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 and 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.

Ambon Jazz Plus aims to be culturally educating and celebrate art and culture to advance the younger generation in the province of Maluku. To this end, the federal government incorporated Ambon’s World Peace Day into the first festival (a 34th World Peace Gong Monument was unveiled in Ambon).

The government is hopeful that the AJPF can bring other performance arts to the Maluku, as well as raise funds for the construction of the Amboina Art & Science Academy (AASA).

The AJPF has now been designated an annual national event, to be held during the first week of every October.

To date, several renowned musicians in their field, including Michael Sembello (USA), Nicky Manuputty, Benny Likumahuwa, Titi & Aksan Syuman, Saykoji, Soul ID, Berry Likumahuwa and the ROCK Ensemble have successfully enlivened the Taman Budaya (Cultural Park) in Ambon.


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Syaharani of QF - AJPF 2010


Syaharani and The Queenfireworks (SQF) performed in front of the Japanese and New Zealand Ambassadors for Indonesia in the 2010 Ambon Jazz Plus Festival (AJPF) music concert on the clove stage, Taman Budaya, Karang Panjang, Friday (8/10) night.

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.

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Indeed, the power and potential of music to enrich lives was apparent, as I experienced first-hand recently.

Now in its third year, the Ambon Jazz Plus Festival 2011 brought a renewed sense of hope to the people of Maluku as the event united people of all religions through their shared love of music.

I was fortunate to be able to perform in this music festival with my band, FVE Project. FVE (Funky Virus Experiment) 

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Hands For brotherhood

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.

Ditulis oleh/written by: WARTAJAZZ

Sandy Sondoro photo by ANTARA

Bono once said, “Music can change the world because it can change people.”

The Evolution of Logos


Benny Likumahuwa
Barry Likumahuwa

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

Penulis/writer: Antara
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US NAVY Boys and girls 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.” News taken from:

All photos courtesy of BERITASATU.COM

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