Friday, June 05, 2009

Major tobacco label digs into jazz music promotions

Matheos Viktor Messakh , The Jakarta Post , Jakarta | Fri, 05/22/2009 1:22 PM | Headlines

Jazz is famous for being a completely flexible musical genre, allowing it to appeal to music lovers of any age, and any culture.

Jazz has sometimes been described as offering "a serious listening experience," rather than being the type of music one could dance to, but this is not always the case.

An annual five-city concert tour has been organized, this year aiming to draw bigger crowds to jazz by blending it with other music genres such as hip-hop, funk, pop, rock and even traditional Indonesian music.

After its first show last year, the Dji Sam Soe Urban Jazz Crossover is back with a tour titled "Music you know with a twist," the first three shows of which took place in Medan (North Sumatra), Bandung (West Java) and Semarang (Central Java).

The fourth performance will take place at The Ritz-Carlton Pacific Place in Central Jakarta on Friday, and the last will be at The Empire Place in Surabaya on May 29.

The Jakarta show will feature renowned singers including pop singer Ari Lasso, rocker Andi/rif, R&B singer Glenn Fredly, as well as newcomers including jazz singer Dira Sugandi (who is about to release her debut album in collaboration with Incognito leader Jean-Paul "Bluey" Maunick), and 20-year-old Indonesian-Filipino singer Skarmela Kartodirdjo who released her solo album, Star, in the Philippines.

"We are seeking a wider audience, so we have compiled music more familiar with non-jazz audiences," said music director Eki Puradiredja.

The Urban Jazz Crossover features no less than 22 songs would include more local and even traditional musicians, claimed Eki.

"Imagine how fantastic it would be if Radiohead's song *Creep' was presented in traditional Javanese vocals combined with Cuban jazz style," he said.

Dji Sam Soe brand manager Stephanus Kurniadi said so far the event had received an enthusiastic response from jazz lovers in the first three cities.

"We are satisfied that every show has been booked out, and most importantly audiences stayed until the end of the show," he said. "The only criticism we have received so far is that the shows have been too short."

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