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Java Jazz Festival

  

Java Jazz Festival

The Jakarta International Java Jazz Festival, more frequently referred to as The Java Jazz Festival, is arguably the biggest jazz festival in the southern hemisphere, and is one of the largest gatherings of jazz fans and musicians all over the world. It is an annual event occurring every March since 2005 when over 47 thousand people attended, and it has just been growing in size and popularity ever since. The festival has established Java as the Asian capital of Jazz music. The event aims to promote jazz music from Indonesia and all over the world, and also aims to promote Indonesia as a country and a travel destination.

Jakarta International Java Jazz Festival has not only become one of Indonesia's finest jazz festivals, also one of the most prestigious & largest in the world.

While the majority of artists have come from Indonesia, there is also a heavy focus on international jazz music, and renowned artists such as Jamie Cullum, Incognito, Craig David, and even the likes of Santana, James Brown and Stevie Wonder have all performed as either feature artists or special guests amongst thousands of established and esteemed jazz performers. 2017's festival showcased more than 150 jazz musicians, with 60 daily shows held over three days on 14 different stages. As it is such a huge event, it depends heavily on enthusiastic volunteers, corporate sponsors and individual donors to continue it's successful run.
Many Indonesian artists are featured, and over the years, some of them have accredited a portion of their popularity to the festival presenting them. Famous Indonesian acts who have previously performed have been Sandhy Sondoro, Raisa, Barry Likumahuwa and Krakatau. Many of these musicians call Java their home, due to it's high status in the world of jazz music.
The festival takes place at the JIEXPO centre in Kemayoran, Jakarta, and is hosted by Java Festival Production, who also host events such as the Java Rockin'land, Jaca Soulnation and Soundsfair. They have been successfully organising music festivals for over 12 years, since the initiation of the Java Jazz Festival, and have become established festival organisers in the process of running the event.
For the duration of the festival, many local bars and cafes try to cash in on the smooth jazz vibes by hosting jazz nights, live performances, and jazz programmes as part of the Java Jazz on the Move standings. This also includes performances from a number of artists in the run up to the opening day of the festival to build up the hype and to set the town into a jazz fuelled atmosphere.
Due to some criticisms that the festival was too “poppy” in 2016, 2017 saw the return of a jazz heavy lineup with the aim to educate people to love jazz. One of the directors, Dewi Gontha, stated that people “should learn that there are many genres within jazz” and that jazz combines with many other genres in response to the criticism, but reassured everybody that there would be a stronger focus on jazz values to reconnect with those who felt that the festival was moving in a more mainstream direction.
The world of Jazz is often eclipsed by pop and rock music which steals the global spotlight, but in places like Java, much like New Orleans, jazz music still steals the spotlight, and will do for many years to come. The golden age of swing may be a style that many associate with the past, but with such huge and important events in the modern music scene, artists are proving that not only is it a style that isn't dead yet, but it will continue to grow, develop and thrive in new and exciting ways, both as a core style and as a tastily influence on many other genres. Attendees to the festival should hang up their sneakers in exchange for their dancing shoes, and should expect a huge wall of bright, uplifting, happy sound filled with horns, saxophones, and energy, and can expect to see some big household names and find some new up and coming local talent. More information can be found on the official festival website (http://www.javajazzfestival.com) including lineup announcements, ticket sales, links to local hotels and information about the organisers. For any fan of jazz or swing music, this is one event you must add to your bucket list.
 
In 2019 Java Jazz Festival will happen on dates 1.2.3 March.
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