Djarum Super Mild Jazz Traffic Festival 2012, Surabaya


Comparing the jazz scene in Indonesia today and 5 years ago, you’ll find out that it’s way different. We are talking not only about the number of musicians or the quantity of jazz albums, but also about the variety of jazz colors brought by these artists and of course, the jazz events which like a virus, spread and infected more and more areas throughout the archipelago. Just this month alone, we are dealing with no less than 6 jazz festivals from North Sumatra all the way to East Java.

The same case happen in the capital of East Java, Surabaya. This city was known as one of the few most important jazz cities in Indonesia in the old days, but then it became quiet from jazz for some years. Since last year jazz suddenly awakened from long sleep. Voila, jazz shone bright again on Surabaya sky. One of the reasons came from Suara Surabaya (SS) radio station’s decision to take the next step after supporting jazz in its service for almost 3 decades by presenting a jazz festival. They named it Jazz Traffic Festival, taken from the name of their regular jazz program. Since the first installment was successful (read the report of 2011 edition here:, they are ready to launch the second show. Listen up, Djarum Super Mild Jazz Traffic Festival 2012 is back, and it’s back with a vengeance! Why? Because this time they are making it a lot bigger than last year with 3 stages and the total of 200 musicians/artists!

Errol Jonathans who’s in charge of the specific program Jazz Traffic at Suara Surabaya Radio also acts as the President Director of this radio admitted that the 2012 edition of this festival offers many more interesting things. The lineup has more colors, involving even the international artist. Other than that he also stated that they are making better planning on the program following the higher response from the market. Wahyu Widodo, the chief committee of the festival added that they intend to grab all the jazz lovers to enjoy it through live performance. In order to do that, they are going to provide not just pure jazz but also some other subsegment such as acid jazz, fusion or even pop jazz.

Speaking of the stages, what’s unique is that this time they are going to place 3 stages at 3 different areas. One in the Convention Hall, third floor (indoor), Exhibition Hall, first floor (indoor) and at the parking lot (outdoor). With this addition and new arrangement, the committee wish the audience to be able to enjoy each genre fully at certain continuous time. The whole show will be available for 12 hours straight, from 12:00 noon to 12:00 midnight. Another thing need to mention is this time there won’t be any border between artists and audience. Means, you can mingle in better range with the performers while the needed space is still well kept.

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The late Bubi Chen at Jazz Traffic Festival 2011 (with Doni Sundjoyo and Sandy Winarta). Inset: Bubi Chen with Sierra Soetedjo

One thing that’s gone from this year’s edition is there won’t be Bubi Chen anymore. Last year he gave one unforgettable show that unfortunately became the last festival he attended before he passed away 2 months after. At that time he performed with set of youngsters, that including Sandy Winarta Quartet and Sierra Soetedjo. So what should they do after Bubi chen’s passing? They actually prepared a project honoring him called “Remembering Bubi Chen”. This show will bring back the memory of last year’s session in one touching but full of respect concept.

Meanwhile, Andry Swaputra, the Project Officer of Djarum Super Mild explained that Surabaya city has a long, influential jazz history. He also said that eventhough the maestro Bubi Chen isn’t with us anymore, he still left us many skillful students that should be accomodated in the festival. “An event like Jazz Traffic Festival should become an inspiration for these young jazz musicians”, he said. On the other hand, Andry admitted that the brand title of Jazz Traffic which has aired since 1985 is very strong. “This off-air program has to be continued since the brand title is solid strong.” he added. That’s the reason why Djarum Super Mild decided to continue its support for the second year as the main sponsor. Just like last year, Radio Suara Surabaya also continues its cooperation with Rita Noya, a jazz event promoter from Surabaya that has established several jazz communities such as in Semarang and Surabaya.

Types of Show/Lineup

Now let’s see the types of program and lineup. This second edition of Djarum Super Mild Jazz Traffic Festival will have  Special Shows with 5 bands/collaborative performances.

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Toninho Horta, the legendary Brazilian jazz guitarist is set to collaborate with Dwiki Dharmawan and Sierra Soetedjo. Toninho Horta seems coming at the right time near the end of 2012, because he directly involves several big festivals such as Ngayogjazz 2012, The 35th Jazz Goes to Campus and also this festival. It’s going to be interesting to see the kind of connection established between this nylon stringed acoustic guitar (violão) player with keyboard maestro Dwiki Dharmawan and the very beautiful songstress Sierra Soetedjo. Since Toninho is widely famous and has remarkably illustrious experiences, people can have different ways to describe him. To us, he’s someone that has brought a new height in Brazilian music and on the other hand, breathed a fresh, tropical Brazilian soul into the modern jazz.

Then there’s a supergroup consists of three wizards: KAYON. This group consists of Indra Lesmana (piano/melodica), Gilang Ramadhan (drums) and Pra Budidharma (electric bass-modified). These three friends can really create unpredictable exploration in each of their show. With the kind of skill they possessed, it’s natural to have a whole different musical/jazz dimension from them, especially with their unique decision to use all modern western instruments to splash various ethnic touches into their music concept. From their first album when the group’s name was still P.I.G into the second one titled Kayon (2007), they have shown tremendous transformation to reach more challenging areas. In that latest mentioned album they added nuances of Melayu, Aceh, Papua, Sundanese (West Java), East Java and Betawi (Batavian) into their jazz crafts, all in the exact portion, all in fair blends. Well, if you see their names, you should be ready to have lots of surprises in this session.

Then there’s Yovie Widianto, not with his jazz group Yovie Widianto Fusion, but surprisingly with his multiple AMI Awards winning group, Yovie & Nuno. With this group Yovie once again reach the wide segment of audience outside jazz like what he get from Kahitna, especially with their catchy lyrics and harmonious melodies. Maybe none of us would predict that this group would appear in jazz event, but looking at the talents inside especially Yovie’s true soul that always lies on jazz, we should realize that it’s just a matter of time. Now they are going to make it happen, so better not miss this one. Maliq & D’Essentials and Sandhy Sondoro are also listed as the Special Shows. Total, 5 performances.

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Step aside from the Special Shows, you can still enjoy rainbow-like performances both outdoor and indoor. The bands to fill this corner are Abdul and the Coffee Theory, Gugun Blues Shelter, The Extra Large, Barry Likumahuwa Project (BLP), Idang Rasjidi, Tohpati Bertiga (Tohpati, Indro Hardjodikoro and Bowie), Bali Kanelop (Koko Harsoe) ft Bertha, Endah N Rhesa, Pentaboyz ft Delia Septianti (ex Ecoutez! vocalist), Nita Aartsen ft Rieka Roslan, Gondo (Yohanes Gondo) n Friends and Calvin Jeremy. Remembering Bubi Chen with Sandy Winarta Quartet ft Sierra Soetedjo is also listed in this side of the show, also the Indonesian representative of Beatles Week Festival in Liverpool, England some years ago, G-Pluck Beatles Band. There will be a special project called Amboina featuring various stars with Ambonese origin, including Oele Pattiselano, Jeffrey Tahalele, Benny Likumahuwa and Monita Tahalea. Last but not least, the band from Saung Udjo, Babendjo (Bambu Band Udjo) will bring the authentic Sundanese musical heritage through their set of angklung (wooden, shaken traditional instrument made of bamboo) among other bamboo instruments to merry this festival.


About the ticketing, there are 3 types of tickets to choose: Festival, All Show and Special Show.

1. Festival
For the Festival, the pre-sale price (November 12-22, 2012) is IDR 250.000 but the price will go up to IDR 300.000 after that (November 23-24, 2012).

This Festival ticket can be used to watch these following bands:
– Abdul n The Coffee Theory
– Gugun Blues Shelter
– The Extra Large
– Barry Likumahuwa Project (BLP)
– Babendjo (Bambu Band Udjo)
– Idang Rasjidi
– Amboina (Oelle Pattiselano, Jeffrey Tahalele, Benny Likumahuwa) Feat Monita Tahalea
– Bali Kanelop (Koko Harsoe) feat Bertha
– Tohpati Bertiga (Tohpati, Indro Hardjodikoro, Bowie)
– Endah n Rhesa
– Pentaboyz feat Delia Septianti
– G-PLUCK Beatles Band
– Gondo & Friends
– Nita Aartsen Feat Rieka Roslan
– Remembering Bubi Chen (Sandy Winarta Quartet feat Sierra Soetedjo)
– Calvin Jeremy

2. Special Show
The price is IDR 75.000 per show. You can choose one of these artists for each ticket bought:
– Toninho Horta with Dwi Dharmawan feat Sierra Soetedjo
– Kayon (Indra Lesmana, Pra Budidharma, Gilang Ramadhan)
– Yovie & Nuno
– Sandy Sondoro
– Maliq & D’Essentials

3. All Show
The best way to enjoy the whole festival is by having this ticket. The pre-sale price (November 12-22, 2012) is IDR 500.000, then the full price is IDR 675.000 (November 23-24, 2012).

You can find all the info about ticketing by contacting Suara Surabaya at this phone number: +62 31 5683040

We’ve said it all. So if you live in Surabaya or plan to have a jazzy holiday at the end of this month, do visit this festival and be fully loaded with all kinds of jazz. Half day, full jazz, will once again be presented at the Djarum Super Mild  Jazz Traffic Festival 2012. Surabaya is continuing its step to be a big, historical jazzy city, let’s be a part of that!

Djarum Super Mild Jazz Traffic Festival 2012

Date: November 24, 2012
Time: 12:00 noon – 12:00 midnight
Location: Grand City Convex, Surabaya

Find out the way to buy the ticket in this page: or find the nearest ticket box here:

For more info, log on to , and follow the twitter: @jazztraffic

Written by: Riandy Kurniawan


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