Ubud Village Jazz Festival 2018


Ubud offers a very different atmosphere in Bali. Unlike the beach life under the sun heat of Kuta, Ubud has tranquil/serene, peaceful and relaxing ambience with much cooler up-hill weather. Ubud is surrounded by rice paddies, dense forrest, stands tall in the central foothills of the Gianyar regency. It’s not far from Kuta, and only 37 km away from the I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport, famous for being one of Bali’s major arts and cultural centres. There are so many things to enjoy in Ubud, that makes this town one of the most favorite destinations for both international and domestic tourists who are visiting Bali.

Since 2012 Ubud has another attraction, and that’s jazz! Yes! Ubud now has its own annual jazz festival in the international scale. It’s none other than the UBUD VILLAGE JAZZ FESTIVAL (UVJF). This festival has gained a serious reputation, both locally and globally, as one of the most versatile and evolving stage. It has its own style and strong character, keeping the purity of jazz in wide variety, where not only the legends and today’s top stars from Indonesia and around the world, but also the regulars and newcomers could make a home.

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Throughout the years, this event has gained a serious reputation, both locally and globally, among musicians, jazz addicts, and sponsors, as one of the most versatile and evolving stage, or, as one of their media partner Bali Live Stage said: Optimistic, intuitive, avant-gardist, universalist and intimist festival ever organized in Indonesia and probably in South-East Asia”. For Ubud residents, it’s one of the most enjoyable event in the calendar, and for those others, this event surely adds new important reason to visit Ubud every year.

After 5 years of success, the Ubud Village Jazz Festival is back again for its 6th edition, still in the same month like before, on August 10th and 11th, 2018 located at The Arma Museum Garden. This year, the local-community-based festival is open to artistic expression even more than ever. You can see that they are really serious about that by looking at this year’s theme: “FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION”, welcoming this years’ lineup to share their most recent works with the public.

This year this brainchild of artiste A.A Anom Wijaya Darsana and jazz guitarist and founder of jazz community in Ubud Yuri Mahatma returns with another impressive lineup of established and emerging artists from many countries. For over two days and nights, the pleasuring sound of jazz will paint the Ubud sky, coming from the eco-friendly grounds of Arma.

UVJF is proud to present Indonesia’s jazz legend who is always try to encourage and utilize young musicians, Idang Rasjidi. He is coming with his long-time movement/project, Idang Rasjidi Syndicate. From USA, hard bop, swingin’ Benny Green‘s  Benny Green Trio is also in the headlines. Yuri Mahatma expresses his feeling about the participation of these two big names. “We’re so excited for Benny Green and Idang Rasjidi to take the stage, they are huge names in the jazz world and beyond, some remarkable musicians and entertainers!”

Idang Rasjidi Syndicate will bring a message of peace, unity in diversity through musical interpretations. Praised by critics all over the globe, Idang’s highly entertaining performances and ability to play the piano while adding vocals imitating the sound of instruments such as trumpet, trombone and even percussions, are something spectacular, energizing and unique.

Benny Green has the history of jazz at his fingertips. He developed his mastery of the keyboard with decades of real-world experience in the star-making bands of three of the most masterful musicians of the last half century including singer Betty Carter, drummer Art Blakey, and bassist Ray Brown. More recently, Green took the stage and recorded with artists like Christian McBride and Diana Krall. Band leader himself for over 20 years, Benny’s recording career began with two albums for the Dutch label Criss Cross. Since 1990 he has recorded 7 albums for the legendary Blue Note label. According to many, nobody plays straight-ahead modern jazz piano with more swinging joy and finesse than Benny Green.

As Anom Darsana said “The great thing about jazz is there are so many types. Our goal is to spread the love of jazz in all its expression”, those two mentioned names are not the only great things for this year, because the committee is bringing 20 diverse jazz performance acts in downtown Ubud weekend-long jazz festival. The Latin Jazz Pianist Nita Aartsen will be back just on time from her European tour to participate again. This time she will bring her “Eurasian Project” together with the amazing jazz singer Dian Pratiwi, who also builds her career in Europe. Ito Kurdhi, the master of groove in Bali and a far and the 2017 “Inspiring Blind Jazz Pianist Award” winner,M Ade Irawan are also on the list.

From other sides of the globe, the committee are thrilled to present for the very first time a Korean fusion jazz band involving 4 young ladies A-Fuzz, with their impressive and catchy style. From Australia comes Emilia Schnall, a composer, pianist and vocalist to collaborate with Yuri’s jazz community member The Underground Jazz Movement, Panji Baskoro Trio. From Netherlands are Gerard Kleijn, one of the Netherlands finest trumpeter and composer, and Judith Nijland, famous Dutch jazz singer who brings her “Jazz Tribute to ABBA” with Astrid Sulaiman Trio.

French cultural synthesis Insula will blend modern Caribbean Jazz with Arabian-Andalusian harmonies, while Vienna’s based trio Triple Ace – Colours in Jazz will present their fresh, electrifying composition and improvisation.

Representing Japan is Ya! Voices, and from Germany is a jazz trio named Fossile 3. More names from Indonesia including the great guitarist/teacher from the younger generation, Tiyo Alibasyah, Icang Rahimi Band ft Qee Qee, Jeko Fauzy Ensemble, Kevin Suwandhi’s Double Trio, and the band of MLD Jazz Project Season 3.

Not just holding a festival, UVJF also shows its support towards the jazz development and regeneration. For the first time in 2018, UVJF has held a Youth Band Competition as part of International Jazz Day Celebration, which is set every April 30th by the UNESCO.
The 1st prize winner of this competition is JODA Band who is entitled to a performance slot in one of the stages in UVJF 2018 and recording session provided by Antida Music Studio. Interestingly, this band consists of teenagers with range of age of 12-17 years old.

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Just like before, the UVJF once again associated to dozens of volunteers, we are delighted to receive the trust and assistance of the Ministry of Cooperatives & SME’s Indonesia, and the precious support of the Embassy of Austria, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Institut Français d’Indonésie and Goethe-Institut, among others ,in accordance with the Ubud Royal Family and community, to make this event a universal jazz reunion.

The 6th Ubud Village Jazz Festival is expected to draw more than 4000 people over the two days, providing enriching and entertaining jazz performances and programs throughout a selection of numerous jazz genre’s most acclaimed artists, as well as emerging talents, and provides greater exposure for the rich diversity of musicians from the archipelago. UVJF 2018 also provides free Wi-Fi offered, some food & beverages by some of Ubud favourites eateries such as satays, quiche, Indian dishes, burgers, and even Ice Cream! Oh yeah, a VIP corner is available too.

Based on our experience being there for the past several years, the combination of great selection of jazz, the beautiful natural green surroundings, the cool weather and delicious food and beverages make this festival a winner.

On behalf of the founders and committee, we invite you to be a part of this year’s 6th Ubud Village Jazz Festival. Three stages, two days and nights of jazz party, plenty of jazz goodies from the globe brought by legends, stars and young lions will make you experience another best thing Ubud and Bali can provide. See you there.

For more information,tickets, complete schedule and line ups, please visit: http://ubudvillagejazzfestival.com

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