His ability to combine jazz and rock has put him among the top Indonesian guitarists. Budjana's passion and talent in music, especially guitar, has been very dominant since he was in an elementary school in Klungkung, Bali. Budjana’s first teacher was a construction worker who lived nearby. He stole money from his grandmother to buy his first guitar He prioritised guitar in his life, and started to teach himself by playing rock songs. He became more passionate about music, and was reflected when Budjana moved to Surabaya, East Java, where he took a classical music course, performed with a band and participated in many of music performances.
After graduation, he went to Jakarta to pursue a career as professional musician. While there, he came across Jack Lesmana, a jazz maestro and father of jazz musician Indra Lesmana, who taught Budjana the philosophy of jazz. 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 Orchestra, Chick Corea, Yes, Gentle Giant, Kansas, Tangerine Dream, American Garage, Bright Size Life, Pat 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 fellow 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. Read more on Last.fm.
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