Indonesian Jazz Festival 2015 Day 2: “Kita Indonesia!”



Here we go again, still at Istora Senayan Jakarta, give you the most complete report about the only wholly Indonesian-Based-Jazz-Festival. Just like the previous day (read the report of day 1 here:, among five stages, people freely chose who they wanna see, casually wandered around booths, and right at noon the show began.

Indonesian Jazz Festival 2015 - ITS Jazz(2)

The very first performer you were able to see was ITS Jazz. A campus-based jazz community is what they call themselves. Formed in end of 2011, some fellas from Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember Surabaya united in the name of jazz with Pramudito Aji as founder. This band consists of campus students but their achievements are beyond university level. They already tasted various stages, like Jazz Traffic last year, until they unlocked Indonesia Jazz Festival this year. Funky groove with sharp bass attax was found in this act.

Indonesian Jazz Festival 2015 - Storia(1)

It’s around 4 pm when Storia were up on stage and met us. It’s been six years after they debuted and many things have happened within the band; one of them is the vocalist replacement. Now they got Inesz on vocal, along with Joel (bass), Aldhan (keyboard), Kitut (keyboard), and Rama (Drum). Storia, an Italian word for “Story”, put their style around pop and 90’s based with a lil bit touch of jazz. That what makes their music so groovy you fall in love in first song.

Indonesian Jazz Festival 2015 - Tesla Manaf(2)

For someone like Tesla, communication should not be only with spoken words but has to be able to be converted into stream of notes. After years of struggle and plenty of bands, he finally made his way to the international music scene with two steps: his stunning progressive jazz with Balinese gamelan ensemble Tesla Manaf ft Mahagotra Ganesha and the most recent one, his quartet simply called Tesla Manaf. Thanks to USA label MoonJune Records, all his dream is made possible, probably even exceed whatever he has ever wished. As an evidence, he continues to receive positive feedbacks from every corner of the world. If last year we enjoyed his collaboration with the Mahagotra Ganesha, this year we got his mindbending quartet. His Progressive Acoustic Experimental model is like none other. It’s more ‘hardcore’ than anything he has composed before, twisted with rich textures, surely gives great impact to the experience of listening the other side of jazz rarely visited.  Joining him were Hadis ‘Hulhul’ Hendarisman on clarinet and bamboo flute (which added mystical ethnical nuance on “Where Are We Now?”), Krishna Alda Radiansyah on bass and Desal Sembada on drums. Other than that song, Tesla selected “Chin Up”, “Counting Miles and Smiles”, “Necrophilia” and “Sweetest Horn”. Gorgeous arpeggiated guitar lines, intertwined with sinuous dancing clarinet and fueled by subtle yet insistent basslines with the most delicate use of drumkit, plus uncountable bags of surprises should have caught everyone off guard. We know him for many years and have seen his growth, we are so proud of this young man. Mark our words, he will stand among the greatest ones out there really, really soon.

Indonesian Jazz Festival 2015 - Svarna(2)

Svarna, we can safely call them one of folk band successfully maintain their own path in Indonesian music industry. Started from Kristian Dharma’s idea, a quartet band was formed. Kristian Dharma is a jazz bassist who already worked with several Indonesian big name musicians. Together with Indra Fahmi on percussion, Oxy Arya on accordion, Aldila Hakim on guitar, and Natasha F. Attamimi, they give new color into Indonesian music. Contempory jazz, acoustic, electric instrumentations, polyrhythm was played very loosely and happily.

Indonesian Jazz Festival 2015 - JBFtrio(2)

JBF Trio stands for Jak Blues, Funky; consists of three fellows who won Jakarta Indie Music Festival last year made their way to Indonesian Jazz Festival. Fawdy Irianto on Guitar-Vocal, Soebroto on Bass, and Ryan Hazairin on drum are the people behind it. As blues is their core melody, JBF Trio expands to jazz and funk music and explore their creativity. They bit right from the start with Stevie Wonder’s  “Superstitious”. Again, neat, clean and tight performance by the three dudes just like how we know them.

Indonesian Jazz Festival 2015 - RAN(2)

RAN is abbreviation for its three members: Rayi (vocal/rap), Asta (vocal), Nino (guitar). It is quite a long time since they established in 2006. You might already have seen their performance in other jazz festival though they were never labelled themselves as jazz musician. Through their outstanding act in every performance, consistency, and hard work, various kind of event have already invited them and spread their musicality. Although IJF wasn’t their first jazz event, they gave 100% preparation into it. According to their say in press conference, what special about jazz event is the crowd. They often see people come to their show really to enjoy the music and they appreciate it. Warming up with “Hari Baru (Keep Moving On)”, then they slammed us continually with their hits such as, “Hanya Untukmu”, “Karena Kusuka Dirimu”, “Pandangan Pertama”, “Jadi Gila”, “Begitu Saja”, and epically closed the show with “Dekat di Hati”. Not only did their own songs, RAN also gave us different ways to listen to Fatur&Nadila’s “Kulakukan Semua Untukmu” and Kahitna’s “Andai Dia Tahu”. It is nearly 10 years of RAN’s contribution to Indonesian music, and they never miss our taste.

Indonesian Jazz Festival 2015 - The Nelwans(1)

The Nelwans is a family trio; Athina Nelwan, Bianca Nelwan, and Christoffer Nelwan are people behind it. These days Youtube is known as one of many online mediums to get famous and share our creativity. Many youngsters have done that and get the advantage from it. The Nelwans is one of them who channeled their musical talent in positive way via Youtube and now more people can enjoy their works.

Indonesian Jazz Festival 2015 - GAC (1)

Another trio, GAC, stands for Gamaliel Tapiheru, Audrey Tapiheru, and Cantika Abigail. Young generation who also were discovered because of their cover songs on Youtube keep rocketing in Indonesian music. Until now they have produced two albums, showing their productivity and willingness to develop music skill. Their latest album called Stronger, is special because they produced it in Sweden and they tried to write the lyrics.

Indonesian Jazz Festival 2015 - Hemiola (1)

Hemiola Quartet, one of Gerald Hiras Situmorang’s many projects. As a jazz guitarist (well-known as one of Sketsa’s member), Gerald have fun exploring his skills in groundbreaking group along with Dimas Pradipta (drums), Gabriella Sava Putri Miranda (piano) and one of today’s most demanded bassist, Kevin Yosua. Choosing the name Hemiola is somehow unique, since it’s a music term that describes a metrical pattern in which two bars of simple triple composition such as 3/4 or 3/2 are articulated in simple duple time. It’s not a new term, since Mozart has used this pattern in his Piano Sonata K 332 back in the 15th century. What they like to do is tearing down the normal jazz pattern, presenting loads of spontaneous improvisations which makes their music appear as fun as jamming. Innovative, brave, challenging  and incredibly fun interaction with the crowd.

Indonesian Jazz Festival 2015 - OCD (1)

Meanwhile at other stage we found OCD. This is a group of six fellow (Deo Karmawan as guitarist, Demank as bassist, M. Rizky keyboardist, Choky Nainggolan as drummer, Jonathan Prawira as saxophonist, and Jims Wong on vocals). We were also told that their music can be described as contemporary fusion, or usually shortened as confusion. Vocals as an instrument? Why not. OCD does not believe in lyrics: vocals here sings without it. These dudes are rebelious, playing with the punk attitude, embedded with the spirit of Japanese free jazz scene. Fusion, free jazz, experimental, whatever you name it, they have it. Recently becomes more active in Jakarta jazz scene, this group played three of their original compositions: “Good Game”, Well Played!”, “Another Question”, and “Fly Me Back to Earth” which created fun-tastic climax.  A surprise catch right before the sky got dark, they made the crowd explode cheerfully couple of times. Including Barry Likumahuwa, Adinda Shalahita and Jordy Waelauruw who were there among the audience.  Interplanetary boys landed huge on stage.

Indonesian Jazz Festival 2015 - sketsa (2)

Sketsa is the second project Gerald Situmorang did for this second day of IJF. Went partners with Dimas Wibisana, this duo is famous for their acoustic guitar play. Many years going duet, lately they became bigger with additional player then formed into full band. New formation definitely enriches the performance with more sounds from contrabass, violin, percussion, clarinet, accordion and some vocals. Today we saw them in format of four and also the core guitar duo. If in the beginning we got dynamic guitar pairing from Sketsa, now we got even wider soundscape. Being creative and brave, the brains inside this group never stops offering us something new. Speaking of Gerald, he surely has unlimited ammo. And Dimas was as expressive as always.

Indonesian Jazz Festival 2015 - Albert Fakdawer (1)

As much as it was mentioned before, Albert Fakdawer cannot be detached from his former status as one of AFI Junior 2004’s finalist. We still could remember how big that show was and how beautiful Albert’s voice was as a child. He was the frontliner of Indonesian Youth Regeneration who bagged a lot of achievements also from abroad. Albert as soloist is an active gospel singer. Now he, as young adult, is still into music,  IJF is not his first jazz events, together with his band they got a stage at Java Jazz Festival 2012.

Indonesian Jazz Festival 2015 - Dian Pramana Poetra (2)

After his concerts in early 2015 and then a memorable appearance at the Java Jazz Festival 2015, Dian Pramana Putra or Dian PP placed his signature on this festival. He’s been around for at least 35 years with so many achievements and tons of evergreens. Other than his distinctive vocal, he seems doesn’t aged a bit. He still looks just like how he was back then. For Indonesian Jazz Festival 2015 he took everyone into the memory lane with his hits such as “Oh Ya” and “Masih Ada”. A legendary artist with his legendary songs resulting a show that won’t be forgotten.

Indonesian Jazz Festival 2015 - Oele Pattiselano (2)

The master of swing, the legendary guitarist Oele Pattiselano again deceived us with his calm mood. Yes, he can appear very calm as if nothing happens, yet the melody he swings from his guitar is full with feel factor. He never needs to show-off, he never tries to play too complex with over made gestures in order to stand out, the swing he plays naturally shows who he is and how much he’s into jazz. Having a loaded partners enabled him to bring something wider, yet his charisma never fades either he plays alone or with others. In his hands, jazz appears with its purest soul. Tonight he performed under quartet formation with his musical soulmate Jeffrey Tahalele on bass. Always lovely watching Oele’s show.

Indonesian Jazz Festival 2015 - Sonic & Drive feat. Baron (1)

Right after sunset prayer, Sonic & Drive feat. Baron, Gusti Hendy and Bintang Indrianto brought madness to the stage with their intense performance.  Two years ago Baron and the team nuked our head with surprisingly edgy concept, this year they flipped everyone upside down, throwing us from side to side with different lineup, including Dandy Lasahido (keyboard), Brina Shabyna (vocal) plus saxophone.. Another nuke, another blast, we loved it. Awe-inspiring.

Indonesian Jazz Festival 2015 - Isyana Sarasvati (2)

According to one of IJF’s purposes, this event wants to celebrate the increase of newcomer and as we can see, many new talents have appeared. One of them is Isyana Sarasvati. Being Rara Sekar Larasati’s (Banda Neira’s vocalist) younger sister doesn’t make her living in the shadow. Isyana made her own path when she started uploading her cover songs to Youtube. Now, she is in the whole different level. Composing her own single, “Keep Being You”, playing her own instruments (not only one), and collaborating with many musicians, she steadily sharps her musical career. At the Indonesian Jazz Festival 2015 she showcased her gifts totally in front of hundreds of people who came to watch her. Her repertoires other than her single including “Tetap Dalam Jiwa”, EWF’s “September”, “I Can Make You Love Me” and The Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back”. Abram Lembono from Art of Tree was among the lineup. A star is born, you can clearly see and feel it.

Indonesian Jazz Festival 2015 - TnD (1)

A proect with huge dose of funky elixir TnD was next to cover. This is a unique concept that combines two active young musicians in jazz scene, saxophonist Tommy Pratomo and drummer Dimas Pradipta. This project began in November 2014 and started recording in early 2015. Why do we call this project unique? It’s because this project actually divides into two: Tommy and Dimas projects. Each of them compose 6 songs separately. If you buy from iTunes, you can choose either of their project. But later in September when the album’s out, you will get both in one CD. In other words, this album is double album, single CD. Playing with them were Amal Bhaskara (bass), Dimas Wibisana and Angga Pradipta (guitars), Jordy Waelauruw (trumpet), Ivan Alidian (keyboard) and Aldan Prasatya (talkbox). This show also featured a lot of friends just like in the album including Barry Likumahuwa, Joshua Kunze, Rendy Pandugo, Raymonte, Ayushita and Gerald Situmorang. Funky fusion and smooth jazz flew nicely from them.

Indonesian Jazz Festival 2015 - Dony Koeswinarno Quartlectric (1)

Dony Koeswinarno is one great example of Institut Seni Indonesia (ISI) Yogyakarta’s alumni. His impressive musical skill has brought him to many festivals both here and abroad. Not only he is well-known in many places, but also he has many opportunity working with a lot of musician, such as loca musicians, international musicians, and many orchestras as well. Now, we had that opportunity to see him playing live in Dony Koeswinarno Quartlectric. Joining him were Tobias Ringga (drums), Fajar Adi Nugroho (bass), Andy Gomez (keyboard) and Robert Mulyarahardja (guitar).

Indonesian Jazz Festival 2015 - Anugrah Aditya (1)

Anugrah Aditya, formerly known as Aditya, changed his personal brand because he wants something new and fresh in his musical career. “Be Mine” and “Tak Ingin” are two examples from many hits he already made and recently he came back with latest single, “Terperangkap”. Still playing around pop and R&B, the man who already produced two albums before is going strong in music industry with his new persona.

Indonesian Jazz Festival 2015 - B3 (2)

90’s generation must be familiar with the famous female trio called AB Three. With one personnel changing, AB Three was also transformed into whole new concept named BE3 in 2009. Cynthia, Nola, and Widi chose this name as it represents their solid unified as trio. Since then, they continuously contribute in Indonesian music and entertain us with many new singles. What’s unique is BE3 brought in their music in thematic concept divided into some sessions. One of their thematic session was Masculinity; songs from Indonesian male singer or band. Kunto Aji’s “Terlalu Lama Sendiri”, Sheila on 7’s “Lapang Dada”, Tulus’s “Baru”, Trio Lestari’s “Gelora Cinta”, Kahitna’s “Cantik”, and Ari Lasso’s “Rahasia Perempuan” were some part of their show tonight.

Indonesian Jazz Festival 2015 - Andre Dinuth(1)

Guitar and jazz in one harmony was specially served to you who attended IJF by Andre Dinuth. People are usually familiar with the vocalist or frontman of a band or music group. But you must realize that people beside them can’t be easily forgotten. Many musicians, like Tohpati Band, Erwin Gutawa Orchestra, Glenn Fredly, Magenta Orchestra, Indro Hardjodikoro Band, rely their perfect show on Andre Dinuth’s skill because his rich experience and true talent make him one of most wanted Indonesian guitarist.

Indonesian Jazz Festival 2015 - Pitupella (2)

7 passionate people blend their voice into a harmony in an acapella group named PituPella. Not only their admirable distinctive voices attracted people, but also their unique concept and friendly interaction with the crowd. Last year they happened to be one of Indonesia Mencari Bakat contestant. Though they didn’t get the chance to win the competition, they still make good marks in many local and abroad music festivals.

Indonesian Jazz Festival 2015 - Yura(2)

Yura (Yunita Rachman), one of many blossomy female soloists who also started her music career from television singing competition. But then she got another story and worked with Glenn Fredly. True great voice and sweet stage act bring her career up really fast. Nowadays you can meet Yura performance almost everywhere. You can see how popular she is easily just by looking at her crowds. And what’s ‘scary’ is, it keeps on growing. Again, Bandung should be proud of presenting another star into our music scene.

Indonesian Jazz Festival 2015 - Bag + Beat(2)

Bag+Beat arrived with their tagline, “It’s Hip Hop in different form. This is how we do it.” Again, Gerald Situmorang joined the group since he aims to explore as many music as possible to avoid stagnancy. Also consisted of CEO of Alba Productions, Adrian Bramantyo Musyanif and Aldhi Mahardika plus a solid ghetto team, Bag+Beat is indeed a fresh air for Indonesian music. With funky groove and urban hiphop, the crowd definitely enjoyed the show.

Indonesian Jazz Festival 2015 - The Groove(2)

The Groove is one example of few musicians who established way long ago but nowadays they still get their place among the youngsters. An icon of acid jazz in Indonesia, this group stands still through many ups and downs in 18 years of music career. Many new hits have already made, but still who can forget their everlasting old songs. After so many years performing, Rieka Roslan and Reza (vokal), Yuke Sampurna (bass), Ali Akbar (piano), Rejoz (perkusi), Deta (drum), Arie (guitar) and Tanto (keyboard) still get that groove and feel like we used to see. “Khayalan” became their opener, hopped to next songs such as “Sepi”, “Dahulu”, and closed with “Hanya Karena Cinta”. Definitely could feel the love they spread, aight?

Indonesian Jazz Festival 2015 - Gugun Blues Shelter(2)

Talking about blues scene in Indonesia. probably Gugun Blues Shelter is the first whose name comes up in our mind. A band that consists of Muhammad ‘Gugun’ Gunawan (vocal/guitar), John Armstrong (bass), and Aditya ‘Bowie’ Wibowo (drummer) truly blew our mind away with their play and attractive stage act. No doubt we got such an intense performance with constant high blues and funk rhythm from a band who had played in the same stage with bon Jovi in 2011.

Indonesian Jazz Festival 2015 - Tomorrow People Ensemble(1)

Here’s the fact of this next band we cover: you don’t find them often, but once they emerge on the surface, you can’t help to enjoy every second of their performance. It’s the great Tomorrow People Ensemble that we’re talking about. Four longtime friends Nikita Dompas (guitar), Azfansadra ‘Adra’ Karim (keyboards/rhodes), Indra Perkasa (contrabass) and Elfa Zulham (drums) can make you fly without having to take any drugs with their lethal dose of Avant funk. The guts of experimenting plus the vintage sound created by the Rhodes made their playful compositions stand in a different league. Tomorrow People Ensemble called their music “retro-future”, referring to “a way of looking at the future through the past, of revealing the other side of now.” If that sounds puzzling, you would get it if you watch them live or hear their songs. For tonight they took some of the songs including “Eclectic” and “Shock Breaker”, plus Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun” that forced Nikita to sing, and, oh yes, the intro was the “Knight Rider” theme! We don’t see them that much, that’s why we rushed to get them in this event. In our opinion, as a super group with strong concept guarded by considerably young masters, they should be listed in our jazz historical timeline. Happy to see them again!

Indonesian Jazz Festival 2015 - The Fingers ft Tompi(2)

Jazz can be played with various formation, and it does sound cool with a band that uses two basses at once. We don’t find it often, but luckily Indonesia has a band with this concept, led by senior bassist Indro Hardjodikoro. The band was once called Indro Hardjodikoro and the Fingers, but since the second album “Gadis Shanghai” released last year, they shortened it to just The Fingers. Fajar Adi Nugroho (bass), Andy Gomez (keyboard) and Yandi Andaputra (drums) are his reliable partner in crime, plus Tompi who is also featured in the album, singing the title track. Fusion appears merrily from them, and sound so different since they placed two bassists in the front line. Focusing on the new album “Gadis Shanghai”,  The Fingers played “A Little Space”, “Raga Devha” and of course the title track. Plus, Tompi and Indro covered “One Note Samba” in fully improvised session. The Fingers has showed that this unique formation could actually give compliments to Indonesian jazz scene. Speaking of the show, it was highly entertaining!

Indonesian Jazz Festival 2015 - Yovie Widianto and Friends (1a) (2)

It was almost the end of second day of IJF when Yovie & His Friends came up on stage. Can we safely say Yovie Widianto is Indonesian version of David Foster? Yovie is a complete musician because he composes, writes, produces, and plays instruments. Many newcomers have this man behind their successful career and uncountable hits already he made. For this time, he brought along Rio febrian, Marcell Siahaan, Hedi Yunus, Mario Ginanjar, Titi DJ, Mike Mohede, 5 Romeo. What an advantage to see lot of our musicians in one stage. Famous hit from the Indonesian hit man, cool concept took everyone to an unforgettable party. What a way to close a festival.

Finally, the second edition of Indonesian Jazz Festival (IJF) had done. Going home with happy heart and was fully entertained by many musicians who speak the same language with us is truly amazing. How strong the urge to keep supporting Indonesian music and artists as the spirit of Indonesian Independence Day in August still boldly felt. This is where IJF stands for. A home for many Indonesian musicians. You may not realize how many musicians try to keep their spot in music industry and continually work hard to maintain their productivity. So this is the kind of event we really need. A home for living legends and old timer coming back to greet their long time loyal fans and remind young generation about how beautiful old songs are. A rendezvous for newcomers who still need support in order to gain experience, explore new stage, and meet various kind of crowd. A place where top-chart-musicians satisfy the craving of massive listeners.

More chances in a thoroughly Indonesian-based music events are all they need to keep the spirit alive, to find new inspiration, and a mood booster to their creativity. We often say, making an annual event is really a hard work and explicitly not easy. Putting different wishes and ideas into one big show is another challenge and despite any other minus that still there, IJF was a big success. Therefore, we salute ALBA Productions and all committee who have big willingness to provide a special event for our own musicians. Big hope for IJF can carry on next year and years after. Keep the good improvement and let the true spirit remains. Cheers for Indonesian jazz scene!

See more pictures:

Reporter: Riandy Kurniawan, Mellysa Anastasya, Vierna Mariska Kurniawan Deo Karmawan
Photographer: Titus Firmanto, Elvin Octavian



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here