Java Jazz Festival 2008
18 Apr 2005 01:22
From the Organizer
Music, particularly JAZZ, has been – and continues to be– a very important part of my life. By establishing a vibrant new cultural image of the capital as a centre for Indonesia’s vastly diverse music and culture, including jazz, I am committed to ensuring jazz continues to have a prominent voice in Jakarta and across Indonesia.
Though the festival in its present form was born of a dream, it now lives on as a reality – a flagship event in Indonesia and one of the biggest festivals in the world.
As we open the door once again to the richness of local arts and culture, we offer a very special thanks to a wonderful group of people and companies. At every level of its operations, the festival relies on supporters — not only enthusiastic volunteers but also, of course, corporate sponsors and gracious donors.
As we grow in magnitude and stature we can never forget the generosity and community spiritedness of the sponsors who have followed us every step of the way.
But there are other elements at play as well.
Firstly, through our annual festival and associated events, we believe we are playing our part to promote Indonesia.
Secondly, from the outset, we saw very clearly that we had a role to play in promoting jazz and the skills of talented jazz musicians – young and old – in Indonesia and around the world. In this way we can also remain committed to the goal of perpetuating jazz as an art form.
If like us you enjoy such fine music, you will agree with England’s greatest conductor Sir Thomas Beecham, who said, “Great music is that which penetrates the ear with facility and leaves the memory with difficulty. Magical music never leaves the memory.”
And so it is with this year’s event. festival-goers were treated to performances by some of the top soul, blues and jazz performers in the world.
Kool & The Gang’s special sound at the unique intersection of jazz, R&B, funk and pop : R&B singer Carleen Anderson, one of the most talented singers of the last decade : rhythm & blues crooner Eric Benet, guitarist composer Vinny Valentino, local group Maliq & d’essentials with their neo-soul music, Dave Koz and Bob James who are back after so many years apart from their fans in Indonesia, and scores of others . . .
For the jazz aficionado – many of these acts were well known. For the uninitiated – our Festival was once again a great chance to discover the world of jazz in all its forms from the contemporary to the classical.
Simply to witness and see the satisfaction and approval shown through the applause and reception by the audiences made me realize that not only had we hit the spot with our unique mix of international and local talents but we had managed to bring pleasure to the young and the not so young – no small feat!
Indonesia’s top drummer Gilang Ramadhan said that the festival showed that there were still people in the country who cared about jazz music and worked hard to realize their passion.
“We are very enthusiastic about the festival. However, I prefer to just be a performer on stage, because I can imagine how difficult it must be to organize a festival of this scale,” Gilang said. His wish has came true. This year he took to the stage on the final night.
“We are glad about this festival. We have longed for this kind of festival and finally it materializes in the midst of our country’s myriad problems and uncertainty,” said piano player Riza Arshad, who, along with his fusion band Simak Dialog once again performed at this year’s festival.
I also recall former bass player of fusion band Casiopea Tetsuo Sakurai telling the press, “I hope that I can come back to this festival year after year.” Yet another wish came true. Tetsuo was back on stage this year.
From jazz to blues to funk to R&B, welcome to the sound of Jakarta.
See you on the next Java Jazz Festival, 7 – 9 March 2008!
Peter F Gontha