The 12th edition of the Jakarta International Java Jazz festival was held from the 4th to the 6th March at the Jakarta International Expo, JIExpo in Kemayoran. The annual event showcases artiste from Indonesia and around the world. The spectacular event runs simultaneously with the SingJazz Festival on the same weekend.
Fellow jazz enthusiast packed the large expo halls designed for the specific acts. The venue layout of the festival was planned accurately across the large expo area with two large outdoor concert stages, a small stage bus and the rest were large indoor concert halls. The festival kicks off in the afternoon with performances around the clock till late. You will be spoilt for choices at the various stages and might have to run from one venue to another catch your favourite artistes at the stipulated time slots.
A festival is not complete without the greasy and savoury foods. Being in the Indonesian capital city, you could find many local delicacies such as the infamous Bakso and the playful take of the fried banana fritters. International favourites such burritos and crunchy quesadilla, sushis, kebabs and hotdogs were also available. As night falls, you were able to see patrons enjoying their meals by the food trucks.
The international acclaimed jazz festival featured Chris Botti, Robin Thicke, David Foster and Sting. Premium tickets had to be purchased to watch the performances by these artistes at the specific halls. Other international jazz favourites include saxophonist, Candy Dulfer and legendary singer, Patti Austin who sang her heart out accompanied by the orchestra that night.
The festival was a platform for several breakthrough artists such as the soulful Yura Yunita, the talented Isyana Sarasvati and the sexy R&B singer, Teza Sumendra. Chart topping Indonesian contemporary artiste such as Afgan, Raisa, and the R&B trio, GAC had their own way of wowing the crowd during the three day festival.
Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra was one the memorable highlights of day 1 of the festival. The one hour performance at the MLD SPOT Hall brought in a massive crowd that night. The high energy stage present had the audience dancing frantically during the high pace exhilarating performance. The Japanese band was formed in 1988 engineering their creative works using the combination of ska, jazz and rock. One of the most influential bands in Japanese music history. They had the opportunity to performance once again for their fans on day 2 of the festival.
On the other hand, the most well known jazz group, Mocca performed for one night only. She was engaging the audience at midnight with fun facts about the band. The group is no stranger to the entertainment world. They have performed for countless of music festivals around the world and as well as in Singapore. She sang familiar tunes such as I Remember, Dear Diary, My Only One and Secret Admirer. Exclusively, for Java Jazz 2016, Mocca performed a new track, When We Are Young feat Vicky from BurgerKill. The audience were singing along as she happily sang and played the flute.
The International Jakarta Jazz Festival was an enjoyable experience and it gets better every single year. Music is a universal language which unites people of all countries. Being a regular festival goer, Java Jazz festival ignites my love of quality entertainment in southeast Asia! The festival is a annual affair for those to enjoy great food and music under one large venue.