Keroncong Market, a festival of keroncong music, was held for the second time in the historical Kotagede neighborhood of Yogyakarta in early December.
Keroncong or kroncong (pronounced kronchong) is a music genre of Portuguese influence blended with elements of Melayu and Arab culture. The main instrument of the music is an ukulele-like instrument, typically accompanied by a flute, a violin, a guitar, a cello and a male or female singer.
The festival attracted a crowd to Kotagede to not only listen to the music but also bask in the nostalgic ambience of Kotagede, an old city that witnessed the greatness of the Islamic Mataram kingdom.
Colorful lights decorated the long alley of Kotagede, the hallmark of the area, which was designed for the festival to resemble the Mataram era. People walked in and out passing many big houses of unique architecture; many food stalls and art installations were arranged to create a nostalgic feel.
The Mataram kingdom was created in the 16th century but later split into the Surakarta kingdom and the Yogyakarta kingdom.
At Festival Keroncong 2016, Djaduk Ferianto as the initiator of the event showed many different styles of keroncong and explained their background.
Many musicians of different genres and age performed at Pasar Keroncong Kotagede. From high school age to the elderly, local and national artists took part in this event, such as a senior singers Subarjo HS and Yati Pesek, ballad singer Oppie Andaresta and jazz singer Syaharani.
Keroncong music was heard throughout the alley of Kotagede, thus the old city deserves the title “Keroncong Capital” of Indonesia bestowed by renowned artists visiting the festival.