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Now Appearing with a Choir of Angels

Bobby Toele 1959-2008. Road Accident Claims the Life of Well Known Bali Singing Star of Tropical Transit Band.

(12/15/2008) Popular jazz vocalist "Bobby" from the Tropical Transit band succumbed on Sunday, December 14, 2008, to injuries suffered following a motorcycle mishap on Friday, December 6, 2008, leaving him in a coma in the critical care unit of Bali's Sanglah General Hospital .

"Bobby," whose full name was Bob Edward Toelle, was a stalwart of the Bali entertainment industry, known for his superb command of an extensive jazz and pop songbook. Born in Kupang on September 21, 1959, to a family of musicians, he made his first performance at the age of 15. Moving to Bali in 1978 while still a teenager, he spent his entire life as a professional performer, helping to form the legendary Tropical Transit band in 1991.

As an expression of love and admiration for a man who has brought joy to so many listeners, a large group was quickly gathered via SMS messages at the La Pau Restaurant in Sanur on the evening of December 8, 2008. Members of Tropical Transit were joined by a large group of Bali performers and musicians who performed non-stop from 8:30 p.m. until 2:30 a.m. the following morning. The restaurant was filled to overflowing with 500 musicians and admirers who managed to collect Rp. 30 million (US$2,750) to assist with the medical expenses being incurred in caring for the musician.

Arief Budiman, the organizer of the evening and who is more commonly known as 'Ayip,' describe his motivation in organizing the event: "What matters is our 'agreement' that our fellowship and friendship are available to any musician who is in difficulty following a personal disaster. We are conscious that such events can befall anyone at any time, bringing heartbreak to any of us."