That Second Day in Java Jazz Festival 2013


Hello! It’s been a while since my last post… And I’m well aware that this one’s long overdue since it’s already a month after the festival! Anyhoo, I still want to share my experience with you 🙂

Sister Duke got to perform on the second day of the festival, Saturday 2 March 2013. After getting myself beautified by Mbak Eka at Estee Lauder booth in Seibu, Grand Indonesia, I went straight to the venue and got there at around 5 o’clock. And as Saturday had always been the most crowded day of the festival, there were loads of cars queuing to get into the parking area of the festival. I was kinda anxious because I had to be at the backstage at 8. But thankfully we managed to get in way before that.

It was hot and humid at the venue, and crowded too, of course. I went straight to Brava Esquire lounge where my fellow new announcer was working as an MC (I had my turn the next day). He wasn’t on duty when I came, I had a quick chit chat with him and with some of my friends from work.

Two hours before the show, I was already at the backstage. While waiting, I watched the band before us, 57kustik, and they were awesome. They used to perform on the streets until they found Rumah Musik Harry Roesli and had performed in various gigs eversince such as TedX and even with Dave Koz! Watching their performance helped me ease that obligatory pre show anxiety. So did taking pictures with the others at the backstage!


What happened at the backstage: taking pictures, trying to ease the pre show anxiety, busy preparing the stuffs for line check.

I was especially nervous because it’s the first time I’d be using iMPC and my vocal effect at the same time. And I’d be opening the show alone. I wasn’t sure I could nail that one man show thingy.

And… It’s show time! I walked to the middle of the stage, my heart pounding hard. “Oh dear God, could I do this without messing things up?” I kept thinking. But then came the adrenaline rush. Feeling kinda relaxed, I pushed the pads on the iMPC to make a beat. That went well! Then I made some vocal loops with my vocal effect. That went okay too! I improvised a bit on top of the beat and the vocal loops before calling the rest of the band one by one to come on stage. With the beat and the vocal loops still playing, we jammed on stage. Joel added organic sound with his upright bass, Rencong/Danger Dope busy doing some dope scratching with his turntable, Aldhan threw in cool sounds with his synthesizer, Rama was adding up the groove to the beat and Ade added some beauty with her beautiful voice. We had a good vibe and I think the crowd felt it too.


And then on to the first song, “Symphony of Apology”. Joel changed the arrangement of the song into latin/samba feel combined with house beat. Totally different than the original version.This was then followed by “Senandung Untukmu”- we used my arrangement for Java Jazz on the Move last January.

4hero’s one of my inspirations when working on Sister Duke’s first album. Joel had the idea to sample their song “Look Inside” for the third song in the setlist, “Wanna Make You Mine”. I always love broken beat feel and had to give props to Rama for nailing it. Joel also showcased his skill in playing synthesizer.


And after that we performed “MYOB” and “Kreyzie” that managed to get the crowd to clap and sing along with us 🙂

Being a Justin Timberlake fan, I was thrilled to know he’s releasing a new album this year. We performed his new single “Suit and Tie”, adding some twists to it. First, we performed the intro exactly like the original, then we turned it into some sort of swing, and before the second chorus, we stopped for a while and then changed the song’s feel-playing on top of the hip hop beat that Joel made before the show. But the surprise didn’t end there. Suddenly, Yacko appeared on stage, sharing her awesome vibe with us and the crowd loved it! Infolktainment even wrote an article about this on-stage collaboration, read it here.


Always love sharing the stage with Yacko.
Photo taken from Infolktainment website.

As it’s a Jazz festival, we decided to add a Jazz standard song to Sister Duke’s setlist that night. Inspired by Verve Remixed albums, I had the idea to sing Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good” on top of a house beat. Like in the intro, I started the song alone. I made the beat with iMPC and sang the song with my vocal effect. Then the rest of the band members joined me.

Joel and I planned to bring club vibe on stage through the medley of the last two songs in the setlist: “Terbang Tinggi” and “We Are One”. Joel transformed “Terbang Tinggi” into a really fierce dance tune, even adding Benny Bennasy’s sample in the middle of it. The crowd went wild! Good job, Joel!

In the bridge  between the two songs, I added a bit of Afro element (I always love dancing to Afro beats during aerobic dance classes) before the music was turned down a bit in the first bit of “We Are One”. On stage, I was happy I decided to do that because at the point I was feeling really tired (later I found out that I was actually sick) and I could sit down for a while. Hihi…

People thought it was an act, when it’s actually not 😀
Photo taken from Instagram @ardiansyahiman

But as I mentioned, only for a while. Because soon after the music was turned up so I got up and started dancing again (I couldn’t help it! Haha!). I think the crowd couldn’t resist too – I saw them jumping and dancing to the beat. It’s always heartwarming to see people enjoying your music. The show ended really well 🙂


So happy that my project was given the chance to perform again in Java Jazz Festival, and I’m so thankful I got to share the stage with talented musicians. Not just on stage, I’m also thankful for all the help I got off stage so that the performance went well. Thank you Joel, Rencong/Danger Dope, Aldhan, Rama, Ade, Yacko for the great vibe on stage. Muchas gracias Pei for being a good manager. Matur suksma my brother I Gede for the awesome photos. Merci beaucoup my favorite funky gurl Windy Setiadi for the sound. Terima kasih to all the crews that helped that day – Bang Doel, Rahman and Jaya, and also thanks to Mbak Eka from Estee Lauder.

Special thanks goes to Java Festival Production, especially Mas Eq Puradiredja, for giving Sister Duke the opportunity to perform. And also thank you everyone who came that day and showed your love. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I hope to see you all in the festival next year, hopefully with new songs (perhaps from new album? hm.).

P.S. If you wanna see more photos from this performance, click here.


Left to Right: Windy, Aldhan, Yacko, Ade, yours truly, Rama, Joel, Rencong, Gede, Pei.

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