Dharmawan voices in jazz version of the sources! – two

On International Jazz Day Tomorrow, he was a guest on Friday Springs Dharmawan sounds – Indonesian pianist, producer and composer, and one of the most important figures on the jazz scene in his country. The artist has been making an international career for several decades. He is a member of a jazz and rock band that was founded in the eighties Krakatau, as well as the leader of many other bands that combine jazz and traditional music of Indonesia, including. One gamelan.

During his 2015 European tour, Dwikki Darmawan also visited Warsaw. At the time, he talked about what cylindro jazz is and how the beginnings of jazz fusion sounded in Indonesia at the turn of the seventies and eighties.

My first contact with music was exceptional. The family home in which I grew up was located in the town of Pando, West Java. It was located at the back of the College of Music. When I was growing up there, I heard the voices of Gamelan and Anklung… – recalls Dweki Darmawan.

Listening to Sunda music streaming from outside his window, Darmawan himself started attending college classes when he was about 4 years old. At the age of seven, the jazz player began learning to play the piano. I loved her.

At that time, Bandung was broadcasting two jazz radio stations. You can listen to John Coltrane or Charlie Parker. Young Dwiki listened to jazz programs day after day, immersing himself in jazz more and more.

– My piano teacher was not satisfied with my new love – The musician laughs at remembering those times – He shouted: “Not only jazz!” , He was angry.

Despite this, Darmawan began to enter the jazz community, getting to know the famous jazz men of Java. He recognized Swing, Bebop. In 1984, his friend (and later a member of Krakatau) from his trip to the USA brought a lot of recordings of new jazz and jazz fusion (including Chick Corea, The Mahavishnu Orchestra). In 1985, Darmawan founded Krakatau. The band’s name refers to the Indonesian volcano, whose eruption has also been widely echoed in Europe and North America. The group members had similar ambitions.

Krakatau album cover “Kau Datang”

The Krakatau band was loved in Indonesia, and was also heard in Western countries. After 7 years of playing, the band began to combine jazz with the sounds of Sunda Gamelan. Their style has been referred to as “slendro jazz” – referring to one of the scales of gamelan music – “slendro”. Due to the fact that the band offered something different, they began to be invited to concerts in different parts of the world. One of their works even became the subject of musical interpretation at an American university.

“We were actually playing jazz and rock,” admits Darmawan. – But with a lot of Sunda music.

In Indonesia, in the 1970s, most musicians were performing current jazz standards. Only Krakatau began to propose his compositions. Therefore, in the 80s, young listeners began to appreciate him, and Indonesian public television (at that time only one station) invited Krakatau to appear on programs with live music.

Jack Lessman was a pioneer in learning jazz in Indonesia. After his death in 1988, these traditions were continued by his son – Krakatau member – Indra Lisman. In the 1990s, Dharmawana himself established a music school operating on the principle of cycles. He has had the opportunity to teach many young musicians, and he is glad that many young people are interested in jazz.

– In my time it was not easy. Now it’s festivals. Java Jazz is the largest of them. Lead the greatest jazz out there! Bobby McFerrin, Pat Metheny, Herbie Hancock…Musicians from USA, Great Britain, and Australia. Aside from the most famous Java Jazz, there are also around 48 smaller festivals! – He rejoices in Dweki Darmawan, who himself is the founder of several of them.

Krzysztof Dziuba and Dweki Darmawan Krzysztof Dziuba and Dweki Darmawan

We listened to, among others, the song “Bobaran Kyiv” written by American composer Grad Powell in 2010. The playing Warsaw Gamelan Philharmonic encourages you to purchase the recording, and the income will support PAH in its entirety to help Ukraine.


Program title: Sources

Moderator: Krzysztof Dziuba

Release date: April 29, 2022

Release time: 15.15

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