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Jam Cruise Journal: Day 5 – The Grand Finale

JAMBASE - January 13, 2016

The final day of Jam Cruise is an intense one. As the MSC Divina motored back to Miami, organizers presented a full day of music that spanned from 11 a.m. until just before the boat arrived at 6 a.m. For me, sleep could wait until I returned back to NYC as I wanted to experience as much of the magic as possible.

San Francisco’s Con Brio, the soul/funk outfit that won themselves many new fans over the course of the trip, provided the soundtrack for a Yoga Session held on the Pool Deck. The Yoga Sessions were attended by many more cruisers this year than past events, a trend I expect to continue moving forward. The weather fully cooperated throughout the trip as Sunday was another gorgeous day in the Caribbean, at least until a brief rain shower just after midnight. A new Jam Cruise tradition may have been cemented with the presentation of the first “Reggae Brunch.” A number of musicians including Zach DeputyTodd Stoops and Ashish “Hash” Vyas treated fans to an hour’s worth of reggae classics including “Simmer Down” as the sun shined down on the Divina.

Vermont quartet Twiddle counted many die-hards among those who witnessed their Pool Deck set on Sunday, at least from the looks of all the Twiddle t-shirts and flatbrims of those in attendance. Twiddle opened with “Gatsby The Great,” complete with “Big Country” (Bela Fleck & The Flecktones) teases, a fine choice considering the day’s theme was “The Great Jamsby.” More so than ever Jam Cruisers dressed to impress for theme nights as it seemed more folks wore costumes than didn’t, making for fantastic people watching opportunities. Todd Stoops sat-in on “Every Soul,” a song from Twiddle’s latest studio album to which the keyboardist contributed, as well as “Lost In The Cold.” Cabinet’s Pappy Biondo made a guest appearance on “Hattibagen McRat,” while Twiddle dedicated “When It Rains, It Poors” to Dino Dimitrouleas and The Werks family who were dealing with the loss of Norman Dimitrouleas. The Werks were so excited to finally make their Jam Cruise debut and after a mind-blowing set received word Norman, Dino’s brother and The Werks’ former keyboardist, had died. It was a heartbreaking turn of events for a band who should’ve been on top of the world.