‘70s Indonesian jazz guitarist Donny Suhendra has died

Dewa Budjana and more Indonesian artists, including Suhendra's own band Krakatau, have paid tribute

Indonesian guitarist Donny Suhendra has died aged 62.

The guitarist reportedly died in hospital on Sunday, June 19. The news was first shared by Suhendra’s frequent collaborator Indra Lesmana on social media.

“We just lost the most soulful guitarist Indonesia ever had, my beautiful friend Donny Suhendra,” Lesmana wrote on Instagram.

Per a Suara report, Donny Suhendra had been hospitalised for two weeks for asthma leading up to his death. The exact cause of Suhendra’s death has yet to be revealed.

Suhendra first rose to prominence in Indonesia in 1977 with the band WE. Suhendra quickly stood out with his soulful approach to rock and blues and would form several popular jazz and world music bands.

In 1985, he formed the jazz band Krakatau alongside Pra Budi Dharma, Dwiki Dharmawan and Budhy Haryono. The band would welcome Indra Lesmana, Gilang Ramadhan and Trie Utami to their ranks later in their career.

Donny Suhendra would also play in bands like Java Jazz Band, Scene with Lesmana, Nera, Syaharani & Queenfireworks.

Prior to Suhendra’s untimely death, several members of the Indonesian jazz and rock scene had arranged a concert to raise funds for Suhendra’s medical bills.

The concert was supposed to take place last night (June 19) with performances from Krakatau, Queenfireworks, Gigi, Endah N Rhesa, Kongko, Tohpati, Andre Dinuth and more.

Krakatau and more have paid tribute to the late guitarist following the news of his death.

A except of a translation of Krakatau’s lengthy post reads: “Saying goodbye is so heavy, the tongue only says but can’t fully describe the feeling. The five of us hugged each other, cried together, because we didn’t want to lose, we didn’t want to be separated. Because there are six of Krakatau, not five”.

Syaharani of Syaharni & Queenfireworks shared a prayer for Suhendra following his death and shared a video of his final resting place on social media.

Gigi guitarist Dewa Budjana shared several images of himself with Suhendra over the past three decades, as well as a video of them jamming together in November 2020.