Bali Jazz Festival

The inaugural Bali Jazz Festival (Indonesia) came close to “point zero” after terrorist bombings killed 20 people here seven weeks ago. But the three-day festival featuring performers from 10 countries debuted on schedule Nov. 18 - two days after police named three captured men as suspects in the attacks.

Total attendance for the 40 concerts on two stages at the Hard Rock Hotel was light, with officials lowering an initial goal of 15, 000 down to 2, 000. That may have been furthered dampened - literally - by heavy rain the final two days. But they also called their effort part of the healing process and hope positive reaction from participants serves as a foundation for future years.

“We kind of knew that this was not going to be a big knockout in terms of turnout and all that, ” said Gita Wirjawan, chairman of the festival's advisory board. “But in terms of what we're doing for Bali and what we're doing for country we couldn't have asked for more.”

None of the dozens of performers and listeners interviewed expressed safety concerns, even as the U.S, Australia and the United Kingdom was issuing fresh travel warnings following the discovery of a Web site detailing tactics for killing foreigners in Indonesia. Canadian pianist Ron Davis said it's an honor playing somewhere with so many languages and cultures, much like his homeland.

“We will go back to Canada and tell people what a beautiful country this is, ” he told fellow musicians, event organizers and dignitaries during a performance with his trio at a pre- festival gala dinner. “There is nothing to be afraid of.”

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