2009 is the year when Serambi Jazz began its service. This is the program of Goethe Institut was made to invigorate jazz events in Jakarta and some other cities, also to strengthen the mutual friendship between two great nation, Germany and Indonesia. It’s been held every two months (except some special editions/occasions) presenting the highly talented artists/musicians who have contributed big deal towards the regional or even worldwide jazz development. Most of the performers were taken from our own soil, but in each year, at least two German jazz musicians or groups be included not only for playing in live concert but also to share their knowledge to young talents. This program quickly gained attention from the jazz aficionados in Jakarta and beyond. Not long after it was launched, this regular event became one of the most awaited concerts in Jakarta. The jazz lovers can expect a good quality show, presenting variety of jazz played by great musicians in every edition. Surprisingly, all free or charge. The success story doesn’t happen only in Indonesia, this program also becomes one of the most successful overseas program of Goethe Institut. Riza Arshad has been in charge as the curator from the beginning and proved to be a perfect choice. He knows how to keep the program running in excellence, rich in colors, variations and artists’ selections.
In 2013 Serambi Jazz made a new breakthrough by creating two projects which involved artists from two nations. The first one is the curator himself with his team (Endang Ramdan, Erlan Suwardana and Cucu Kurnia on kendangs and metal toys) in collaboration with German guitarist Kai Brückner and bassist Paul Philipp Kleber http://jazzuality.com/jazz-events/serambi-jazz-2013-kai-bruckner-and-riza-arshad-project/, then the last one is the project of Aksan Sjuman and the Committee of the Fest with contrabassist Henning Sieverts and saxophonist Christian Weidner http://jazzuality.com/jazz-event-report/serambi-jazz-2013-henning-sieverts-and-aksan-sjuman-project-report/). As we already entered 2014, some of our readers asked about the continuation of Serambi Jazz. We’ve been asked whether the program be continued or not, will they visit Bandung again like before, will there be collaborations to come, involving who and so on. We still don’t know how exactly their plan for this year yet, but one thing’s sure: Serambi Jazz is still running. It’s confirmed that they will launch the first edition of 2014 on February 6, 2014, presenting the iconic Indra Lesmana with his Group tributing one of the most important men in jazz history, Chick Corea.
The Indra Lesmana Group Tribute to Chick Corea is actually started last year on May, 2013 as one of the program of Indra and Honhon Lesmana’s Red White Jazz Lounge. It went very successful not only beause it gave tribute to the living jazz giant but also since Indra Lesmana created a very strong team consisting guitar virtuoso Tohpati and amazing young guns such as Shadu Rasjidi (bass), Ricad Hutapea (saxophone) and Demas Narawangsa (drums). It looks very promising, but Demas decided to continue his study to USA. Somebody has to take over his position behind drums. But who? Indra Lesmana asked Shadu to look around, then they found three candidates. Indra carefully examined each one through their performing videos on Youtube and finally made his decision. He found a new drummer to replace Demas, his name is Dion Subiakto. He’s a rising star we’ve been keeping our eyes on, at least since he stands as one of Balawan Bifan Trio and later joined Indro Hardjodikoro and the Fingers. So now, the Indra Lesmana Group is complete, filled with the combination of senior/iconic musicians and amazing younger talents.
Speaking of Chick Corea, most of his compositions (or maybe even all) have high degree of difficulties. Not everyone can play them in the way they were made. If we take a look at Chick Corea’s monumental group, the Chick Corea’s Elektric Band, this band also consisted of players who are capable to create magic in every line despite of their ages. We see the same spirit brought by Indra Lesmana in building up this group. Corea is not only a jazz musician but he is also into classical, enjoying the musics of Bartok and other contemporary classical music. Chick Corea once took up drums, something that later influence his piano playing style especially when he improvises. No wonder his compositions always rich in harmony, often appear in complex notations, and the best way to play it is by full discipline and accurate precision tempo.
The idea of this tribute came when Indra felt the need to go back to the influential things in his career. Chick Corea gave strong influence to Indra’s journey in 1981 to 1988. The idea of making this tribute was supported by Tohpati, a guitar maestro and music producer who also grew in that era. Indra Lesmana has listened to Chick Corea’s songs since he was still a 12 year-old boy. When he moved to Australia he got the chance to watch Corea’s live show in Sydney, and even better, he met Corea in person on backstage. He’s impressed by Corea’s humbleness. Then they met again in 1983 when Indra went to Los Angeles. He recorded one album in Chick Corea’s studio, The Mad Hatter and released it under the title of “For Earth and Heaven”. Indra had also joined Chick Corea Elektric Band during the 80’s, for example when they visited Indonesia during the Asian Tour in 1986.
As someone who know Corea in person, Indra should have known how to bring his masterpieces alive in perfect way. Plus, he has four amazing compatriotes with special abilities. So all’s set, all’s perfect. According to Indra, this project is not simply to play Chick Corea’s songbook, but more importantly to convey the information to the young musicians.
From what we’ve seen, the group could really make this concept alive. You will see everything you wish from jazz in this show. The showdown of skills, the magic of improvisations, the tight chemistry, the fine work as one unit, the joy of playing, cool adaptation and so on. If you miss their previous appearances, it’s time for you to catch them. If you have already watched them but wish to get another turn, this is your golden ticket. Thanks to Serambi Jazz and Goethe Institut, this show is provided FREE from any charge.
If Indra Lesmana appeared in Serambi Jazz with LLW two years ago, this time he’s back with a fine new team to honor Chick Corea and his amazing compositions. So what are you waiting for? Make sure to clear your agenda on February 6, 2014. Ask your friends and family to come along and get ready to experience the madness. Since it’s quite difficult to bring Mr Corea and his team to Indonesia, this show will answer that wish, because they can really play it just as good. Look forward to a special evening concert. Even if you are not yet familiar with the name Chick Corea, it’s your chance to get deep with his mindblowing compositions presented by ‘the ‘A’ Team’ who understands the best way to bring it all alive.
INDRA LESMANA GROUP are:
-Indra Lesmana (keys)
– Tohpati (guitar)
– Shadu Rasjidi (bass)
– Ricad Hutapea (saxophone)
– Dion Subiakto (drums)
SERAMBI JAZZ 2014 February Edition: Indra Lesmana Group – Tribute to Chick Corea
Date: Thursday, February 6, 2014
Time: 7:30 pm – onward
Location: GoetheHaus, Jl. Sam Ratulangi 9-15, Menteng, Jakarta