DAILY COVERAGE FROM THE SHIP STARTS TUESDAY
Yeah, along came Mr. Goodtrips
Looking for a new a ship
Come on, people better climb on board
Come on, baby, now we're going home
A full year has passed since Jam Cruise 9 docked in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, and not a week has gone by that the good times, deep conversations and stupendous music hasn’t cropped up at least a few times. And I know with absolute certainty that I’m not alone in my nigh-endless poetic waxing over what happens at Jam Cruise, along with the certainty that friends and acquaintances who haven’t attended are a tad sick of hearing about it. Forgive us, pals and loved ones. It is rarer all the time in this 21st century world that we come across an EXPERIENCE that handily and gloriously exceeds expectations so spectacularly. To not sing about it would cheapen how dear and impactful sailing with this ship of wonderful fools is. It’s a blast of beauty and invigorating intensity at the cusp of the New Year that carries us through until the next time the anchor lifts, the gigantic horn bellows, and the uncut funk ignites the gathered throng on the pool deck once again.
|Pool Deck on Jam Cruise 9 by Dave Vann|
At the center of it all is music, sweet music, flowing in every corridor and cranny of the ship. If it isn’t actual instruments being plied or voices raised in song it’s conversations about the tour life, the past year’s concert highlights or impassioned arguments about the merits (and demerits) of bands. It is the molecular bond that unites the performers and passengers into a single, undulating organ of sound as the hours and days of this once-in-a-lifetime-every-time excursion pile up. Sure, one can keep this heady mojo at bay, refusing to give into the swirling gravity that begs one to simply give into their unreasonable love of all things musical. I’ve seen it happen in my two previous sailings, where someone sits on deck and just can’t bring themselves to shimmy in the conga line, so to speak.
|Your Scribe Preparing For Jam Cruise 10|
Hell, I’ve been there myself the first year I climbed aboard (2009), uncertain if I was welcome to this party that’s been in progress for close to a decade now. Trust me, ALL are welcome and the reality of that starts at the port long before we launch, where cocktails are mixed for total strangers as masks are pulled out for modeling purposes and the collective scheming begins towards the end goal of having the time of our lives. Come alone or come with landlubber friends, it matters not. No one is alone here if they don’t want to be. We are all joyfully in this together, laughing and hugging and connecting in ways that surprise one, especially if one isn’t used to this sort of unity (or perhaps like myself, a bit punk-ishly dubious of such touchy-feely stuff by nature).
It’s this last aspect that lies at the heart of Jam Cruise’s longevity and success. The music – always top-notch and bloated with surprises and unique combinations of genres and sounds – would be enough for most, but there is something palpably and exhilaratingly MORE to this gathering. It’s a glimpse of humans sharing what they have with each other with a smile and an open hand. It is people breaking bread and enjoying conversation instead of hustling every waking minute. It is moments of sublime repose with a soundtrack that lives inside one long after we’re back on dry land. It is, to paraphrase a Federico Garcia Lorca poem, hearts of silk filled with lights, lost bells, lilies and bees, and a chance to throw on a feathered cap and joust playfully with wooden swords, the children of old inside us born anew on the high seas, lost boys and girls at play as mad (talented) pipers capture our attentions with tunes merry and deep. (Dennis Cook)
Daily coverage with photos from the MSC Poesia begins on JamBase starting Tuesday, January 10th. Check back all week for updates on this year’s festivities.
Your Scribe At Safety Gathering on Jam Cruise 9 by Chad Smith