Astrid Sulaiman & Yuri Mahatma Jazz Quartet (Indonesia)
Born in Jakarta, Indonesia, Yuri started playing guitar when he was 14 years old (he is self taught), and was influenced by his sister, Dian Pratiwi, a professional jazz singer. During 1991 Yuri travelled to Holland and trained with famous Dutch jazz guitarist Martijn Van Itersons.
His professional career started soon after he returned to Bali. Yuri joined many bands such as Rhythm Inc, State Of Mind, Kayane, and has performed in most major hotels and cafes in Bali as well as at private functions (corporate parties, weddings, etc)
Yuri is still living in Bali, playing, composing, arranging and teaching music. He has also performed in Germany, Italy, Japan and the Czech Republic, representing both himself as well as taking on the role of Indonesian cultural delegate.
He is also a co-founder of the well-respected Ubud Village Jazz Festival, an annual, community-based international jazz festival held in Ubud, Bali. The festival involves most of the local creative geniuses in Bali, ensuring it is unique not only in terms of the music played but also the ambiance.
Born in Jakarta, Indonesia, piano player Astrid Sulaiman is ‘breaking the jazz scene’ in Jakarta. Having trained in classical music disciplines at Yayasan Pendidikan Musik, Astrid practised several kinds of music before finally finding jazz as the way to express her musical needs. She also trained with Andi Wiriantono, Arya and Rio Moreno.
Since then Astrid has performed in many jazz events with numerous local and international jazz artists, such as Ruth Sahanaya (Ind), Glenn Fredly (Ind), Yuko Shirota ‘s YAA (Japan), Klaus Werner (South Africa), Chika Asamoto (Japan), Uwe Plath, Dian Pratiwi (Germany), Elina Grodzinskaya (Russia), Cheong Lee (Malaysia), Morten (Denmark), Dmitry (Russia), and Roberta Gambarini (US/Italy).
She has played at the Java Jazz Festival (2006,2008, 2010), performed concerts with German musicians in Landau in der pfalz, and Dortmund and at a cultural exhibition in Milan and Rome.
John Hannah and Gwynn James were in Bali in August last year and attended the Ubud Village Jazz Festival. They heard the Yuri Mahatma Quartet and discovered that Yuri and Astrid Sulaiman were involved with that festival which began the year before the Castlemaine Jazz Festival.
They introduced themselves and after some discussion John suggested that the two festivals could become partners. This would involve each festival promoting the other and sending bands to each other’s festival, and would hopefully lead to a continuing friendship between the two festivals. Yuri and Astrid liked the idea and when John returned to Castlemaine he suggested it to the CJF committee, who also liked the idea and agreed to pursue it further.
Yuri and Astrid were able to organise funding for travel to Australia and the CJF committee has applied for funding to send a band to the Ubud Village Jazz Festival in Bali during August this year.