Kika Sprangers, A First Experience and A Memorable Closing Show at Ngayogjazz

It was not yet 9am, but the village of Gilangharjo was already up and preparing for the Ngayogjazz Festival starting later that day. Many stalls had begun preparing their dishes and the stages were a hive of activity with the preparation and checks for the coming artists. Earlier activity however, could be heard from the Kamituwa Stage, as the Kika Sprangers Quintet was already on stage soundchecking, making sure all was perfect before her evening set. This was the first time Kika Sprangers had attended Ngayogjazz and, after making sure that the voice check was perfect, she took the time to speak a little about her experience.

Delighted and amazed, that was her first impression arriving at the Ngayogjazz site. This is the first time Kika Sprangers has toured internationally with the Quintet and has had an incredible experience. For this Dutch saxophonist, Ngyogjazz’ proximity to nature is what gives it a unique feel. She explained how unlike other festivals she has experienced, Ngayogjazz has a strong connection with its culture and society. This connection drew her closer whilst attending the Slametan ceremony, a Javanese tradition where she, along with everyone involved in the event, gathered and ate together in a circle to give thanks to the coming celebration. One question which had not yet been answered however, was whether Kika would come back again. She answered this question soon after her performance.

Evening arrived, the Kika Sprangers Quintet started their set on the Kamituwa Stage earlier than expected. They performed six songs, successfully hypnotising the jazz crowd with their melodic compositions. After the set, Kika kept her promise to answer the question everyone was waiting for. For her, Ngayogjazz was an extraordinary experience. The enthusiasm of the jazz fans who attended and engaged with the show made it a special closing for the tour. Despite encountering a few obstacles such as adjusting using the instruments to the new weather, the experience was a fresh one. While smiling, Sprangers replied that she would gladly return to Ngayogjazz.