Java Jazz Festival 2011

In late February of 2011, Chas Eller and I flew from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico to the Burlington, Vermont area to rehearse with the other members of Kilimanjaro for five days in preparation for our performances at the 2011 Java Jazz Festival in Jakarta, Indonesia.  It was during this time that I met the other members of the band for the first time.  I soon discovered that each one of them were, not only very talented musicians, but great guys with whom it was a lot of fun to travel and perform.                (Click on photos to enlarge)

Chas Eller

Chas Eller

Paul Asbell

Paul Asbell

 

Lucas Adler

Lucas Adler

Chris Peterman

Chris Peterman

Lucas Adler was a great friend, hosting me in his beautiful home while we rehearsed in Vermont

Lucas Adler was a great friend, hosting me in his beautiful home while we rehearsed in Vermont

 

Chas Eller, after a snow storm, clearing the path from the rehearsal studio to the cars

Chas Eller, after a snow storm, clearing the path from the rehearsal studio to the cars

 

Burlington, VT with Lake Champlain

Burlington, VT with Lake Champlain

 

 

 

Vanderbilt property - Shelburne Farms

Vanderbilt property – Shelburne Farms

Vermont restaurant

Vermont restaurant

 

 

I quickly realized that, in my lifetime, I hadn’t experienced real winter until then.  I can sum up my impression of Vermont in two words: Beautiful and COLD.

After completing a week of rehearsal, Kilimanjaro rented a maxi-van and we drove from near Burlington, Vermont to New York City where we were joined by my fiancé, Patricia, and Chas’ wife, Ava.  We spent the night in a hotel nearby the airport and the following morning, we were shuttled to the airport, checked in and aboard our aircraft for a twenty hour flight to Dubai followed by an additional eight hour flight to our destination, Jakarta, Indonesia.

 

Lucas was booked on another flight. From L to R: Chris, Ava, Chas & Paul just before boarding our flight in New York.

Lucas was booked on another flight. From L to R: Chris, Ava, Chas & Paul just before boarding our flight in New York.

 

Patricia & Tom before boarding our flight in New York
Patricia & Tom before boarding our flight in New York

Close to thirty hours later, a bit 'worse for wear' after our arrival in Jakarta
Close to thirty hours later, a bit ‘worse for wear’ after our arrival in Jakarta

 

 

 

 

 

Upon arrival, a van delivered us to the (five star) Hotel Borobudur that would eventually house all of the international musicians that were to perform at the Java Jazz Festival.

Each of the members of Kilimanjaro and our guests were given guest passes to see many of the other musicians perform during our free time.  Some of the groups whose shows we attended were the Joey DeFrancesco Trio, Chuck Loeb, Kai Eckhardt, George Benson, George Duke All Stars, Jeff Lorber with Jimmy Haslip and Eric Marienthal and finally, Steve Smith & Vital Information with Tom Coster.  Also performing, among others, were Santana, Bob James, Brian Culbertson, Fourplay, Harvey Mason, Juan de Marcos & The Afro Cuban Allstars and The Roy Hargrove Quintet.

The Joey DeFrancesco Trio

The Joey DeFrancesco Trio

Kai Eckhardt

Kai Eckhardt

Fareed Haque

Fareed Haque

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    One evening before the jazz festival began, all the performing artists were invited to the United States Consulate in Jakarta. There was a huge tent erected in the garden with tables for all the guests, a bar, an incredible Indonesian buffet and Tony Monaco’s group to entertain us.

Kilimanjaro, at our hotel, ready to depart for the U.S. Embassy party

Only part of the U.S. Embassy living room

Patricia and Tom in the U.S. Embassy garden

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the highlights of the entire festival occurred each night, after the festival shows had concluded.  The Java Jazz Festival staff in conjunction with the Hotel Borobudur arranged for the hotel’s lounge/showroom to be made available exclusively to the jazz festival performers from midnight until morning. They provided us with professional sound and lights with appropriate technicians, stage, guitar and bass amps, drum kit, grand piano and a Hammond B3 organ.

 

Partial audience one of the nights at the 'jam session'

One of the nights at the ‘jam session’ seated next to George Benson with Roy Hargrove behind me.

Each night, Tony Monaco would kick things off on the Hammond B3, inviting drummers, guitarists and bassists to join him onstage to start the impromtu jam session.  On one of the evenings, George Benson ran the session for well over an hour.  During that time he told those of us in attendance that in all his years of performing at jazz festivals around the world, this was the first time anyone had arranged a jam session of this type.  He said that, for him, this was a very special and unique time because he normally only is able to play and interact with his own rehearsed groups when he’s playing at jazz festivals.  As a result of the forethought, expertise and kindness of the festival staff and the hotel, many of the world’s top jazz musicians were given the opportunity to jam and create music together, for the first time, on the same stage.

Some of the people who we witnessed really enjoying performing and creating together besides George Benson were Steve Smith, Joey DeFrancesco, Fareed Haque, Kai Eckhardt, Maurice Brown, Roy Hargrove and the aforementioned Tony Monaco as well as many of the sidemen that were members of the major acts at the festival.  I personally, was only able to stay up until about 4:15am each night and only retired to my room because I was totally exhausted, full well knowing that I was missing the remainder of this once in a lifetime chance to watch all these world-class performers enjoying creating music together on stage.

 

Kilimanjaro performing at the Java International Jazz Festival
Kilimanjaro performing at the Java International Jazz Festival
Kilimanjaro at the 1st performance at Java Jazz
Kilimanjaro at the 1st performance at Java Jazz

 

Kilimanjaro All in all, it was a real pleasure traveling and performing with my, now, good friends, the guys in Kilimanjaro.

 

 

 

 

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Posted September 30, 2012 by acuaticamontero