The much-awaited AXIS Jakarta International Java Jazz Festival is set to rock Jakartans from Friday to Sunday.
More than 1,300 international and local musicians will perform at the festival. Among the big names are John Legend, Toni Braxton, Dianne Warren and Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds.
Organizers have moved the venue from the Jakarta Convention Center in Senayan, where the last five annual festivals were held, to the Jakarta International Expo in Kemayoran to accommodate 21 stages.
The festival has grown into a mammoth music show, with the Indonesian Museum of Records (MURI) recognizing it as the “largest jazz festival in the world”.
“It’s kind of narcissistic to be name-dropping the awards that we’ve got, but yes, we do have a MURI award,” festival chairman Peter F. Gontha said Wednesday.
At Wednesday’s meeting with the press American R&B singer Eric Benet performed the Rolling Stones’ (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction, accompanied by the Ron King Big Band, after 21-year-old Griffith Frank sang Unusual Way from the soundtrack of the movie Nine.
Later, local sensation Dira J. Sugandi wowed the crowd with a smooth jazzy tune.
Organizers said 100,000 tickets have been sold while Legend’s performance Friday is already sold out.
Trade Minister Mari Elka Pangestu said at the press conference the Java Jazz Festival had become an Indonesian branding exercise.
“Jazzin’ up remarkable Indonesia is true because Indonesia is remarkable,” she said, referring to the festival’s slogan for this year.