Jam Cruise Day Three: New Orleans Dominates, Royal Family Ball Brings Guests and More
After a sunny day in Costa Maya, Mexico, the first stop on the fourteenth Jam Cruise, attendees returned to the boat for another night of music and other activities across the ship, including Ivan Neville’s annual poker tournament as well as an Afro Fire Drum Workshop, Funk That Tune Bingo and more.
When the music got started, it was clear that the night would revolve around the various eras of New Orleans music, started appropriately by Dr. John on the Pool Deck. The New Orleans legend delivered some Crescent City staples like “Iko Iko” along with bringing out Stanley Jordan and Fred Wesley throughout his set for various tunes. Dr. John will perform again tonight in the Pantheon Theater.
Indoors, it was Marco Benevento holding down the Black and White Lounge along with Dave Dreiwitz and Andy Borger. Benevento played much of his 90-minute set without guests, dipping into some of his most popular solo material. They keyboardist also showed off some of his frontman skills, nearly crowd-surfing into a front row that included longtime collaborator Joe Russo as well as Eric McFadden, Aron Magner and others.
Towards the back half of the set, Benevento brought out Karl Denson to sit in on a jam. Shortly after that, Eric McFadden joined the fold for a new song along with Will Bernard on guitar. The set closed with a take on “Let’s Spend the Night Together” with Dave Dreiwitz sharing vocals with Benevento, and Mike Dillon jumping on stage for a drum jam in the middle section.
Back on the Pool Deck, Brownout was delivering their Brown Sabbath set that hit on all of the Black Sabbath hits, much to the delight of the more rock-oriented cruisers. Mike Dillon even jumped on stage for a few tunes and then the Brownout horns returned the favor by joining Dillon in his Jazz Room that also featured Jonny Vidacovich, Will Bernard, James Singleton, Dan Oestreicher and others for a relentless jazz jam.
Inside at the Pantheon Theater, the Royal Family Ball took place following a screening of Lettuce’s Let Us Play documentary. Dumpstaphunk took the stage first, welcoming out the likes of Trombone Shorty and Nigel Hall. Soulive was next, welcoming out a series of guests including a jam with Oteil Burbridge that featured some scatting from the Dead & Company bassist. Anders Osborne and Ivan Neville then came out for a take on CSNY’s “Ohio.” Karl Denson and Tony Hall also joined in at other points in the set.
Late night, Joel Cummins made his first on-stage appearance, sitting in with The Werks on the Brews at Sea Stage. Holly Bowling also joined Cummins on keys, forming a long jam that ultimately led into “2001.” Cummins then stayed on the Pool Deck to join Electron for about half of their late night set, performing on a few Disco Biscuits tunes. Cummins will play his customary solo piano set tonight in The Atrium.
After a stop in Cozumel, Mexico, the music resumes tonight with sets from Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Anders Osborne, Dr. John, Snarky Puppy, Lotus, Tauk, Keller Williams with More Than a Little and many others.