2011 Jakarta International Java Jazz Festival – “Remarkable Indonesia, Harmony Under One Nation”

This 4, 5, and 6 March of 2011 in JIExpo Kemayoran in Jakarta – Indonesia, Jakarta International Java Jazz Festival that held by Java Festival Production (JFP), a company led by Dewi Gontha, has entered its seventh year. The festival, pioneered by jazz fanatic Peter F. Gontha, is entering its whole new phase. Established in 2005, the Festival, colloquially known as Java Jazz Festival (JJF), in relatively short timespan has captured the attention of world’s renowned jazz musicians interviewed for the festival stated that name Java Jazz Festival is circulating and is often the topic of conversation amongst jazz musicians.

Such enthusiasm is mirrored on the Facebook and Twitter status of musicians due to perform at the festival. A lot of their colleagues are even congratulating them on landing a spot on the festival, whilst also hoping that one day they will too be able to perform on the stage of the festival. To put in simply, Java Jazz Festival has successfully accomplished the mission “Bringing the World to Indonesia”.

This 7th edition of Java Jazz Festival is a remarkable achievement. It is, first and foremost, a continuity that has been transforming from year to year since the event was first conceived in 2005. The success of an annual event often leads to the birth of a whole new set of challenges. For this year’s edition of the festival, JFP does not target to make Java Jazz Festival bigger, although an increase in visitors will surely be something the organizer wish to achieve. At 2011 AXIS Jakarta International Java Jazz Festival, JFP wishes to concentrate on improving the quality of services during the festival, ensuring the best possible experience for visitors at the venue.

Second, the dynamics of the artist lineup featured must, at least, as formidable as the years before. The organizer challenged to create a program that can be enjoyed by all sorts of visitors, including those that consider pure jazz not their cup of tea. At 2011 Java Jazz Festival, genres due to be presented include crossover jazz, smooth jazz, electric jazz, techno jazz – there’s even touch of pop in the lineup, such as Carlos Santana, George Benson, Fourplay, Corinne Bailey Rae, Joey de Francesco Trio, Zap Mama, Kilimanjaro, Rhoda Scott, Eastmania featuring Kai Eckhardt, Ron King Bigband, Jose James, Sondre Lerche, Bauchklang, George Duke, New York Voices, David Garfield and many more from all over the world, also Indonesia’s jazz greats and from other genres such as Indra Lesmana with his new group LLW, Tohpati Bertiga, Tompi, Glenn Fredly, Andien, Barry Likumahuwa, Idang Rasjidi, Dwiki Dharmawan, Dira Sugandi, Sandy Winarta, The Groove, Kahitna, Jopie Item, Marcel, and many more. As opposed to popular belief that this is done to hard-sell tickets, having adiverse lineup enables music enthusiasts to have a new experience in enjoying jazz without being deprived of music that are more familiar to their palate, that some label as ‘not-too-jazz’. This is also clearly indicates a balance between the appreciative and decoratively entertaining.

Third, there’s a continuous increase in visitors from year to year. In 2010, JFP relocated the venue of Java Jazz Festival from Jakarta Convention Center (JCC) Senayan to JIExpo Kemayoran, The decision, although initially was responded by heavy criticism, proved to be necessary. The number of festival visitors continued to escalate from year to year, reaching its peak in 2009 with more than 8000 attended. In 2010, when the festival was held for the first time at the new venue, more than 100,000 people came for the 3-days JJF experience. Indonesia’s Record Museum (MURI) dubbed the festival as the largest jazz festival in the world.

Those three elements mentioned above showcase that the jazz event is able to interweave the threads of idealism and commercialism in accord. This logically consequence of an art credo in the industy scale. An appreciative art from undoubtedly requires a more pragmatic partner, although such discourse continues to receive opposition from purist feeling that the dignity of art is violated due to pop music’s infiltration into the concoction. Admittedly, the presence of pop creates a more jubilant and colouful tinge to the event.

Having both appreciative and industrial musc makes the niche genre more approachable to most. Take a look at the crowd of Jakarta International Java Jazz Festival, the festival is a sacred pilgrane. Whether they trully comprehend jazz or not, since the event is a world jazz agenda, it is already a continuous habit to attend. As a result, more jazz group are blossoming from all over cities in Indonesia. Although the acceleration of jazz is not as formidable as pop, the distribution of Indonesia’s jazz musicians opus continues to rise significantly. Jazz musicians are more motivated to document their body of work in recording. A number of recordings by Indonesian musicians are even enthusiastically welcomed by the international music world.

Thanks to Peter F. Gontha, the festival chairman, his idea to gather both Indonesian and foreign jazz musicians in a synergic collaboration at every installment of Jakarta International Java Jazz Festival is a breakthrough that widens the jazz music horizon of both types musicians. This is a mutual symbiosis that deserves recognition. As Jakarta International Java Jazz Festival continues to resonate, its positive effects towards the existence of jazz music in Indonesia elongate. It has become an endeavor to empower and invigorate jazz. Moreover, the 2011 festival aims to entice and also resonate the message of jazz music as the language of harmony where various people from diverse countries may live under one nation of music (jazz) lovers, while at the same time the jazz festival wishes to relay a message that Indonesia’s professional human capital are able to successfully organize a world-class festival in a country brimming with creativity and talented art worker, “The Remarkable Indonesia, Harmony Under One Nation”.

Sondre Lerche on 2011 Java Jazz Festival – Sondre Lerche was born in Bergen, Norway. Growing up, Lerche was heavily influenced by the the ’80s pop that emanated from his older siblings’ rooms. Compelled by a defining fascination for bands such as A-ha, the Beach Boys, and Prefab Sprout, Lerche began formal guitar instruction at age eight. Not being satisfied with classical lessons, Lerche’s teacher introduced him to Brazilian music (such as Bossa Nova) and thus formed the foundation of Lerche’s vast array of complex melodies and chords throughout his music today. At age fourteen, Lerche penned his first song titled, “Locust Girl.” Lerche performed acoustic gigs at the club where his sister worked while he was still under age, and was ‘discovered’ by Norwegian producer H.P. Gundersen. Under Gundersen’s mentorship, Lerche was exposed to diverse music genres, including psychedelia, 60′s pop, and mainstream Brazilian music, broadening his appreciation for eclectic music styles. Around this time Lerche also met up with Oslo-based manager Tatiana Penzo, leading up to a deal with Virgin Norway. His popularity in his home country increased steadily, and in 2000 he recorded his debut album, Faces Down.
Sondre Lerche on 2011 Java Jazz Festival – Performed twice on day 1 and day 2, Sondre that was only weared T-Shirt and blue jeans, he was armed with four guitars on stage without band accompaniment. “Tonight there’s only me and you. I feel naked, ” he said on Saturday, March 5 in front of his fans in the C1 – BNI Hall at JIExpo Kemayoran, Jakarta. Simple but still look attractive Sondre Lerche looked very intimate with his audience. Several times he invited the audience to sing. Not infrequently he stopped his guitar passages, and let only sound the audience heard. “You all like a professional singer,” he said. Acoustic theme, Sondre brought some of his hits songs such as ‘Say It All’ and ‘Sleep on Needle’. Sondre’s songs list is suitable with a mostly teenage audience.
Sondre Lerche on 2011 Java Jazz Festival – In 2004 his second album was released, Two Way Monologue, also produced by Gundersen. The album displayed more of Lerche’s ability to span many different styles—from pop-like and upbeat tracks to more mellow or melodic tunes. It was very well received, with positive reviews in Rolling Stone and Pitchfork. Devon Powers of Popmatters praised Sondre’s “contagious musical sensibilities, exhilarating vigor and downright stupefying songcraft,” and noted that “Lerche manages to both push himself and maintain an allegiance to his ways – something artists twice his age have trouble doing.” His works continues with “Duper Sessions (2006), “Phantom Punch” (2007), and “Heartbeat Radio” (2009).
Sondre Lerche on 2011 Java Jazz Festival – He lowered his voice in some parts, and “crazy” in another part. The songs managed to play the emotions of the audience. As a result admiration and applause thunderous barrage thrown at him at the end of his solo concert. Infact, the crowds started yelled “we want more”, expected him to not stopped his performance, and after a few minutes the crowds started to scream after he showed for his last two songs as the end of his performance.
Eastmania feat. Kai Eckhardt on 2011 Java Jazz Festival – Eastmania is the latest project of guitarist Kamal Musallam (with Billy Cobham). It is a group that performs fusion numbers infused with Middle Eastern music’s rich yet complicated rhythms. Kamal Musallam good friend, keybordist Dwiki Dharmawan from Indonesia is also joining the project. In addition to featuring Kai Eckhardt powerfull bass-playing, there is also the equally enchanting Syrian vocalist Rasha Ridzk and percussionist Nasser Salameh.
Kamal Musallam on 2011 Java Jazz Festival – Born in Kuwait on June 8 1970, from very artistic parents, Kamal Musallam showed unique talents for drawing and playing music from the early age of 3. He started learning guitar at the age of 9 but took it more seriously when he was 17. Kamal was educated as architect and has went through various musical experiences throughout his young age and college times; of which were Arabic bands, Flamenco, Rock and Blues bands. Late 80′s to early 90′s, he started discovering more of Jazz sounds and got to know Pat Metheny, Miles Davis, George Benson, John McLaughlin, Al Di Meola, among many others. In 1994 he moved to France, where he experienced another true musical atmosphere for four years, attending festivals and concerts in both France and Switzerland. He met artists from all over Europe and the world. There he created a more obvious interest for jazz, and developed his playing style.
Kamal Musallam on 2011 Jakarta International Java Jazz Festival
Kamal Musallam on 2011 Java Jazz Festival – In 1997 he moved back for one year in Lebanon to work as architect; during which he met Ziad Rahbani and started to be a part of his ensemble. There he was convinced his real passion was music and nothing but that, and had to make a serious decision about his career, either to be an architect or a musician, and he chose to explore the musical world. That decision demanded a new travel to learn about music industry in its proper terms. He chose to go back for one more year in Paris to investigate as much as possible in the field.Kamal’s final return to settle in Jordan, and establish his own label and musical activity, led him to produce his first album “On a Jordan River’s Side” – K&G Productions 2003. At present, he is settled in Dubai, active as performer and producer. His main active bands are Kamal Musallam Group and Kamal Musallam Trio. Musallam is presently playing a new hybrid of the guitar and oud called the Glissentar, created by Godin. And he has just developed with Ibanez guitars a new design of a signature model mixing jazz guitar and nylon fretless guitar.
Dwiki Dharmawan on 2011 Java Jazz Festival – Dwiki Dharmawan started to learn piano at age 6. When Dwiki was 13 years old, he studying jazz piano practice from Elfa Secioria. In 1985, he formed Krakatau who has been most influential jazz group in late 80’s and 90’s. In 2000, . He has been known as the brilliant artist who geniously know how to blend the delightful color of various ethnical Indonesian musics from different tribes with the modern jazz. He knows exactly how to combine the traditional eastern with modern western instruments in exact amount. In 2007, Dwiki established a group, a phenomenal mega project may describe it better, consists of hundreds of the best musicians around the world by the name of World Peace Orchestra. He released one album and plenty of performances. Combining the world’s best talents in one ship presenting the beauty of art in music taking on some cultural music herritage in jazz fusion, the result is fantastic. His collaboration with Eastmania, led by Kamal Musallam has been performed on 26 and 27 November 2010 at Linjiang Exhibiton Hall, Guangzhou – China on Charm Asia in Concert – Asian Games 2010.

Eastmania feat. Kai Eckhardt on 2011 Java Jazz Festival – Rasha Ridzk, the Eastmania vocalist from Syria.
Eastmania feat. Kai Eckhardt on 2011 Java Jazz Festival – The enchanting percussion play by Nasser Salameh.
Eastmania feat. Kai Eckhardt on 2011 Java Jaza Festival – Ian Varella, drummer of Eastmania perform the solo drum.
Kai Eckhardt on 2011 Java jazz Festival – Kai Eckhardt is a German musician and composer who plays bass, best known for his work with John McLaughlin, Vital Information, the band he co-founded Garaj Mahal and Billy Cobham. The Jaco Pastorius-influenced bassist is known for his ability to play lightning fast, and for his unique combination of funk, jazz, and world music which he combines in his playing. Currently residing in Berkeley, California, he was raised in a multicultural environment, as illustrated in his music exploration.
Kai Eckhardt on 2011 Java jazz Festival – Soon after learning to play bass guitar at age 15, Kai began to establish himself as a respected musician, working with the likes of Aydin Esen, Alphonse Mouzon, Randy Brecker, Torsten de Winkel, Steve Smith, and Stanley Clarke, shortly after entering college. Kai’s first major undertaking came in 1988 when he formed the John Mclaughlin Trio with percussionist Trilok Gurtu, and John McLaughlin. The trio toured extensively in the years to come and recorded a number of albums, including Que Alegria in 1992. Afterwards, Kai turned his attention to composing, while performing meanwhile with the Billy Cobham International Quartet. He currently tours with Garaj Mahal.
Kai Eckhardt on 2011 Java Jazz Festival – When he’s not living on his ‘performing’ world, he teaches at the Berkeley College of Music, the Bass Collective in New York City, the Anton Bruckner Conservatory in Austria, the Indian Institute of Technology, the Amsterdam Conservatory, and the Victor Wooten’s Bass and Nature Camp.
Jose James on 2011 Java Jazz Festival – Since his explosive arrival on the international scene vocalist Jose James has consistently dazzled critics and audiences alike with his smooth combination of soul, hip-hop and jazz. Using his musical mentors John Coltrane, Marvin Gaye and Billie Holiday as compasses, he effortlessly blurs the lines between musical genres through his love of connecting to audiences worldwide and in the sheer joy of creation. Blessed with a warm, rich baritone reminiscent of Terry Callier, Jon Lucien and Gil-Scott Heron, Jose has toured internationally at venues such the Umbria, Nice, and North Sea Jazz Festivals, Billboard Live Tokyo, Ancienne Belgique, Centro Cultural Sao Paolo, the Hermitage St. Petersburg, Central Park Summerstage and London’s Royal Festival Hall.

Jose James on 2011 JavaJazz Festival – His debut album “The Dreamer” was released in 2008 to worldwide acclaim, including #21 Critic’s Pick of JazzTimes Top 50 Jazz Albums of that year. His sophomore release “BLACKMAGIC” explored the worldwide underground, featuring production from Flying Lotus, Moodymann, Taylor McFerrin, and DJ Mitsu the Beats. Currently signed to the legendary Impulse! label, Jose’s artistry took a classic route with “For All We Know,” an intimate reading from the Great American Songbook with pianist Jef Neve. As a guest artist Jose has worked with Junior Mance, Chico Hamilton, Christian McBride, Gilles Peterson, Bassment Jaxx, Nicola Conte, Jazzanova, and Flying Lotus.
Nairobi Trio feat. Jonas Julio on 2011 Java Jazz Festival – Comprising of John Quigley (guitar/vocal), Peter Koopman (bass), and Richard Adams (violin/vocal), Nairobi Trio is a New Zealand’s premier jazz trio. They are bound to bring forth fascinating improvisations. For their show at 2011 Jakarta International Java Jazz Festival, Nairobi Trio collaborate with Jonas Julio, an Indonesian guitarist that studies in New Zealand.
LLW on 2011 Java Jazz Festival – LLW is an acronym of its three member’s last name, (Indra) Lesmana, (Barry) Likumahuwa, and (Sandy) Winarta. When Indra Lesmana invited Barry and Sandy to form the band, it has been his intention to give birth to a “new sound of jazz”. The three definitily master the art of performing standard jazz members, the three wish to explore music to an unlimited musical universe.

Indra Lesmana – He was introduced to jazz music by his father, Jack Lesmana, who is also a jazz musician. His musical career with keyboards instrument started at age 10. He first performed with his father in March 1976 in Bandung. Now, he mentioned as one the jazz’s greats in Indonesia.
Barry Likumahuwa – Emanuel Jeberani Elseos Likumahuwa or better known as Barry Likumahuwa was born in Jakarta, June 14, 1983. Barry is the son of a senior jazz musicians, Benny Likumahuwa. His interest in playing bass started when he was sitting in elementary school. Playing in the genre of ‘funk jazz’, it is proving to the community that jazz can be enjoyed in all ages, not only by older person but also by teenagers.
Sandy Winarta – He became one of the most active drummer in the world of Jazz in Indonesia today. We can find his tracks in the Jazz group scattered from W/H/A/T Quartet with Sri Hanuraga, Riza Arshad, and Indrawan Thjin. He also joined on the supergroup Trisum debut with Dewa Budjana, Tohpati, and Balawan. He learned jazz at the first time from a book that includes Art Blakey and listen to recordings compilation of The Great Jazz Drummers. This former drummer of Pitoelas Band is also active in teaching. He even made bisadrum.com site to disseminate alternative way to learn the drums are formed along with Yones Tanaka.

LLW on 2011 Java Jazz Festival – Indra Lesmana is Indonesia’s best jazz pianist/keyboardist, whilst Bary Likumahuwa is bassist revered by his juniors. Sandy Winarta is one of the most prominent drummer in Indonesia. At 2011 Jakarta International Java Jazz Festival performed their new debut album.
Carlos Santana on 2011 Java Jazz Festival – A multiple Grammy Award, Billboard Century Award recipient, an inductee of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, dubbed as The Greatest Guitarist of All Time by Rolling Stone Magazine, does not make Carlos Santana respect other guitarist any less. The album “Guitar Heaven” is his tribute the world’s greats, including Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, and Jimmy Page. Santana performance at Woodstock on August 18, 1969 was monumental to his music career. From that day, there’s only way to go, higher.
Carlos Santana on 2011 Java Jazz Festival – Santana Made popular the combination of rock (blues and jazz) with traditional percussions. Synergizing rock with latin rhythms, Carribean sounds, and African percussions. That sort of music is now better known as world music. Although better known as a rock musician, Carlos Santana draws influence from the likes of Miles Davis and John Coltane. In the album “The Swing of Delight” (1980), Santana featured Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Ron Carter, and Tony Williams – a line up of jazz’s greats – in addition to the much respected Miles Davis Quintet.
Carlos Santana on 2011 Java Jazz Festival – It would a mistake for music enthusiasts to miss Carlos Santana’s performance at the “Special Show of 2011 Jakarta International Java Jazz Festival”. Santana played “Smooth”, “Corazon Espinada”, and many more of his hit songs that leveraged him to the level of music royalty.

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Copyright © 2011 Novri Wahyu Perdana. All rights reserved.
All images were taken by using Canon EOS 5D Mark II (2 bodies), Canon EF 70-200mm F/2.8L IS II USM, and Canon EF 17-40mm F/4L USM.
Caption | All images were taken on day #2 of 2011 Jakarta International Java Jazz Festival – March 5, 2011 on Sondre Lerche, Eastmania feat. Kai Eckhardt, Jose James, Nairobi Trio feat. Jonas Julio, LLW, and Carlos Santana performances. Hope i’ll be there on 2012 Jakarta International Java Jazz Festival next year. Also special thanks to my very good friend Nita Chairita for the Canon EOS 5D Mark II (1 body) and Canon EF 70-200mm F/2.8L IS II USM.

8 responses to “2011 Jakarta International Java Jazz Festival – “Remarkable Indonesia, Harmony Under One Nation”

    • Hi Kamal,
      Thanks a lot for your appreciation and for visiting my blog. Its an honour for me to have this from you, the great musician himself🙂
      I’ll inform you to your email!
      Best regards

  1. @Jonas Julio – Thanks a lot Jonas. Really glad you like it, and it’s great to hear that form you. I’m so flattered🙂 Hope to meet you again on the 2012 Java Jazz Festival as i plan to be there, the whole three days!

  2. Thanks I finally came to a website where the webmaster knows what they’re talking about. Do you know how many results are in Google when I search.. too many! It’s so irritating having to go through page after page after page, wasting my day away with thousands of owners just copying eachother’s articles… bah. Anyway, thanks for the information anyway, much obliged.

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