Ahmad Dhani and Ron King Big Band perform at the Jakarta International BNI Java Jazz Festival in JIEXpo Kemayoran on May 28, 2022. (BeritaSatu Photo/Juanito de Saojao)

Java Jazz: A Melting Pot of Indonesian and Foreign Artists

BY :JAYANTY NADA SHOFA

MAY 29, 2022

Jakarta. This year's Java Jazz became a melting pot of Indonesian and foreign artists as they enlivened the music festival with collaboration stages.

The 17th edition of the Jakarta International BNI Java Jazz Festival in JiExpo Kemayoran ran for its second day on Saturday. The night ended on a high note with a collaboration stage between Indonesian rockstar Ahmad Dhani and Ron King's Big Band. 

Ron King is a Los Angeles-based trumpet player and Grammy-nominated soloist. This was also not the first time the trumpeter performed at Java Jazz. 

The show was scheduled for 10.45 p.m. Long queues had already formed in front of BNI Hall almost 45 minutes before the show started. As soon as the doors opened, people immediately rushed into the venue to get a better view of the stage. When Dhani and Ron King's Big Band finally showed up, the crowd went wild. 

Dhani and Ron King Big Band opened their set with 'The Best Is Yet to Come' and 'I Get a Kick Out of You,' popularized by the legendary Frank Sinatra.

"Tonight is a bit different. I will sing two swing songs first and later on the songs that we know. Are you all jazz lovers or Dewa 19 fans?" Dhani asked the crowd.

After the Sinatra covers, Dhani sang some of his band Dewa 19’s best hits, including ‘Arjuna’ and ‘Separuh Nafas’. Thanks to Ron King's Big Band on the instruments, the rock songs turned jazzy. The festival-goers knew the lyrics by heart as they sang their hearts out to the Dewa 19 songs. 

Dhani forgot the lyrics when he sang 'Arjuna', initially sung by Dewa 19, former lead vocalist Once. This small mistake caused the audience to break into laughter.

"Well, it is not Once who is singing. So I forgot the lyrics," Dhani said.

PJ Morton and Yura Yunita perform 'Say So' as seen on a jumbotron at the Jakarta International BNI Jazz Festival in JIExpo Kemayoran on May 28, 2022. (JG Photo/Jayanty Nada Shofa)

Earlier in the day, American Grammy-winning musician and Java Jazz 2022 headliner PJ Morton surprised the crowd by collaborating with Indonesian singer-songwriter Yura Yunita. Before the big reveal, PJ Morton talked about his song 'I Can't Wait' and its popularity in Indonesia.

"At the beginning of the pandemic, I wrote this song about how I was feeling. Then I noticed on the streaming services that Indonesia was playing the song more than anybody else in the world," PJ Morton said before singing 'I Can't Wait'.

Yura suddenly emerged from the backstage in the middle of the performance, immediately turning the song into a duet. Both singers then performed another duet with PJ Morton's 'Say So', which had won a Grammy award for the best R&B song.

The song 'Say So' features R&B singer Jojo who performed on the first day of this year's Java Jazz.

Grammy-winning musician PJ Morton headlines the Jakarta International BNI Java Jazz Festival in JIEXpo Kemayoran on May 28, 2022. (BeritaSatu Photo/Joanito de Saojao)
Grammy-winning musician PJ Morton headlines the Jakarta International BNI Java Jazz Festival in JIEXpo Kemayoran on May 28, 2022. (BeritaSatu Photo/Joanito de Saojao)

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