Dewa Budjana

Guitarist, composer, and producer. Born I DewaGedeBudjana on 30 August 1963 in Waikabubak, West Sumba, Indonesia. DewaBudjana is a top-ranked guitarist in Indonesia thanks to his solid work as a jazz musician on his solo albums and as the lead guitarist and songwriter for the band Gigi. DewaBudjana began his journey as a musician at the age of 11. He bought his first guitar in elementary school. The Balinese native, who was born in Bali, discovered his passion for the instrument when he moved to Surabaya. There he was exposed to John Denver and Leo Kristi’s music. His tendencies changed from jazz rock to progressive during this time. He was influenced by John McLaughlin, Yes, Gentle Giant and ELP, Jan Garbarek and Chick Corea and later by Keith Jarrett and Pat Metheny. DewaBudjana began his career as a composer and guitarist in 1980 with his first band, Squirrel. At a time when jazz bands in the area were mostly covering popular bands, DewaBudjana’s original instrumental compositions were part of the band’s repertoire. His composition Nusa Damai (Peaceful Island), won Squirrel the title of best band in the highly-regarded Light Music Contest 1984. DewaBudjana’s bold experiments in blending jazz and traditional sounds are evident in Nusa Damai, which features the sounds of Javanese (traditional musical ensemble) and Balinese gamelan. Later, Nusa Damai would become his first solo album. After graduating, he moved to Jakarta to pursue his career. DewaBudjana was introduced to jazz basics and principles by Jack Lesmana, an Indonesian jazz legend. Indra, Jack Lesmana’s child, suggested that DewaBudjana become a session musician. His first professional performances were during this period with, among others, Isbandi, Telerama, a national TV musical show, Twilite Orchestra, Erwin Gutawa Orchestra, and Elfa’s Big Band. In 1987, DewaBudjana joined Spirit Band releasing two albums before joiningIndraLesmana’s band, JavaJazz to release Bulandiatas Asia (1993). He performed at the North Sea Jazz Festival with JavaJazz. DewaBudjana is best known for being the founder of Gigi Band 1994. He has released 22 albums, establishing Gigi to be one of the most popular pop rock bands in America. With the release of Nusa Damai in 1997, DewaBudjana’s first solo album, his early compositions between 1994 and 1997, 1997 was the start of his solo career. Gitarku (2000), with its peaceful sounds, and Samsara(2003), in which DewaBudjanarecordedwith Grammy-winning artist Peter Erskine (drums), and the late Dave Carpenter(bass), added to this body. Samsara won the Best World Music Award Album in 2002 Anugerah Music Indonesia Awards. Home (2006), a tribute album to the victims of the 2004 Asian tsunami, was created in collaboration with Reggie Hamilton (bass), Peter Erskine and Dave Carpenter. These solo albums featured compositions that incorporated pop, jazz and traditional sounds to create music that was personal yet universal. DewaBudjana believes in harmony through music, which is reflected in his frequent interfaith collaborations and performances with his band Gigi as well as other musicians. The Nyanyian Dharma Foundation was born out of his vision of peace through the universal language music. He produced three albums of songs and music inspired by Hindu philosophies through this foundation, and the collaboration of many artists. Globalism (1998) was Balawan’s album as a producer. In 2008, a biography entitled “Gitarku, Hidupku, Kekasihku” was published. It also included a concert DVD with the same title. Budjana, along with Tohpati and Balawan, formed Trisum. This group earned the reputation as the home of jazz guitarist gods. He released First Edition (2006) and Five in One (2010), as well as a concert DVD. DewaBudjana was a master orchestrator and was featured in “Harmoni SCTV – The Best of Gigi”, a TV special that showcased his orchestration skills. Dawai In Paradise (2011) is his fifth album. He introduces new compositions as well as revisits old ones in contemplation about his musical journey. This album features recent collaborations with Grammy-winning Howard Levy (harmonica), and Ade Irawan (“piano”) on this album. Dewa Budjana recorded her latest album Journey in Los Angeles’ Firehouse Recording Studios on June 7, 2012. It will be released in 2013. Journey is a life recording that was guided by the organic rhythm, perfect control, and true musical artistryof Peter Erskine (drums), Jimmy Johnson(bass), Larry Goldingss (piano), and Grammy Award winningBobMintzer (sax). It captures all the colours, warmth, and moments of open interpretation without any mechanical structure. It’s DewaBudjana’s honest music. A living, organic, creative musical conversation between friends. DewaBudjana’s next project is a book that will feature his extensive collection guitar artworks by renowned painters. These works will be displayed in DewaBudjana’s guitar museum in Ubud (Bali). from

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