Organizers of the Maumere Jazz Fiesta Flores at a press conference in Balai Sarbini, South Jakarta. (Photo courtesy of Kompas)

Maumere to Host First Ever Outdoor Jazz Festival in a Mangrove Forest

BY :SHEANY

OCTOBER 07, 2016

Jakarta. Outdoor jazz festivals might be a dime a dozen in Java and Lombok, but Maumere in Flores, East Nusa Tenggara, will be hosting its first ever — the Maumere Jazz Fiesta Flores — in the city's large mangrove forest on Oct. 15-16.

Indonesian legends Trie Utami, Barry Likumahuwa, Syaharani, Andre Hehanussa and Djaduk Ferianto are among the line up for the two-day festival, which will be opened to the public for free.

Maumere Jazz Fiesta Flores founder and festival director, Agus Setiawan Basuni, said the festival should introduce Maumere to more people outside East Nusa Tenggara. 

"I want to revive Maumere as a tourist destination. Why did we organize this event? Because we want to rebrand Maumere," he said, as quoted by Kompas.

In the 1980s, Maumere was a top destination for divers from across the globe. But a tsunami in 1992 destroyed most of the corals in the sea around Maumere and tourists stopped coming.

Aside from enjoying the music at the jazz festival, organizers also invite guests to plant 300 mangrove plants on the concert site — a 70-hectare mangrove forest owned by a man locally known as Babah Akong.

"The unofficial theme of the festival is 'living environment.' We've survived a tsunami and now it's time to show off the natural beauty of Maumere," Agus said.

"I visited Maumere and Larantuka four years ago. It's very beautiful around here and I think the town has developed nicely. Organizing a music event in Maumere will definitely improve it even more," singer Andre Hehanussa said, as quoted by Detik.

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