There’s Nothing Like Jam Cruise
We pride ourselves on our theme nights. The passengers go ALL OUT for each of them, even coming up with their own “unofficial” ones. Simple “color” nights seem to be a hit. Last year was green. This year we did blue night and the majority of people wore something blue that night. But what I LOVE to see is the artists getting into the theme nights. Here my buddies Dan Lebowitz and Josh Clark sporting the popular color. Righteous!
So in the Jam Room, funk isn’t always the vibe, but is definitely dominant. So what about the folky bluegrass dudes who want to strum late night? Where’s their venue? That’s what Nathan Moore asked himself before he created The Spot, located outside the Jam Room on Deck 7. Starting around midnight, Nathan and various pickers hang outside and let the ocean breeze set the mood. Sunrise is always seen while hanging at The Spot.
I’m a Colorado girl so I get to hang with cool bands like The Motet. But not only are they cool, they are fantastic musicians. They perform cover sets each Halloween. Herbie Hancock, Michael Jackson, Parliament…these have all been amazing performances. But who knew that if they played Grateful Dead songs that it would be BEYOND TREMENDOUS? Well let me tell you people, it was extraordinary, and I pushed to have it on board. It was one of the best sets on board Jam Cruise 11 hands DOWN.
I rarely get a break while working Jam Cruise. So when we get to the ports, all I want to do is lay on a lounge chair and relax. But since the beach in Turks & Caicos was so close to the ship, my radio kept going off. I wanted to be off duty so Kyle Hollingsworth GLADLY stepped in to boss people around for me. Thanks, buddy!
One of the reasons that I love to take photos with so many of the musicians is because it helps me keep the amazing memories of the cruise in my mind. And I looked to see what photo was next for the column and almost sighed because I love this man so much. When I called Eddie, unbeknownst to me it was his birthday, to book him on board, this is how the convo went down:
“Hi Eddie, I want you to do the Super Jam”
“You want me to do WHAT?”
“I want you to do the Super Jam”
“Are you kidding me???”
“Eddie, not at all! You’re going to be amazing, I know it.”
“Annabel, I’ll make you so proud.”
…And let me tell you kids, he was ridiculous. It was hands down one of the greatest super jams we’ve ever had. He spent MONTHS planning the tunes and perfecting which artists he would have sit in. After only a few hours of rehearsal on board, the 90-minute set absolutely dazzled all of us. It was more than proud of him.
Before we set sail, I was told that we would celebrate Al’s birthday on board. I was so excited because I love doing fun special things for the artists. So I got a cake and arranged to surprise him during the show. It was a wonderful moment that ended with a choked up birthday boy.
This is the funniest photo I’ve ever seen in my life. Relix’s own Mike Greenhaus and I were horsing around in the photo booth. I asked him to jump on my back and who knew that this brilliance would be the outcome.
George has become a mentor, a father figure, a friend and a brother. Our relationship, initiated by Jam Cruise but fueled on our own, has become extremely valuable to me. He feels the same way.
We’ve definitely wanted this legendary man on board for years. He came on with Steve Kimock but was found sitting in with many others. He’s such an influence for so many of the musicians on board that even uttering the name Bernie Worrell made people smile.
Ice Cream Time!!!!! Every day, the ship would dispense soft serve and who could resist? Definitely not me, Ivan or Nick!
In 2006, Dean Budnick asked me to do “My Bonnaroo Day” while on site in TN. What that entailed was taking photos during my day and putting captions with them. Since I try hard to be funny (note the word TRY) I decided to “stage” my photos. I was taking David from Steel Pulse to an autograph signing so I thought it would be funny to drag him by his long dreads and have him resist.
So when he came on board Jam Cruise, during the autograph signing, I showed him the old photo and told him that we had to recreate the prank that occurred so many years ago. He kindly obliged and it’s just too funny how similar the photos are 6 ½ years apart!
As I mentioned at the beginning of the column, one of the highlights of this year was Femi Kuti. He represents such freedom and courage. His spirit is a true inspiration. His band, aptly named “The Positive Force” is that and more. Sporting colorful and bright outfits, the essence of their music and dancing is truly amazing. I love that I captured this powerful photo with my little point and shoot.
And he’s like a big teddy bear with a great sense of humor. Um and yeah, um, he’s smoking hot (sorry boys, that comment was for the ladies).