Dewa Budjana – Mahandini

I Dewa Gede Budjana (born August 30, 1963) is an Indonesian guitaristsongwriter and composer. He is the lead guitarist and songwriter of the band Gigi. Budjana’s style changed dramatically to jazz as he got to know John McLaughlinPat MethenyJeff BeckJohn AbercrombieChick Corea, and Weather Report. In his early experience, he established a band called “Squirrell” which was popular in the local community.[1] Throughout his musical experience in Indonesia, Dewa Budjana has collaborated with many famous guitarists such as TohpatiBalawanRidhoAbdee Negara, and many more. Besides his collaboration with Indonesian musicians, he has also made collaborations with international musicians such as Vinnie ColaiutaJohn FrusciantePeter ErskineJimmy JohnsonAntonio SanchezJoe LockeGary HusbandJack DeJohnetteTony LevinJordan RudessBob Mintzer and Guthrie Govan . His ability to combine not only jazz and rock but also traditional Balinese style have put him among the top Indonesian guitaris.

Early experience

In 1976, when he was thirteen, Budjana’s name started to be seen in the music world in Surabaya. Later, in 1981, he bought a “real” electric guitar (an Aria Pro II) and started to play with many different people. Slowly, his musical style changed from pop rock to jazz, as he started to incorporate influences from John McLaughlin of the Mahavishnu OrchestraChick CoreaYesGentle GiantKansasTangerine DreamAmerican GarageBright Size LifePat Metheny and Allan Holdsworth.

In 1980, Budjana started Squirrel, his first jazz band, with his schoolmates in Surabaya. Squirrel participated in a number of national music events, including Light Music Contest in 1984 at Teater Terbuka, TIM, Indonesia. Though many contestants participated, it was Budjana and his bandmates who outperformed the competition and won. One year after that, Budjana decided to fly to Jakarta in order to expand his music career. This journey lead him to Jack Lesmana, an Indonesian jazz legend, who introduced him to other professional musicians.

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