An ethnic jazz flavor at Mt. Bromo, East Java

In its fifth year, an annual jazz festival dubbed, Jazz Gunung 2013, is scheduled to be held at the Java Banana Bromo hotel located just 4 kilometers away from the tip of Mt. Bromo, on June 21- 22. As many as 12 local musicians ranging from top dogs to debutants will grace the stage, including: Balawan and Batuan Ethnic Fusion, Barry Likumahuwa Project as well as Yovie Widianto Fusion, Djaduk Ferianto, Rieka Roslan along with Kulkul Band, Sierra Soetedjo and Bandanaira Duo. Prominent composer Yovie Widianto expressed his excitement in participating in the festival for the first time. “It will definitely be a great challenge [performing on the mountain] because your hands will become rather stiff, which means an easy task can become difficult," Yovie said, recalling his experiences playing in cold weather. He said he has prepared a mix of Javanese, Sundanese, Madura, Minang and Malay music to entertain the audience for about an hour. "I will also perform several of my hit songs that I’ve turn a little jazzy," he added. When it was first held in 2009, only two bands performed for the festival, with five hundred people attending. This year, Jazz Gunung is targeting as much as 3,000 attendees. Jazz Gunung 2013 offers VIP and Festival tickets, both with one-day and two-days pass. The ticket price starts from Rp 250,000 (US$25.47). This year, it is co-organized by the PT Bank Central Asia (BCA), the Java Banana Bromo hotel, and the Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry. The host is working with travel agents to provide tour packages, which include options of staying in camping grounds, homestays and hotels. These packages start at Rp 1.8 million per person for three days and two night’s trip. "We want to encourage tourists to stay longer in Bromo because visitors usually stay only for one night to enjoy the sunrise. […] this is not enough to move the regency's economy," PT Bank Central Asia (BCA) board member Sigit Pramono told a press conference earlier this week. A monolog artist Butet Kertaredjasa and a musician-cum-composer Djaduk Ferianto also attended the conference. Jazz Gunung 2013 is part of Pestaraya Bromo (Bromo festival) held from June 21 to June 30. Apart from enjoying jazz music, visitors can also enjoy fascinating artworks at Java Banana Bromo Art Gallery starting June 21, join the folk art festival Pestaraya Seni Rakyat, sample dishes at the culinary festival Pestaraya Kuliner at Alun-alun Kraksaan in Probolinggo regency on June 29 and challenge themselves in the Pestaraya Sepeda Gunung (mountain bike festival )on June 22-23 or join the Pestaraya Jip (jeep festival) on June 29-30. All these events are held around the area of Bromo, Tengger and Semeru mountains. How to get there: Visitors from Surabaya can take the Mutiara Timur train from Gubeng station and arrive at Probolinggo station. Alternatively, travelers can get on a bus from the Purbaya terminal in Bungurasih and get off at Bayu Angga terminal in Probolinggo. Several lodgings that are available near the venue include Java Banana Bromo, Yoschi, Lava View as well as Bromo Permai, Bromo Cottage including Sion View, Nadya and Sukapura Permai. Visitors can also stay with the locals in the areas of Cemoro Lawang and Wonotoro.

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