Java Jazz wraps up on nostalgic note...
March 06, 2016 

The 12th Jakarta International Java Jazz Festival concluded on Sunday night with a special performance by trumpeter Chris Botti and former Police frontman Gordon “Sting” Sumner. The duo delivered a top-notch performance to a packed concert hall.

Also on the festival grounds, an ensemble of Indonesian jazz masters paid tribute to jazz legend Ireng Maulana, who died earlier on Sunday from a heart attack.

Botti, one of the world’s best-selling instrumentalists, and Sting were the last performers of the three-day festival, playing another show together after a gig on Saturday when the two legendary artists entertained the packed BNI Hall. On Saturday, Botti opened the performance with “The Look of Love” and then continued with “The Very Thought of You” and seven other compositions.

The majority of the crowd, who came to the show primarily to relive Sting’s heyday with the Police, cheered as the band played the intro to “If I Ever Lose My Faith In You”, sensing that Sting would come to the stage.

As expected, Sting performed the song and also some of the Police’s biggest hits including “Message In A Bottle”, “Desert Rose” and “Roxanne” - the latter being mashed up with “Ain’t No Sunshine”.

Botti and Sting played in perfect harmony in “Seven Days”, a Sting hit from the 2009 album, Chris Botti in Boston. Later in the show, Botti’s trumpet sound and Sting’s voice took turns in filling out the key melodies of Frank Sinatra’s classic “In The Small Wee Hours”.

The two ended the show perfectly with The Police’s “Every Breath You Take”.

“It’s an honor to be asked to come back two years consecutively,” Botti said in an interview, hours before his Sunday performance. “And then, for us to come here all this way and bring Sting along is awesome.”

The two’s Java Jazz gig is part of their Asia Tour that started in Dubai. Their collaboration dates back to 1999 when Sting invited Botti to join his “Brand New Day” tour.

“We got along so well and saw similarities in music we like and artists we have respect for,” he said. “He’s brought the sound of my trumpet to the world.”

Another headliner, music composer and producer David Foster, reunited with a roster of selected singers for his Sunday show. Joining Foster on stage were Eric Benet, Dutch songstress Berget Lewis and the Indonesian singers Lea Simanjuntak and 11-year-old Kevin.

“The little boy is crazy good. He blew my mind,” David said of Kevin.

“We did a pretty extensive search for the Java Jazz festival because we wanted to use some local talent. And that’s how we came upon Lea,” said Foster, who in the past invited young Indonesian talents Angel Pieters and Putri Ayu to the stage.

In “Indonesian Real Book by Indonesian All Stars”, eleven Indonesian jazz masters paid tribute to jazz legend Ireng Maulana, who died from a heart attack in the wee hours of Sunday morning.

“Today, we are remembering our friend and big brother who has passed on. He is a jazz legend, Ireng Maulana,” jazz vocalist Margie Segers said from the stage.

“We all love him,” she said before starting on a medley of the Bee Gees’ “To Love Somebody” and Lionel Richie’s “Hello”, embellished with solos by bassist Yance Manusama and guitarist Jopie Item.

(c) The Jakarta Post by Yuliasri Perdani

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