About Marianne

Marianne speaks Indonesian, plays Central Javanese and Cirebon style gamelan and has a strong interest in keroncong music. She regularly visits Surakarta (Solo) to watch keroncong performances, talk to musicians and record some of her experiences with this vibrant community.

Balai Soedjatmoko

Balai Soedjatmoko is an arts and culture centre in Gramedia Bookshop on Jalan Slamet Riyadi. Officially opened in 2003, it’s situated in an old colonial house that ruler, Pakubuwono X, gave to Saleh Mangoendiningrat, a doctor to the Kraton Kasuhanan.

The Balai was named after Saleh Mangoendiningrat’s oldest son, Soedjatmoko (1922-1989), an intellectual and diplomat. Born in West Sumatra, Soedjatmoko studied medicine in Jakarta, practised with his father in Surakarta, was one of Indonesia’s representatives at the UN in 1947, and became Indonesia’s ambassador to the US in 1968. In 1978 he received the Ramon Magsaysay Award for International Understanding. The citation acknowledged his strong humanitarian concern and contribution to international thinking on ‘one of the greatest challenges of the time: how to make life more decent and satisfying for the poorest 40 percent in Southeastern and southern Asia’.

Jakob Oetama, co-owner and founder of Kompas Gramedia, bought and restored the historic old house and named it in acknowledgement of the extraordinary life, influence and intellect of Soedjatmoko. Oetama wanted to establish a physical icon for intellectualism which, he says, Gramedia has a mission to foster.

Balai Soedjatmoko is a centre for performances, displays, exhibitions, workshops and gatherings where artists, performers and audiences learn about, appreciate and preserve the local arts. The agenda is published monthly.

Keroncong Bale is held on the third Friday of each month. In earlier years only village or kampung groups were invited to take part, then young musicians were included and now it’s open for other groups. The event is strongly supported by well known keroncongers including Danis Sugiyanto, Max Baihaqi, She Doel Pecas Ndahe and Wartono.


Keroncong Bale

On the third Friday of the month if you go to Balai Soedjatmoko, Gramedia Bookstore, on Jalan Slamet Riyadi you  can enjoy Keroncong Bale. It’s a great showcase of local keroncong groups.


January 2017


Despite the rainy season there were lots of keroncong events on in January.

A small crowd of regulars went to HAMKRI’S Sunday night latihan and by 9 pm seven musicians and several vocalists were on stage ready to entertain not only the audience but also the visiting Malaysian film crew that took lots of photos and audio.


HAMKRI latihan Jan 2017

Solo Keroncong Festival 2016

A very, very late post about the Solo Keroncong Festival 2016!!

Solo Keroncong Festival 2016 di Benteng Vastenburg #KotaSolo

A very successful event that featured:

  • Teaterikal Kereta Keroncong
  • Orkes Keroncong Yaketuntra (Yayasan Kesejahteraan Tuna Netra)
  • Orkes Keroncong Gita Abadi, Tulungagung
  • Orkes Keroncong Lapis Legit, UPI Bandung
  • Orkes Keroncong SMKN 4 Banjarmasin, Kalimantan Selatan
  • Keroncong Wayang Gendut (CongWayNdut)
  • Orkes Keroncong Solo Manise
  • Allegro Sanaparane (ISI Surakarta)
  • Orkes Keroncong Sri Lumbung Pari, Surakarta
  • Orkes Sinten Remen Djaduk Ferianto plus Butet Kartaredjasa
  • Orkes Keroncong Bintang Surakarta feat Waldjinah, Endah Laras, SAHITA, Nur Hana, Sruti Respati, S. Sukaro, Maryati, Theo Dharma, Cak Dikin, Bambang Herry, Liliek Jasqee

Photos and more information at this site


Shadow Ballads

A wonderful collaboration by Indonesian and American performers explores the resonances between Indonesian and Appalachian cultures.
Elements of Javanese and Balinese gamelan, wayang and keroncong are combined with Appalachian music and crankie, an old story telling form, similar to Wayang Beber, where a long illustrated scroll is wound onto two spools and moved behind a viewing screen.

The narrative is from The Ramayana..

More information at (http://shadowballads.com)