2022 Global Food Security Forum concert and reception
Performances by the Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Award-winning musician and philanthropist John Legend; the esteemed US Air Force military band; and the popular Indonesian singer-songwriter Sandhy Sondoro cap off the Atlantic Council Global Food Security Forum in Bali, Indonesia. During the concert, President of the Republic of Indonesia Joko Widodo receives his Atlantic Council Global Citizen Award.
John Legend in concert
H.E. Joko Widodo
President of the Republic of Indonesia
Multi-platinum recording artist John Legend has garnered twelve Grammy Awards, an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, a Tony Award, and an Emmy Award, making Legend the first African-American man to earn an EGOT.
Legend has released eight celebrated albums over the course of his career, including Get Lifted (2004), Once Again (2006), Evolver (2008), Love in the Future (2013), Darkness and Light (2016), A Legendary Christmas Deluxe (2019), Bigger Love (2020), and most recently, LEGEND (2022).
Earlier this year, Legend launched his critically acclaimed Las Vegas Residency entitled, “Love In Las Vegas” which began in April at Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino.
Legend starred in NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert in 2018, winning an Emmy for Outstanding Variety Special and earning a nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor (Limited Series). Legend joined The Voice for Season 16 (2019) and will continue as a coach on Season 22 (2022).
Legend is also a co-founder and partner of Get Lifted Film Co., a Los Angeles-based production company, which has developed projects with major networks including ABC, NBC, FOX, HBO, Showtime, Netflix, and FX and brings elevated multicultural content across film, television, and books to global audiences alongside award-winning producers Mike Jackson and Ty Stiklorius. Get Lifted recently inked a first-look deal with Universal Studio Group’s UCP for unscripted series and an exclusive multi-year overall deal for scripted content, and partnered with Zando to form Get Lifted Books.
As a philanthropist, Legend initiated the #FREEAMERICA campaign in 2015 and most recently founded the initiative HUMANLEVEL, which is igniting systematic change and building racial equity across American cities and communities.
US Air Force Band of the Pacific
In October 1941, what is now the United States Air Force Band of the Pacific was established at Eglin Field, Florida, with a cadre of one sergeant and two corporals. During World War II, the band was stationed in such places as Bora Bora, French Polynesia; Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides; Guadacanal, Solomon Islands; Morotai, Dutch Indies; and Los Negros, Philippines, before settling on Luzon Island, Philippines, at Clark Air Base. Finally, in July 1988, the band relocated to Japan and continued its mission in the Western Pacific from Yokota Air Base.
The band gives an average of 200 performances a year for over 125,000 people. In its travels, the band has performed in Hong Kong, Burma, Guam, Singapore, India, Mongolia, Malaysia, Australia, Thailand, Taiwan, the Philippines, and Laos. It regularly tours South Korea and Japan.
The band’s performances have included programs for King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand and musical support for the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization. Other notable events have included the grand opening of Tokyo Disneyland; the Sapporo Snow Festival; the Centennial Celebration of Korean and American relations; the Asian Aerospace Airshow in Singapore; VP 50 and 60 Celebrations in Townsville, Australia; the International Marching Festival at the Tokyo Budokan; and Aloha Days in Honolulu, Hawaii. In July 2005, the US embassy in Thailand invited the band to tour Thailand for two weeks as musical ambassadors, as a way of thanking the Thai people for their help during the Vietnam War.
The band name was officially changed to the United States Air Force Band of the Pacific-Asia on May 1, 1997. The band is currently staffed by twenty-four full-time, professional musicians who fulfill community relations and military functions throughout the Western Pacific region. The band is made up of the popular music group Pacific Trends, the Pacific Showcase jazz ensemble, and other protocol groups. In addition to being musical ambassadors, members are also assigned to one or more of the administrative sections within the band.
Their mission is to support the global Air Force mission in war and peace by fostering the United States’ national heritage and providing professional musical products and services for official military, recruiting, and community relations events.
Sondoro’s love and passion for music started at a very young age in his native Indonesia. As soon as he graduated high school at age 18, he left Jakarta for California to visit his uncle and stayed there for a while with dreams of launching his career as a performer.
Those dreams were put on hold when he moved to Germany to study architecture. There, Sondoro joined a band on campus, mostly doing covers of Van Halen, Mr. Big, or The Black Crowes—but they rarely appeared on the public stage. One day, when riding his bicycle home from his job at a grocery store, Sondoro saw a busker on the street and asked if he could join him. The busker agreed, so Sondoro borrowed his friend’s guitar and started playing on the streets of Biberach an der Riss. They earned fifty deutsche marks in an hour and shared the money. They played three times a week before Sondoro decided to go it alone.
In 1998, Sondoro moved back to Berlin and started singing and playing the guitar in bars, clubs, and metros. His famous song “Down on the Streets” was inspired by his experiences in the Berlin metros. He also performed in famous theaters such as the House of World Cultures in Berlin and music festivals such as the Bode Museum Isle Festival. In 2005, Sondoro performed in “Berlin for Asia,” a charity concert for the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami victims. Sondoro then found a wider audience through Stefan Raab’s casting show, a popular segment within one of Germany’s most successful late-night shows, SSDSDSSWEMUGABRTLAD. Not long after releasing his first single, “Down on the Streets,” on April 25, 2008, he released his debut album Why Don’t We.
He is well-known for winning the 2009 New Wave international contest of young pop singers in Jurmala, Latvia. Sondoro’s musical talent was spotted internationally in 2010 when world-famous songwriter Diane Warren invited him to sing at the legendary Hollywood Palladium for a PBS special TV broadcast featuring Celine Dion, Cher, Toni Braxton, and Leann Rimes.
In August 2008, the Indonesian Embassy in Berlin bestowed Sondoro a medal of honor, or “Satya Lencana Karya Satya,” for his great achievements for Indonesia. Sondoro has been sharing his gift in music ever since.
Sondoro’s music is influenced by American and British rock legends such as the Beatles and Led Zeppelin. The power of his voice is reminiscent of Curtis Mayfield, and he is sometimes called the Ben Harper of Jakarta.