12 April 2013

Jakarta International Java Jazz Festival.

At the beginning of March, I went to Jakarta for the International Java Jazz Festival (JJF). It is actually one of the largest jazz festivals in the world. Who knew? The performances were phenomenal - just all around soul-warming music. 

My friends and I did not know much about many of the performing artists, so we just entered any hall where the music sounded good. We were rewarded well for our curiosity. 

We heard incredible music from Stanley Clarke and George Duke, The Soul Rebels from New Orleans, and Indonesia native, Aimee Saras. There were also amazing covers of American songs by other Indonesian artists.

American jazz legends Stanley Clarke and George Duke.

In addition to The Soul Rebels, my favorite performances were from Gregory Porter and Craig David - they were the main reasons why I attended the festival. Gregory Porter's latest album, "Be Good," has been played repeatedly on my iTunes. And one of his tracks, "Real Good Hands," was nominated for a Grammy early this year. Unfortunately, he lost to BeyoncĂ©. At JJF, in my opinion, he was relegated to the status of guest performer and only sang two songs. But he gave stellar performances of "1960 What?" and "Be Good," my favorite track from his album. 
A photo with a picture of Gregory Porter. 

Butterscotch and Gregory Porter perform with Magnus Lindgren.

I enjoyed Gregory Porter's performance thoroughly. 

Aimee Saras gave an incredible performance as well. 
She had wonderful stage presence and engaged the crowd. 

The Soul Rebels from New Orleans. 

My friends and I enjoyed some outdoor concerts as well and delicious nachos with guacamole at the food stands. Amigos, a Mexican restaurant in Jakarta, was one of the vendors.

On the last night of the festival, my friend, Sara, and I enjoyed Craig David's special show. It started pouring as we waited to get inside the building, but everyone forgot about their wet clothes once Mr. David walked onto the stage. He performed his hit songs from his heyday - What's Your Flava, Fill Me In, 7 Days, Hidden Agenda, Walking Away, as well as his most recent hit, Insomnia, which is a favorite in the clubs of Jakarta. His show was a huge dance party and everyone loved it. I was so happy I got to see him perform. I have been a fan of his for a long time.
Craig David's Special Show. 

Sara and I have fun in the packed hall. 

Outside of the festival, I met with more friends, and just enjoyed their company, ate more delicious food, and had more fun engaging in Jakarta's night life. It was one of the best weekends I had in the capital.  

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