A glance at the Indonesian music shows us that it particularly demonstrates the country’s cultural diversity, but one cannot neglect the fact that Jazz is becoming increasingly popular in the country.
Although Jazz is not considered a mainstream music genre in Indonesia, its development over the years is really astonishing. That explains why some incredible Indonesian Jazz musicians have come from the country, such as Benny Likumahuwa, Benny Mustafa, Maryono, Jack Lesmana, and Bubi Chen Maliq & D’Essentials.
There are various Jazz groups in the country that emphasize on fusing contemporary westernized Jazz fusion music with the traditional ethnic music of their hometown.
If we look at the history, 1948 was the year in which Jazz truly took the first step in Indonesia.
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As Jazz was already acknowledged in America and Europe, it was time for Indonesian music to embrace it.
About 60 Netherland’s musician came to the country and joined forces with local talents to form a symphony.
It was a promising start to Jazz music and it certainly helped in the creation of legendary Jazz groups and musicians, such as Iskandar’s Sextet, The Progressive Trio, and the Old Timers.
Over the next decades, Jazz music evolved and gained more popularity. Today, Jazz is celebrated in Indonesia by huge crowds in concerts and festivals.
Well, now that you have an overview of Jazz music in Indonesia, let’s head over to Indonesian Jazz-influenced artists that you should definitely listen to in 2023.
I’ve also created a playlist of Indonesian Jazz influenced artists, please enjoy: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/22ZZnthNo2YhR4fpaYLaqdU
1. Candra Darusman
- Pengunkapan Hatimu
- Dunia Di Batas Senja
The name Candra Darusman may be unfamiliar in 2000s. However, he was very existent in the era of the 1970s to 1990s. Even though there isn’t any official disbandment, but Candra hasn’t been active since 1991. Candra resurfaced in the Indonesian Jazz scene again in 2018 with his new hit “Pengunkapan Hatimu” featuring Adien. So, I cannot stress it enough that you all should check out his work!!!
2. Payung Teduh
- Untuk Perempuan Yang Sedang Di Pelukan
- Di Atas Meja
The band is popular with its iconic fusion between folk, keroncong (Indonesian musical style) and Jazz. Payung Teduh was formed in late 2007 with only Is (vocalist) and Comi (double bassist). Later in 2008, they invited Cito (the drummer) and Ivan (the guitar and trumpet player) into the band. Payung Teduh is well known throughout Indonesia as well as Malaysia.
- Menghujam Jantungku
- Tak Pernah Setengah Hati
- Sedari Dulu
Tompi is a Jazz singer, his vocal character is influenced by traditional Acehnese singing and reciting the Qur’an. He made his place in singing in 2004 when the Bali Lounge album was released. Although he only considers singing as a pleasant side job, one can hope that he creates more amazing soundtracks in the future as well.
- Adu Rayu
- 1000 Tahun Lamanya
Tulus is a very popular singer-songwriter and has been in the Indonesian Jazz scene since 201. He’s well known throughout Indonesia and Malaysia for his strong jazz-influenced musical style. He has also performed at Java Jazz, Bali Live Jazz Festival and at Sounds of Indonesia in Hamburg, Germany. He is one of the jazz singers you should not miss out on in the upcoming year.
5. Margie Segers
- Semua Bisa Bilang
The soothing voice is best described for Margie Sergers as she certainly knows how to captivate the listeners with her magical voice. Margie Sergers spent her childhood in the Netherlands and started learning to sing jazz at a very young age. After her initial learning experience, she was guided by other famous Indonesian Jazz artists such as Bubi Chen, Jack Lesmana and Mang Udel. She made into the industry and was well-known in the 1970s.
- It All (Happens Suddenly)
- Di Tempat Yang Sama
Fadhilonn is an upcoming trumpeter and singer. He has been heavily influenced by the Jazz genre like Frank Sinatra and Louis Armstrong. The Jazz soundtracks that he has produced are authentic and definitely worth checking out if you’re into New Orleans Jazz.
- Kisah Mencari Seorang Raja
- Lagu Gembira
- Teman Seperjuangan
Deredia is a Jazz band that started their career on YouTube in 2014. Unlike other contemporary musicians who have penetrated the pop genre, Deredia knows their style of music and they are pretty good at it. Deredia regenerates tunes that were widely enjoyed by many people: Traditional pop with a touch of Jazz, Raftime, Dixie and Country.
The Bottom Line
It seems quite evident that there is a growing appetite for Jazz music in Indonesia and that explains why Jazz festivals in the country draw huge crowds. Take an example of Jakarta International Java Jazz Festival (also known as Java Jazz) which is one of the largest jazz festivals in the world. It draws massive crowds each year and it is always a big success.
Jazz music is inarguably becoming a huge deal in Indonesia. So, it goes without saying that you should definitely start listening to Indonesian Jazz artists because this is the only way to make you say “why haven’t I listened to Indonesian Jazz artists before?”