Contrary to what some may believe, I physically cannot be everywhere at once so I've enlisted a little help from my friends, old and new, to help recount their top three amazing moments of Jam Cruise 3:

Vince Iwinski (Umphrey's McGee manager)
• Jake Cinninger of UM w/ North Mississippi Allstars
• Jimmy Herring with Les Claypool's Flying Frog Brigade
• Winning the UM Texas Hold Em' tourney!

Vince wins! Photo by Hogan
Matt Hogan (SCI Fidelity)
• NMAS pre-party at the Freebird in Jacksonville. Eric Krasno and Luther going at it. Followed by the JC3 artists and crew shutting down the hotel bar (and ravaging the "honor snack bar") late-night. A glimpse of things to come.
• The Art of Improv workshop in the Endless Summer Lounge: Karl Denson, Jeff Coffin, Jeff Sipe, joined by Oteil Burbridge, Jimmy Herring, Count M'butu and more! The first taste of INSANE improv collaborations on the boat.
• 24-hour pizza and ice cream. God? Is this heaven??
• Fishman calling Bingo in the Astoria Lounge on Friday afternoon ("This is my new favorite sport!")

Bingo with Fishman
Photo by Jon Bahr

Andy Bernstein (HeadCount)
• Moshi Omen Matov. Jake, the guitarist from Umphrey's, stepped on stage and started making these utterly nasty sounds. Not guitar sounds. Unique sounds that just fit perfectly with what everyone else was playing. They were harmonics or something. They were just from another planet and I think the dude was even amazing himself. He waited about ten minutes before going down the neck and letting loose, and when he did it was perfect.

• Magner gave a very well done and well prepared workshop on the history of electronic music and the equipment commonly used today.

• I watched the STS9 set from a deck right above the stage, leaning over the railing and looking right down on the band. I then turned around and looked out at the ocean. I realized, without hyperbole, that I was probably standing in the best single spot to watch music in the entire world.

DJ Omen | Photo by Adam Gulledge
Seth Weiner (Shimon Presents)
• The drum workshop with Jeff Sipe, Stanton Moore, Dave Watts, and Alan Hertz
• Fishing with JJ and George from MOFRO
• During Umphrey's McGee set the last night where there was fog all around and everywhere you looked there were people getting down. Best example of why Jam Cruise is the most amazing festival experience ever!

Fishing with MOFRO
Photo by Seth Weiner
Jonathan Zwickel (JamBase, New Times)

• The Endless Summer bar was the tightest, funkiest venue on the ship, with what looked like the bottom half of wooden life boats embedded in the low ceiling. It was also the perfect place for Thursday night's Benevento/Russo Duo electro-tweako freakout. As the duo battled each other, Cheme and Skerik stepped up and faced off, and Robert Walter sat with his back to the rest of the band at Marco's open keyboard. It was like a Battle Royale between the five musicians, and of course we all won.

• Standing in the Anchor Bar by the all-night buffet around midnight Saturday night, my friends and I were at a loss. We had just finished dinner and had a little R&R back in the cabin before making our way to where we stood, unable to decide where to go or what to do. Then from out of nowhere, Ozomatli bursts out of a stairwell behind us and full-on parades onto the back deck, where a funky-butt, skintight drum session ensued. Like a shot of adrenaline, that got us psyched for whatever was gonna happen the rest of the night.

• Sunset, Sunday afternoon, STS9, poolside. Pure pastel-colored, warm-breezy bliss. Jam Cruise honcho Mark Brown told me he booked that set first then planned the rest of the day around it. Nice work, Mark.

The Duo with guests
Photos by Adam Gulledge
Aly Constine (Mountain High Music)
• Sound Tribe Sector 9 playing on the pool deck as the sun set.
• Jeff Coffin, Karl Denson, Jeff Sipe one of the first shows of the cruise with all those amazing sit ins. Unreal introduction.
• Leslie Helpert & Marco Benevento doing Billie Holiday

Sunset with STS9
Photo by SuperDee
Annabel Lukins (Jam Cruise)
• Requesting STS9's "Breathe In" and having them be excited about playing it, running downstairs upon hearing the first note, dancing on the side of the pool, feeling the passengers near me, feeling the band in front of me and feeling the stars above me...
• Walking into the Astoria Lounge only to witness Les Claypool's Frog Brigade in sailor suits, I couldn't get the smile off my face. Pure creativity, pure compliment to Jam Cruise. Then I started rocking out with my fists pumping totally in love what was going on around me.
• Grabbing Karl Denson who was with his family in the back pool and saying to him, "Karl, we've made you into ice and I want you to see it." I brought him over to the pool deck stage where he laughed out loud with his daughter and stood next to the Karl Denson Ice Sculpture for a great photo. What made this moment even better is that I happened to be in the right place at the right time…exactly when they were hauling the sculpture away and I stopped them to say, "This needs to be displayed, this is our artist" and up on the pool deck it went and that is when I went to find Karl before it melted in the sun.

Dancing Annabel
Photo by Adam Gulledge

Karl Denson with his ice likeness
Photo by Annabel

Of course there were a thousand more unique moments on this ship (walking in to your room to find animals made out of towels), displays of individual creativity (the door decorated like a prescription bottle), and unmatched musical moments (potentially every saxophone on the boat on stage at one time). I will now let the photos speak for themselves and sign off for now. Until next year...

JamBase | High Seas
Go See LOTS of Live Music in '05!

Special thanks to: Mark Brown, Annabel Lukins, Ethan Schwartz, Jon Zwickel, Michael Weintrob, Dave Vann, Matt Hogan, Kathleen Propp, Carrie Lombardi, Adam Gulledge, Vince Iwinski, Andy Bernstein, Seth Weiner, Jeremy Jones, Jon Bahr, Marc Brownstein, all my new friends, all the bands, fans, crew, and everyone else! JC3 Rules! GT's OTB!

More photos on the next pages...

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