Salihara Jazz Buzz 2014: Persembahan: Tribute to the Masters

If you're looking for variety of art and culture events in Jakarta, the Komunitas Salihara should be one of the most important venue to check. It's a cultural enclave established in 2008 and known as the first private multidisciplinary art center in Indonesia since then. Located on a 3.800 m2 plot at Pasar Minggu, South Jakarta, it's divided into three main buildings: Teater Salihara, Galeri Salihara and office space but now expands to provide more facilities such as rehearsal studio, guesthouse and amphitheater. Since the time it was established, Komunitas Salihara has wide varieties of program, including Jazz. Similiar to the previous couple of years, Salihara opens up the year with Salihara Jazz Buzz, providing series of jazz concerts presenting nothing but the best players in the field with fresh new ideas, compositions, interpretations and so on where the words innovative, smart or even genius live on, something and somehow different and would be difficult to find elsewhere. Last year Komunitas Salihara featured four groups (one group for each week) such as Balawan and Didiet Violin, Shadu Rasjidi Band, Sri Hanuraga Trio and Ligro. This year they are making another breakthrough by bringing another batch of who's who in the Jazz scene today. Ranging from legends, seniors to deadly young guns, they aren't going to just play but each of them will bring a special theme, either tributing someone who inspires them to be who they are today, the different genres from different eras which many people seldom connect them to Jazz, presenting the compositions of all-time masters and so on. The number of bands is raised from four to six; two bands with two themes for each week. In general the theme of this year's edition is "Persembahan (Presentation): Tribute to the Masters". You might see the photo of Duke Ellington in the flyer above, but throughout January you will get much, much more in Teater Salihara. Jaw-dropping names are all over the posters both the playing bands/groups/projects and the ones their tributing, which not only limited to internationally acclaimed musicians of the genres but span wider to reach the greatest rock musicians, the historical classical eras from Baroque to Romantic and also Indonesian maestros. All presented in assorted Jazz flavors. Curious to see who plays what? Keep reading, we will spill them out for you.

1. Nial Djuliarso: Interpreting American Masters: Solo Piano

Everytime we see Nial Djuliarso in a concert, we can't help but love anything he plays. We have listened to his touch over pop songs and standards, his originals which have beautiful melodies, or the moment when he gave respect to one of the most influential Indonesian maestros, Ismail Marzuki both in his successful album The Jazz Soul of Ismail Marzuki (2011) and in a couple of stage presences. He graduated from Berklee College of Music in 2004 and also got a Jazz Diploma from Julliard in New York, pursued his career there in 'the good ol' 'Big Apple' and has played with the wide array of honored musicians including Hank Jones, Joe Lovano, Wynon Marsalis, Bobby Watson, Roy Hargrove, Christian McBride, Jimmy Cobb, Benny Golson, Horace Silver and Gary Burton, just to mention a few. Not many Indonesian musicians can have the chance as big as this in such a young age, but the highly gifted Nial Djuliarso got it. He dares to go against all odds by making up albums without having any singers and still receives huge success.

He's great in playing in any formation, but he's mesmerizing too when he plays in a solo piano recital. At Teater Salihara Nial will bring us into his musical life journey by reinterpreting works of American Jazz Masters, but he will also include some pieces of our own Ismail Marzuki. It's a good chance to catch him while he's trying to test the water in his homeland, finding out whether it's time for him to come back home for good or better to keep it going in USA. We wish the best for him, but we do need passionate musicians possessed with such skill like him to keep the jazz flame burning in Indonesia. Solo Jazz recital by an amazing young pianist, anyone? If yes, this show is a must-see.

Schedule: Saturday, January 11, 2014, 4:00 PM

2. Nita Aartsen : From Baroque to Romantic

Being described as the 'rising star' of Classical and Jazz in Indonesia shows how Nita Aartsen successfully place her feet on both grounds. But that's not all, because she can also pin pop, rock, blues, Latins; even Flamenco Jazz just as great. If you meet her and ask about her journey, perhaps you will end up in a very long discussion since she has a very illustrious and colorful career which spans for almost 30 years. She has been the national pianist who performed in the Presidential palace to entertain foreign leaders who came to the country like Bill Clinton, Sultan Bolkiah and Prince Bernard. She has toured around Europe and has been highly active in spicing up big Jazz festivals found in Indonesia.

Speaking of Classical music which encompasses a broad period from around the 6th century up to this day, there have been many notable characteristics which is often categorized into more than 10 periods. Nita Aartsen will bring you back to the era called the 'Common Practice Period', denoting an era when many of the ideas that make up the Western Classical music took shape and standardized. It began with Baroque (from 1600′s to mid 1700′s) then Classical era (1700′s to 1800′s) and then continued on to the Romantic era (early 1800 to early 1900). There were many maestros made masterpieces during these 3 centuries from Johann Sebastian Bach, Antonio Vivaldi, George Frideric Handel, Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Schubert to Robert Alexander Schumann among many other names. What's interesting is to see how Nita Aartsen will pin the masterpieces of these all-time greatest composers to suit into Jazz. It wouldn't be a problem for her since she lives in between these two worlds, yet we're curious to see the result. Both have different structures, scales, disciplines, choice of instruments and so on. It's often said that Jazz is more free in structure while the other tends to be completely notated, but one thing we can't deny is both completing and complementing each other in today's music scene.

So how Nita will fly freely with improvisations in the field of Classical repertoires? How will she place modern jazz harmonies, chords and the dynamics of Jazz into the much older musics, or simply say, how will she interpret the word 'freedom' in the highly discipline and well-build Classical structures? It's going to be very interesting.

Schedule: Saturday, January 11, 2014, 8:00 PM

3. Glen Dauna Project : The Little Wing of Jimi Hendrix

Whenever we hear the name Jimi Hendrix, our mind will directly go to his (probably) most glorious moment taking place at Woodstock, 1969. At much later hours than scheduled, Jimi Hendrix came on stage on the final day on August 18, 1969, exactly at 8:30 AM. The majority of audiences had left the venue, but there were still around 30.000-40.000 people still there witnessing the legend got his golden moment that lasts forever in the history of music. He passed away just a year after, but his name remains the same until now. Most of people refer him as a Rock musician. Not wrong since he did play Psychedelic Rock ferociously, but we should never forget the amount of Blues and Jazz he injected into his music. We even has a live recording when he collaborated with The Doors’ Jim Morrison in a fully Jazz segment in our music collection. He joined Jazz jam sessions occasionally, even had his moment doing it just a while before his death at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club. He’d be 72 years old now had he still alive, but his fate stands differently. He’s not around us anymore, but his legacy lives on. You love Jimi Hendrix’s rebelious and wild guitar playing that many believe no one can match and at the same time love Jazz? Well, this one should grab your attention. Senior pianist Glen Dauna is going to bring you up, riding The Little Wing of Jimi Hendrix across the different dimensions.

We have seen him creating a spectacular concept of tributing this guitar legend like in AtAmerica in November 2012 and the 2013 edition of Java Jazz Festival. He played in a quintet formation featuring two of his sons, trumpeter Indra Dauna and the fantastic young harmonica player, Rega Dauna. Most likely the father-sons connection will take place again supported by many other skillful cats. The Glen Dauna Project (formerly called Glen Dauna Experiment) is going to hook you up into an unforgettable musical voyage. If you have the chance to fly with Jimi Hendrix’s Little Wing to ‘Kiss the Sky’; like a part of the lyrics found in his “Purple Haze”; why don’t you take the chance? We have seen it and wowed, now is your time to be stunned.

Schedule: Saturday, January 18, 2014, 4:00 PM

4. Indro Hardjodikoro: This is Only The Beatles

If there were no The Beatles, how would the music scene today? Maybe most of Rock/Pop bands wouldn’t exist the way we know them today, maybe the music history would be written differently. That’s how influential this English group from Liverpool is. John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison has made so many evergreens that most of them still played by uncountable musicians up until now. There were many controversial stories surrounding this band, loads of good times and bad times, great achievements and tragedy were listed into their life story that would take days or even mont hs to talk about. Their influence remains immense, not only in music but in larger perspective, popular culture. They changed the music course, the fashion, hair and even lifestyle. Histerical ladies, passed out ones were often found in their live concerts. They penetrated movies, photography and ev

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