On Tuesday evening, Jam Cruise 17 set sail from Miami, FL to begin a newly-expanded, six-day floating musical excursion that stopped in Belize today and will continue on to two different Mexican ports before returning to Florida on January 21st.
With the first “Day at Sea” came the first full day of music on board, as The Sweet Lillies, Southern Avenue, Monophonics, Khruangbin, Melvin Seals & JGB, Kamasi Washington, The Cleaners, Umphrey’s McGee, The Nth Power, Jon Stickley Trio, Star Kitchen, Fruition, and more performed throughout the Norwegian Jade as it made its way toward Belize. The day’s theme, “Green Eggs and Jam,” saw the boat fill up with various cats in hats, Whos, Grinches, Things (1, 2, and otherwise), and other Dr. Seuss-inspired getups.
With multiple sets running simultaneously throughout the day, night, and into Thursday morning, it was impossible to catch everything that went down onstage. However, here’s just a few of the most memorable moments from the second day of Jam Cruise 17. (You can also head to Live For Live Music‘s Instagram and Instagram stories to follow along in real time).
The Motet’s Lyle Divinsky Has “So Much F*ckin Fun” At His Atrium Set
The Motet vocalist was scheduled for a solo afternoon set in The Atrium, but it didn’t stay “solo” for long. Over the course of the hour-long performance, Divinsky welcomed up a parade of friends including Nick Cassarino (The Nth Power), Nat Osborn (Sister Sparrow), Sammi Garett (Turkuaz), Jackson Kincheloe (Sister Sparrow), Shira Elias (Turkuaz), and Kim Dawson (Matador! Soul Sounds) for a mix of original material and feel-good covers. “This shit is so special,” Lyle mused as the homies continued to stop in. He wasn’t wrong.
Khruangbin Meets With The Freaks On The Pool Deck At Sunset
Houston, TX rising stars Khruangbin had the honor of playing the sunset slot on the Pool Deck on Jam Cruise 17’s first “Day at Sea.” As the Jade glided through the water and the sun dipped below the horizon, nothing visible in any direction as far as the eye could see, Khruangbin quickly showed that their sound was the perfect choice for this surreal setting. “It’s nice to meet with the freaks,” guitarist Mark Speer remarked as he took in the scene. The band was airtight throughout the performance, weaving in and out of material new and old as well as a number of familiar instrumental melodies like Gregory Isaacs‘ “Night Nurse” and a medley of hip-hop favorites. Hours later, Speer and bassist Laura Lee took their dance party below deck to the Bliss Lounge, where they DJed an incredible disco dance party that stretched deep into the early hours of Thursday morning.
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The Jam Cruise Wedding Brings Together One Badass Party Band
The annual Jam Crusie Wedding, hosted by Turkuaz vocalist Sammi Garett, saw a number of guests including drummer Tikyra Jackson (Southern Avenue), the Turkuaz horns, Andy Frasco and members of his band, The U.N., and more. The charismatic crew came together for a memorable “wedding” party featuring reception staples like Whitney Houston‘s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and Aretha Franklin‘s “Rock Steady”, plus some surprise Stevie Wonder vocals courtesy of TAUK drummer Isaac Teel. Mazel tov, you crazy kids…
The Cleaners Play Their Second Show Ever
After first coming together at last year’s Panic En La Playa, the Cleaners—an all-star squad comprised of guitarists Marcus King and Eric Krasno, drummer Duane Trucks (Widespread Panic), keyboardist Deshawn “D-Vibes” Alexander (Marcus King Band), and Kevin Scott (The Invisible Whip)—played their second-ever show at the Spinnaker Lounge. King manned lead vocals for the thrilling performance, working through searing renditions of Funkadelic‘s “Red Hot Mama”, The Grateful Dead‘s “Fire on the Mountain”, and “Compared to What” in honor of Col. Bruce Hampton. The young frontman was clearly elated to trade licks with Krasno, and the band’s excitement spilled out into the audience. By the time they welcomed vocalists Mary Corso and Leslie Mendelson for a fast and funky rendition of The Band‘s “The Weight” to close out the performance, the whole room was already counting down the minutes until their Pool Deck late-night tonight.
Umphrey’s McGee & A Horde Of Horns Take The Stardust Theater To Outer Space
After a dark and dirty Pool Deck set on day one, Umphrey’s McGee took a more grooving approach when moved indoors to the Stardust Theater for their second and final Jam Cruise 17 performance. Toward the end of the performance, the band welcomed out the Turkuaz horns to add their brass to “Booth Love” and Herbie Hancock‘s “Hang Up Your Hang Ups”. Later, as saxophonist Skerik took the stage for an exploratory rendition of “Bad Friday”, Brendan Bayliss joked, “We found this guy on the boat, I think he won a contest or something.”
Star Kitchen Makes A Statement After Midnight In Their Jam Cruise Debut
As bassist Marc Brownstein told the late-night crowd from the stage, Star Kitchen was a band formed with Jam Cruise in mind. The new project—which also features guitarist Danny Mayer (Eric Krasno Band), Rob Marscher (Addison Groove Project), and drummer Marlon Lewis (Lauryn Hill, John Legend)—marked their eighth-ever show on the Pool Deck. It’s safe to call it their most eventful one yet, as they took Jam Cruise by storm, welcoming up a swarm of special guests to help lift the cruise faithful out of the water and into the cosmos.
The shenanigans began when Eric Krasno joined the band to lead them through an extended rendition of “After Midnight”. As they continued to push the jam deeper, a flurry of familiar faces entered the scene. First, Karl Denson showed up with his sax. Then, D-Vibes. Next, Big Sam. When the collaboration finally finished, Brownie was glowing. “That’s basically my whole dream right there,” he marveled. Later, Shira Elias joined in to sing lead on a cover of Stevie Wonder‘s “Living For The City”. Finally, with just the core four band members left onstage, they capped their performance with a crowd-pleasing instrumental rendition of Bel Biv DeVoe‘s “Poison”.
Check back tomorrow for more coverage from aboard Jam Cruise 17, and don’t forget to tune into Live For Live Music‘s Instagram stories to follow the action in real time.