Jazz in Indonesia, since 1948

Jazz is not a mainstream music genre in Indonesia, but the development over the years are astonishing. I believe, most of you has no structured knowledge of the history of Jazz in Indonesia. So, we take the pleasure of bringing the knowledge to your attention.


In this particular year, Jazz was already acknowledged in Europe and America, but this is the year when the first step of Jazz began in Indonesia. There was around 60 Netherland’s musician came to Indonesia, to influence Indonesian music with Jazz. So they formed a simphony of local talents, based in Jose Cleber’s (one of the Netherland’s musician) orchestra studio.

Since then, Jazz musicians and groups started to take form. Jazz legends like The Progressive Trio, Iskandar’s Sextet, Octet, and the Old Timers were born.


Jazz music continued to grow… One of Indonesia’s father of Jazz, Bill Saragih form the band Jazz Riders this very year. Not just in the capital Jakarta, based in Surabaya, Jack Lesmana formed his own Jazz band. In Bandung, jazz brought big names like Eddy Karamoy, Joop Talahahu and Benny Pablo.


The forefathers had done a great job bringing jazz into Indonesia’s music, so the youngsters were starting to take interest. Fresh young talents were born. Benny Likumahuwa, Ireng Maulana, Luluk Purwanto, Elfa Secioria, and Fariz RM were rising up. While in the same era, Indra Lesmana, Dwiki Darmawan, Gilang Ramadan and some friends formed Krakatau, which later transformed, along with the reformation of the members.

1990’s – 2000’s

Not just the musicians, but the Jazz music itself transformed, influenced by pop, rock, fusion and other genre, evolved to a modern Jazz we are now listening too. Maliq & d’essentials, Tompi, Syaharani, Rio Sidiq, Tulus, White Shoes and the Couples Company and many, so many more.

Nowadays, Jazz is celebrated everywhere in festivals and concerts. Big cities like Jakarta, Surabaya, Bandung and Bali has jazz-dedicated places, from a small street cafe, to a fancy jazz club.

We believe, the history of Jazz in Indonesia could be written in more than just a few paragraph. But we hope that you get a glance of how Jazz came and grow in Indonesia.
This is why Taman Bhagawan created the JAZZ MARKET from 2009… To keep the young talents appreciated, and the old timers celebrated.

Note : If you want to know more about the old time Jazz, there’s a website dedicated to preserve Jazz. Go to www.arsipjazzindonesia.com