The guitar-piano connection isn’t new anymore in jazz. Many duos have done it throughout decades. They create different musical atmosphere with minimalist concept, showing and proofing that there are still so many beautiful things can be created even by using just two instruments. Bill Evans/Jim Hall did it twice, ‘Undercurrent’ in 1963 and ‘Intermodulation’ in 1966. Then there were Bill Mays/Ed Bickert and Pat martino/Gil Goldstein, more recently two artistic impressionist jazz musicians Hristo Vitchev/Weber Iago visited this corner with their distinctive approach. How about Indonesia? There was Riza Arshad and Oele Pattiselano who delivered it a decade ago through an album called “Talks”, however we don’t find the connection between guitar and keyboard in duo performance often on Indonesian soil.
Two talented musicians from the new generation landed their feet in this exact spot about two years ago. This duo concept isn’t that easy to bring since the players have to be connected smoothly in strong chemistry. They have to establish some kind of ‘talks’ to each other, serving up dialogues with sets of notes that can be enjoyed (and felt) by the audience. No worries, these two musicians have known and been friends with each other for long. Not only that, they have been playing together for many years too. So no worries, they do have strong chemistry, more than enough to establish a high quality recital. They are Johanes Radianto (guitar) and Ramadhani Syah Warongan (piano). They established themselves as Duo Project. We have seen this tandem a couple of times since the first establishment in 2012, now they are going to land on Yogyakarta on July 12, 2014 at Langgeng Art Foundation, brought to you by Goethe Institut as a segment of Serambi Jazz.
As you probably have noticed, Serambi Jazz since 2009 has provided quality shows mostly based in Jakarta as a two-monthly event. But other than Jakarta, it has spread its wings to reach other cities such as Bandung, Yogyakarta and Surabaya. At least in 2011 and 2012 the jazz fans in Yogyakarta and Surabaya have gotten the chance to taste the program where Riza Arshad stands as the curator. This year Goethe Institut plans to present two concerts in each city. For Yogyakarta, this Duo Project is the first to run, the second concert will be Tuslah in Ngayogjazz 2014.
Let’s go back to these two talented musicians. The two created this project in mid 2012 due to a request from a local Bandung promoter (Saung Jazz by CCF) to make a concert with a simple group format. (Read the report here: http://jazzuality.com/jazz-event-report/saung-jazz-piano-guitar-duo-the-report/). Many people came to the concert liked it very much that it inspired both Ramadhani and Johanes to carry on.
Ramadhani Syah Warongan (Dhani Syah) is a stylish pianist who returned to Indonesia last year after finishing his degree at Prins Claus Conservatorium in Holland. While in the conservatorium, he was featured on several groups/projects such as “Gipsy Nature”, saxophonist Kestutis Veiginis Quartet, Tour to Birtonas, Vinus and Palanga, Lithuania. He is also a proud member of the Re-Bop Unit, a quintet who was awarded by being selected for the project “The Artistry of Dick Oatts and Young Jazz Musicians”. Also tour in Bucuresti, Timisoara, Bacau, Arad, Cluj, Rumania, and The Hague, Assen, Amsterdam, and Groningen, The Netherlands.
Dhani has studied music, piano and composition with the following masters: Jasper Soffers, Marc Van Roon, David Berkman, Indra Lesmana, Tjut Nyak Deviana Daudsjah, Aksan Sjuman, Michael Moore, Elena Malinova, Steve Altenberg, Joris Teee, Ralph Peterson, Alex Sipiagin, Freddie Bryant, Daena DeRose, Kurt Weiss, Brian Lynch, Don Braden, Mark Gross, and the faculty of Prins Claus Conservatorium.
Since his return to his homeland, he writes for his jazz group The Jongens Quartet along with Elfa Zulham and Doni Sundjoyo, and also his partner in this duo, Johanes Radianto.