Ireng Maulana, Indonesian Jazz Legend, Dies at 71

Indonesian jazz musician Ireng Maulana at the 2006 Java Jazz Festival. (Photo courtesy of Java Jazz Festival/Shark Creative Communication)

By : Jakarta Globe | on 11:44 AM March 06, 2016
Category : Life & Style, Music

Jakarta. Ireng Maulana, one of Indonesia's leading jazz musicians, died early on Sunday (06/03). He was 71 years old.

His death was confirmed by a tweet from Peter Gontha, the founder of the Java Jazz Festival. "Just recently, Indonesian music figure Ireng Maulana passed away because of a heart attack," he tweeted.

The news brought a somber note to the procession of the 2016 Java Jazz Festival, which is held in Jakarta this weekend. "Farewell, Indonesian jazz legend, Ireng Maulana. #RIPIRENGMAULANA," the festival organizer tweeted.

A brother of famed guitarist Kiboud Maulana, Ireng started his career in music in the group Joes & His Band when he was a teenager. In the 1960s, he then collaborated with Bing Slamet, Idris Sardi and Eddy Tulis in the band Eka Sapta, which often appeared on the national television channel, TVRI.

Ireng rose to prominence when he started Ireng Maulana All Stars with the likes of Benny Likumahuwa, Hendra Wijaya and Benny Mustapha — the group represented Indonesia at Singapore's International Jazz Festival back in 1983. Around this time, he also initiated the Jakarta Jazz Festival, which debuted in 1988.

Most recently, Ireng was still actively performing at various jazz gigs, including the Java Jazz Festival in 2008.

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