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Lessons learned from French group Insula's performances in Indonesia

Nedi Putra AW

The Jakarta Post

Malang, East Java  /  Wed, August 1, 2018  /  10:04 pm
Lessons learned from French group Insula's performances in Indonesia

French duo Insula, which consists of Maher Beauroy on the piano and Redha Benabdallah on the oud, recently performed in Malang, East Java. (JP/Nedi Putra AW)

French jazz group Insula performed in Malang, East Java, for the group's first appearance in a series of concerts in Indonesia.

Members Maher Beauroy, who plays the piano, and Redha Benabdallah on the oud, performed their Modern Caribbean and Arab Andalusian-inspired music at Mount Bromo Jazz in Tugu Malang Hotel over the weekend.

The band will also embark on a tour around the archipelago, with performances slated for Medan, North Sumatra, and in Jakarta, as well as at the Ubud Village Jazz Festival in Bali.

Insula is a regular at international jazz festivals. Its recent performance was supported by the French Institute in Indonesia (IFI), as noted by Indonesia Music Museum head Hengki Herwanto.

In addition to enriching the knowledge of jazz music, Hengki said the French government through the IFI introduced music as a part of the country's culture.

"Insula's world tour has been realized because it is part of a cultural ecosystem built by France through the IFI as one of its chain links," Hengki said, on the sidelines of the concert at the Tugu Malang Hotel on Sunday.

Read also: French students learn, collaborate on traditional Javanese performing arts

Hengki underlined the importance of the government's role in building a supportive ecosystem, noting that Indonesia's own Creative Economy Agency (Bekraf) could be a start.

"This is a good start, because by building the creative economy's ecosystem, it will increase the synergy among stakeholders," Hengki said.

Hengki further said there were many Indonesian artists that could perform overseas. In Malang, for example, he said there was Nova Ruth, Bambu Wukir and Ikbal Lubys. "However, they usually move independently, without a supportive ecosystem from the government," he said.

Nova said it all began with the desire and capacity of the artists themselves. "Insula or any other group in France went through a long process to be able to reach this stage," Nova said.

She further said there were several components that were key to building an ecosystem, such as the government, venues, communities and taxes.

Nova cited the experience with her band Filastine, when in 2009 the group performed worldwide, exposing them to the system in Europe.

"A tour like Insula can be held because it is funded from taxes, so the public's money is given back to the public," Nova said. (liz/kes)

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