Rabu, 10 Maret 2010

Java Jazz Conquers International Music Scene

Java Jazz (March 5-7), Indonesia’s annual jazz festival, organized by Peter and his daughter Dewi Gontha is about to take Jakarta by storm again. This time, the festival will be located at the Jakarta Fairground (PRJ) in Kemayoran.

It took six years for organizers to firmly establish the festival in the international music scene. This is perhaps a major significant international success for the Indonesian music industry, since it was formed in the 1970s.

Peter Gontha initiated this festival based on his passion for jazz, as opposed to being a business project.

Peter first created Jak Jazz more than 10 years ago, then the only Jazz festival in the country, with the controversial idea to have acts from other genres such as R&B and pop. Today, his idea is one of the main reasons Java Jazz gained international success and became one of the largest jazz festivals in the world.

According to Peter, since Java Jazz had gained such a strong standing, many acclaimed international groups sent their CDs and asked to perform at Java Jazz. As it turned out, Java Jazz today has become a crucial promotional ground for jazz groups: Old and new comers.

This success is believed to contribute strongly to Indonesia’s music industry. But first, our local jazz musicians and other actors in the industry must understand the opportunities that Java Jazz presents.

For instance, a renowned performer at Java Jazz this year is the coming of Diane Warren, a world-famous songwriter who has written many hits song for various music groups and singers from different musical genres. Among these songs are Blame It On The Rain (Milli Vanilli) and When I See You Smile (Tony Braxton).

On this occasion, Java Jazz is planning to have a songwriting workshop led by Warren. Since the pop music scene is dominant in the local music industry, this workshop will benefit many local songwriters. By providing this workshop, the presence of Java Jazz in the country will also contribute to the Indonesian music scene beyond providing entertainment.

As many local songwriters today wrote their songs in English and aimed for the international market, Warren would be the perfect tutor for writing English songs. By involving Diane Warren in a workshop, local songwriters can gain access to the international songwriting business and music industry.

In this case, the workshop can provide the gate for local musicians to enter global competition.

Contributions such as workshops at Java Jazz 2010 are perhaps important to developing the Indonesian music industry.

Another important Java Jazz program is the Michael Jackson tribute. Michael Jackson was an icon in the global music industry and was incredibly important to the industry. Through the support of many top musicians who will participate, the tribute program will help Java Jazz gain more international recognition.

By the same token, it will confirm its authority as the firm institution of jazz within a global context.

By claiming Java Jazz as having the authority to commemorate the global pop music icon, the international market’s attention will no doubt turn to the Indonesian music scene, potentially benefiting it.

Be it a music festival, publication, performance, production, education or music business. In the long run, Java Jazz may also put Indonesia on the map to boost tourism international destination.

At least, the festival has the potential put Jakarta as a desired destination for tourists over the festivals duration. This is also true for many expatriates who live in places such as Bali and around the archipelago. According to the event’s organizers, there are also people coming from neighboring countries to attend the festival.

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