As the sun reaches its midday peak, Ngayogjazz really begins to take shape. Opening the performances on the Panggung Lurah stage was Reog Anak Gilangharjo, a traditional dance from Java with roots in Java’s Hindu past. The dance has been adapted by the local community and for two weeks the children have been practicing, moving gracefully in bright colours, bells and striking make-up. The dance introduces the connection between community and the festival, as alongside the jazz events throughout the day, Gilangharjo will be showcasing its own culture and talents.
Pak Rido and Bu Indah have travelled to Ngayogjazz from Malang. Pak Rido explained that this was the second time they’d attended Ngayogjazz and that this was a special event for them. Unlike other jazz festivals where the focus of the event is only on the music and the fans who attend, Ngayogjazz opens up the genre of jazz to everyone, making music which some may consider inaccessible, accessible to everyone. For Pak Rido and Bu Indah, jazz music is something that opens up creativity, and they are looking forward to watching many of the acts performing later today.
For now, the round of rolling bass lines and soaring saxophones doing soundchecks can be heard across the grounds. The crowd is slowly building and the sunshine scatters through the trees. The opening ceremony is just around the corner and in the coming hours, Ngayogjazz will be in full flow.