Escape / February 2018

Celebrate Jazz in Diversity

By Dhania Sarahtika The 2018 Java Jazz Festival will rock Jakarta March 2-4 with a new line up of artists. This year’s theme, “Celebrate Jazz in Diversity,” is in line with the festival’s aim to present performers of diverse subgenres, including those catering to the younger generation and millenials. Java Festival Production president director Dewi Gontha said that the extensive range of music styles, coupled with vintage decorations, is expected to send a message that jazz is a long-lived and influential genre that has branched out to many others. Jazz originated in New Orleans in the 19th century, from a blend of European and African cultures. Now it has many subgenres, including fusion jazz, acid jazz, dixieland, swing, bebop, hard bop and smooth jazz. It also inspired the emergence of rhythm and blues (RnB), pop, soul and pop-rock. Dewi said that through the variety the festival will appeal to an audience of all ages. “We also want to regenerate our audience and break young people’s perception that jazz is for the old,” she said. The organizers expressed hope that Indonesian performers such as pop-jazz band Maliq & D’Essentials and Andien can draw a younger audience. Maliq & D’Essentials is a jazz and soul music based in Jakarta. The combination of Indonesian and English in their songs has become one of the typical flagships of their music. Their work is considered to be distinctive among other Indonesian music. Andien, a singer, role model, fashion icon and philanthropist, is one of Indonesia’s most diverse and respected artists working in the industry today. She is also expected to draw a huge crowd. Her fifteen-year career boasts 6 albums spanning jazz, R&B, soul and pop styles. With a dedicated following among fans and peers, Andien continues to create, inspire, and educate through her music as well as her lifestyle. She has also collaborations with local and international musicians, such as Bob James, Jammin’ Zeb, Griffith Frank, and Jeff Lorber.     Foreign artists who will perform this year include Brazilian-born guitarist Mateus Asato, Vanessa Williams, New York Voices, Matthew Whitaker Trio, Lee Ritenour, Jhené Aiko, The Danish Radio Big Band, JP Cooper, Kennedy Administration, Avery*Sunshine, BJ The Chicago Kid, Maysa Leak, Maya Azucena, Marlon McClain, Gorden Campbell, and The Urban Renewal Project. This year, the festival’s special shows are set to return with Grammy-winning singer Dionne Warwick will perform on March 2 and Daniel Caesar on March 3. The last day will be marked by performance of pop singer Lauv, who is especially known for his single “I Like Me Better,” and Goo Goo Dolls — best known for the one of the biggest alternative rock ballads 1990s, “Iris.” Among Indonesian performers will be Dira Sugandhi, Aksan Sjuman Trio, Java Jive x Fariz RM, Iwa K x Neurotic, Rendy Pandugo, Tohpati, The Rollies, Glenn Fredly, Adhitya Sofyan, Kunto Aji, Ecoutez, and Idang Rasjidi. There will be also new faces such as Nonaria and Tashoora. Festival coordinator Elfa Zulham said Tashoora, a pop-rock band from Yogyakarta is a potential crowd magnet because “they play very unique music.” Eighty percent of the new line-up of foreign artist are new and have not performed at Java Jazz.