Topeng Jazz (Jazz Mask)

March 22, 2009

Topeng Jazz (Jazz Mask)

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Photos by Rizaldi Siagian

Jazz mask display a bit of “change” currently taking place in the arts in Indonesia. How the traditional arts define a cultural milieu are able-or otherwise unable-to deal with the challenge of making a new national identity through creativity. Dwiki Dharmawan is one of the Indonesian musicians who are always in a restless creative search, and he is now focusing on various traditional arts to develop new ideas and achieve innovation.

One of his experiments is fusing tari topeng (mask dance) with jazz, which to his mind represents a blend of national and international influences.

In the Jazz Mask concert, Dwiki Dharmawan involved mask dancer Uum Sumiati and musicians Titi Syuman (drums), Eugen Bounti (clarinet/alto saxophone), Donny Kuswinarno (flute/tenor saxophone), Enggar Widodo (tuba/trombone), Sa’at Syah (suling/reed), Ade Rudiana (kendang) and Peni Candrarini (voice).

Dwiki Dharmawan was born in bandung, 19 August 1966, He studied piano at the age of 7, and started learning jazz music when he was 13 years old. At 17 he formed Krakatau Group that has performed in national as well international concerts like Montreux Jazz, North Sea Jazz, Toronto Jazz, Vancouver Jazz, Sziget Festival, Festival Cervantino. It has also performed at various famed venues such as Chicago Cultural Center, Esplanade, Beijing Concert Hall, Lincoln Center Outdoor Festival.

Dwiki is also the director of Farabi Music Education Center and a member of music committee of the Jakarta Arts Council.