Mon, 13 Jun 1994

Jazz musicians seeks official appreciation

JAKARTA (JP): Jazz music is slowly receiving more appreciation from the public and the mass media, but none whatsoever from the government, according to one of the country's leading jazz players.

Idang Rasidi said that his team, the Jakarta All Stars, have won awards overseas and promoted Indonesia's name. He said, however, there has not even an official acknowledgement or appreciation so far, the Antara news agency reported.

"You want a concrete example, I'll give you one. When the Jakarta All Stars went to the Netherlands for the North Sea Jazz Festival (last year), we couldn't even get a discount for the airfares from the state airline," Idang was quoted as telling reporters in the Kuta Beach resort in Bali. The band instead received a discount from a foreign airline, he said.

He said that the jazz players' sense of nationalism was just as strong as the stars of badminton or the national soccer team. "We are so nationalist, in fact, we donned the Solo batik."

The band returned with an award and received favorable reviews from the Dutch and international media, he said.

Idang admitted that jazz music in Indonesia is only beginning to be appreciated. "It's a process that takes time," he said.

The Jakarta All Stars performed at several locations in Bali during the weekend as part of its nine city tour. (emb)