Indonesian Music Expo (IMEX) 2023 returns this week in Ubud, showcasing rich tapestry of world music

Bataknese music group Eta Margondang are set to perform this week at Indonesian Music Expo (IMEX) 2023 in Ubud. Photo: IG @etamargondang.
Bataknese music group Eta Margondang are set to perform this week at Indonesian Music Expo (IMEX) 2023 in Ubud. Photo: IG @etamargondang.

The Indonesian Music Expo (IMEX) returns this year with the picturesque Ubud as its backdrop, inviting music enthusiasts to a dynamic showcase of Indonesia’s diverse musical heritage.

The annual event is curated by esteemed composer and ethnomusicologist Franki Raden, and highlights the rich tapestry of Indonesian world music in a global platform.

In a press statement sent to Coconuts Bali, the organizers mentioned that Indonesia has nurtured a kaleidoscope of musical traditions. 

“Over three decades, the global music market has embraced the distinct ‘world music’ genre, constituting a noteworthy 10 percent share of the global music industry,” said Franki Raden.

Supported by the Indonesian Ministry of Education, Culture, Research of Technology, IMEX aims to introduce the world to the artisans, musicians, and products of Indonesia’s “world music”.

This year’s event, scheduled from Sept. 21 to 24, will bring together pivotal figures from the world music industry, including music promoters, producers, record labels, festival directors, and more.

The IMEX itinerary promises a dynamic array of activities, including exhibitions, film screenings, showcases, talk shows, music demos, conferences, and workshops. The lineup features musical highlights from the diverse islands of Sumatra, Java, Bali, Lombok, Eastern Nusa Tenggara, Borneo, Celebes, and Papua.

Dive into an eclectic selection of talented groups representing various Indonesian regions:

Sumatra: Eta Margondang unveils the mastery of North Sumatran musical genres, while Sako Sarikat offers a progressive take on world music rooted in West Sumatra’s Minangkabau tradition.

Jakarta: Ras Muhamad feat. Indonesian National Orchestra (INO) brings together indigenous INO instruments and dynamic reggae vibes, envisioned by composer-ethnomusicologist Franki Raden.

Java: SORA blends Sundanese and Western musical elements, creating a unique sonic experience from Bandung.

Bali: Gamelan Selonding represents an ancient form of music linked with Bali Aga, the island’s indigenous ethnic group. Rindik Pinggitan breathes new life into a revived dance and music ritual form, while Orasare infuses jazz fusion into regional songs.

West Nusa Tenggara: Chandra Irawan, a gifted jazz guitarist from Lombok Island, seamlessly marries jazz with specific gamelan nuances from his hometown.

East Nusa Tenggara: Marinus Kevin, a hip-hop artist hailing from Kupang in East Nusa Tenggara, reimagines traditional songs in a distinctive fashion.

Kalimantan: Uyau Moris, a young maestro of Sampek (plucked string) music from the Iban tribe in North Borneo, captivates audiences with his solo performances.

Once described by music magazines Songlines’ editor-in-chief Simon Broughton as the “Temple of Rhythm”, IMEX celebrates Indonesia’s musical culture as it serves as a testament to the enduring power of music as a cultural bridge.


Museum Puri Lukisan

Jl. Raya Ubud, Ubud, Kecamatan Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571


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