Mud, rain, a village and Jazz

Jazz music festivals may be common in many parts of the world, but definitely not in this small village in Indonesia’s Yogyakarta.  Thirty groups of jazz musicians gathered to perform during the 5th Ngayogjazz in Brayut village.

The organizers set up six stages, including one near the market, one near a banana garden and another in a house.  Event director, Djaduk Ferianto said the festival is to promote jazz music in rural areas and make it more accessible.

“People would associate the word “jazz” with being high-class. Especially in Indonesia. Although actually jazz is originally a folk art, it struggled to survive, oppressed and rise. Full of struggle that was once depressed and finally appears, just like people in Indonesia, being oppressed (by Suharto) and bounced back. So, yes, Jazz is a folk art,” he said.

Organizers said more than 10,000 people turned up for the festival, which is a huge increase from the first festival which only had 1,000 attendees.  Unlike other jazz festivals in the country, the one-day event did not feature international musicians.

Many of the local bands merged traditional Indonesian tunes to the music to give it a different flavor.  “Many people think that jazz is a high-class music but I like it. I think this is a good way to promote jazz,” said Ulul Khasanah, a jazz music fan.

Rain started pouring in the evening, but the fans were undeterred, standing in the rain with umbrellas, ponchos, and even banana leaves to watch their favorite band play.

Even though the location to perform is very different, the musicians find certain challenges.  “We had to do some improvisations here and there. We had to adjust with the venue, the atmosphere sound. And the result was different from what we expected, but it is fun,” said Robert Muliahardja, a jazz musician.

Ngayogjazz has been held in different villages in Yogyakarta province for the last five times. It is some 440 km (273 miles) east of capital Jakarta.

To promote more awareness, the festival has been free-of-charge for all who are interested to attend.

Jazz in Indonesia, according to the Dutch writer Allard JM Moller, has entered since 1922, meaning almost simultaneously with the Swing Jazz era. Jazz was brought to Indonesia to entertain strangers who still possess the land, Indonesia is, of course, packed in an elite event and place, and on the development of jazz music-was finally staged in Indonesia, many hotels, bars, café- café and places like. Though eventually jazz can also be appreciated and watched the general public but the impression that jazz is the music elitist and hard appreciated by the common people still cling to this.

Departing from this condition have a musician Djaduk Ferianto anxiety to erase the image of jazz is just elitist. He believes that jazz as an open and flexible music can be appreciated all walks of life and can blend in with the local cultural life. By encouraging cooperation with WartaJazz, Hattakawa Novindra-linkage and-beyond the stages, finally agreed Djaduk Ferianto event spawned the idea of ​​a jazz festival with Ngayogjazz named. NGAYOGJAZZ conceptualized as an event of social interaction using the media play jazz music. Because it is not just a show, NGAYOGJAZZ will eliminate as much as possible the distance between the players on the stage with the public audience, so it will actually materialize in the form of interactions with the appreciation of the spontaneous performance. In this event Jazz music is also combined with the art of music and the performing arts traditions of the local community and is “open jam session”. Packaging so makes Ngayogjazz be a jazz festival in a unique format jazz festival than ever.

This is an option to play and enjoy jazz music is more egalitarian and affordable by the general public appreciation. Ngayogjazz will also attempt to show that Jazz music is very open and can be enjoyed by anyone and can be combined with any type of music and the other arts.