Indra moved to America in 1985. There, he recorded the For Earth and Heaven album at the Mad Hatter Studio with Vinnie Colaiuta, Michael Landau, Jimmy Haslip, Airto Moreira, Charlie Hadden, Bobby Shew, and Tooty Heath. Released in 1986, it became his second international album with Zebra Records. His two singles “No Standing” (from the No Standing album) and “Stephanie” (from the For Earth and Heaven album) entered Billboard’s Jazz Charts and became a number one radio hit in the US for quite some time.
Indra doesn’t just collaborate with foreign jazz musicians. He has arranged and produced more than 20 albums for Indonesian musical giants like Titi DJ (for the Ekspresi (“Expression”) album), Sophia Latjuba (for the Hanya Untukmu (“Just for You”), Tiada Kata (“No Words”) albums), Ermy Kullit (for Saat yang Terindah (“The Most Beautiful Moment”) album), as well as Andien, Humania, and Maliq & D’Essentials, Monita Tahalea, and The Groove. He most frequently collaborates with Gilang Ramadhan, who made several bands and albums with him. Their most notable groups are PIG band (with Pra Budi Dharma), Java Jazz (with Mates, Donny Suhendra and Embong Rahardjo).
Indra is an Indonesian jazz icon and most active musician. He has released more than 200 original compositions, plus nearly 50 albums – 18 of which are his solo efforts. That’s not counting his soundtrack album for the art romantic movie Rumah Ketujuh (“The Seventh House”) produced by his sister, Mira Lesmana.
In 1999, Indra Lesmana established a mixing and mastering house specializing in jazz. Nine years later, he was invited to perform in the 2008 Asia-Pacific Weeks in the House of World Culture, Berlin, Germany. Alongside his old pals Gilang Ramadhan and Pra Budidharma, he wowed Berlin jazzgoers.
In December 2011, LLW band (Indra Lesmana, Barry Likumahuwa, and Sandy Winarta) performed at Blue Note Tokyo, the most prestigious jazz club in Japan, as the first Indonesian representative there. There, they shared the stage with singer Dira Sugandi and rapper Kyriz. In the same year, their Love Life Wisdom album was the 18th Most Downloaded Album worldwide in iTunes.
In May 2012, American saxophonist Everette Harp and the new Indra Lesmana Quartet (Indra Lesmana, Barry Likumahuwa, Sandy Winarta, and Denny TR) performed an Asian tour around Malaysia, Indonesia, and Japan. They performed in the Kuala Lumpur International Jazz Festival in Malaysia; performed for two nights at the Red-White Jazz Lounge in Kemang, South Jakarta in Indonesia, and put on four shows in two days at the Blue Note Tokyo in Japan. All of these performances captured the hearts of local audiences. (rp)