Past Events

Ambon Jazz Plus Festival :: Story Over the Years

It All Started in 2009

First held in October 2009, the Ambon Jazz Plus Festival was an instant success and featured 120 national and international performers showcasing music ranging from jazz to hip hop to R&B to soul, to world beat and even gospel. This led to the word “Plus” being added to the festival’s official title, to indicate that it’s more than just a jazz event.

Event Premiere

Pra AJPF 2009 – DEBU performed a pre-concert at the front porch of the Al-Fatah Mosque in Ambon.

Pra AJPF 2009 – Michael Sembello (USA) dan Wilkins (Puerto Rico) cleaned beach together with the locals from Erie Village.


Syaharani and The Queenfireworks (SQF) performed in front of the Japanese and New Zealand Ambassadors for Indonesia at the 2010 Ambon Jazz Plus Festival (AJPF) music concert on the clove stage, Taman Budaya, Karang Panjang, Friday (8/10) night. Syaharani also briefly interacted with the two Ambassadors who were seen moving to the rhythm of the seven songs that she performed.

SQF, which carries the crossover genre, which is the melding of colorful rhythms of pop, soul, jazzy groove, rocknroll and blues, started their performance with pop songs from Maluku Beta Berlayar Jauh, which were changed to become more indie. The audience, who were initially scattered outside the performance area, immediately approached the stage to hear the music and the melodious voice of the singer Syaharani.

“We learned the song “Beta Berlayar Jauh” not long ago. Coincidentally one of the SQF singers, Jeffri Wattimena, who is from Maluku and only returned home for the first time, collected many songs from Ambon, so I am also familiar with Ambon songs,” said Syaharani.

The singer who appeared that night dressed in golden colored outfit expressed her gratitude to the Governor of Maluku for taking the time to watch her performance and the AJPF committee who invited her to come to Ambon.

“Ambon is really a beautiful city. We enjoy being here,” she said.

Event Premiere

ASEAN CORNER di lokasi festival

Honorary Guests:

  • New Zealand Ambassador to Indonesia
  • Japan Ambassador to Indonesia
  • ASEAN DJ. Ambassador Djauhari Oratmangun
  • Chief of Army General George Toisuta
  • Senator Osman Sapta

Ambon Jazz Plus Festival 2011

Pria yang mengawali karirnya di kota Berlin, mengamen di Metro, dan bermain musik dari pub ke pub merupakan jawara lomba menyanyi di Jerman sebelum ia dikenal masyarakat Indonesia. Penampilan Sandhy di Ambon adalah kali pertama baginya tapi ia mengaku kalau kampungnya tak jauh-jauh amat dari Ambon, karena ia memiliki Kakek yang berasal dari Makassar ujarnya sambil terkekeh.

He started his carrier in Berlin as street musician in Metro; also playing his music hoping from club to club in Germany.  This his first appearance in Ambon; located not far from the place of his birth, Makassar , he said.

Event Premiere

Dancing on the Bay
Pre AJP 2012 // The artists and crew who came to Ambon a day prior to the festival were invited to have dinner on a ferry named “Kota Ambon” that was transformed into a party hall, while cruising along the beautiful Ambon bay.

Ambon the City of Music
On the second day of the festival, 8 October 2011, Ambon was declared as the City of Music by the Governor of the province of Maluku , Karel Ralahalu and the Mayor of Ambon, Richard Louhanapessy.

Father & Son Debut

“Sebagai anak daerah beta (saya) bangga, kemana beta pergi selalu mempromosikan even Ambon Jazz kepada seluruh musisi, maupun para tamu di luar maupun dalam negari,” kata ayah dari musisi Barry Likumahuwa.

“As native Molucaan (I am) proud, anywhere I go I promote Ambon Jazz event to all musicians, even to local guests or from abroad,” said Benny Likumahuwa the father of Barry Likumahuwa.

United States Navy Rocked AJPF

Thousands of Ambon Jazz Plus Festival 2012 spectators welcome the appearance of the Orient Express band which is a member of the US Navy.

“I see you drive around town with the guy. I love you and I like forget you. I guess the change in my pocket isn’t enough. I like forget you and forget him too” So was the opening lyrics of “Forget you “from Cee lo Green begins, all the audience at Merdeka Square shouted hysterically.

Orient Express is not just any band. Nine personnel with white navy uniforms are members of the United States Navy. They came to Ambon using airforce aircraft flew directly flew from Japan.

This Orient Express appearance was almost canceled. Their arrival on Thursday, had experienced problems with immigration at Pattimura Airport; arriving without visa only provided with permit to land and perform at AJPF 2012 from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and TNI Headquarters.

“They did not bring visas because the names of the crew and band personnel have received an entry permit from the foreign minister and the TNI commander,” said Andy Manuhutu, Festival Director.

After going through tough negotiations, the immigration finally passed the Uncle Sam’s naval personnel after receiving a guarantee from the Mayor of Ambon, Richard Louhenapessy. Last year the US Navy actually planned to perform at the 2011 Ambon Jazz Festival. However, due to security reasons, the Indonesian Police Headquarters rejected the request.

However, the Orient Express paid it all with an awesome performance. Backed by four brass section, guitar, bass, keyboard, drums and an energetic lead vocalist, who occasionally get off the stage to greet the audience; adds to the excitement. In addition to performing the song “Forget You”, they also performed the cover songs “September” and “I Feel Good.”

Event Premiere

Pre-AJPF 2012: Promotion trip for AJPF 2012 to the Netherlands, sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism of Indonesia

Benny Likumahuwa
Harry Anggoman
Doddie Latuharhary
Diana Papilaja
Mathew Sayerz
Andy Atis

The Natsepa Resort and Conference Centre, Ambon

Starting this year 2020, AJPF moved its location from the centre of the city to a bay beach area; “Baguala” beach on the property of the gorgeous Natsepa Resort and Conference Centre.

This will be an exciting new venue where people can enjoy music performances by the beautiful scenery of “Baguala” bay on the Island of Ambon. It is only about 30 minutes ride from city centre and online transportation such as Grab cars are available in Ambon.

We are grateful that the management of Natsepa Resort and Conference Centre partnering with us in this annual extravaganza.

Unfortunately, with the Covid-19 situation, we won’t be able to do the festival at this location. Instead, AJPF is going virtual.

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We believe in our motto – Build Generation, Build Nation. Through art and music, we bring people closer, building the great next generation, to build a stronger nation.

Music heals, music is everything.
That is the reason why Ambon Jazz Plus Festival comes along.

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