OUR MISSION

GSJ’s mission is to foster artistic exchange between Bali and the United States through residencies, workshops, performances, and the creation of innovative new works of music and dance; and to share the excitement of this exchange with diverse audiences in California, the US, and abroad.

Master Artists-in-Residence 

Gamelan Sekar Jaya has worked under the direction and guidance of renowned Balinese artists, including many from the faculty of Bali’s National Institute of the Arts (ISI Denpasar), who are invited for extended residencies, ranging from one month to a year. These master musicians, dancers, and theater artists are a central focus of cross-cultural interchange, and a continual source of inspiration to the group’s members and audiences. More than fifty of Bali’s most brilliant performers have joined Gamelan Sekar Jaya as artists-in-residence, for periods ranging from one month to two years. They lead rehearsals and performances, and are featured in workshops, school programs, and lecture-demonstrations.

In the 2019 Spring season, Gamelan Sekar Jaya will be guided by the artistry of:

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I NYOMAN WINDHA is one of the leading musicians and contemporary composers of Balinese gamelan music, whose works are universally admired and imitated for their melodic and formal beauty. He was born in the village of Singapadu from the Gianyar regency of Central Bali, where he grew up constantly surrrounded by a thriving community of musicians and dancers. He received his training in music and dance the Indonesian Institute for the Arts (ISI), and holds a Master’s degree in Music Performance and Composition from Mills College, which is known for their focus on composing using unconventional techniques and non-Western traditions. Windha has been a resident artist with the Asian Cultural Council, a recipient of the Fulbright scholarship, and has taught and performed in universities and festivals all over the world, including Japan, China, Canada, Denmark, Switzerland, and Germany, and the United States. He has composed over sixty works for various types of Balinese and Javanese gamelan, including many pieces written especially for Gamelan Sekar Jaya. His compositions, such as Puspanjali and Cendrawasih, has been incorporated as standard repertoire for many Balinese performing arts groups and have won awards at the Bali Arts Festival. Recordings of his compositions have been produced in both Bali and the U.S. He has been Sekar Jaya’s guest music director for several seasons since his initial residency in 1990.

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I NYOMAN CERITA is one of Bali’s most influential choreographers and teachers. He was born in the the village of Singapadu from the Gianyar regency of Central Bali, an area renowned for its vibrant dance traditions. He has been Çudamani’s Senior Dance Advisor since the group’s inception and is in demand all over Bali as a choreographer and teacher. His works range from large scale dance dramas to new works for youth and children. He is also frequently featured artist in the Bali Arts Festival, the island’s largest and more renowned festival for performing arts. Several of Cerita’s choreographies are considered to be essential and standard dance repertoire for many Balinese performing arts groups. He has trained some of Bali’s finest award-winning dancers and always remains dedicated to the teaching of Balinese children. Cerita has also presented his work internationally at universities in Japan and the United States. Cerita has previously worked with Gamelan Sekar Jaya as a Guest Dance Director in 1999. He received his BA from ASTI, his S1 from STSI and his MFA from UCLA. He serves as the Head of the Dance Department at ISI Denpasar (Institut Seni Indonesia) and recently completed his PhD at Udayana University.

OUR ENSEMBLES

Gamelan Sekar Jaya is comprised of several kinds of gamelan orchestras—currently including kebyarangklungjegog, and gender wayang—and dancers. True to the Balinese tradition, musicians and dancers learn through direct imitation and training from teachers, without the aid of notation. In various combinations, these ensembles have presented over five hundred concerts in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. The organization hosts an extensive educational program, offering workshops and classes in Bay Area schools and community centers, bringing understanding and appreciation of Balinese arts to diverse audiences.

GAMELAN ANGKLUNG

The gamelan angklung is one of the most popular types of orchestras in Bali, requiring about twenty musicians. Tuned to a four-tone scale in slendro tuning, the gamelan angklung presents a cheerful, open, and rhythmically intricate musical landscape, expressed in the fluid grace of its traditional repertoire.

GAMELAN GONG KEBYAR

The gamelan gong kebyar is the most prevalent type of bronze orchestra in Bali, requiring about 25 musicians. It takes its name from the dynamic kebyar style which was born in the early twentieth century-a time of tumultuous political and social change, reflected in music of contrasting moods, and powerful, virtuosic character.

GAMELAN JEGOG

The gamelan jegog is one of the most impressive sounding ensembles in the world. It is an orchestra of bamboo marimbas, with keys (tubes) ranging from small to gigantic. The largest tubes, up to three meters long, are used for the bass jegogan, for which the ensemble is named.

GAMELAN GENDER WAYANG

Music for the Balinese shadow puppet theater (wayang) is provided by four musicians playing ten-keyed gender—one of Bali’s most technically challenging yet rewarding instruments. Because of its role in dramatic accompaniment, music for the gender wayang ensemble is wide ranging both in mood and character.

DANCE ENSEMBLE

Like Bali’s music traditions, Balinese dance encompasses a wide range of styles and forms. This is no surprise, since dance and music co-evolved and are seen as inseparable: Details of music and dance are tightly coordinated, and an ideal of perfect unity is sought in every gesture, nuance, expression, phrase, and rhythmic change.

IMPACT: GLOBALLY AND LOCALLY

Impact in Bali  

Gamelan Sekar Jaya is seen in Indonesia not only as a flowering of traditional Balinese arts in a distant land, but also as a laboratory for the creation of new ideas, many of which have an impact on artistic development in Bali itself. The Boston Globe has commented, “The success of this group has far exceeded its founders' wildest dreams as the ensemble has become an honored participant in the evolution of Bali's musical culture."

In 2000, during Gamelan Sekar Jaya’s fifth tour to Bali, the Governor of Bali awarded Gamelan Sekar Jaya the Dharma Kusuma—Bali’s highest award for artistic achievement, never before given to a foreign group.  The name “Sekar Jaya” is now a household word in Bali. Andy Toth, ethnomusicologist and former US Consular Agent in Bali, has written

"It is no exaggeration to say that most of the 2.8 million Balinese have seen Sekar Jaya in live performance and television broadcasts, and the group continues to receive special coverage from the Indonesian electronic and printed media... their cross-cultural works not only have been accepted eagerly by American and Indonesian audiences; their innovative compositions have directly stimulated creativity on the part of the Balinese themselves".

Our Communities: Local

Gamelan Sekar Jaya provides many valuable cross-cultural benefits to the local community. It introduces Balinese arts for the first time to thousands of people each year, many of whom later develop further interests in Indonesian culture and arts. Gamelan Sekar Jaya’s artistic community, and the atmosphere of cultural exchange at its center, is of great importance to the Indonesian population of northern California. The group’s membership increasingly includes Balinese residents of the Bay Area, for whom there might be few other cultural connections to help them retain a strong sense of Balinese identity.

Our Communities: National and International

Gamelan Sekar Jaya fosters an exchange that resonates on a worldwide scale. It is known everywhere there is activity in the field of Indonesian performing arts—the US, Canada, Europe, Japan, Australia and elsewhere—as a model organization in the field. Gamelan Sekar Jaya is one of the most thriving centers of cross-cultural interchange in the US, and a vital conduit of traditional arts, new work, and artists.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

AVI BLACK   Board Co-Chair  History and Social Science, Professional Development Coordinator (Retired), Alameda Joined GSJ Board in 2016

AVI BLACK
Board Co-Chair
History and Social Science, Professional Development Coordinator (Retired), Alameda
Joined GSJ Board in 2016

EMIKO SARASWATI SUSILO Board Co-Chair  Associate Director of Cudamani Joined GSJ Board in 2017

EMIKO SARASWATI SUSILO
Board Co-Chair

Associate Director of Cudamani
Joined GSJ Board in 2017

RACHEL COOPER Founder  Director, Global Performing Arts and Special Cultural Initiatives, Asia Society Founded GSJ in 1979

RACHEL COOPER
Founder

Director, Global Performing Arts and Special Cultural Initiatives, Asia Society
Founded GSJ in 1979

JIM HOGAN Founding Member  Executive Director, California Youth Symphony Joined GSJ Board in 1983

JIM HOGAN
Founding Member

Executive Director, California Youth Symphony
Joined GSJ Board in 1983

DEBBIE LLOYD Founding Member & Secretary  Coordinator, Benefits Programs and Strategy University of California Joined GSJ Board in 2006

DEBBIE LLOYD
Founding Member & Secretary
Coordinator, Benefits Programs and Strategy
University of California
Joined GSJ Board in 2006

MICHAEL TENZER Founder  Professor of Music, University of British Columbia, Vancouver Founded GSJ in 1979

MICHAEL TENZER
Founder

Professor of Music, University of British Columbia, Vancouver
Founded GSJ in 1979