Wismilak Jazz Legacy 4 : The Report

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Wismilak Jazz Legacy 4

Jazz Legacy 4 was held on April 9, 2010 with their tagline “Gonna Rock This Town”. It was supposed to be held on March 2010 and it was postponed for some reasons.  As the title stated, this is the 4th Jazz Legacy with their continuous efforts to bring the jazz hype back again in Surabaya, to make Surabaya as one of the main jazz city in Indonesia just like the old times. The tagline “Gonna Rock This Town” shows the strong spirit of all the organizers and participants to carry on their missions. As usual C&G Project was still behind this important event. C&G Project consists of two highly skilled musicians, Benny Chen and Yason Gunawan. Their consistency and endless efforts to raise jazz especially in Surabaya has been remarkably great, and we hope they will have the strength and spirit to continue this important event. We believe the series of Jazz Legacy is beneficial for jazz development in Indonesia.

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Jazz Legacy 4 was held last Friday  at the Gramedia Expo Surabaya. This time there were much more audiences than the last edition (Jazz Legacy 3). Jazz Legacy 4 featured Benny Chen (drum), Yason Gunawan (saxophone), Krisna Setiawan (keyboard), Dyfan Alvin (keyboard), the 17 years old Timothy Putra (guitar, the youngest player for tonight), Mario Kurniawan (bass) and Howie Chen (Benny Chen’s brother on percussions). Jazz Legacy 4 (27)The show started at 8 pm and they rocked the audiences from the beginning, just like how the tagline said. Benny Chen welcomed all the audiences and said thanks to everyone who showed up at the show. Benny explained that the show first of all was dedicated to Tenny Susanto a guitarist who should be joined them on the show that night. But unfortunately he passed away on April 5th. that was one of the reason why they postponed the show. The show was also dedicated to Benny’s father, the maestro, pianist virtuoso and legendary Bubi Chen, who just had his right leg amputated on March 26th, just 19 days after his very special perfomance at the Java Jazz Festival 2010. Our prayers goes to you uncle Bubi, may you recover soon and continue to play again.

Jazz Legacy 4 (13)They played “Thinking Of You” originally written by Yason Gunawan, especially dedicated to Tenny Susanto. It was really touching and the crowds responded very well. The song made us feel sad, just like when we just missed someone we dearly love. Next, they surprised us by playing The Police song “Bring on the Night” with a special appearance by Yerry Adams as the vocalist. It was an fantastic fusion of jazz and rock with Yerry’s strong vocal. After that he took a minute to say thanks to Yason Gunawan for letting him to paticipate at the Jazz Legacy. They brought Paul Simon‘s “Late in the Evening” next. This uplifting energic song was successfully made the audiences moved their bodies following the rhythm.

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Then they played “Centre Of Gravity” with cool improvisation without intro. Next song “Daydreaming” was written by Yason Gunawan. This song was a sweet lullaby, it touched our senses to feel very relaxed and calmed with its melody. They continued with“Afterwards” written by John Harrington, and again the song was specially dedicated to Tenny Susanto because he loved it very much. The song led by Timothy Putra with his guitar filled with many improvisations.

Jazz Legacy 4 (25)Benny presented the next guest star, Desy Agustina. She is the winner of “Dream Girls”, a talent search show featured on Global TV. Benny introduced her as a brilliant woman singer but also hyper active. They all rocked on the audiences once again with the classic jazz standard “Route 66”. Desy’s powerful voice backed with the great band has made this song brought perfectly. They continued with a 1980 song  from the King of Folks Paul Simon entitled “One-Trick Pony”. Desy sang it in a very jazzy style and the crowds enjoyed it well. Then last song from her was Linda Eder‘s “It’s No Secret Anymore”.

When they took a short break, Benny told us that jazz should be played spontaneously. We agree with that, since improvisation has been one of the most important elements in jazz. Jazz Legacy 4 (20)Yason thanked God for His blessings to make the show ran perfectly as planned and also to Wismilak for supporting it. Then they played the classical “Prelude in C Minor” by Johann Sebastian Bach. On the last song entitled “Feel So Good” Yason took his pianica and played with it. Yason really is a multi talented artist. A songwriter, excellent saxophonist and pianist are just some of the gifts to describe him.

The Jazz Legacy 4 had much improvement from the previous one. The lightings were a lot better, the sound system now worked perfectly, and the enthusiasm of the audiences were a lot better. Yason was satisfied with the result and so were we. Congratulation and thank you for all the big efforts made by everyone behind this event. It was absolutely well done. We are happy to see the progress of this promising series and hope it will grow even more in the next to come. May there be more jazz shows and new players in Surabaya, and may Surabaya be back as the top jazz city in Indonesia. Keep rockin’ the town, and keep rockin’ the jazz!

See more pictures:

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Reporter: Dyaz Chan
Photographer: Poetoe Soerya
Editor: Riandy Kurniawan

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