As Jam Cruise barreled towards Roatan, Honduras, the first full day of music aboard the MSC Divinia took place yesterday, featuring several notable performances and many collaborations, as has become customary on the ship.
The day began with early performances from the likes of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, who were joined by Ivan Neville and a unique sit in from Pretty Lights, who played bass with the New Orleans jazz institution. The Nth Power kept up the New Orleans flavor on the pool deck with an energetic and expansive set that also featured some newer material from the group.
As the day progressed, Ryan Montbleau took to the pool deck with an upbeat, collaborative set. The singer-songwriter brought out the likes of Tim Carbone, Mike Dillon, Anders Beck and Paul Hoffman throughout his set. For those looking to duck inside for a bit to avoid the first spell of rain on the day, Joel Cummins and Jefferson Waful led a rather hilarious version of “JAMpardy” in the Pantheon Theater. Accompanied by members of The Revivalists as the house band, fans were tested on their knowledge of several Jeopardy-style topics.
With the night rapidly approaching, Grammy award winning outfit Snarky Puppy took to the stage. With the likes of George Porter Jr., Ryan Montbleau and more in the crowd, the band impressed with one of the most energetic and musically compelling sets of the day.
After a short break for people to eat, recharge and change into their metallic-themed costumes, many headed to the Theater for John Scofield’s Uberjam Band, a set that would include a sit-in from John Medeski. Elsewhere, The Revivalists were playing an intimate set at the Black & White Lounge, fresh off of their appearance as house band at “JAMpardy.” The New Orleans outfit debuted some new material and jammed with Mike Dillon and Carly Meyers throughout their set.
While Charles Bradley was bringing the soul to the Pantheon Theater, Karl Denson was gracing the stage on the Pool Deck with his band, Tiny Universe. Along with opening up with Jimi Hendrix’s “Power of Love,” the ensemble also debuted a new tune entitled “When I Get Home.” The band escaped just before heavier rains came in, however The London Souls were stuck in the middle of the storm on the other side of the pool deck. The three-piece rock outfit soldiered on with the likes of Eric Krasno and The Revivalists also braving the storm with fans to take in the set.
The centerpiece of the night came at 1:45 AM in the Pantheon Theater as Steve Kimock presented his tribute to Jerry Garcia. Joined by the likes of Jeff Chimenti, Dan Lebowitz, Bobby Vega, Bill Vitt and John Kimock, the ensemble moved through a well-crafted and appropriate tribute to the Grateful Dead guitarist. Lebo would do most of the heavy lifting, shouldering lead vocals on cuts like “Boogie On Reggae Woman,” “Second That Emotion,” “Bertha,” “Help on the Way,” “Deal” and others. All songs featured lengthy full-band jams led by Lebo and Kimock and the set also included a sit-in from Col. Bruce Hampton, who took lead vocals on “Turn On Your Lovelight.” As people returned to the pool deck, they were greeted by the dominating riff of “Eminence Front” played by the M&M’s with The Revivalists frontman David Shaw on lead vocals.
Most then found their way to the Jam Room to end the night and usher in the morning as drummer Nikki Glaspie took the helm, assembling a revolving door of musicians. Among those appearing throughout the night for mostly funk-oriented jams were Jennifer Hartswick, Eric Krasno, The Motet and Snarky Puppy Horns, members of Glaspie’s The Nth Power and more.
Jam Cruise docks in Roatan, Honduras today with music kicking off later in the day. Among those slated to perform include Galactic, The Word, Pretty Lights w/Live Band and more.