Java Jive plays the classics of popular music with a jazzy, swinging style. Our unique sound combines female vocal harmony with a solid foundation of upright bass, jazz guitar, woodwinds and percussion. Think Andrews Sisters crossed with Duke Ellington!
Drawing primarily on the great music of the 30's and 40's, we will set your fingers snapping and your toes tapping as we reintroduce you to those swingers, Sweet Georgia Brown and Sing, Sing, Sing. We will mix you a musical Scotch and Soda , show you Blue Skies, Stormy Weather, Summertime and an Orange Colored Sky. When we get you In The Mood , we'll musically confess that It Had To Be You , and I've Got You Under My Skin. You get the idea. You'll hear songs of the big band era and after -- written or made famous by greats such as Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, Nat King Cole, and George Gershwin. To liven things up we'll include a few gems from other eras and genres, such as You Can't Do That by the Beatles or Stand By Me by the Drifters.Java Jive has played at the Summer Concert Series in Ada, East Grand Rapids, Hastings, Lowell, Newaygo, Plainwell and Rockford; the Grand Rapids Art Museum; swing dances with the Grand River Folk Art Society and the Grand Rapids Original Swing Society ; many benefits, including "Soup's On,” "Gumbo Gala," and the RIF Brunch at the B.O.B.; the annual Grand Rapids Festival of the Arts; and Kent District Library's "One Book, One County" celebration. We have also performed at local restaurants, numerous senior citizen homes, and many private parties.
Who is Java Jive?
Mary Lewandoski (lead vocal) has sung with the Grand Rapids Symphony Chorus for 11 years. She also sang in a variety of local folk and folk-rock bands and has played back-up guitar for fiddlers. Mary enjoys singing and dancing to a variety of musical genres.
Vicki Uren Vicki Uren (vocal harmony) comes by her musical talents genetically - her father was also her high school band director! For the last 17 years, Vicki has been active in local choirs, and she is beginning her 15th season as a member of the Grand Rapids Symphony Chorus. She enjoys singing in a variety of settings - everywhere from the shower to the car to clubs and dance halls! Vicki develops the delicious harmonies for Java Jive.
Pete Lewandoski (guitar) continues to develop his musical expertise by exploring jazz guitar techniques and orchestrating the instrumentation for Java Jive. He also plays guitar and fiddle in a local Irish band. Pete has kept his musical interests alive by exploring many avenues including folk, old-timey and Irish.
Matt Porter (up-right bass) enjoys bringing music to an audience and swinging his up-right bass to popular jazz standards. Matt is also an experienced solo performer and has played bluegrass, Irish and rock & roll guitar in a number of bands over the years.
Jim Saltsman (drums) is expanding his musical horizons by adding the distinct period-correct style of percussion that is apropos to Java Jive. Jim is a veteran rock drummer with plenty of jazz and Irish experience who displays his versatile style in a local rock-Irish band and occasionally with other local musicians.
Rolly Smith (woodwinds & wind controller) enjoys performing a variety of musical styles ranging from avant garde to fusion to free form jazz. He is a graduate of WMU as a music composition major and has played professionally for over 45 years – which has earned him the stage name of “Sax Man.”