 9 year old prodigy Josiah Alexander Sila, better known as Joey Alexander. This wonderkid started playing piano at the tender age of 6. To her parents’ surprise, he could play a melody line of Monk’s “well You Needn’t”. He took piano lesson at that age then emerged so early as an amazing jazz pianist, exceeding players whose age are much ahead than him. With our own eyes, we have seen how this kid dare to correct his seniors while performing and really enjoy any jam session he attended just like a pro. He hasn’t even reached a decade of life, yet he’s played alongside top musicians from Indonesia and some visiting jazz artists from Europe. He has performed at the Jakarta International Java Jazz Festival, Jakarta International Jazz Festival (JakJazz), World Youth Jazz Festival in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia, Jazz Goes to Campus plus several appearances in television and smaller recitals. In 2011 he was invited by the UNESCO to play in front of the legendary Herbie Hancock during Hancock’s visit to Indonesia as the UN’s ambassador. Let’s see how well he can take the challenge from older and more experienced players from the other part of the globe, will he top the other finalists to be the best jazz improviser of the world.

Now let’s see the complete finalists of the Master-Jam Fest 2013 in Odessa (Ukraine) with a brief description, divided into 9 categories.




If you ever been to Bali, Ubud should be one of your most favorite destination. This town is surrounded by rice paddies, creek with steep, located in the central foothills of Gianyar. For more than a century Ubud has been popular as a large tourism site since there are many fine arts, dance, music and other forms of cultural can be found throughout the place, not to mention so many sacred nature reserves like Ubud Monkey Forest, temples, cave or even art/painting museum. Now think of this. What if this land with beautiful nature surroundings adds its charm by serving jazz, not a single show but festival, for two days? That sounds great, right? Well, that’s what going to happen. Here comes the first ever International Jazz Festival ever held in the heart of Ubud-Bali, the capital of Art of Indonesia by the name of UBUD VILLAGE JAZZ FESTIVAL 2013.

The idea of this event was triggered a musician/composer/teacher and the founder of Underground Jazz Movement Yuri Mahatma and the director/owner of ANTIDA Music Productions, Anom Darsana. This is a new higher step for them after partnering for some regular jazz concerts that has different themes in every edition. The idea of making up a community concert came in the early 2012, but then it rolled bigger by having the involvement and support from majority of community artists. Hence, the concept of hosting a community concert in this unique village was born.

The Ubud Village Jazz Festival 2013 is created in medium size with around 20 performances, involving about 100 musicians (local and international) for two days which will be divided into 2+1 stages (two main performers and one stage for amateurs, new talents and music students). As how the jazz festival normally goes, you can find plenty of jazz forms to choose. Just in case if you’re hungry and thirsty during the event, the event also provides variety of best food in the culinary section. Other than live performances, Ubud Village Jazz Festival also facilitates workshop of local and national music educators to investigate ways of getting more people to be interested in playing jazz. The festival will be held on August 9 and 10, 2013 at the 5-star Arma Museum and Resort, Ubud, Bali.


ubud village jazz festival, lineup, jazzuality


Now let’s talk about the artists. As we have mentioned earlier, the lineup consists of local, national and international stars, either with their own groups or through special collaborative acts. Representing Netherlands is Peter Beets, a world-acclaimed pianist with classy, infectious swing. Then look at the combination of Mexico, Japan, England and Malaysia under the name of Diego Maroto and No Black Tie Artists. From Japan comes an interesting ensemble Yokohama Association of Artist Orchestra also known as YAA. After visiting many Asian regions like Korea, now they are going to expand their coverage area by playing in Bali.




What do we think of when we hear the name of Bubi Chen? There could be uncountable things appear in our mind, and it’s different from person to person. But one thing for sure, Bubi Chen is a legendary maestro who painted multi vibrant colors in Indonesia’s Jazz History (also the world’s) for many, many years during his life time. He might be gone but will never, ever forgotten. His name, works and contributions will always be remembered and will keep on inspiring the next generations ahead. The spirit of Bubi Chen’s virtuous work will remain alive on stage, most especially in concerts which pay big respect to him.



An Homage to Bubi Chen was one of those. But know this: the event was actually more than just a simple tribute to Bubi Chen. This event was made as a special appreciation and respect to him. It was presented in Surabaya – which happens to be the city where he was born – continued the success of tribute to Bubi Chen in Semarang not long ago. Semarang, the capital city of Central Java province which lies on the north coast of Java was the place he lived until the day he passed away on February 16, 2012.

This event was launched on last Friday, April 26, 2013 featured the world class young jazz drummer Sandy Winarta and his Quartet ( with guitarist Johanes Radianto, bassist Doni Sundjoyo and pianist Fanny Kuncoro) plus Monita Tahalea and some local talents, including one of Bubi’s last students Bagus Adimas and his Trio.

Since some of you might ask why Sandy Winarta was selected to carry the honor, the reason is because Sandy and his friends were the musicians who accompanied Bubi Chen for the last couple of years until his day on earth was over. The fact that Sandy Winarta Quartet is recently doing the recording process of unreleased Bubi Chen’s compositions in a whole new arrangements made Sandy Winarta and his compatriotes became a perfect choice to uphold the mission. An Homage to Bubi Chen was also recorded live in DVD format, this shows a solid proof on the efforts of documenting Bubi Chen’s pieces, which actually was one of the main mission of this event. What’s also special is that other than the show was sponsored by Djarum Super Mild, it’s also supported by Radio Suara Surabaya (SS). This radio is connected deeply to him especially with his involvement in Jazz Traffic program since 1985.




There are many ways to express our grief at the passing of Bubi Chen, a truly beloved maestro who had uncountable contributions to his own nation, but perhaps what the way Indra Lesmana expressed it can be an example of how much we missed him and how important he actually is to us and our history. “Indonesia has lost one very important figure. Bubi Chen was one of the first men who brought good news about Indonesia to the international scene, showing that Indonesia was already modern at that time. Imagine this, we already had such modern pianist in the 60s like the virtuoso Bubi Chen. Indonesia could already showed it during 1967-1968, thanks to him. I think it’s a big achievement that we should always remember and look up to. He’s a figure that we should always consider as one of the greatest artistes like Affandi for example. I witnessed what he had done for all his life, so I know for sure how important Bubi Chen is in our history.”

Just a little flashback, on February 16, 2012 we got the text message from his son, Benny Chen, telling that his father passed away just a couple of minutes earlier. (read our article: In Memoriam Bubi Chen here: http://jazzuality.com/jazz-news/in-memoriam-bubi-chen-9-february-1938-16-february-2012/). We got shocked, because actually he looked a lot better after he got his legs amputated due to the massive pain caused by the diabetic wound he suffered. We could see it at the last concert we covered, also the last big event Bubi Chen was in, the Jazz Traffic Festival 2011 in Surabaya. We thought since he looked better, he would play more often, since stage was one of the happiest places for him to be. But God has His own plan.

bubi chen, jazzuality


One year’s passed, we still missed this figure who was born in Surabaya but spent the rest of his life in Semarang. In his glorious hey-day he was called the Art Tatum of the East. It’s not difficult to figure out how he was mentioned like that since he actually had quite the same quality that Tatum possessed. For example, he could play piano really fast with excellent precision, his improvisation lines were floating naturally and always fell in the right spots, and he could play just about any song in pure jazz, spontaneously.

He’s not here with us anymore, but his legacy continues on. There are many of his friends, ex-students or artists who got inspired by him sending him respect by tributing him in their gigs, especially in his hometowns Surabaya and Semarang. Just a month ago we covered the latest tribute by bringing jazz into the high school, presented in both performance and coaching clinic (read the report here: http://jazzuality.com/jazz-event-report/justjazz-goes-to-school-tribute-to-bubi-chen-the-report/) as one of the most recent tributes to Bubi Chen. Now here comes another event, which we heard first from Bubi’s son, Howie Chen. Brought Trinity Production and the main sponsor Djarum Super MILD, a special tribute titled “An Homage to Bubi Chen” will be held at The Square Ball Room C, Surabaya, on April 26, 2013, starting at 7:30 pm, presenting Sandy Winarta Quartet (Sandy Winarta-drums, Johanes Radianto-guitar, Doni Sundjoyo-contrabass and Fanny Kuncoro-piano). To add more color into the quartet, Monita Tahalea is joining the team.

The opening band will be given to The Bagus Adimas Trio, consisting of potential young talents from surabaya,  Bagus Adimas (piano), Kevin Pieter (bass), Kelvin Andreas( drums), also the line of vocalists such as Thya Anhar, Benny Kartono and Gilly. Bagus was one of Bubi Chen’s students who’s now ready to shine. Possessing the good jazz playing technique from the maestro, surely this young man has no problem to follow his teacher’s footsteps.

sandy winarta quartet, jazzuality, monita tahalea


This concert is made along with the recording process of Sandy Winarta in which he play the works of Bubi Chen, also as a continuation of the previous one in Semarang, the place he lived until the last moment of his life. Other than the event organizer and main sponsor, this special tribute is also supported by Radio Suara Surabaya (SS). The participation of this Radio is due to the fact that historically, Bubi Chen was involved in SS’ program, one of them is Jazz Traffic which once
hosted by him.

Having Sandy Winarta Quartet to carry this concert promise quality. No one would argue that Sandy Winarta is the front runner of modern jazz drumming today in Indonesia. His skill is exceptional, with soul and emotion attached in every beat. His team mates are all great too. They are still young, but already gained a lot of experiences from their frequent activities in the jazz scene. The beautiful songstress with ‘lushy’ jazz vocal character is one of the newest shining stars. From Indonesian Idol contestant when she was still in high school, receiving success in her debut album, now she’s listed among the most wanted artists in many jazz events. The combination of Sandy Winarta Quartet and Monita Tahalea will surely give the best of entertainment where beauty sparks all over.




About 3 months ago we announced the Master-Jam Fest, an International Festival-Contest of Jazz Improvisation. This unique competition involves jazz musicians from every corner of the world who are ready to show their best in delivering the magical tradition of jazz all the way to reach the grand final at the beautiful city of Odessa, Ukraine. (Read our first announcement here: http://jazzuality.com/jazz-events/master-jam-fest-online-preselection/).

The historical, cultural and tourist center city near the Black Sea, Odessa actually has its own jazz party, popularly known as Odessa Jazz Carnival. But this time, the author and producer of it Mikhail Freidlin brought something contrast while still deeply rooted in the same spirit.

The first pre-selection was held online and quickly gained huge response by jazz musicians/vocalists from around the globe. No less than 223 improvisers from 34 countries have participated in the first online preselection, that includes young but experienced musicians as well. They were divided into 9 categories: Horizontal Piano and Other Keyboard Instruments, Contrabass (Electric Bass, Bass Guitar), Percussion Instruments, Saxophone (all types) and Clarinet, Trumpet (Flugelhorn), Trombone, Guitar, Vocals and the rest like Violin, French Horn, Flute, Ethnic Instruments etc are listed in the last category.

master-jam, indonesian prefinalist


For the first round, the musicians only needed to send their video-presentations which has already closed on December 31st, 2012. Now comes the second round with a great news for Indonesia! Among the selected second rounders, the Jury have picked 7 Indonesian jazz musicians/vocals to go further in the next qualifying round! They are:

Nesia Ardi (in Vocals category)
Robert Mulyarahardja and Achmad Ananda (in Guitar category)
Chaka Priambudi and Kevin Yosua (in Contrabass; Electric Bass and Bass Guitar category)
Sandy Winarta (in Percussion Instruments category)
Widiyanto Sulaeman Sutanto (in Horizontal Piano and Other Keyboard Instruments category)

Proud to say that Indonesia sends the most number of second round finalists among other South East Asian nations. (Check the complete statistics here: http://master-jam.com/en/statistics/).



Christmas is just around the corner. For you who celebrate it, you should be really excited right now. There would be no Santa to bring you beautifully wrapped gifts, but hey, you can have a lot of JAZZ goodies whether you’ve been good or bad! While we are preparing seriously to launch our first ever Christmas event titled Jazzuality Christmas Jazz in Bandung which will come on December 22 at Bandung Indah Plaza (check all the info in this following article: http://jazzuality.com/jazz-events/jazzuality-christmas-jazz-at-bandung-indah-plaza/), for you who live in Jakarta there’s a FREE Christmas event that you can attend, featuring some of the best jazz players that can turn the game differently.

Interested? Now let’s see more infos. The Puri International Jazznight, better known as PuriJazz is going to launch its special segment to celebrate Christmas tomorrow (Wednesday, Dec 19, 2012) with the title of “DD Celebrates A Puri Jazzy Christmas).” The show will start at 8:00 pm, located at Double Doors Bar & Restaurant, Puri Indah, opposite the Puri Indah Hospital and Puri Indah Mall, Jakarta.

If you still haven’t heard about the PuriJazz yet, this is the new face of the legendary Jazznights at Eastern Promise which used to be Jakarta’s leading jazz jam session and colored up Jakarta jazz scene some years ago. They were in silence for three years, but now it’s back in action as PuriJazz. The first show was launched on September 5, 2012 and have been running as a regular event every Wednesday night ever since.


purijazz, nesia ardi, jazzuality


Back to the Puri Jazzy Christmas, this special Christmas edition West Beat (note the new name of the house band of West Jakarta’s only Jazznight) features the soulful lady with classic ‘old school’ jazz singing style Nesia Ardi and Steve Wilson on vocals, back up by nobody less than Sandy Winarta on drums, Doni Sundjoyo on bass and the host Stefan Thiele himself on piano. Guest star will be Ian Ingram from the UK, the trumpetist you might recognize from many ESQI:EF (Syaharani and the QueenFireworks)’s gigs that you have attended. This is a lovely formation that could give lots of joyful surprises to make your Christmas celebration merrier than ever.



Once again an annual music event was held by Suara Surabaya (SS) in November 24th, 2012. This is the second Djarum Super Mild Jazz Traffic Festival  in Surabaya and it was made even greater than last year. What did make this year’s installment more special and outstanding? The better arrangement and bigger batch of lineup were the reason. This time Djarum Super Mild Jazz Traffic Festival 2012 offered more various jazz musicians which made it more interesting, the program was much better, and it also engaged international jazz artist. The process until it becomes an annual event was a good story where it reinforces Surabaya as a potential place for jazz event. We can see the brand title of Jazz Traffic itself is already strongly attached to jazz lover especially among the listeners of Jazz Traffic radio program in SS, the communities of jazz listener are increased, and also the music itself continuously grows broad. Probably these cases can signify the resurgence jazz in Surabaya and Djarum Super mild saw the opportunity, voila! It transformed into a massive Jazz Traffic Festival.

This year Jazz Traffic Festival really maximized the space and time so that the visitors would be satisfied. The gig started at 12 pm. until around 12 am. The committee provided three stages which are Convention Hall on third floor (indoor), Exhibition Hall on ground floor (indoor), and at the parking lot (outdoor). The society gave marvelous responses and really showed their excitement by crowding those three stages and get lost in the jazzy tunes. The setting of the stage indeed gave as much freedom as it could for the audience because it was structured in parallel, so the visitors could choose which stage they wanted to watch. JTF 2012 supplied jazz with its variety; they showed many genres we could enjoy such as fusion, ethnic jazz, and acid jazz, also the pure or mainstream one; those styles surely gave fresh air into Surabaya which had 34 degree Celsius at that time and cooled down the jazz lovers who already came to the venue in the afternoon.


Hoping you all get enough description about the venue and the situation in Jazz Traffic Festival 2012, now let’s hopped into the object of this event, list of the fantastic bands.  As the opening, we got Surabaya All Stars which consists of FX Boy on alto saxophone, Totok Afiat on bass, Tri Wijayanto on guitar, Muhammad on drum, Iwan Santoso on keyboard, Dodi on trumpet, Luluk on trombone, Syaifl on tenor saxophone, Ruland on percussion, Yunita, Kiki, and also Seno on vocal. They all are the students of the late Bubi Chen who was a jazz maestro from this particular city. For the play they had 5 beautiful compositions which were instrumental “Doctor Makumba”, “It’s Alright”, “Soul as Caital”, “Shaker Song”, and “Give Me the Night”. Their performance gathered the people who were in Exhibition Hall Grand City Surabaya lobby together into the Convention Hall to saw them on stage. FX Boy who is also the manager of Surabaya All Stars said that this band which was created in 2007 really enjoyed being the opening of Super Mild Traffic Jazz Festival 2012. This is their second time to be invited. He added, “Since Jazz Traffic Festival last year, we keep observing that jazz enthusiasm in Surabaya increases. This is very good and we hope we can include as one of that phenomenon”. For the next edition hopefully in 2013, FX Boy put out his dream that more and more Surabaya’s jazz musicians can participate this event, the more the merrier. “Surabaya has a lot of great jazz musicians for sure. We expect them to perform next year.” He said.