Jakarta. The Jakarta International BNI Java Jazz Festival on Friday kicked off its 17th edition at JIExpo Kemayoran with performances from chart-topping singer-songwriter Jojo, love songs specialist Fiersa Besari, and many more.
Jojo was the special performer of the night. The audience chanted Jojo's name as the R&B singer walked onto the stage in a blue outfit.
"Java Jazz Festival, make some noise!" Jojo shouted, exciting the crowd.
Jojo started with 'What U Need' before performing 'Man', 'Spiral SZN', and 'Worst', to name a few. She also showed off her vocal skills with a cover of legendary soul singer Anita Baker's 'Caught Up in the Rapture'.
"She [Anita] is one of the voices that I look up to, that has inspired me to do what I get to do today. She does a beautiful job of bridging R&B, soul, and jazz and taking it worldwide," Jojo said.
At the MLD Stage Bus area, Fiersa Besari attracted an enthusiastic crowd of millennials and Gen Zs. Despite the drizzle, the young festival-goers sang their hearts out to Fiersa's friend zone anthem 'Garis Terdepan' and his top hit 'Celengan Rindu.' In between each song, Fiersa would crack one or two relationship jokes.
"The rain is perfect because it could hide your tears," Fiersa said.
"Who still hasn't moved on from their ex even after many years?" Fiersa asked the crowd.
The 38-year-old singer also performed the never-before-heard 'Pengecut', which he planned to release in his next album.
The night was still young for many festival-goers as they gathered to watch the pop band RAN. Hands were up in the air —waving left and right— as the audience chanted "Hey! Ho! Hey! Ho!" in unison. Enthusiasm rose high as RAN sang their best hits 'Kulakukan Semua Untukmu' and 'Dekat di Hati'.
Performances by husband-wife duo Endah N Rhesa, jazz band Maliq & D'Essentials, and many more enlivened the first day of Java Jazz.
Java Jazz is in full swing after going through a pandemic hiatus. The 17th edition marks the first Java Jazz to be held in the middle of a pandemic, so the masks had to stay up for the festival-goers.
The Java Jazz Festival will still run until May 29. Five hundred forty-two artists of different genres, generations, and nationalities will perform at this year's Java Jazz.