Jam Cruise 9: Musical Madness on the High Seas


Trying to express certain things in life with words is simply not possible. For example, I have no idea what it would be like to take a sip of water after several days in the desert. No matter how eloquent  a wordsmith was, he could never encapsulate that feeling of being quenched in a manner that would suffice.

Such is the case with Jam Cruise. One can try and elucidate this larger-than-life musical service to the unitiated, but until the dilettante himself walks on the allegorical hot coals that come courtesy of Cloud 9 Adventures each January, he will never be able to fully comprehend the proverbial healing that this ceremony bestows.

It is a five day musically infused blissful journey that is centrally located in what seems to be endless layers of azure. It is a hand of blackjack beside a favorite musician. It is a reunion with old friends and an introduction to new ones. It is 80 degree weather in the dead of winter. It is Jam Cruise.

Year in and year out, dedicated and ferocious jam-enthusiasts show up in search of sounds that only Jam Cruise can provide. Aboard MSC’s Poesia cruise ship, there is food to be eaten and dancing that must be done. However, most choose not to indulge in the oh so tempting rest & relaxation. With wall to wall music from some of the most sought after improvisational proprietors in the business, sleep is typically not a fare in which many indulge.  Along these lines, when and if one does choose to rest, precautions must be made in the form of set alarms and carefully crafted scheduling.  If not, the odds of losing a chance to hear a once in a lifetime note, that perfect musical pitch cast by a combination of players not available in any other place or time, increase substantially. For a group as devoted as Jam Cruisers are, this is a mistake that simply cannot be made.  



Tuesday: At Sea

dsc_9205.jpgPort Everglades seems to never know what hits them when Jam Cruise rolls into town. What is, on any other given day, a scene filled with fanny packs, funny looking hats, flip-shades, and freshly pressed khaki shorts on pasty white legs becomes a parking lot scattered with musicians, costumed wooks, heads, and funksters who have all descended–baggage in tow–into one of the more secure places in the country.

This year though, it seemed as though the powers that be were a tad bit more prepared as K-9 units were out in search of any potential party favors, in an effort to foul up anybody’s attempt to take their lawlessness out into international waters. However, what John Q-Hawaii-Five-O forgot was that hippies love dogs and for whatever reason, dogs love them back. A hiccup it was, but on the whole it was more of a cajones show and did nothing to hinder the boarding process, which happened to be the smoothest to date. Save for a near handful of unlucky/unintelligent souls who presumably spent the sail away party on the horn ISO somebody who would cough up the necessary 10 percent of their bail to a local Dog Chapman. Aloha!

Upon boarding and being escorted to what would be home for the next five very short days, it was time to hit the pool deck for the annual Sail Away Party. Tuesday is always a magical day on the boat and for many, this portion of the event is what sets the tone as they see their friends for the first time. It is the soundtrack to many a hug. Fortunately for all of us, Big Sam’s Funky Nation was the one who would be hosting the party. Though the set did not deviate from standard fare, Big Sam (who would eventually win the award for most sit-ins on for the entire cruise) and his nation laid down the foundation for what would be one hell of a weeklong party and they did it with authority with an informing set as opposed to a suggestive one. The throng of cruisers immediately became acquainted with their dancing sea legs and the week had officially begun. It was JAMuary once again and it was good.

Apparently Bob Weir, Rob Wasserman, and Jay Lane had intentions of scaring some kids, so after a short internal debate – a slice of pizza vs. a cheeseburger – it was off to the Pool Deck to see what all of the anticipation that led up to this ensemble was about. Expectations were personally low, but judging from the number of virgin cruisers who had turned out in droves for the Dead ensembles of the week, this sentiment was clearly mine and shared by few.

Opening with “Maggie’s Farm,” it was clear from the onset that this set would consist of stripped down Grateful Dead tunes with a tinge of folksy undertone. Musically it worked but fell on the deaf ears of some who seemed to be in search of a more danceable sound. Though things did take an upward turn when Steve Kimock joined in on the action from the the third song of the set through its completion, it was obvious that he was on a short leash as he kept his seat for the majority of the performance and was reeled in by Weir when he even hinted at any display of taking the jam into too distant of a place. The set was a lullaby, but in a sincerely good way. However, by the time that the final song and perhaps one of the poorest choice of closing numbers Weir has ever fancied, “Touch of Grey,” was played, it was time to move on.


Wednesday: At Sea

p1010325_copy.jpgWaking up on Jam Cruise is always a drag, but a welcomed one. The previous night had yielded Anders Osborne, Monk Boudreaux, a monstrous set by Stockholm Syndrome, and a Tony Hall-led Jam Room and had not ended until 6 AM. However, Cornmeal was slated to play at the ass crack of dawn, 11:45 AM, so at the first bleep of the wakeup call, it was up and at ‘em, and after necessary morning activities, off to the pool deck.

Looking like what I can only assume to be a vampire, I walked through the sliding glass doors prepared to start the first full day at sea in style.  The yawns were interspersed with smiles as the crowd gathered to witness a little bit of Cornmeal’s brand of mountain music from the future.

Cornmeal hails from the windy city of Chicago and this was their first appearance on the decks of Jam Cruise.  They’ve earned their reputation as a stellar live band by touring relentlessly and were eager to let loose from the first notes. Up-tempo numbers such as “Hasten Jason” whipped the crowd into a dancing frenzy while expansive numbers, exemplified by “Rain Your Light” and “The Road” showed their range. Closing with a fun cover of “When the World Gets You Down,” the crowd cheered with an enthusiasm, proving that Cornmeal possesses the ability to rock any crowd, any place, and most importantly, at any time.

The main stage for Jam Cruise is located where on any other cruise, only swimming and bathing would be taking place. Though many do partake in these activities while aboard Jam Cruise, it is somewhat limited as one of the pools is covered and turned into an under lit psychedelic dance floor. An outdoor elevated area towards the stern of the craft featured a smaller fully solar powered stage for acts to play while the main stage was changed out for the next act.

Our first such act was Brock Butler of Perpetual Groove fame, who delivered a solo set featuring Butler at his best: with an honest songwriter’s voice behind a guitar that is supplemented by simple loops. Peppered with PGroove tunes, originals, and a choice cover or two, this set that has become a staple for Jam Cruise since 2006 provided the perfect way to unwind with feet in the pool underneath, a cold drink, and friends. Simply put, Butler’s voice and stellar guitar play rang out to the revelers who floated in pools, soaked in hot tubs, and danced poolside in the life renewing sunshine. Sufficiently fortified by the life giving solar splendor, it was time to embrace one of the more heartwarming stories in music, the tale of the Sierra Leone Refuge All Stars.

sierra_leone_refuge_all_stars.jpgProving that love can flourish under any conditions, the Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars found each other in the worst of circumstances – in the camps that sprung up to house the displaced humanity from the bloody civil war that tore their homeland apart throughout the 90s. Fleeing with their few possessions, they took up what instruments they could find, and shared their skills and the gift of song with the people of the camps, forming bonds that were as much personal as they were musical in the process.

The cruelty that we can visit upon our fellow man is truly despicable, but the way these musicians have used that unimaginably horrid time to make music full of joy, love, and hope is a truly inspiring testament to the strength human spirit. A band of many influences, using percussion native to their land, funk, and soul nuances that are part of us all, their show is as much a visual spectacle as it is a musical one with native robes and dance moves blending into a celebration. 

The energy of the Refugee’s set was easily transferred to Jennifer Hartswick‘s set, and she was completely ready for the challenge of building on the already considerable good vibe running through the cruisers.  Hartswick brought some help in the form of musicians who had already played that day. Brock Butler reappeared as did Cornmeal’s Allie Kral. To round things out, Hartswick’s band mate from her newest project, Van Ghost, singer/songwriter Michael Harrison Berg sat in as well. 

dsc_9264.jpgHartswick is like a chameleon – she has a powerful and soulful voice that fits into any song or band wherein she finds herself, whether via her vocal or trumpet abilities. The eclectic band she gathered on the boat was supplemented for the last few songs of her set by the rhythm section of New Mastersounds who took the music in a decidedly more forceful direction.  The crowd responded with cheers and accelerated dancing, and the collaborative atmosphere that is a hallmark of Jam Cruise was once again shown by this combination of players that could but probably never will be seen anywhere but on the boat.

After Hartswick’s soulful set, it was time to get down to brass tacks with a perennial Jam Cruise favorite, Ivan Neville and his band, Dumpstaphunk. Taking New Orleans funk and making it jump, sing, and float is a staple of the sounds on the boat and no style of music has had more of an impact on the line ups of Jam Cruises past than the funk.  Bassist Nick Daniels and multi instrumentalist Tony Hall kept the bottom so heavy during their bass explorations there were times when the boat seemed to sink slightly deeper into the sea. Neville led the whole show from behind his organ with expansive runs and funky chords, occasionally stepping out from behind the keys to join in the fun on guitar. But this fun also comes with a higher message, evidenced by Dumpsta’s set defining signature song, “Put it in the Dumpsta,” a clear call for all in earshot to let go of their grudges and embrace a free living and forgiving mindset.

The day’s progression of acts showed a plan behind the scheduling beyond simply trying to have the music flow together, but an actual concerted effort to build the love on the deck to a fever pitch, and Dumpstaphunk did what they always do. They got the party going full blast and very ripe for the next act, a guy who is making strides through the tiers, Zach Deputy, who provided his typically solid solo effort that was also bolstered by sit-ins from Karl Denson and Umphrey’s McGee’s Joel Cummins.

dsc_9274.jpgAnother Jam Cruise’s staple is the special, themed sets that they put together, utilizing the unique gatherings of talents on the boat to showcase a band’s catalog of work. Past ensembles have included The Motet plays Talking Heads and Bustle in Your Hedgerow, tributes to Talking Heads and Led Zeppelin respectively. This year, Some Cat From Japan was assembled to pay homage to the recorded magic of Jimi Hendrix.

Led by Will Bernard, this band also included Scott Metzger, Ron Johnson, Eric Bolivar, and Nigel Hall, and would later be supplemented by Bob Weir and Eric McFadden who took turns shooting off auditory fireworks, filling the air with distortion drenched goodness and a psychedelic haze that matched the setting sun perfectly. The guitarists were obviously playing with relish, but also a sense of reverence.  While not a straight note for note series of renditions, it was obvious that painstaking effort was taken to play each number as close to the style and spirit of Hendrix as possible.  It was a fitting homage to one of music’s psychedelic pioneers and a perfect transition from the day’s blazing sun into the vast darkness of the ocean at night.

Perhaps the highlight, if for no other reason than its rarity, was Weir’s performance of Hendrix’s version of the Dylan classic “All Along the Watchtower” had him energized like a man on fire, and showcased a Bobby with a vitality that belied his years. On its whole, the placement again gave insight into the diligence that the Jam Cruise powers-that-be put into scheduling. Just as the Hendrix tribute had come to its close, the sense that the boat could at any moment blast into another galaxy, Galactic, a band who has been on board every Jam Cruise, took the stage and it did.

p1010420_copy.jpgLike many of the artists on the boat, Galactic was born out of a funk hydra from the depths of the New Orleans scene. Built on the shoulders of arguably the greatest living funk drummer, Stanton Moore, the band has stood the test of both time and of the road; surviving and thriving, adding layer upon layer to their oeuvre through copious sit-ins and daring directions. Far from content to stay in their collective comfort zone, Galactic has embraced a wide variety of styles, from hip-hop to soul, and blended it with the steamy funk that is at their core to produce a sound which is distinctly their own. With guests Leo Nocentelli (The Meters), Mike Dillon (Garage A Trois, Les Claypool), Fred Wesley (James Brown), Corey Glover (Living Colour) and touring partner Corey Henry (Rebirth Brass Band), the band pulsated and threw down like a barely restrained King Kong. Watching saxophonist Ben Ellman blow his horn with the passion of a man on the edge, he appeared to be on a crusade to make the mightiest music the Bayou has ever produced, driving himself and his band mates above and beyond any previous limits.  The crowd responded in kind and the circuit of cosmic force that formed compelled resonant power.

Far from finished, the shaken and shaking crowd dispersed for the for the rest of the evening and early morning. Lettuce raged on the pool deck, while in the theater and Zebra Bar below, God Street Wine and  Black Joe Lewis and the Honey Bears took the stages by storm; meanwhile, Stockholm Syndrome’s Wally Ingram played host to the Jam Room. Though the mind was still churning, the body needed rest and though it is sad to miss even a millisecond of music, there was still three days left to keep this feeling incredible alive.


Thursday: Roatan, Honduras

One of the many aspects of the Jam Cruise experience that sets it apart from the norm is the travel inherent in the voyage itself. While you’re dancing to the tunes, the boat itself is literally dancing with you, rocking not just to the music but literally moving as it sails the seas. The first port of call was Roatan, Honduras, an isle of splendor and sunny delight.  With Jam Cruise sponsored and organized events, such as zip lining through the forest, scuba diving and snorkeling, and the opportunity to absorb the sights and sounds of unfamiliar streets in foreign lands. Whether deciding to lay on a beach or simply indulging in much needed sleep the day in your cabin, ports of call allow one to be secure in the knowledge that the music was on pause until the epic blast of the MSC Poesia’s horn sounded, heralding the putting out to sea, and the return of the funkiness onstage.

p1011736_copy.jpgStarting the day’s music off with an island flair, Easy Star All Stars popped the cork on the festivities with their blend of reggae and world music that came complete with good time jams. Singing songs of their own, along with a few pieces from the critically acclaimed Dub Side of the Moon and the subsequent Dubber Side of the Moon Pink Floyd tribute albums, the band brought us all together on the deck. Sufficiently warmed up on the sunny deck, it was time to head down to the 6th floor theater, the Teatro Carlo Felice, for a little music of a more landlocked, mountainous origin – the homespun Greensky Bluegrass.

Greensky’s first set on the boat helped launch the party, and now they were back at the half way point to help the festival kick into ramming speed. Promising a few guests and a whole hell of a lot of bluegrass, they took the stage, exchanged a round of smiles with each other and let loose the sounds of generation’s past mixed with the style and sensibilities of the modern era.  Mandolin player Paul Hoffman plays with the furiousness that the stand-in percussive instrument requires, mixing in cleanly picked lines.  Though fully electric and occasionally heavily distorted, their music is equally rooted in the jam world and in the age old music of the hills, their brand of rocking roots music seems near universal in its appeal. Dobroist Anders Beck summed it up perfectly…

“We’re just guys playing what we feel, honestly.”

This being Jam Cruise, stage sharing was inevitable. Joel Cummins of Umphrey’s McGee lent his organ to the mix, thickening the sound and exploring a new and more dense soundscape. As Cummins exited,  Kimock entered and the bands’ excitement to play with him was palpable and a heartwarming sight.  The members of Greensky looked back and forth to each other with glee, and the closing flourishes were the most wild and electric of their entire set.  The theater had completely filled throughout the progression of the set, and the brassily appointed room, with its balconies and ample curved seating filled with appreciative cheers at the finish, giving the band one last thing to smile about.

61.jpgWandering to and fro between stages is an experience in and of itself.  Everywhere you walk there are costumed crazies in full form, an attentive staff of international workers all surrounded by luxurious environs, plush sofas, bathrooms, and bars.  It’s like throwing the wildest party possible, with the most efficient cleanup crew known to man. And, you may wonder, how does the crew react to their ship being turned into the center of the funk universe and overall party headquarters for the world once a year?  Apparently, they fight over the chance to be onboard every January, and make their schedule request to work the boat as early as they possibly can. Seeing Ukrainian accountants raging to the groove with a Guatemalan masseuse and Italian waiters is a reassuring reminder of the universality of music and its charms.

The central concept of Jam Cruise is getting musicians together who enjoy collaboration and sharing the stage for the good of the song itself, not the ego. A classic example of this was Jojo Hermann’s (Widespread Panic) Mardi Gras Band. Hands down, this performance was the sleeper of the week. With sit-ins ranging from Taylor Hicks to Dave Schools and George Porter Jr., it was a musical display of what infinite collaboration can produce.

To further attest to the central concept, artists like Nocentelli and Kimock, and for that matter, Maceo Parker and the other two remaining members from the legendary James Brown Band, Fred Wesley and Pee Wee Ellis, were on board as artists at large. Roosevelt Collier of the Lee Boys was in fact spotted days before the ship departed sitting in with a band and found himself shanghaied onto the boat with barely enough time to pack a bag. Running into him by the elevators, strapped lapsteel hybrid guitar and a single, simple pedal in hand, I asked him his highlight:

“I just played with three different bands in an hour, man. Jammed with Cornmeal and Galactic, which was cool, but I got up with Lotus.  That was wild man.  Didn’t know how that would sound, but it was tight!”

With those words he summed up the spirit of Jam Cruise’s “at large” concept. Mingling music in ways not previously conceived.  Jam Cruise lets everyone experience the backstage life at once. It is artists, performers, fans, and crew alike, eating and sharing a week away together on a blue expanse as far as the eye can see. It is isolated yet completely comfortable.

p1010685.jpgThe coming together of different paths can be summed up in a place and the spirit of the boat can be summed up in a man, George Porter Jr., who to many is the funkiest bassist alive. To have him as host of the freewheeling, show up and get up all night stage known as the Jam Room was the stuff of which legendary tales are made. The Jam Room opens its doors at midnight and shuts them when no one can continue any longer. Simply put, it’s where all roads on Jam Cruise lead for those who have outlasted every other stage, those who cannot stop their wander in search of one more jam head each and every night. Now featuring a host for each night, the easiest way to explain it is a sports metaphor: Picture the coach in an all-star game, picking among the greatest athletes in the game, and putting together a pick up super team that destroys all in its path.    

Like a team manager, George had his score card and the parade began sharply and professionally at midnight. Johnny Vidacovich, Leo Nocentelli, Corey Henry, Steve Kimock, Erick Krasno, Tony Hall, Nick Daniels, Big Sam, Karl Denson, Jen Hartswick, Mayteana Morales…the list could fill a page. Horn sections would form and blow away like dunes, there for one moment and gone the next. Calling the tune with a Cheshire grin through it all was Porter. Laughing, cutting up with his friends and family, and sharing a funky soul feeling that could neither be faked nor accurately described with words. At one point he brought his wife on stage, and with brought her and many in the crowd to tears as he sang to her, playing a bass sound that could be used to shake the ship focused into a deep sweet honey droning lullaby, an ode to 40 years of married life rarely seen these days.  Taking a moment to have a late night snack, I ran into the Porters eating a well deserved meal. George looked down and said…

“I’m gonna need a bigger plate!”

To the sounds of Wyllys who raged the disco with a set of spun vinyl that had me wanting to ask him, “Yo Q…you got the Juice,” many gathered to watch the sunrise. With that random early 90s film reference reeling through my mind while gazing at the rising sun, it was nothing more than a moment in time, but in that moment there was absolutely nothing wrong with the world. On the heels of the surreality, the pillow never felt more soft, and though we had docked in a new port, the waves could still be felt. Good night.


Friday: Costa Maya, Mexico

There were many fine opportunities for sightseeing, shopping and adventure during the stop in our neighbor to the south, sunny Mexico.  Many cruisers played kickball, divided into two teams, the “Up All Nighters” vs. “The Sleepers.” Naturally the sleep-deprived prevailed. Of course, the ref was an “Up All Nighter” as was the sole cheerleader, so who knows?

38.jpgCome 5 PM though, whether one chose to sky dive, snorkel, or cheat in kickball, it was time to be back on the boat and in shape to get it right back on. Fresh costumes donned, strange porno clowns filled the hallways. Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears took the deck stage with their Southern soul brand of rock and roll rolling out across the waves and echoing back off the fading port’s walls and docks. There’s a certain, geometrical increase in the level of energy on the boat as it leaves its last port. That means that there is no stopping, that it’s time to ratchet up the experience.  In fact only roughly five of the next 38 hours will have silence.

Karl Denson is another artist who has been on every Jam Cruise and each time he has delivered a set that was among the most lauded to be seen. With rumors of a sound checked Funkadelic “Maggot Brain” cover floating from the insiders, the energy level was high. Coming out and playing solo for the first few minutes, Denson blew alone. He was making a statement – making the song, the night, and the air his own.  Starting off with that blast of power was amazing, but the real fireworks were yet to come. Denson did unleash “Maggot Brain” on the masses along with a fire brigade of funk heavies, each Tiny Universe tune taken in new and exciting directions. The songs would simmer and cook; building and releasing as the funk tends to do. Upon a last joyous crescendo, the crowd itself spilled out, eager for new sounds, new experiences, and The New Mastersounds.

Hailing from Manchester England, The New Mastersounds show that they are here to be taken deadly serious as funk musicians.  Eddie Roberts cut his teeth on the classics of both American and English funk, and his playing is more rounded than some as a result. Their sound is aggressive and direct, with fat organ fills, and a spot-on lock tight rhythm section. Wesley and Ellis made their way to give them an air of autocracy, and saxophonist Skerik later came out to make sure wild eyed lunacy was represented as it should be.

After Big Gigantic’s follow up to their barn burner of a main stage set, and a generous sampling of Dumpstaphunk’s late night set, it was time to see some of the music that helped nourish the traveling musical carnival scene, the Grateful Dead, and this evening’s performers featuring the band’s percussion duo Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann, billed as Rhythm Devils. Doing a mixture of old and new songs aided by Tim Bluhm of The Mother Hips and fire brand wunderkind Davy Knowles of Backdoor Slam, the crowd was up and swaying.

Appropriately opening with “Ship of Fools,” Bluhm’s voice gave each familiar number an earthy quality that made this ensemble way more than a “Grateful Dead cover band.” The true feature was of course the interplay between Hart and Kreutzmann, both with each other and the other percussionist, talking drummer Sikiru Adepoju. The songs were long ago written into the concert DNA of most of the attendees and the connection was instant.  The music of love was loved and the circle went around with the band giving and receiving the light, providing a fairly perfect end to the night.


Saturday: At Sea

Saturday always presents a challenge. The palette that Jam Cruise has created where one can effortlessly forget the woes of the world and never lose focus on the moment is threatened. It is the last day of a journey that for many is a year in the making. It is a day where the reality sets in that some of the faces and souls that are held so near and dear may not be seen for 360 more days. But Jam Cruise is no place for pessimism or sulking. Though many would have liked to have taken a step back to five days previous, what Saturday had in store had plenty to offer in its own right.

p1011274_copy.jpgThe day began with what is always a treat on Jam Cruise, a daytime set by ALO. Cruisers relaxed in the hot tubs or danced to the hearty and joyful sounds provided by the San Francisco based quartet. It provided the perfect foundation for the last day in paradise and served as a reminder to soak it up rather than focus on its dissolution.

As the day progressed, so did the soundtrack. Many seemed to be taking this final day at sea to bask in the glorious weather. A shredding set from Anders Osborne, George Porter, Jr., and Johnny Vidacovich that became a sit-in wet dream carried the day into the dusk, with so many notables joining in on what started as a trio that the stage could barely contain them all.

Alas, it was time to pack the bags and get them ready for their removal by cruise staff, so it was off to the cabin in preparation for two things: the Jungle Theme Night and Lotus.

Lotus had already managed to blow minds two nights previous for their theater set that came complete with contortionists, and for the second year in a row, would be the ones charged with sending us off into the night and home.

Lotus has done nothing but grow exponentially. Their sound is ever-evolving and their ability to find a groove is one that can rarely be duplicated. Pool Deck Lotus sets are and have been a force with which to be reckoned. Add to this costumed monkeys with bananas as weapons coupled with loin clothed Tarzans, what was about to occur would prove to be nothing short of epic.

After cruise director Annabel Lukins Stelling warmly introduced the band, the boys from Philly immediately sprung into “Bellwhether,” a consummate opener that begs for limbering into the evening. It is a gem and it had the crowd hook, line, and sinker to the point that those who came remained and those who came in late did the same in spite of the fact that Lotus was slated against Galactic. For many, what bands like Lotus, the Dead ensembles, Stockholm Syndrome, and Cornmeal provide is a much needed break from what can at times become redundantly funky. Though Lotus does occasionally borrow from elemental funk fuel, their sound remains to be predominately electronica with acidic jazz infusion. It was just what the doctor ordered and as the set evolved, it was as though Lotus was able to sum up the entire five days without even saying a word.

From the segued “Flower Sermon”>”Crazy Train”>”Sermon” and the sit-in from Roosevelt Collier for “Hammerstrike” all the way through the closing anything-but-rage number, “Colorado,” the set told a story of invitation, buildup, release, and rest. Introspection was forced and as the crowd dispersed after hugs all around. The fact that we would be departing paradise mere hours later no longer mattered. Lukins-Stelling made her way back to the stage, looking as though she may be on the edge of tears as she applauded the display that Lotus had just put on, perfectly ending what she described as “the best Jam Cruise yet.”

As most good things do, so too did Jam Cruise come to an end. As always, it did so with grace. Jam Cruise had once again been victorious on all accounts. It had provided all of the bells and whistles that we knew it would. It had done so in a spirit of togetherness, and as we all dispersed to our separate destinations, there were no “goodbyes,” only “see ya laters.” That, in a nut shell is the essence of the event. It is the gathering of friends, musical and otherwise to share a journey of harmony and love. It is a memory that will forever be etched in the corner of all of our minds. It is Jam Cruise and we all returned to our respective homes better because of it.


Click the thumbnail(s) to view more JC 9 photos from Rex Thomson, David Shehi & James Young


Honest Tune also interviewed several artists while on board Jam Cruise 9. Click here to view this EXCLUSIVE coverage.