The Jaya Blues Story...so far
"Jaya" translates most closely to "glory or glorious"....so we have a high standard to reach!!! Our home is the Jaya Pub. The Jaya Pub has been the home of live music in Jakarta for 40 years. Legendary performers like George Benson, James Brown, Dionne Warwick and Earth, Wind and Fire jammed at the Jaya after performing at Java Jazz. Jaya Blues draws on this rich archive of experience and musical culture. All band members have been part of this history and are keen to revive blues and soul music and open it up to a new generation of Jakartans, visitors and music loving expatriates.
Following a blues tradition, Jaya Blues will treat Jaya Pub as its home base, performing classic standards in our own way and a range of other great songs every Sunday, joined by some of the best guest players and fans. From our home base, we will take our music to other venues, joining the blues and jazz communities.
We started in August 2018. By the end of 2019, we had played 134 gigs. Our musical range has expanded, as a result of the passions of the band and demands of audiences.
After struggling with it and discussing it on our music page, we have now discovered the answer to the classic question - how do we determine which songs we should confine ourselves to? The answer is surprisingly straightforward: a blues band can play whatever songs we want!!! That's how the original blues bands started and its no different today!
Blues music is regarded as the inspiration of most modern music. It is sometimes mistaken for being about loss or heartache but those who love it know blues as about overcoming hardship, about fighting through troubles, and coming out the other side. Blues is honest music; it doesn't hide the tough side of life. For some reason, listening to blues makes people feel good.
Blues has spun off into jazz, country, rock n roll, soul, funk, disco and later RnB and hiphop. Its heritage is African American, starting in the south and moving north to Chicago where electric guitars added a new dimension and captured the attention of musicians across the world. The great bands of the 20th and 21st century have all been inspired by the blues. The great blues and cross over artists have generously shared their music and celebrated the success of others who play it.
Jaya Blues pays tribute to these great blues and cross over artists. On the music page, see a profile of our current favourite artists as well as clips of performances which inspired some of our songs. We could never play it the same as them; that's not the point. We hope you like both versions!
Early Indonesian Blues Artists
Indonesian musicians living in Europe in the '60s played a huge part in the introduction of rock and blues to The Netherlands and Germany, through what was known as Indo Rock. The Tielman Brothers from Kupang, later joined by George de Fretes from Maluku, and the Bintangs, were playing American music to European audiences before The Beatles and The Rolling Stones came along. Check out the clips below. These guys played multiple instruments and introduced on stage showmanship. Before these legends brought their energy along, live music was classical orchestras, beer hall dances and very low key jazz. Jaya Blues will honour Indonesia's own past and present blues and jazz legends - in person on stage performing with us and through profiles and links to their music. Our drummer, Franky Tumbuan, played as a kid with the Tielman Brothers Band in Amsterdam.
Blues Community in Jakarta
Blues and jazz cross over effortlessly in Indonesia. The Java Jazz Festival in March is now the largest in the world, last year surpassing Montreux in numbers attending. The Bali Blues Festival held in May and the Ubud Jazz Festival in August showcased Indonesian talent and international blues and jazz acts. There is a buzzing jazz scene in Bandung and in some of the cafes and jamu bars of Jakarta, like the awesome Paviliun 28, which hosts Tuesday night Blueshood.
However, many clubs which previously hosted blues have closed down and many great performers are now making a living teaching or producing music, rather than performing. Jaya Blues wants to help change this. We want to create space on stage and on line for fans and performers of blues music to come together, celebrate musical heritage and generate more great music.