Brooklyn Comes Alive and Jam Cruise have just announced the hosts of the first-ever land-based edition of the iconic Jam Room. Two special back-to-back sessions will take place starting at midnight at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Session One will be hosted by iconic The Meters bassist, Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, and Jam Cruise lifer George Porter Jr.. Session Two will be hosted by the potent tag-team of bassist Karina Rykman and guitarist Craig Brodhead, who play with Marco Benevento and Turkuaz, respectively.
In the Jam Room, Jam Cruise taps artists to play the role of host, acting as the anchor of an improv-heavy late-night set featuring a rotating cast of surprise musicians. With the intention of giving artists the chance to collaborate in an open and relaxed atmosphere, each Jam Room is chock full of surprises, with neither fans nor artists knowing who will show up or what will happen.
Jam Cruise’s inaugural land-edition of the Jam Room is a great fit at Brooklyn Comes Alive. In 2018, Brooklyn Comes Alive will take over Williamsburg’s Brooklyn Bowl, Music Hall of Williamsburg and Rough Trade for an all-day musical marathon. Inspired by the vibrant musical communities of Brooklyn and New Orleans, Brooklyn Comes Alive brings together more than 50 artists, allowing them to carry out passion projects, play with their musical heroes, and collaborate in never-before-seen formations—much like Jam Cruise’s own focus on unique artist collaborations and communal camaraderie. For more information, ticketing, and to see the full list of performers scheduled for Brooklyn Comes Alive 2018, head to the festival’s website here.
As for the upcoming Jam Room sessions at Brooklyn Comes Alive, while each performance is sure to host numerous surprises, it’s also likely that the individual hosts will be reflected in the sessions they lead. George Porter Jr. is one of the most visible bassists in the jam and funk scenes. As an original member of The Meters, he helped define the New Orleans-funk sound, though he has exhibited his true musical diversity by collaborating with everyone from Dead & Company to Phish‘s Page McConnell to Snoop Dogg to Widespread Panic and countless others.
Craig Brodhead is a musical force within the fan-favorite Brooklyn-based funk act, Turkuaz. Shifting between guitar and keys, the man clad in white is well-versed in super jams, performing with a whos-who of famed artists in the Northeast and each year down at New Orleans Jazz Fest. Brodhead’s partner-in-crime at Brooklyn Comes Alive for this special jam session will be bassist Karina Rykman, the young, highly talented bassist in famed keyboardist Marco Benevento’s solo project. Despite her young age, Rykman has proved herself as one of the brightest up-and-comers in the scene, accomplishing what many artists twice or triple her age dream of, with collaborations with Robert Randolph, Eric Krasno, John Medeski, Billy Martin, Nels Cline, Jackie Greene, Joe Russo, and others under her belt.
Brodhead spoke to L4LM about his participation in the jam room, explaining:
If you’ve ever had the privilege of hanging in the jam room late into the night on jam cruise, you know there’s a lot to be learned from the experience. It gets weird in there. That doesn’t always mean good or bad, but one must always pass through the Door Of Weirdness to experience the truly great improvisational moments. I am truly honored to be joining forces at Brooklyn Comes Alive with the incomparable Karina Rykman for a very special Jam Room modeled on this experience and we’ll do our best to steer the ship and man the stations with the finest musicians Brooklyn will have on hand that evening!
Rykman was also effusive in her excitement about hosting the Jam Room:
Beyond stoked to co-host the Jam Room at BCA with my dude Craig Brodhead, and represent NYC! This great confluence of players all coming together to create simultaneously is a spectacular thing, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.
Porter Jr. summed it up nicely, adding:
I am looking forward to bringing the Magic of the Jam Cruise jam room to this year’s Brooklyn Comes Alive. It’s going to be funky and fun!
George Porter Jr. and Karina Rykman will both be on hand at Brooklyn Comes Alive outside of leading their respective Jam Room sessions. George Porter Jr. has been tapped for a special tribute to set to Col. Bruce Hampton, Butch Trucks, and Gregg Allman, which will see the bassist teaming up with Brandon “Taz” Niederauer, Adam Smirnoff, Jeff Sipe, Peter Levin, and Elise Testone. Karina Rykman will bring her own solo project, the Karina Rykman Experiment, to the festival, which also features Adam November and Chris Corsico in addition to special guests Robert Walter and Dave Harrington. However, as for either bassist’s Jam Room sessions, the sky’s the limit as to who could show up to join in the collaborative fray.
You can check out video from George Porter Jr.’s Jam Room session aboard Jam Cruise in 2014, which saw the bassist joined by Brooklyn Comes Alive alum Adam Deitch, who will bring his own Adam Deitch Quartet to BCA this year; Adam Deitch’s famed father, Bobby Deitch; guitarist Will Bernard; the Bonerama Horns; and others for this take on “Second Line” into “Iko Iko” and “I Feel Like Funkin’ It Up”.
The fourth-annual Brooklyn Comes Alive will return to Brooklyn’s beloved Williamsburg neighborhood on September 29th for an all-day music marathon at Brooklyn Bowl, Music Hall of Williamsburg and Rough Trade. Inspired by the vibrant musical communities of Brooklyn and New Orleans, Brooklyn Comes Alive brings together more than 50 artists, allowing them to carry out passion projects, play with their musical heroes, and collaborate in never-before-seen formations. For more information, ticketing, and to see the full list of performers scheduled for Brooklyn Comes Alive 2018, head to the festival’s website here.