After the blazing Pre Event Java Jazz Festival for Bandung region two weeks ago (http://jazzuality.com/jazz-event-report/braga-jazz-walk-special-edition-pre-event-java-jazz-festival-2015-the-report/), we are back to the regular community event in supporting local jazz/jazz oriented musicians to showcase and socialize their music to the public. In this edition we invited variety of bands/musicians. By saying variety we mean age (from junior high school students to senior drummer/famous drum teacher), experience and the flavor of their music.
The show kicked off just a couple of minutes after seven pm. To open it up, Hexatonix, the junior high school students from Kalam Kudus Christian School stepped up the gear and drove some fusion out from the stage. Jenny Meijelina (vocal), Kirana Ariel (bass), Karel Kwee (rhythm guitar), Errick Salibana (melody guitar), Cecilia (keyboard) and Sigit (drums) were all the students of young guitarist who’s also a regular faces in our events, Jerry Gates and his friend, Andreas (drums). They are still new to this, only got the chance to learn two months, but the spirit are there already. Thomas Sylvester and Billy Likumahuwa are helping to shape them up too.
The combination of today’s top 40 and jazz standards became their choice. Jenny and Cecilia started first with “If I Ain’t Got You”. Not only playing, Cecilia sang too. After that, the rest of the band joined in. “Autumn Leaves” was the song, followed by Maroon 5’s “Sunday Morning” in much slower tempo. The soulful Jenny then pinned Raisa’s big hit “Could It Be Love” and then served the last party with Bruno Mars’ “Treasure”.
These kids are still in their mid teen, yet look at how good they are progressing in playing jazz. Not easy, since they have responsibilities to do the best on their formal study, but they seem able to share some of their time to play music especially jazz. We are happy to see the birth of new jazz souls like this, and we are excited to see their progress. We know the board of teachers/mentors are good musicians, but now we also know that they are good in teaching the kids. A good musician should also be able to teach too, don’t you think? Passing the knowledge and skill to the next generation will create fresh new players that we need in order to keep it alive. In other words, the future of jazz is in their hands. Thank you Andreas, Jerry, Thomas and Billy, may you never stop in making and finding more potential talents. And kids, keep up the great job!
Different menu was served on the second round. It was a duo of Galant Yurdian and Puspallia Panggabean, together as Gallia. Well, both of them share the same passion and most probably calling. Puspall is active in several groups and often goes back and forth from Bandung to Jakarta, Galant achieves success as the bassist of Deugalih & Folks and 70’s Orgasm Club. With Puspall however, Galant switches his weapon with guitar and proves that he can play it just as good. They have been supporting each other for quite some times and stood tall as one of the Duotone teams at Klab Jazz’s special event last August, 2014. Just based on this fact alone we could already feel that this pairing would give interesting things. And yes, they actually did.
Throughout the session, Puspall who looked cute with Indian ‘bindi’ on her forehead demonstrated the solid vocal quality that has attracted many seniors in Jakarta. Galant did very, very well not only in playing but also in the arrangement post. Basically they served a unique, acoustic tribute to the great, great American legend, Cole Porter. Except one song from Frente, “Cuscutlan”. Not an ordinary song choice perhaps, but they took and played it beautifully. “I just love that song,” said Puspall, giggled. As for the Cole Porter songlist, they didn’t just take them but rearranged them differently. “Anything Goes” served grand, just like the way Kate Capshaw did at the opening scene of “Indiana Jones and Temple of Doom”. Amazingly, they did it by two, not with a big band like Kate. After the sweet “Night and Day” , Gallia demonstrated how good they could rearrange and execute songs with “Let’s Fall in Love” and “In the Still of the Night”. The first mentioned song got heavy blues treatment. In a way, we could feel Galant’s soul and spirit in this one. Then, the last song began with minus one before Galant painted the song even more with his colorful play. So different, so fresh, creatively crafted.
There are several factors that make this pairing works. First, they have been supporting each other for quite some times. They know each other closely and share the strong chemistry. Then, this duo share the same passion in music. Eventhough their music reference and channel might be different, but they surely know what to choose. Another important thing to mention, both of them are remarkable artists. Equipped with skills, heavily gifted and fully experienced, they can create something new by flying wide, stretching the border to find broader musical horizon, without leaving each of their style and taste behind. We had been wishing to invite them for a couple of months, but only now finally we got the chance. In the midst of big sized bands, a duo like this can be really refreshing and should be kept going, especially when the duo is as good as this couple. Bravo, Gallia!
The last performing band was Olteje. Stands as O Learns to Jazz, this group interestingly has a fully respected drummer in it: Henky Suparjan. On the other corners this band also has experts consists of jazz experts: Caroline Tjhi (piano), Okki Jatikusuma (guitar) and Leo Hansen (bass).
They began the journey a couple of years ago, establishing the connection fast and keep digging more and more repertoires, from simple jazz standards to the complex ones. That’s why they like to spread their wings wide on stage, reaching swing, bossa, fusion and other kind of jazz horizons. In performing, they often add more bites with vocalist and/or percussionist.
For this event however, Okki couldn’t make it at the last minute. But worry not, Dicky Ampouw, one of the saxophonist of Salamander Big Band stood tall replacing him. A song written by Joe Zawinul for Cannonball Aderley Quintet, “Mercy Mercy Mercy” gave a grand start. From there, they moved to the second checkpoint, playing Dizzy Gillespie’s “Night in Tunisia”. The classic Latin jazz standard “Mambo Inn” took us into a cozy, breezy beach mood. After “Cheek to Cheek”, Olteje gave a completely relaxing ending in bossa style by taking Jobim’s gem, “Look to the Sky”.
A pure jazz extacy were produced by this amazing jazz quartet. They made it so simple, but you could really hear that they played in master level. Challenging and fascinating, refreshing. Special thanks to Henky Supardjan who’s willing to play with electric drum in order to play in this event.
Jam session served right on. Tonight we got a special participant. Not a senior, but on the opposite, an 8 year-old girl named Nadine. She studies at VMS with Nanet Ken Asri, once an active jazz pianist. She came, approaching us asking to jam, and actually played very well. Accompanied by Jerry Gates (guitar), Billy Likumahuwa (vocal), Farrel Ong (drums) and Yosua Setiawan (bass), she played “Autumn Leaves” flawlessly. The bass guitar changed hand to Nicodemus Horrison and guitar to Adya Amru. “Misty” was the song. Imagine an 8 year-old girl in a jazz event, not just watching but performing! How wonderful is that? We are happy to find another wonder little girl who rises so early. She knows what she likes already and sticks with it. Amazing.
The photo session took place in the middle of that song. But after that, the jam session still carried on. This year’s X Factor participant, Andre Arizky ran to the stage and sang “Route 66”. Nicodemus on piano, Amru on guitar and our very own photographer, Titus Firmanto on drums.
Another good round that has many stories to tell. We are happy with the result, and we love the variation served in this one. From junior high schoolers to today’s success artists to respected musicians. Positive energy and happy vibes were all over. We thank everyone who came to support us, the playing and jamming musicians, the audience and mall-goers, salute to you all.
Breaking News: Braga Jazz Walk will only be a monthly event from now
Allow us to announce that due to some circumstances, Braga CityWalk has decided to cut off one of the regular schedule. If before we run twice a month, from now on we only run once, on the second Thursday of the month. So, until further notice Braga Jazz Walk becomes monthly. There are many bands still to showcase, but unfortunately the call is not on us. Whoever fill the 4th Thursday night won’t be from us, and we get nothing to do with it at all. This is why jazz lovers and musicians have to keep supporting local jazz community. No matter where, many jazz community struggles to maintain its show. Your support is always counted and appreciated. We’ll see you again next month with another batch, another style and another story.
Watch the video highlight from Braga Jazz Walk 11