Local duo Endah & Rhesa will present a debut performance with drumming duo Duadrum at Jakarta International BNI Java Jazz Festival 2017. (JG Photo/Dhania Putri Sarahtika)

Less Pop and More Jazz at Java Jazz Festival 2017


JANUARY 19, 2017

Jakarta. The annual Java Jazz Festival aims to be less pop and more jazz when it returns for its 13th edition at JIExpo in Kemayoran, North Jakarta on March 3.

Grammy award-winning jazz pianist Chick Corea, Sergio Mendes and Arturo Sanduval are among the confirmed guest stars to headline Indonesia's biggest jazz event of the year. The international lineup also includes King, Elliot Yamin, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Incognito, Mezzoforte, Nik West and Blood Sweat & Tears featuring Bo Byce.

Indonesian artists include Endah & Rhesa x Duadrum, Andien, Hi-Vi, Rendy Pandugo, Yura Yunita and 90s hip hop all stars which include Iwa K, NEO and Sweet Martabak.

According to Dewi Gontha, the director of Java Festival Production, this year's lineup is filled with more jazz acts than pop ones due to the feedback they received last year.

"We were criticized last year for being too 'pop' so this year we're heavier on the jazz. Previously we never got comments like that, so let's say that this year we're back to the concept we had in 2015 and before that," Dewi said at a press conference at Kedai Kopi 89 in Jakarta on Wednesday (18/01).

"This festival aims to educate people to love jazz. They should learn that there are many genres within jazz. But, we're still the same as before because there is a mix of acts combined with other genres. It's just that we have more jazz this year than the last," Dewi explained.

To cater to the pop market enthusiasts, British 12-piece hip-hop band Renegade Brass Band and Indonesian pop singers Tulus and Afgan will also be making an appearance at the festival.

Dewi said that the festival will not have a special guest star this year, which usually requires patrons to buy a specific ticket in addition to their daily pass.

This year's festival, which has adopted the theme Betawi culture, will continue to use indoor stages. However, the number of outdoor stages have increased to 10 indoor stages and 4 outdoor stages.

Despite the widespread public protests in Jakarta recently, Dewi also said that she does not believe it will deter foreign visitors from attending the festival.

"People get anxious usually because of what they read. As long as the media write positive things about Jakarta, then there should be no problem," she said. "We cooperate well with the police [...] because we always have big names in the lineup and some of the concert goers are from overseas."

In 2016, the festival saw a record number of 114,000 visitors.

Prices for day pass tickets start from Rp 650,000 ($48.75) and start at Rp 1.5 million for the three-day pass.

Tickets can be purchased on the festival's official website.