The biggest jazz festival yet in its 8 years history, and one of the largest in the world, the Jakarta International Java Jazz Festival 2012, is about to take on the Metropolitan capital of Indonesia by storm, drawing crowds not only from the city but also from throughout the archipelago and neighboring Malaysia and Singapore. Java Jazz will be held at the Jakarta International Expo, Kemayoran, Jakarta, from March 2-4, 2012.
At a press conference held on December 15, 2012, Peter Gontha, Chairman and Founder of Java Festival Production (JFP), promised that this year’s staging will be the biggest in 8 years. The same promise was given by JFP’s President Director, Dewi Gontha, stating that even though the concept remains similar to that of last year, its execution will be better and on a much grander scale.
As promoter and organizer, JFP has this year prepared 18 stages as a platform for over 1,500 artists in about 80 slots per day. Confirming its magnitude, this year’s festival will be decorated with a stunning lineup of the world’s finest jazz musicians. For the special shows, there will be living legend Herbie Hancock, Pat Metheny, and Al Jarreau, with each scheduled to perform twice. Erykah Badu has also confirmed and is ready to join the special show lists. Aside from these names, some other giants have confirmed, including saxophonist, David Sanborn, and Dave Koz, Bobby Caldwell, Bobby McFerrin and son, the beatboxer Taylor McFerrin, keyboardist Joey DeFrancesco, the phenomenal vintage-funk/avant groove group Medeski Martin & Wood, and two jazz contrabassists Ron Carter and Rodney Whitaker to join drummer Carl Allen. Bobby Caldwell, will also collaborate with Laura Fygi and Swing Out Sister in their own Special Big Band Project.
The Manhattan Transfer will repeat their magic in the third consecutive year. For Latin Jazz fans, there will be the amazing female percussionist who played often with Prince in the 80s, Sheila E and also the Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz Band. Other international jazz maestros include: Robert Randolph and the Family Band, Chris Standring, Duwende, Mamas Gun, Quincy Jones Presents: Alfredo Rodriguez Trio, Mayer Hawthorne, Ron King Big Band, Barry White Show & The Pleasure Unlimited Orchestra, Depepapep, Soil&”Pimp” session, and many more.
Probably the most anticipated performance for this year’s Java Jazz Festival is the appearance of the legend of music: Stevie Wonder. Although according to www.javajazzfestival.com , Stevie Wonder is still listed as “Pending Final Confirmation,” but through his tweet account, Peter Gontha has confirmed that Stevie Wonder will perform live at the Java Jazz Festival on Sunday, March 4, 2012, as reported by www.tempo.co .
From Indonesia’s own music scene, many great artists will join in as well, from established groups, legends, and special projects or collaborations. According to Eki Puradiredja, music director of JFP, the selection process for the Indonesian lineup is still running and there will be 110 Indonesian bands to perform this year. Names already confirmed include: Barry Likumahuwa Quintet, Sandy Winarta Quartet, Monita Tahalea Quartet, Abdul and The Coffee Theory, Dwiki Dharmawan & Sa’unine String Quartet, Maliq & D’Essentials, Soulvibe, and many more. Uniquely enough, Sudjiwo Tedjo, the eccentric Indonesian artist, will put on a unique performance of songs and poems. Some very interesting tributes to highlight are: Tribute to Utha Likumahuwa, Dira Sugandi sings Billy Holiday, and Benjamin S (the legendary Jakarta multi-talented artist) on Jazz.
Since Indonesian musicians nowadays perform more frequently at jazz festivals around the country and collaborate in jam sessions, in addition to launching their own albums, an event of the caliber of the Jakarta International Djarum Super Mild Java Jazz Festival 2012 will be the pinnacle opportunity for them to give the best of their creativity. Undoubtedly, each group will compete to attract festival goers to fill the area in which they perform.
Aside from being the largest jazz festival in Indonesia and one of the largest in the world, the Jakarta International Java Jazz Festival 2012 is the scene for Indonesian groups to draw the attention of the world.
As the lineup gets more and more impressive every year, Indonesia has firmly established itself in the world music map. Turning Jakarta into the capital of jazz, the Java Jazz Festival is constantly committed to promote Indonesia through music, making it truly a Mecca of jazz. As the stages are being set up, and more artists are filling the lineup, bear in mind that this spectacular music scene only comes once a year. Be there!
For more information, go to: http://www.javajazzfestival.com/ .