The Ngayogjazz Jazz Music Festival in Yogyakarta returned this year and brought special vibes to its visitors.
The festival took place on Saturday, not long after the innauguration of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo for the 2019-2024 term. The organizers wanted the festival to allow people to come together after a polarizing presidential election, which pitted Jokowi against Prabowo Subianto.
Three days before the festival, its founder, multitalented artist Djaduk Ferianto, passed away from a heart attack. Djaduk’s death prompted everyone involved in the festival to make it a special tribute to the great artist.
The festival went smoothly. Thousands of visitors flocked to Kwagon Sleman village to enjoy good musical performances and pay their respects to Djaduk.
“Ngayogjazz must go on and must be filled with happiness from its visitors. We must make Djaduk smile up there,” Djaduk’s older brother, artist and playwright Butet Kartaredjasa, said.
Happiness and excitement were in the air as legendary campursari (a form of mixture between traditional Javanese hymn and dangdut) singer Didi Kempot and sinden (traditional gamelan solo vocalist) Soimah Pancawati performed with Kua Etnika, a musical group founded by Djaduk.
Thousands of audience members, including Butet, danced together to the music, including Didi’s popular ballad Stasiun Balapan (Balapan
In total, there were seven stages built on top of paddy fields, gardens and local people’s yards. In addition to music, Ngayogjazz also featured a painting exhibition, souvenir vendors and food stalls.