Dewa Budjana Byography


Dewa Budjana real name is I Dewa Gede Budjana. He was born on 30 August 1963 in Waikabubak, Bali. He is an Indonesian composer, songwriter, and guitarist. He is a guitarist and songwriter leader in GIGI band. Budjana’s style dramatically changed to jazz music after he got to know Pat Metheny, John McLaughlin, John Abercrombie, Jeff Beck, Weather Report, and Chick Corea. In his early experience, Budjana formed a musical group band named “Squirrel” which was popular enough in his local community. Throughout his musical experience in Indonesian music, he has collaborated with several popular Indonesian guitarists such as Abdee Negara, Ridho, and Tohpati. His ability to combine both of rock and jazz has made him among the top guitarists in Indonesia.


Dewa Budjana interest and talent in music especially in guitar has been showed since he was in elementary school in Klunkung, Bali. His first teacher was his neighbor who lived nearby his house, the teacher was a construction worker. He bought his first guitar by stealing some money from his grandmother. He liked his guitar so much and made it as a priority in his life and he began to play it with some rock songs that he already known. He was more passionate with musical subject when he moved to live in Surabaya, East Java. There, he took a course of classical music, performed with bands, and participated in many musical performances. After he graduated from his study, he came to Jakarta city to pursue his career as a professional career. There, he came to Jack Lesmana, a jazz maestro, and Indra Lesmana, a father of jazz musician, he was taught about the philosophy of jazz.


When he was thirteen in 1976, the name of Dewa Budjana could be seen in the music world in Surabaya. Then in 1981, he could buy his first “real” electric guitar (an Aria Pro II) and he started to play it with many different people. Slowly, his style in music changed from rock to jazz. In 1980, he started his first band, Squirrel, which was formed from his schoolmates in Surabaya. Squirrel band participated in many events included Light Music Contest in Teater Terbuka, TMI, Indonesia in 1984 and his band won the competition. One year after, he flight to Jakarta and it led him to Jack Lesmana who taught him about jazz and introduced him to many other professional musicians.


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