Tasa Nugraza Barley
Music aficionados think of Jazz Buzz as a warm-up to the Java Jazz Festival. Jazz Buzz takes place next month at Komunitas Salihara, a cultural center in South Jakarta, and features several prominent jazz musicians: Dony Koeswinarno, Tohpati Ario Hutomo, Bintang Indrianto, Dewa Budjana.
Organizers say the event will be different from any other jazz concert held in the capital.
“Jazz Buzz will present jazz bands that are very unusual,” said Melan Fitri, a media relations officer at Komunitas Salihara. “Even the instruments used are going to be different.”
Although his name is not well-known to the mainstream, saxophonist Dony Koeswinarno has shown great range as a jazz musician.
Dony, a composer and arranger, started Pitoelas Big Band, which has performed at the most recent Java Jazz Festival. To fans, the band is also known as one of the hottest professional big bands in the capital, featuring an extensive repertoire.
In Jazz Buzz, Dony will perform with Pitoelas as well as his other band, the experimental Telon, which he launched in early 2010. The members of the band come from various musical backgrounds, making them a rare musical bird. To create the wide range of different sounds, the band uses lesser-known instruments such as the African marimba and contrabass.
“The experimental jazz bands in Jazz Buzz require the musicians to present their unique new material,” Komunitas Salihara’s said on its Twitter feed.
Well-known guitarist and composer Tohpati Ario Hutomo is famous for his ability to combine modern and traditional music. In 1993, he joined an experimental band called SimakDialog, which consisted of other established names in the music scene such as Riza Arshad, Arie Ayunir and Indro Hardjodikoro.
SimakDialog was the only Asian band selected to play at this year’s Jazzahead festival in Bremen, Germany.
Furthermore, Tohpati is also active with another band called Trisum, which he created alongside two other famed guitarists, Balawan and Dewa Budjana.
Melan said Tohpati was scheduled to play instrumental music at Jazz Buzz featuring the guitar and cello. Guitarist Budjana, who is perhaps most famous as a member of pop band Gigi, also will be performing at Jazz Buzz with Sruti Respati, a pesinden , or classical Javanese singer. Although Budjana has spent most of his career in the mainstream, he also is known as an guitarist who likes to explore different sounds and has been involved in several experimental bands.
For the first time, Budjana will give an experimental performance using several instruments such as guitar, percussion, flute and bass.
Bassist Bintang Indrianto is known for his gospel songs and has spent years helping many other musicians compose and arrange music.
Bintang has released four albums since 2001. As a bassist, he likes to explore with both modern and traditional instruments.
Backed up by a choir, Bintang will be performing his work using bass, keyboard and flute.
Jan. 28 and 29, Feb. 4 and 8
Jl Salihara No 16, Pasar Minggu
Tickets: Rp 75,000 ($8.25), Rp 35,000 for students