Recent developments in processor capabilities, software tools, programming languages and programming paradigms have brought about new approaches to high performance computing. A steadfast component of this dynamic evolution has been the scientific community's reliance on established scientific packages. As a consequence, programmers of high-performance applications are reluctant to embrace evolving languages such as Java. This paper describes the Java-to-C Interface (JCI) tool which provides application programmers wishing to use Java with immediate accessibility to existing scientific packages. The JCI tool also facilitates rapid development and reuse of existing code. These benefits are provided at minimal cost to the programmer. While beneficial to the programmer, the additional advantages of mixed-language programming in terms of application performance and portability are addressed in detail within the context of this paper. In addition, we discuss how the JCI tool is complementing other ongoing projects such as IBM's High-Performance Compiler for Java (HPCJ) and IceT's metacomputing environment.