Sumunar invites you to experience the rich sounds, stories and traditions of Indonesia! Whether you come to a performance, take a class, join a performing ensemble, or volunteer, we look forward to seeing you!


Como Park Concert

 On May 28, 2014, on a beautiful Spring evening, the Sumunar Dance and Gamelan Ensembles presented a concert at the outdoor pavillion on the shores of Como Lake. A large and enthusiastic crowd came to hear and see the free concert, which featured performances by both the youth and adult dancers. One of the crowd-pleasers was Pemut, a new piece composed by Joko Sutrisno and choreographed by Tri Sutrisno. This piece uses rhythms and movement from pop and rock music as well as traditional gamelan music and dance. Here's a short video of that piece:




Spring Concert at Macalester a great success


On Sunday, May 4, Sumunar together with the Macalester Asian Music Ensemble gave a concert that offered music from India, China, Korea, Central Asia, and Indonesia in the beautiful, new Mairs Concert Hall at Macalester College.

Here's a clip from that event:



Laughing Waters

Laughing Waters is a collaboration between Green T Productions and Summunar that was commissioned for the Minneapolis Mosaic show in 2011. 
Finally, we have audio and video files that match for this performance. The introduction by the MC gives more information about the origons and meaning of the story.



Klenengan a success!

Klenengan: Music for Contemplation 
Sunday, January 26 
Sumunar Studio: 
Room 204, Ashton Building, 1549 University Avenue, St. Paul.
Time: 7-9 pm
Despite the arctic weather, a hardy audience enjoyed an 
informal evening of longer, meditative pieces for Javanese gamelan. They were immersed in the warm, rich textures of the gamelan while  relaxing from the extremely cold, busy world outside.

The Sumunar Gamelan Ensemble, directed by Joko Sutrisno, played traditional Javanese gendhing in an open and informal house concert. 

Everyone was welcome. They could come and go as they liked. Many brought a favorite pillow or book. They meditated, napped, knit, read, or just relaxed and envisioned the warm, tropical lands in which this music was invented.
Tea was served.

Free admission – but contributions were gratefully accepted.

Here's an excerpt from the Klenengan :



Other recent concerts

Tengoro: I/We Identity in Community

Linwood/Monroe Arts Plus School

Sumunar Indonesian Music and Dance
presented a public concert on


Tuesday, November 26, 2013 

7:00 PM 
Linwood/Monroe Arts Plus
Upper School 
810 Palace Avenue, 
St. Paul, MN 55102


In November Sumunar provided an Indonesian music/ dance/culture residency at Linwood/Monroe Arts+ Upper School, funded by the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council. To culminate this experience, the Sumunar Gamelan and Dance Ensemble joined with Monroe students in a performance built on the theme of community as a joining of many identities. 

Monroe 7th & 8th grade students
Sumunar Gamelan & Dance Ensemble

Artists Teachers
Joko Sutrisno, gamelan
Tri Sutrisno, dance
Eliza Rasheed, shadow puppetry


Pambuko – by Sumunar
Parisuko – gamelan by Sumunar
Gambyong Parianom – Dance by Sumunar
Merak- Dance by Sumunar
Wayang Kulit (shadow puppets) – Collaboration with Monroe
Ratnasari – Dance with Lcr. Sayuk – Collaboration with Monroe
Saman Dance – with Wong nDonyo - Collaboration with Monroe
Caping Dance - Collaboration with Monroe
Pangkur Pelog Barang – Music  by Sumunar Gamelan Ensemble

Admission free - Donations welcome
This event concluded an Indonesian arts/culture residency
funded by the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council

Open House

On Sunday, November 3, 2013, Sumunar, together with its new artistic partner, Green T Productions, held an open house to celebrate the grand opening  of its new studio in the Ashton Building at 1549 University Avenue in St. Paul. 

Here are some short video clips from the event. This video is also available on the Sumunar YouTube page at

The new location a little less than a block east of the corner of Snelling and University and across the street from the light rail station and McDonalds. There is public transit on both Snelling and University. The studio is about 1,000 square feet and has a storage room and office. Large windows overlooking University Ave. make it bright and inviting. Both gamelan and dance classes will take place in our new space. The main entrance is on University Ave. and there's also a door in the back to the parking lot. Check the class schedules on the Classes page to see when someone will be in the studio. 

Beginning in January, 2014, Sumunar will be sharing this space with Green T Productions, a theater group that uses traditional Asian performance styles as an inspiration to create a new approach. Its current show (a short excerpt of which is shown in our video) is a dance version of 2001: A Space Odyssey, which will be performed at the Cowles Center in Minneapolis November 15 through December 1. see for more details.


Here are some photos taken during the move.  


Community Classes begin in October—check the “Classes” page. A Beginner’s Gamelan Class will be scheduled to start in January—please join us!

Previous Performances




 The Sublime and the Beautiful: Great Music Traditions of Indonesia

Here's a clip from that concert:


Sumunar Indonesian Music and Dance: The Many Faces of Tradition

Friday April 26, 8pm
Sundin Music Hall
Hamlin University
1531 Hewitt Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55104
Tickets: General admission $12, Students $8, Hamline faculty, staff, and students $5
for more information: Sundin Music Hall Box Office, 651-523-2459


7:15 pm Pre-concert talk "How to Listen to Gamelan Music"

This program will feature performances by dynamic guest dancer, Baghawan Ciptoning
A dancer and choreographer from Surakarta, Java, Baghawan Ciptoning has trained extensively with some of Indonesia’s finest artists. He graduated from ISI Surakarta (Indonesian Institute of Arts) and continues to serve on its faculty. He has toured his work extensively, performing in India, Japan, Thailand, Finland, and Malaysia, as well as in the USA from 2006 on. He draws inspiration and technique from ceremonial Javanese court dance and richly layers it with imagination and an intimate knowledge of martial arts. In 2006 he received the Best Dance on Screen Award for his production and choreography of “Tamansari.” Since 2008 he has been a staff member at the Indonesian Consulate General in Los Angeles, working in the areas of information, social and cultural affairs. 



Philemon and Baukis by Lou Harrison

 Sumunar, joined by guest violinist, Stephanie Arado, performed music by Lou Harrison at a concert on February 24, 2013 at the MacPhail Center for Music. Harrison, who was a student of Arnold Schoenberg and a friend and collaborator with John Cage, Charles Ives, Alan Hovhaness, and Virgil Thomson, was at the forefront of experimental music in America in the 1930s and 40s. He built and maintained several sets of gamelan instruments for the colleges at which he taught during a long career, and he incorporated gamelan instruments, rhythm, and tuning in many of his compositions. He's considered by some to be the father of gamelan music in America. Here's a lovely piece by Harrison based on Ovid's tale "Philemon and Baukis" from our concert.

Turko/Arabic/ Indonesian fusion music

 On February 3, 2013, Sumunar together with Miriam Gerberg and her Ensemble Mezze presented an evening of music combining traditions from Turkey, Egypt, Greece, the Sephardic Jews, and Spain. Although the tunings and musicall scales of these varied cultures differ widely, the improvisational spirit is similar, and the two groups created a wonderful fusion and a fascinating sound. This event was organized by Miriam Gerberg, a Sumunar member and leader of Ensemble Mezze, who is an ethnomusicologist, composer, and founder of The Minnesota Global Arts Institute. Miriam teaches at Hamline University and has had her original music performed in many countries.

Here's a sample from the concert: Al Burtuqal is a fusion work collaboratively developed by Sumunar and Ensemble Mezze based on a popular composition by Egyptian composer, Mohammed Abdul Wahab. 

Sumunar 10th Anniversary Concert



On November 16, 2012, Sumunar presented a concert titled: 


Indonesia & India

Blending Music: Connecting Cultures

Sumunar Gamelan and Dance Ensemble
Joko and Tri Sutrisno, Directors

with Indian Musicians

Pooja Goswami Pavan, vocalist
A. Pavan, tabla

Sundin Music Hall
Hamline University
1536 Hewitt Ave
St. Paul, 55104


This was a unique collaboration with Pooja Goswami Pavan, Ph.D. a distinguished Hindustani (North Indian) classical musician. Dr. Pooja Goswami Pavan is a Minneapolis, MN based performer, composer, teacher and scholar. She was born in a musical family and received her early training in Hindustani classical vocal music from her father Sri. Surendra Goswami. Pooja has received prestigious National Scholarships in Hindustani classical music awarded by the Ministry of Human Resources and the Sahitya Kala Parishad in India. The prominent venues she has performed at include the India Habitat Center (New Delhi), the Vietnam International Tourism Festival (Hanoi), the Guthrie Theater (Minneapolis), the Ordway Center for Performing Arts (St. Paul) and the O’Shaughnessy Auditorium (St. Paul). She has performed widely and lectured at several premier academic institutions within the USA

Here's  Kabir Bhajan in Raga Bhupal Todi from that concert. This is a Nirguni Bhajan (a devotional piece that extols a formless or abstract entity). The lyrics, by the great
poet saint Kabir, are very simple but deeply philosophical, contemplating on
the many mysteries of life and expounding life's profound truths. The 8-beat
rhythm cycle, is commonly found in folk music across India. The emotional
appeal of Raga Bhupal Todi is one of mysticism, contemplation and devotion.
The musical composition is by Dr. Pooja Pavan and her father, Pandit
Surendra Goswami. The tonal structure corresponds to Indonesian Pelog Pathet
Barang. The gamelan patterns here relate to Indonesian dhangdut style.