Boi Akih@JakJazz

We entered the Concert Hall at Istora Senayan, Jakarta, on Saturday night when Boi Akih was performing probably their last two songs, that's because we opted to watch Iga Mawarni peformance first at Amphitheatre stage. Fortunately, they bowed to the audience request and played extra songs, which suprisingly were Indonesian folk songs, i.e. Waktu Hujan Sore-sore and Nina Bobo. It was a nice surprise indeed.

I thought Boi Akih was a name of a person. It's the group's name that means Princess Akih in the local language spoken on the Indonesian island of Haruku, Maluku islands. The group, however, is based in Amsterdam, as vocalist Monica Akihary and guitarist Niels Brouwer were both born in the Netherlands.

Niels, the guitarist, is Monica's partner both in life and music for the last twelve years. While Niels got proper training as jazz guitarist, Monica's vocal prowess is completely self taught.

Akihary sings almost exclusively in Harukunese, according to JakJazz official program book. Indonesia is welknown as a country with more than 350 distinct local languages, more than 500 if it includes dialects.

Boi Akih was first introduced as duet band in 2004. Their first duet album was "Yalelol" or the not physical being. Its melodies are influenced by a mix of Indonesian dangdut and Hindi beats.

Watching them performed at JakJazz was entertaining, even though we managed to enjoy only the end parts of the show.

, seorang pejalan musiman dan penyuka sejarah. Penduduk Jakarta yang sedang tinggal di Cikarang Utara. Diperbarui: November 30, 2008.

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