Indonesian jazz drummer Benny Mustafa passes away at 81

Tributes have poured in for the Eka Sapta and Indonesian All Stars member

Indonesian jazz drummer Benny Mustafa has died. He was 81 years old.

Music researcher Stanley Tulung relayed the news of Mustafa’s passing last Friday (July 2) to CNN Indonesia. The news was also corroborated by a Warta Jazz report, which cited a confirmation of the news by Mustafa’s daughter, Farah Aulia Fenani. The cause and other details of Mustafa’s death have yet to be disclosed.

Benny Mustafa – whose real name is Benny Mustapha Van Diest – was a veteran jazz drummer from Jakarta, Indonesia. He began his music career way back in 1957, professionally playing the drums for the group Quinta Nada.

He rose to fame during his time as a member of the band Eka Sapta, formed in 1963. He was eventually replaced due to his busy schedule, but was able to play in other jazz bands such as VI and Ayodya II.

Mustafa was also a regular performer at the annual Jakarta International Java Jazz Festival from 2007 until its most recent showcase last year.

Tributes to the late musician have since rolled in, from Tulung, Echa Soemantri, Anugerah Musik Indonesia and fellow jazz musos.

Indra Lesmana, the son of late jazz musician Jack Lesmana – who performed alongside Mustafa in the band Indonesian All Stars – paid tribute to Mustafa, reminiscing about growing up in a household where the drummer was a frequent visitor. See his post and other tributes below.