the jam cruise


Let your dancing feet take you around the MSC Divina’s 18 decks and discover a festival venue like no other. The Atrium's awe-inspiring Swarovski crystal staircase is the perfect place to strut your stuff. Head straight to the Pool Deck on the Disco Express to order a BBC cocktail, kick back in a hot tub during Sailaway Set, or whoosh down the waterslide. Hit the Infinity Pool for tunes, yoga, and sunset views over the horizon. Hot out of the oven pizza is a great snack for on your way to the Jam Room in the Black & White Lounge, or any of the other seven venues on board. Swing back to your cabin any time to refresh, shower, or disco nap.

Venues & Stages

Eight different stages have been curated with you in mind, meaning you’ll find music around every corner, nearly around the clock. From panoramic ocean views on the Pool Deck to the Black & White Lounge where jams and spontaneity come together, and even unofficial venues like The Spot (IYKYK). The Divina is the perfect home to create those special Jam Cruise memories. Explore all the places & spaces where our amazing artists will perform!


Jam Cruise has a ton of dining options available nearly around the clock. Sit down for a 4 course meal with your crew, included in your cabin price or grab Feeling fancy? Take it up a notch with a meal at the up-charge restaurant onboard, Butcher’s Cut. Don’t forget to save some room for our legendary late night Chefs At Sea meals every night!


Splurge on more than just music at MSC Yacht Cub, an exclusive group of 69 cabins tucked away on the upper decks of the ship. Guests staying in Yacht Club suites will be provided with signature Butler and Concierge Services, complimentary wines and spirits, private Top Sail Lounge, One Pool and Bar, and their own restaurant, Le Muse.


Pamper yourself at the Aurea Spa before another night on the dance floor. Choose from a variety of body treatments including Balinese massage, wraps, and facials designed to rejuvenate you. Grab a pass to the Thermal Suite and give those muscles a break in the sauna or whirlpool. Take time for some R&R, your body will thank you.


Ante up, High Rollers! Head to MSC Divina’s Casino Veneziano and test your luck. Featuring 10,000 square feet of gaming space, you’ve got the choice to play your hand in poker, roll away in craps, or pull for jackpot on the slots. The Casino is a hot spot where fans and artists come together in an exciting high stakes environment.


If you’re dedicated to staying on track, you’re in luck! The MSC Divina includes a full gym, including a number of cardio machines, weight machines, free weights, classes, and a jogging track. Our Wellness at Sea program also offers multiple ways to stretch, breathe & flow to live performances every day so you can connect mind, body, spirit, and music.

Jam Cruise 21 features five nights of fun with an itinerary including stops in Cozumel, Mexico and Belize City, Belize. Our Jam Cruise port stops pack all the great experiences of your favorite tropical destination into one unforgettable vacation. Step off the ship and into paradise…

Plus take advantage of two Days at Sea filled with music, activities, and all the goodness that makes Jam Cruise so special.

Choose between a number of different cabin categories, from cost efficient interior cabins to baller Yacht Club suites. Whether want a cabin near your friends, a quick elevator ride from the Jam Room, or as close to the action as possible, Jam Cruise and the MSC Divina has the cabin you’re looking for. Explore the deck plans and cabin options below to find the perfect home at sea.

MSC Divina Interior

Commitment to Sustainability

MSC Cruises is focused on providing guests the most sustainable and environmentally friendly cruise experience possible.

MSC’s ambitious “Plastics Reduction Programme” has replaced all single use plastics (straws, cups, shopping bags, coffee stirrers) with biodegradable and environmentally friendly alternatives. MSC has been recognized by industry watchdog, Bureau Veritas, with the highest international standards in the areas of environment, food safety, health and safety, and energy efficiency for all three domains of potential pollution – air, water, and waste.

MSC’s willingness to go above and beyond the environmental and energy management regulations is just one of many reasons they are an ideal partner for Jam Cruise. One example is the Divina using anti-fouling paint to reduce drag and enable the ship to cut through the water with a lower fuel consumption.

Carbon offsetting, compostable cups, complete recycling program and other initiatives by the Conscious Cruising program help make this a clean music cruise.

Pool Deck

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Was It All A Dream? Why Jam Cruise 19 Was The Best Week Of My Life [Festival Review]

Joshua Timmermans | Noble Vision

It has now officially been almost TWO MONTHS since disembarking the MSC Divina, and still, with a solid chunk of time to process and reassimilate, I am still convinced there is not a sufficient way to encapsulate the experience that is Jam Cruise into words. However, an attempt must be made…if only for the crucial reason to have another piece of physical evidence that the days between February 6th and 12th on the ship were in fact, not a dream, but indeed a reality.

 Joshua Timmermans | Noble Vision

Jam Cruise has always been a bucket list trip for me. For years, I’ve heard tales of the insanely epic musical collaborations, the behind-the-scenes kickbacks with artists, and the undeniable magic of this one-of-a-kind floating festival experience. For years, I held off going, usually due to the duration of the event and the price tag. In fact, when the option was actually in sight for the first time for the boat’s 19th sailing, the final ‘YES’ did not arrive until November. However, once official Cloud 9 emails began sliding into my inbox, my inner (and outer) voice shockingly exclaimed, “I AM GOING ON JAM CRUISE” repeatedly for months. Although, I knew the reality of the trip and this personal accomplishment would not truly sync in until I was physically at Port Miami on the morning of Sunday, February 6th.

The Journey to Jam Cruise 19

Now, before I overly gush my heart and soul about Jam Cruise, let’s simply address the pillars of what makes JC the true creme de la creme of expeditions for live music lovers. Jam Cruise is everything you love most fused into one impeccably curated event. It is a vacation, a music festival, a never-ending costume party, a cruise, and a summer camp for adults – all beautifully wrapped into one. 

Jam Cruise 19 - 2/6/23 - MSC Divina and the Caribbean - photo © Dave Vann 2023

The length of the trip, which is typically five nights, but slated for six this go-around, truly allows individuals to immerse themselves in the experience. The duration is just enough to ease from the “real world” into the bliss of presence, to serendipitously slip into the “I can do whatever the heck I want and be totally myself and celebrated” mindset. This length of time is enough to make a true difference in a life, to actually kick a nervous system into parasympathetic, responsible party mode…to allow for surrender to the Jam Cruise flow, surrounded by a few thousand incredible humans, artists, creators, innovators, lovers, and music appreciators – all attempting to do the same. 

Jam Cruise 19 - 2/6/23 - MSC Divina and the Caribbean - photo © Dave Vann 2023

I already knew that Jam Cruise was going to be a true full circle moment, a return back to more purpose, a welcome push out of my comfort zone, and a re-committment to loosening up and really embracing fun, a “best week ever” type thing, you could definitely say. I metaphorically pinched myself as I packed and prepared – “I really get to pack all of my favorite clothes and run around with all sorts of friends on a boat listening to the most epic jams with some of my favorite musicians?” I thought. With a fine selection of handpicked wisdom, advice, and humor from the amazing “lifers” and “repeat offenders” on the Jam Cruisers Facebook group , I embarked on an adventure I had been unknowingly training for a decade plus. 

The six-night outing departed from Miami, making two stops, one in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, and one in Grand Turk. There were three official theme days established by Cloud 9 and three unofficial theme days set up by the cruisers. This made for a dress-up, costume-filled boat the entire span of the trip. At any other point in my life, I would have been in slight distaste for a theme every single night. However, in this seemingly pivotal turning point of a once hard personal preference, the themes fit seamlessly with clothes I already had and the costumes become one of the best parts of the cruise for me personally! Seeing everyone and their one-of-a-kind spectrum of self-expression and creativity (or not – which was also cool), was absolutely delightful, entertaining, engaging, and oh-so…F-U-N! 

And while music is the dominating spearhead of the festival-at-sea, Jam Cruise also features top-tier teachings and offerings via programs like Masters Camp at Sea , Wellness at Sea , a full schedule of “activities ”, which involve a beautiful slew of summer-camp inspired slots of time watching or participating in exceptional and mostly ridiculous shenanigans with fellow cruisers and artists. Since the cruise is truly what they say, “a marathon, and not a sprint,” we shall marathon this rambling and personal recollection of possibly unreal events into a day-by-day playbook for you to divulge yourself in. Enjoy. ;D

DAY 1: ALL ABOARD JC 19 – Unofficially “3 Years of Sparkles”

Three years of anticipatory excitement buzzed palpably in the air at Port Miami as thousands of eager Jam Cruisers underwent the process of actually boarding the cruise ship. With the unofficial theme of “3 Years of Sparkles,” it was no wonder there was quite a special sparkle in the air. Glittery, colorful humans flung themselves into long-awaited reunion hugs and hellos and virgin cruisers relied on the “repeat offenders” to show them the way, as everyone enthusiastically found their appropriate place in the embarkation process. An enthusiastically beautiful frenzy to behold, thousands of attendees, staff, artists, and crucial teams made their way through the line, passing customs, obtaining their coveted cruise card, and lastly, crossing the threshold onto the grand MSC Divina. Embarkation complete.

Now once you’re on board, the first step is finding your cabin, setting your things down, hootin’, hollerin’, high fivin’, and then briskly strollin’ to the Atrium to attach your credit card to your cruise card so that you can keep the thoughts of responsibly at bay for the week. The Divina was obnoxiously more grandiose than I had pictured, with mirrored walls all over the place for maximum vanity and friend-making opportunities, crystal staircases (real Svorkskey in the Yacht Club – IYKYK), a true “luxury floating hotel” vibe (also known as a cruise I guess). 

An inaugural Jam Cruise right of passage is drinking a BBC, which is a blended Bailey’s Banana Colada (but fresh banana and a floater Meyer’s rum). As I began acclimating and slowly running into dear friends and meeting new instant pals, while waiting in the bar line for my first MSC bartender and BBC experience, the reality of being on motherfunkin’ Jam Cruise 19 seeped into my beaming, sensitive, overly excited being. As joyous interactions and synchronistic introductions occurred at every turn and everyone began to ease into the wildly wonderful vibe of Jam Cruise and find their shipmates, the three-year wait was FINALLY over and it was all happening.

Just around sunset, throngs of enthralled, sparkling Jam Cruisers began spreading their shine across all floors and stretches of the Divina. Bubbling cumulus clouds draped behind the pulsing Miami skyline as smiling people took pictures or got their pictures taken (shout out to the epic photo team whose photos will be used throughout this piece), letting the anxious excitement of the reality sink in as the party truly began. Well, technically the pre-party with Karina Rykman was a mini kick-off, but also technically, Jam Cruise doesn’t actually start until the official toast and George Porter Jr.’s opening set on the Pool Deck. As the Divina set sail southeast into the open sea and the Magic City skyline slowly kisses the dark horizon, we waved ‘ta-ta’ to life as we knew it. 

Jam Cruise Day 1 on Febrauary 6, 2023 Jam Cruise on the MSC Divina Sai

A small disclaimer: The thing about the schedule (and the “not schedule”) on Jam Cruise, is that incredible music and insanely cool jams that will never happen again are happening pretty much at the same time every day, all day and all night. It is simply impossible to catch it all. There is pure magic popping up and down every corridor and on each new floor you step to. You can have your “plan” and set sets to catch, but when it comes down to it, you are at the mercy of the Jam Cruise flow, the magnetic draw to the moment you were called to be in, you know, all that spiritual energetic hoopla nonsense. One huge positive that veteran festival goers will relish in though, is that pretty much every band on Jam Cruise plays at least two sets, sometimes even three, so if you miss the first, you may be able to see them again.

Okay, back to Day 1 now…

George Porter Jr. & the Runnin’ Pardners gracefully cast us away into the oceanic abyss, sharing the deep-rooted sounds of his funky majesty, sprinkling in favorites from The Meters, Hunter/Garcia, and Bill Withers, as the gracious breeze set the tone for a week at sea. Next up was The ominously genius Fearless Flyers (Nate Smith, Joe Dart, Cory Wong, and Mark Lettieri), in the bow-ly beautiful Pantheon Theater, an act I had somehow yet to had the undying pleasure to witness in real life. Lettuce followed by showcasing a full force in a funk-forward set on the Pool Deck. As seasoned vets on the ship, their set was a welcomed breath of returning home to the funk, gooey center of the live-music lollipop. The rest of the night was literally chock-full of hard-to-choose musical selections, with The New Deal, The Bamboos, and Neighbor all sharing set times, followed by undeniably talented supergroup The Word, SunSquabi , and a “new” band, Cool Cool Cool, that you must familiarize yourself with. I had recently seen The Word at Denver Comes Alive so I blasted off to Jamtronica-Future Fun trio Sunsquabi, before heading to an intimate triple Cool-ing in the Jam Room. 

Well, shoot…looks like we are going to take another detour here, as I think it’s necessary to set the mood for a few of the special spots that deserve a more, in-depth nod to set the scene.

The Black and White Lounge a.k.a. the Jam Room:

Masters Camp at Sea by Day & the Juiciest Jams by Night

A flashy and expansive room with low ceilings and high class, the Black and White Lounge features an odd but attractive clubby-lounge vibe with a once-was-cooler decor that you end up sort of loving after you spend so much time there in the wee hours of the morning. Large but intimate gathering spaces with white pleather seatings and curved booth spaces presented great zones to kick back and have conversations with epic jams in the background. The white-tiled dance floor was in itself an entire vibe, just look up and there’s a spherical ceiling made of mirrored glass ascending in the middle, spliced with led lights leading up into what is essentially the wormhole of jams past. Anyways, the Black and White Lounge a.k.a the Jam Room was host to some of my absolute favorite musical memories on the boat, each night hosted by a different artist who was able to completely curate the late-night tunes for everyone who was not getting their DJ on up top in the Galaxy Disco. The Disco was sadly a place I only went to twice for a total of 30 minutes, and not because it wasn’t legendary, I just found myself in the Jam Room nightly.

During the day, the Jam Room was host to the incredible Masters Camp at Sea . What I like to describe as the ultimate opportunity and experience for aspiring musicians and curious fans alike, Masters Camp at Sea presents the chance to take classes, watch, and participate in jam sessions with some of the best “masters” in their class. This completely immersive and enriching offering allows people to get up close and personal with top-tier musicians and humans that are there to share their wisdom and guidance, as well as give you a supporting nudge in the direction of your musical dreams. This year’s program featured “Masters” Isaiah Sharkey, Nikki Glaspie, Reed Mathis, Peter Levin, Vaylor Trucks, John Medeski, George Porter Jr., Adam Deitch, Robert Randolph, and Roosevelt Collier (yeah…WHAT?!). Master Camp at Sea is presented by Jam Cruise and Music Masters Collective Inc . a non-profit created with the mission of producing one-of-a-kind music events fusing education and inspirational live performances, as well as bridging the gap between artist and audience.

The Spot: Late-Night Deck Pickin’ for the Soul

The iconic “Spot,” located outside on the deck not far from the Jam Room, is a Jam Cruise staple whose “hosting” badge was awarded to The Sweet Lillies this year. Imagine a cross between a busking scenario and a pickin’ party that lasts into the wee hours of the night and can feature some mind-blowing string jams with the unlikeliest and most unthinkably brilliant groupings of players rotating throughout the evenings…and you have The Spot. 

 Jesse Faatz

The Atrium: The Classiest & Tackiet Piano Lounge You Ever Did See

Located in the lobby of the Divina, where a small circular seating area doubles as one of the most intimate and epic “stages” of Jam Cruise, The Atrium provides viewers with a truly unforgettable concert experience. Towering three floors, this legendary space presents ample room to view whatever magic is happening from multiple floors, just take the circular crystal staircases up and down to find the appropriate spot for your senses to feast. And at least once on the cruise, you had to incubate yourself into the glass elevator that takes passengers up and down to get a real one-of-a-kind viewing of the entire Atriatic spectacle. Picture this – you’re watching George Porter Jr. jump in on upright bass for “Insane in the Brain” with The Sweet Lillies or three members of Lettuce taking turns solo-ing with The Fearless Flyers, all the while witnessing insanely happy adults dressed in costumes having the time of their life going up and down the glass Atrium elevator – literally a priceless sight.  

Okay, okay, okay…back to the daily run-through. 

DAY 2: First Day at Sea & an Offical Theme of the Decade You Were Born

Aaah, the first full Day at Sea on the Divina with the theme of “Decade You Were Born”. This meant you had thoughtfully and awe-inspiring costumes from all of the decades strewn about the boat for roughly 22 hours. A musical outfit I became fancy to on the boat is Utah-based Pixie & the Partygrass Boys , fronted by a badass babe Pixie and spanning string-centered tunes in the form of bluegrass, Americana, pop, rock, you name it. They kicked off day two with an energetic set on the Pool Deck right around “lunchtime” (cause societal norms and times are out of the equation on JC). Then it was time for a split set: the first half was heart-warming storytellers The Lil Smokies , who so humbly bless their authentically sophisticated Americana Roots sound to the world. 

I had been very excited to finally catch Daniel Donato , who was playing his solo acoustic solo at the Garden Pool, stripping down his cosmic country sound to a backyard pool level for a slight peek into his guitar prowess that would be fully showcased as the week carried on. One of the bands I was also very excited to see (for the sheer rareness of the opportunity) was Cymande , a renowned British funk group that is a pillar in the making of the genre back in the seventies. Lamentably, their Pool Deck set was pretty much fully canceled due to unsafe weather (thankfully they had another set scheduled for the Pantheon Theatre later on). After just a slight but understandable small bummer, we were graced by a hauntingly stunning Fruition trio set in the Atrium, which featured some of my favorite harmonies in all the lands. 

The Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio gave us a schooling in pure SOUL, organ-ically guided classes in the land of jazz, funk, Motown, blues, you name it. Lucky folks were also able to see The Revered Matthew Rieger (amazingly talented multi-instrumentalist and artist also in The Lil Smokies) in the Atrium or Mihali (good vibe curator and also insanely talented multi-instrumentalist and singer also in Twiddle) in the Golden Jazz Bar (a spot I wish I’d have a clone for so I could have spent more time in), while the rest of the boat was getting their dinner or costume on, or in the Panthenon (due to weather) for the not-to-be-missed Neal Francis set (damn that’s a run-on but we love it). Resurrecting a vintage sound reminiscent of the best in R&B, funk, and the like, Francis brings a heartfelt enthusiasm that’s hard to deny, from his songwriting and lyricism to his stage presence and the talent and camaraderie apparent throughout the band. 

By far my highlight of the night and one of the top of the week for me was The Fearless Flyers , whose Pool Deck show was moved to the Atrium (wow thank you concert Gods), for a tremendously packed, face-melting set of literal genius, which is when the sit-in’s by Lettuce’s Eric “Benny” Bloom , Ryan Zoidis , and Adam “Shmeeans” Smirnoff occurred. Karina Rykman brought her infectious high spirited energy and bass playing to the lounge, while there was also a Honey Island Swamp Band set and West Seattle All-Star jam of legends in the Jazz Lounge (wow it pained me to miss both of these). I had signed up for Positive Legacy (don’t worry – I will get to that soon) scheduled for 9AM the next morning, but there was no way in any universe that I was missing an Andy Frasco & the U.N. set my first time on the boat (it may have been Andy’s birthday or something?!).

 Jesse Faatz

A frontman, songwriting, and piano-playing fool who wears his heart on his sleeve and is endlessly kind and giving, Andy Frasco and his radical band [Ernie Chang, Floyd Kellogg (half-time), Shawn Eckels, and Andee “Beats” Avila], delivered a rambunctious, A-FUNc-tion throwdown for the ages. By the end of the set, I had lost my dope glasses, found my dope glasses (surprisingly not crushed), was kicked in the face (lightly by a crowd surfer named Floyd), and strutted myself down the Frasco-directed aisle in the crowd after a man dressed as David Bryne in his iconic giant grey suit (who I later met eating breakfast the in his “regular” form – s/o to you, can’t remember your name). With a full heart and exhausted body, I attempted to sleep before my only early wake-up call of the week.

DAY 3: Port Day in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic with Positive Legacy and Unofficial Theme of LOVE!

Bright and begrudgingly early with a massive headache from lack of sleep and maybe one or two too many drinks just a few hours before, I put on my closed-toe shoes, grabbed my sunscreen and water, and dialed my buddies’ room to make sure they were up for our highly-anticipated adventure in the gorgeous country of the Dominican Republic. Since 2004, Jam Cruise has incorporated Positive Legacy, a non-profit whose mission is to integrate live music and service to positively impact the communities in the destinations Cloud 9 visits. Made up of a day of service, an insanely cool charity auction, and other fun extras, Positive Legacy was hands down something I knew I wanted to participate in when I first heard of it years before finally making it on the boat. This year’s positive legacy was spearheaded by an awesome guitarist and native Dominican Ricky Giordano, who plays with Karl Denson and helped coordinate the happenings for the service day. 

Excited and eager to see what was in store for the day, two bus fulls of 75 cruisers, the musicians involved, and a small but mighty crew of volunteers headed towards Project Esperanza where we teamed up with the incredible Bachata Academy for a day of service, learning, fun, and unbeatable community. We broke up into different workstations to assist with projects around the land like sifting dirt to create stucco and build a wall, helping build the foundation for an aquaponic vegetable garden, digging and transporting dirt and rocks to help clear space, and other tasks that were necessary for the growth of Project Esperanza. All the while, students from the Bachata Academy and musicians from KDTU and other bands broke off into their perspective instrument stations for an enriching musical lesson for all involved. We were also treated to a delicious homecooked meal, dancing lessons, and awesome demonstrations of Bachata-style music, all capped with an epic jam from members of Fruition and Pixie and the Partgrass boys to celebrate the accomplishments of the day. 

Sweat and dirt-covered and tired as hell, but so, so full of joy, my bestie babe Megan and I made it with just enough time to soak in the rays and jump in the refreshing waters of the northern shore of the country. Ah, thank you ocean medicine! I immediately felt ready to tackle the evening portion of Day 3. I retired to my cabin for a much-needed solo hour to shower and to get my rainbow tie-dye dress, pink heart sunglasses, sparkly platform Vans, and “Howdy Honey” trucker hat on. Now, a trusted source and four-time cruiser from back home had told me never to miss a Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe Pool Deck set (like I would anyways…) so I rallied with my close homies to get the funk down on the deck to a LIFER legend (Yes, Karl has been on every single Jam Cruise). In what I assumed and prepared for and also very quickly cemented as truth, is that you are averaging around 20,000 steps a day. Which is what I LIVE for, to be honest. I funkin’ love walking, but also, that’s a lot on my aging and aching hooves, joints, and overall body (I think most of us were in the same … boat…). Anyway, I ran from bow to aft and up and down from the Pool Deck to catch bits and pieces of Little Stranger , Reed Mathis , lespecial , and then made sure to be in attendance for ALL of the Trouble No More set. 

The night peaked during the Lettuce Pantheon revival – surrounded by the babliest of core babes, and then hundreds of Lett-lovin’ folks just as fanatic as me, I die (and reincarnate into a more powerful being of love and realness and light, blah, blah, someone shut me up please). Anyway, if you haven’t seen Trouble No More, it’s probably because you don’t live in one of the maybe 10 cities they’ve played only once at. This eight-piece outfit has formed their own adaptations of the Allman Brothers Band legacy, delivering their poignant and spirited versions from the Southern Rock icons’ extensive catalog. I haven’t even got to what makes the band the most special and why I’ve been wanting to see them play so badly. It’s uh, the people in it, consisting of Brandon “Taz” Niederaurer (guitar, vocals), Daniel Donato (guitar, vocals), Dylan Niederauer (bass), Jack Ryan (drums), Lamar Williams Jr. (vocals), Nikki Glaspie (drums), Peter Levin (keys) and Roosevelt Collier (pedal steel).

I’m pretty sure I was instantly enraptured in the absolute presence and grit of this audible octagon. They carried listeners to the precipice of rebirth, completely reviving the spirits of the Allman Brothers but in a fashion fit for 2023 in the middle of the ocean on a cruise ship. That is when I really got to see each of these players (most of which I hadn’t had the true pleasure of seeing play for more than a sit-in or a half-listen) shine their freakin’ superpowers. I scored an insanely awesome spot to view the scene from, feeling drenched in a thick layer of gratitude as I endeavored to breathe it all in and be in the moment. 

Switching scenes back to the intergalactic musical mission happening in the Theater with Lettuce, I was not, for various and obvious reasons, able to pull myself away to catch any of Polyrhythmics set on the Pool Deck (oh, boohoo). Post-set, I kissed my babes goodbye and jaunted on over to the Jam Room for a dun, dun, dun, dun – Shawn Eckels led Jam Room set til 5AM. Now if people weren’t hip to Mr. Eckels before this Jam Cruise, they surely are devoted fans now. Also the guitarist and integral part of “the U.N.” (of Andy Frasco), Shawn is a half-distinguished guitar player who is highly underlooked in my opinion, but very quickly changing that narrative one sick guitar solo and stage antic at a time. The Eckels-led jams were sick as hell (to be expected), but it was also just dope to see Shawn popping up all over the boat for exciting sit-ins throughout the week.

 Joshua Timmermans | Noble Vision

DAY 4: Officially “Fat Thursday”: Purple, Golf & Green, it’s Mardi Gras Day at Sea 

Oh, Mardi Gras! An early start to the day brought a fruitful amount of fun to choose from: a thunder drum meditation, Ba Duan Jin with Karl Denson, Dogs in a Pile playing on the Pool Deck, an acupressure workshop, a boat-wide scavenger hunt, and a “Shake That Brass” workshop with Polyrhythmics . ALL of that to choose from…and ALL before 2PM?! Complete Insanity. Unfortunately and fortunately for me, Thursday was the day I ended up having a much-needed “chill” sesh. I napped, ate, showered, and powered through as the halfway mark for the trip suddenly crept up on us like unwelcome cold sweats in the night. I threw on my Mardi Gras colors and affirmed to myself in the mirror that “I was a capable bad b**** who was going to have the best evening ever” as I packed the essentials into my mini backpack, bolted in my sparkling Vans up two flights of stairs across to the cafeteria for a “driveway” pizza slice, and briskly walked to the Pool Deck just in time to catch my ultimate faves Fruition for a full band shindig. The sun beat down in thick rays as heartfelt harmonies, raw guitar rippage, and joyous songs filled the saline atmosphere, as I pondered to myself (in my head and probably out loud to a friend nearby) “damn…is this real life”? 

A set I heard was insanely epic but I sadly missed (in lieu of an equally as cool time) was the Honey Island Swamp Band, playing a “Dark Side of the Swamp” set with special guests like Neal Francis and Mike Dillon . However, my 6’o clock hour led me to meet some buds at a spectacle I could not miss, Eric Benny Bloom’s Really Really Tacky Show. Let me tell you what, splendidly tacky it was. People should really let Benny have his own live variety show because everyone in the audience of the three-level atrium (which was THE best setting for this) was absolutely enthralled, laughing, and slightly shocked. The Bloom house band played a slew of genre-spanning bangers with Ryan Stastik on bass, DJ Williams on guitar, Michael Carubba on drums, Kenneth Crouch on piano, and Shira Elias on backup vocals. Nowhere else have I heard more hilarious insults, sultry trumpet solos, and songs by Frank Sinatra and Garth Brooks, as well as the theme songs to both Friends and Cheers. 

Neo-Jazz-Soul-Hop group from Richmond, Butcher Brown , set an entire sunset mood on the Pool Deck – thankfully I caught the last bit, before scooting back across the boat to the Theater for the long-awaited Cool Cool Cool show. You might recognize these high-energy players from Turkuaz, as this newly birthed group is sailing seas uncharted. With a pleasurable sit-in by Roosevelt Collier and their captivating cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain,” I left the Theater anything other than Cool. The excitement just energizer bunnies its way into a space where time is completely irrelevant on Jam Cruise. With confusing changes as the boat crossed time zones from Atlantic and Eastern and vice versa, sleep schedules become completely wack and any sense of normalcy starts to shine its irrelevant grin at your brain as it tries to sort out what’s up and what’s down. A feeling and state of being I honestly had anxiety about surviving through, but once you let the flow of Jam Cruise truly encapsulate your human form midway, the pure childlike joy takes ahold and third and fourth winds start to support the glorious madness against the gravitational pull towards your cabin bed. 

 Jesse Faatz

All that being said, after an incredibly noteworthy and extra funky Dumpstaphunk Pool Deck showdown, I finally found myself walking up the authentic Skavorksy crystal staircase in the famed Yacht Club . There are a few iconic spots on the boat that you hear about and selfishly want to make it to at least once on your journey and the Yacht Club is one of them. While I had a few friends staying in Yacht Club, it’s a little-known secret that the bar is stacked, open, and free (of course only if you’re with Yacht Club members). I ironically had my worst drink of the week there (LOL – no shade on Yacht Club, it was what I ordered that was not good). While the energy of the Fat “Tuesday” (but really Thursday) Second Line pulsed along the pool deck, bringing straight up New Orleans to the Divina, I strolled my way over to the Atrium to check out the Pickin’ Lounge, presented this time by Ben Weiss (mandolin, Pixie & the Partygrass Boys). Complete with members from The Sweetie Lillies, Pixie & the Partygrass Boys, Kyle Tuttle on banjo, and a lot of other dope artists that I don’t know the names of (sorry), this sweet lil’ jam was pretty much the ideal fusion of funk and bluegrass and I couldn’t have been more delighted. 

 Joshua Timmermans | Noble Vision

So in between catching a little bit of Galactic and a lil bit of The Lil Smokies, my sweet best friend babe and I were chilling at the bar in the casino waiting for a drink. Now, repeat offenders and lifers will tell you (as will the Jam Cruisers Facebook group) of the incessantly amazing kindness and joy the MSC staff bring to their jobs and how much fun they can be. Well, my friend and I experienced a true highlight of the cruise as we watched three boa-lad, water gun-toting, pink-sunglass wearin’ MSC staff members make a James Bond entrance down from the crystal staircase, play fighting each other, literally laugh-crying the entire time, barrel rolling on the floor, and putting on a complete show as they threw each other bottles of booze and brought everyone who had the pleasure of being there into a state of almost-pee-your-pants childlike laughter. 

Okay, enough of that fun, it was time to get serious…Dead serious. No really, with Joe Marcinek’s Dead Funk Summit. Now if you aren’t familiar with Joe Marcinek , who is quite the musical virtuosos and ringleader. A man with a heart of gold, Marcinek tours like none other, always bringing an incredible rotating cast of equally talented players with him. This time, it was funky Grateful Dead tunes with people like Goerge Porter Jr., Tony Hall, Nikki Glaspie, and Ian Neville. I ran back across the boat to groove my way through (another) Neal Francis set (can’t get enough), before finally witnessing the captivating essence of synth-wave goodness Doom Flamingo . A newer band composed of Kanika Moore, Ryan Stasik, Sean Bing, Thomas Kenney, Mike Quinn, and Ross Bogan, this lively band has been laying an impenetrable foundation in their live performances, with powerhouse queen Kanika Moore leading the way. 

Although bed was screaming my name, I sauntered for the thousandth time to Jam Room for the session that could not be missed with the godfather of funk and the godfather of Jam Cruise, Mr. George Porter Jr., knowing that tomorrow morning we would all wake up to the beautiful sight of Grand Turk island. The port stop in Grand Turk was a much welcomed added destination for Jam Cruisers, and I must say, a highly-ranked reason for me to get on that boat. Precisely so that I could get off it and get my body into the crystal turquoise waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The capital of Turks and Caicos, Grand Turk , is a historical hub for Bermudian salt collectors and the salt ponds and marks of the island’s Colonial history can be seen throughout the beachfront capital of Cockburn Town. 

DAY 5: The Beauty of Grand Turk and Unofficial Studio 54 Disco Night 

By this point in the trip, my constantly tugging desire to recharge alone with yoga, breath, music, and walking, was screaming in my face. To avoid any irritation or annoyance being projected on my lovely friends, I opted to veer from the group for a few hours to solo adventure in true Sydney fashion. I joined a few fellow cruisers for a cab ride (thanks to the sweet couple who gifted my fare on the way into town) into the very quaint and sparse downtown area of the island, before hoofing it directly to the sandy shore. Being the water baby I am, I spent a few serene hours slowly making my way back towards the cruise port, stopping at every single gorgeous stretch of beach along the way.

I recharged my batteries via salt, sun, and sand, as I attempted to etch every fractal of that view into my mind, oozing gratitude for that moment, for the entire trip so far, and for the continued epicness still to come. Every so often, I’d exchange a special moment with an island local or a familial Jam Cruiser, who was also totally sponging up the sensational sea-nery and relishing every moment on actual land. I eventually walked to the singular road that golf carts and cabs were carting cruisers to and from the port on, and thankfully, a sweet lady with an Astro van of cruisers pulled over and allowed me to join the ruckus inside the vehicle. Shout out to the group in this cab, who also randomly gifted me my $5 cab fare as we gassed each other up for being awesome and hopped back into the tourist port trap of “Margaritaville”. 

After I re-boarded the Divina, a much-needed siesta and recoup was in order before the evening kicked off with the sunset pool deck edition of my favorite rowdy rockers, Andy Frasco & the U.N. I regrouped, rested up, and recharged – ready to soar in the slow-burning disco fever Studio 54 night would entail. A huge aspect of JC that I appreciated was the fact that the “crowds” everywhere you went were filled with the most friendly, attentive, and lovely folx. I felt generally so safe, secure, seen, heard, and loved 99.9% of the time. As I joyfully sauntered up to the front of the A-FUN crowd, it took less than a minute to find my Frasco-loving aficionados. The set contained some of the heart-punching favorites and a wildly rockin’ guitar threesome sit-in with Eckels, Mihali and Brandon “Taz” Niederauer (the 20-year-old guitar prodigy and Yale student who has been on the boat since he was a wee shredder). “Give it up for the guitar players – fuck yes” exclaimed Frasco after each player shredded their faces off and proceeded to drop into genuine childlike playtime, dragging each other across the floor, doing backward rolls, and grinning from ear to ear all the while not letting up on the licks. 

A perma-grin on my face, I stayed in the general vicinity with my babe Kelsey as we eagerly awaited the long-anticipated phoffman set, which ended up proudly being my FAVORITE SET OF THE ENTIRE WEEK (a very close call and for a slew of reasons that would bore you but ignite my innermost soul’s flames). The phoffman set was made of Paul Hoffman (mandolin, lead vocals, Greensky Bluegrass), Andy Dunnigan (dobro, vocals, The Lil Smokies), Matthew “The Reverand” Reiger (guitar, The Lil Smokies), Jake Renick Simpson (fiddle, The Lil Smokies), Tyler Thompson (drums, Fruition), Jay Cobb Anderson (guitar, Fruition), Jeff Lenoard (bass, Fruition), and The Horn Section (arguably the hardest working horns on the boat this year), composed of Chris Brouwers (trumpet), Greg Sanderson (tenor saxophone), and Josh Schwartz (baritone saxophone). It was the synchronistic fusion of Hoffman’s ooey, gooey songwriting and lyrical honey with the hard-hitting guitar gang, and the robustness of a full band PLUS horns closer to the end….ooooooweeeeee! I would have been fine dissipating from this earthly plane after this “Horny Fruity Smokie Phoff” musical experience – highlights include lots of Greensky classics like “Leap Year,” “All I Need,” and insane jams you just had to be there for. 

Sadly, I had to opt to miss the Honey Island Swamp Band (again), Fackin’ A (Mike Dillon’s newest super genius group with the lespecial dudes), and the second Trouble No More set. However, the universe handed me a spiritually moving incident in the form of an Oteil & Friends set , which encapsulated the breezy beautiful night flawlessly. The supergroup opened with Kool & The Gang’s “Let The Music Take Your Mind,” a fitting mood to set for really the entire Jam Cruise experience. The musical magic carried on through Allman Brother’s Band staple “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed” before Jen Hartswick wooed us as she does by taking the reigns on Janis Joplin’s “Piece of My Heart,” before a “Dark Star” that will long be unforgotten. The feeling of love and acceptance was tangible and the set ended with a memory of two beloved cruisers who had set up a surprise engagement (he said YES!) via Oteil that was capped off with a more than suiting “They Love Each Other.” 

 Jesse Faatz

A four-fold banger was on our plate next, as I nonchalantly swiped drive-by pizza slices to and from Cymande’s theater set to Pixie & the Partygrass Boys in the Black & White Lounge to a not surprisingly cool Little Stranger set on the Brews at Sea Stage that ended with the dudes galavanting through an ocean of dancers and up the staircase to the top deck where they de-clothed and retreated to the hot tub – mic drop – literally. The disco daze continued with blips and pieces of Umphrey’s Mcgee rockin’ the pool deck to a proportionally large crowd, Karl D funkin’ it out in the Theater, and a sardine-packed Jam Room throwdown lead by Prince “Taz.” I called it around 4AM to prepare for the final day of Jam Cruise 19 (holds back reluctant tears).

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DAY 6: COWBOYS Vs. ALIENS for the Last Galactic Hoorah

I awoke on Saturday morning with a bittersweet belly full of gratitude for how the week had divinely unfolded. We had all made it to the final frontier…and the official costume theme that had been most excited about….Cowboys vs. Aliens. For the first time ever, I custom-ordered an outfit – a cosmic bodysuit and full-length, fringe-lined gloves of my dreams (shoutout to Coquetry Clothing ). Paired with sequin boots, my genuine Texan cowgirl hat, and my honky-tonk sass attitude, I was giddy’d up. But first, I accomplished my goal of attending at least one curated yoga class, where I happened to run into my four dear buds, all from Denver. Our bodies at a point were, even with my somewhat consistent workout regime and relatively healthy diet and lifestyle, wrecked. We all needed endless hours of pampering i.e. massage, hot soaks, steams, stretching, and sleep (soon, young grasshoppers, soon). The yoga classes were part of larger “ Wellness at Sea ” program, which offered an incredible variation of workshops, classes, open forums, and offerings on self-care, mindfulness, energy work, and more throughout the week on board. 

Curated by Rebel + Muse , power duo teachers Melanie and Kaleo Wassman (the later part of Californian Rock band Pepper). A juicy ground-centered flow targeted the back, which we all delighted in as we inhaled life force into each scrumptious asana pose. Even though I was running on fumes, I decided to completely seize the last day, not wasting a minute and sponging up every last glorious moment with cruise friends, fond and fresh alike. 

The one absolutely necessary “to-do” checkbox on the last day is to PACK UP YOUR THINGS! That way, when they somewhat aggressively but still politely urge you off the ship bright and early around 8AM…sharp, you are ready to go! I knew I wanted to avoid packing in a rush on a head full of Jam at 5AM, so I made sure all my items were properly accounted for and zipped back into my handy air compression packing bags, with all other small items and mementos from the best week ever safely tucked in pockets and bags for later moments of surprise flashback bliss upon the arrival home. After I very proudly had all my belongings 90% ready for disembarkation, I threw on my favorite string bikini and headed to the pool deck for a long-anticipated FULL day of fun in the sun. 


This was the schedule that Saturday afternoons are made for – Karina Rykman rockin’ out pool deck blazing while just a hundred yards or so away Mihali was gracing us with a swoon-worthy solo set on the quaint garden pool stage on the Divina’s bootiful tail end. The cherry on top of parading back and forth throughout the allotted 75 minutes of each artist’s time, was having the absolute ride of my life on the swirling water slide that I, unfortunately, had not yet ridden. Making up for lost slide time was crucial and I’m happy to report I got seven solid slides in, recruiting three newbie sliders including new homie and Karl Denson guitar player Ricky Giordano for one of the LAST slides of the entire festival. But wait, back to the blissfully immaculate sun-drenched afternoon – composed of a solo phoffman set before the undeniably loveable Yacht Rock sunset escarpment. 

 Jesse Faatz

The acoustic phoffman set saw Greensky frontman on guitar, playing sweet sentimental nothings that officially burst my overflowing soul into a million pieces into the salty ethers of the sea. No for real though, his set was highlighted with a personal top-ranking song in the love category “In the Morning Light” (co-written with Mr. Billy Strings), my top-ranking Greensky Bluegrass song “The Four,” “Courage for the Road,” and heartbreaker “The Reverend.” A loveable dose of lighthearted Yacht Rock , which beamed tunes synonymous with the name, was led by Lebo and composed of insane talent like The Horn Section, Ivan Neville, Nigel Hall, Shira Elias, Sammi Garrett, Karl Denson, Kellen Asebroek, Jay Cobb Anderson, Robert Mercurio, Mimi Naja, Jan Hartswick, and more I am rudely not able to recall. Bubbles caressed the air as sweaty and smile-decked Jam Cruisers grooved and bobbed their way through such a FUN Yacht Rock setlist, which included Michael McDonald’s “I Keep Forgetting,” Jackson Browne’s “Somenody’s Baby,” Olivia Newton John’s “Magic” sung by the insatiable Sammi Garrett, and Toto’s “Rosanna” to name a few. 

 Joshua Timmermans | Noble Vision

It was a culminating moment as the sun set gracefully on the western front of the shoreline, bringing that inevitable feeling that the final hoedown was in hot pursuit. I didn’t mention it before, but bands like Fruition, Andy Frasco & the U.N., The Motet, SunSquabi, and Lettuce, were some of the first bands I ever interviewed as a doe-eyed, completely naive music journalist. So being able to attend Jam Cruise, seven plus sun cycles later, after years of observing, appreciating, and supporting the evolution of these bands and individuals who supported my always-itching side passion, was a literal waking dream come true. 

While I went back to my cabin to change out of the slide suit and into the cosmic cow-lady bodysuit, seal the deal on my packing mission, and link with the inner crew to rally for the last hoorah, that sadly meant missing Neal Francis’ atrium set (boo), the Dave Watts Super Jam (double boo), and the final silent auction happenings for Positive Legacy (triple boo). It’s okay though because my three new best friends and I toasted our bottle of champagne that we had delivered to our room and took some important moments to hug, thank, and enjoy each other’s company without thousands of people around. Once we were saddled up and ready to ride, we opted for some Butcher Brown in the lounge before catching the not to be missed second Oteil & Friends set in the theater. 

In what I was finding was fitting Jam Cruise fashion, next up were FOUR sets we had to begrudgingly either choose from or choose to full send for (which the second is of course what I opted for). OH, a heaping dose of O.G. electro jam outfit Sunsquabi, a generous spoonful of progressive Afro-Funk Polyrhythmics, a gulp of funky goodness Galactic, and topped off with a band I had been waiting what felt like too long to finally see – lespecial. If you had to classify it, which you really can’t, this “heavy future groove” trio is bringing something entirely their own to the scene and catching quite the fan base with each live show. Made up of Luke Bemand (bass, synth), Rory Dolan (drums, samples, vocals), and Jonny G (guitar, keyboards, samples, vocals), this band brings you to the terrifying edge where fans of Tool, Primus, 00’s classics, and psychedelic jam improv can relish in uncharted sonic territories that bring out a brute of buried primal energy that had been asleep a little too long ( read this in-depth review of a recent lespecial show for a more sensory dive). 

JC19 would not be fully circled without staying up all night and getting way downer than down at the Roosevelt Collier-led jams. An unbeatable way to seal the jam jar, these late-night sonic collabs featured the supergroup lineup of my personal dreams I didn’t know I had, with both Shawn Eckels and Taz on guitar at certain points, Adam Deitch on drums, Brad Miller on bass, Greg Sanderson on sax, and more, exploring unknown realms beyond the physicalities of the earthly world. I’d find myself glistening in sweat, dancing my booty off with dope ass friends, and then I’d snake through the sardined crowd and pop out for some fresh air and more familiar faces at pickin’ The Spot. 

We were able to rally a crew of about 10 up to the Galaxy Disco for one last hour of fist pumps, humorous antics, and appropriate shenanigans that would be tipped off with some final slices of pepperoni pie and fresh-cut fruit in the cafeteria. The last few hours on the boat are a certified, sorta confusing, cluster pluck situation of half the people trying to get TF off the boat as soon as possible and half the people taking their sweet leisurely time, cause “what’s the damn rush?” Anyhoo, I got lucky as hell and found my disembarkation buddy near the front of the line. I somehow hauled all my luggage to meet them and by a twist of glorious fate you may say, we somehow ended up in an Uber, across the city, and checked in to our beachfront hotel and in full lounge mode by 10AM…?! Uh okay, universe, I see you, and I thank you.

 Jesse Faatz

Join in on the Best Week Ever & Pre-Book Jam Cruise 20 TODAY

It honestly has created overwhelmingly welcome surges of dream-induced feelings aimed to stick a finger in my cloudy memory recall from the trip, as well as a fond longing for a stretch of time that will never be comparable to any other trip I have or will ever take again. There is positively no way to recap or even put into words the inexplicable cosmic alchemy that occurs on this boat, yet here is my mediocre and way too long attempt to recount it in a digitally digestible format.


The environment and space that Cloud 9 (s/o to the queen of queens, Annabel Lukins Stelling), the MSC staff, and every member involved in curating Jam Cruise has cultivated for the attendees, allows people to fully, safely, and abundantly BE themselves…to relish in joy, fun, and all the things that set our souls on fire. It is truly incomparable, especially when you then add in the luxurious and obnoxiously awesome features that come with the cruise aspect of the passage. Access to the spa, 24-7 buffet, a cozy room and bathroom, amazing staff and wait service, the choice of balconies, Yacht Club, etc. – these amenities create the level of comfort that we as “professionals” deserve to enjoy during this marathon week of the best in high-caliber stimulation of all things live music, connection, and…the love of the JAM. 

One of the best musical adventures of my life…until Jam Cruise 20 that is. 

 Joshua Timmermans | Noble Vision

I mean, I always thought Jam Cruisers were a little pushy when insisting their music cruise was “the best,” and “you have to go, there’s nothing like it”. And within the first day of the festival, I already knew I was locked in for life (which may have been a subtle underlying reason I waited so long to showcase my sea legs). Now, with around 10 months until the famed 20th anniversary of this absolutely unique floating festival, we’ve already recruited handfuls of eager Jam Cruise virgins to join in on this truly one-of-a-kind Cloud 9 throwdown. There’s no such thing as too much time to plan, so pre-book your cabin today and get to dreamin’.  And if you luckily find yourself in New Orleans during Jazz Fest, head to the Toulouse Theatre for the Jam Cruise 20 kick-off party and lineup announcement show with Stanton Moore, Ivan Neville, and friends.

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Published: 2022/04/05

Jam Cruise Announces Return After Two-Year Hiatus

Jam Cruise Announces Return After Two-Year Hiatus

After a two-year COVID-19 induced hiatus, Jam Cruise announced that it will return in 2023; organizers at Cloud 9 shared, MSC Divina, will set sail on Feb. 6 from Miami. 

The event allows attendees to experience some of the jamband scenes’ best music at sea. The ship will see stops at Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, and the private island Ocean City, Bahamas. 

The artist lineup has not been announced but is expected to be released on May 4. The 2020 iteration of the beloved festival included performances by The Claypool Lennon Delirium, Les Claypool’s Bastard Jazz, moe., Galactic, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe and more.

Public on-sale will begin on May 12. Pre-book is available now and can be accessed here .

For more information, visit .

Watch the Jam Cruise 18 recap video below.

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Sell my car, car research, sign in, what is traffic jam assist, this advanced cruise control relaxes your busy commute..

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  • What traffic jam assist does
  • How traffic jam assist works
  • The benefits and limitations of traffic jam assist

Modern cruise-control systems have evolved to offer a range of features designed to make the daily drive smoother. For example, adaptive cruise control is able to automatically adjust your automobile's speed to maintain a specific distance from the vehicle ahead of it.

Not all of these adaptive systems operate at all speeds, however, with some disengaging if you slow below a minimum speed. This is where traffic jam assist enters the picture.

What Traffic Jam Assist Does

Traffic jam assist can add an extra layer of capability on top of adaptive cruise control by giving it the ability to operate in stop-and-go conditions. This means that once engaged, the system will bring your vehicle to a halt if traffic stops in front of it and then automatically resume forward travel once things get moving again.

Some systems require the driver to lightly tap the accelerator pedal or touch a "resume" button on the steering wheel in order to get moving again. Typically, traffic jam assist is only available below a certain speed, around the 40-mph mark.

Some systems also include additional capabilities, such as the ability to "follow" the vehicle ahead, as well as keep track of lane markings, both of which allow for automated steering as well as speed control. Although traffic jam assist is most often found on luxury models from automakers such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz, it's increasingly available on Hondas, Toyotas, and other mainstream vehicles.

How Traffic Jam Assist Works

Traffic jam assist relies on a similar network of sensors that are already used by most adaptive cruise-control systems. These include radar sensors and cameras that keep track of the movement of vehicles on the road ahead, as well cameras that see the lines on the road that define each lane.

With that information, the vehicle's computer software is able to maintain a safe distance from traffic in front and beside you while you're stuck in a jam. It operates the accelerator, the brakes, and sometimes the steering. It's important to note that traffic jam assist requires that drivers continue to pay attention to the road. Most systems require the driver to keep their hands on the steering wheel in order to operate them.

The Benefits and Limitations of Traffic Jam Assist

Traffic jam assist relieves the tedium of being stuck in a bumper-to-bumper crawl on your commute. Given that the drive to work in the morning and back home at the end of the day occur when many are feeling fatigued, traffic jam assist can also help prevent crashes by braking more quickly in an emergency situation.

Traffic jam assist doesn't always work, however. If you're driving in heavy snow or rain, the cameras it relies upon may be unable to see traffic or lane markings, rendering it inoperable. Sensors and cameras that are blocked by grime, road salt, and dirt can also disable this feature.

Written by humans. Edited by humans.

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Maritime Bay Classic, Metro Jam among Father's Day weekend fun in Manitowoc

M ANITOWOC – It’s Father’s Day weekend, and Manitowoc offers several ways to celebrate with dad, including attending the Maritime Bay Classic bike races, Metro Jam concert and more.

Here are this week’s can’t-miss events in the Manitowoc area. For more, go to .

1. Take dad to the Maritime Bay Classic

The Maritime Bay Classic is day four of the 11-day Tour of America’s Dairyland series. It returns to Manitowoc June 16.

Since it’s Father’s Day, take dad out to the races to watch cyclists zip past the downtown course!

Racing kicks off at 11:30 a.m. and continues through 8:15 p.m.

In addition to watching exciting bike racing, families can visit downtown businesses to grab a bite to eat, have a drink or do a little shopping. Chewy’s will even have an outdoor bar!

Community Hour at the races will kick off at 6 p.m., giving children 12 and younger a chance to participate in the annual kids’ race. All kids who participate will be entered into a raffle to win a new fat bike courtesy of Broken Spoke Bicycles.

To view the course map, register for the kids’ race or sign up to volunteer, go to Visit Manitowoc’s website, .

2. Rock out at Metro Jam

The 45th annual Metro Jam , one of Manitowoc’s largest free live music festivals, returns to Washington Park June 14-15.

The lineup features national, regional and local acts in a diverse array of genres including original and classic rock, Americana, alt-country, roots, folk, blues, jazz, reggae, ska, bluegrass, indie, alternative, pop and more.

The headliner for Friday is The Exotics, Milwaukee’s premier surf rock band, and on Saturday the Atlanta folk-rock act Drivin N Cryin headline.

To see the full lineup, visit Metro Jam’s website, .

More Metro Jam: Metro Jam announces The Exotics will headline June 14 lineup

3. Take the first Shoreline Cruise of the season

The first Manitowoc Shoreline Cruise of the season on the S.S. Badger is set for June 15.

These unique, two-hour cruises kick off at 2 p.m. and travel up and down the Manitowoc coastline.

This one-of-a-kind cruise promises fun for all ages. While aboard, you can explore all of the amenities of the big ship, including the gift shop, movie theater, museum and lounge areas.

Tickets are $58 per person and include food and live entertainment. A cash bar is also available. Children 4 and younger are admitted free.

Remaining Shoreline Cruise dates are July 20 and Aug. 17. To purchase tickets, go to the S.S. Badger’s website, . The Badger’s dock is at 900 S. Lakeview Drive.

More SS Badger: SS Badger is ‘back, better and stronger.’ What to know about the car ferry's first sail and 2024 sailing season on Lake Michigan.

4. Celebrate Father’s Day at Farm Wisconsin Discovery Center

To celebrate Father’s Day, all dads get into Farm Wisconsin Discovery Center , 7001 Gass Lake Road, for free June 15!

Throughout the day, families can experience interactive exhibits, make friends with a dairy cow and watch a virtual farm tour.

The Wisconsin Café will feature savory specials for dad including a Breakfast Steak Sandwich, Cowboy Chicken Sandwich and 6-ounce New York Strip with roasted red potatoes.

For more information, visit Farm Wisconsin’s website, .

5. Attend the Monster X Tour

June 15, the nation’s top monster trucks take over the Manitowoc County Expo Center , 4921 Expo Drive.

Be prepared to be entertained as incredible 10,000-pound ground-pounding giants compete in racing, wheelie contests and rock the house in freestyle action.

Showtimes are at 1:30 and 7:30 p.m.

Adult tickets start at $16.50. Kids 8 and younger are admitted free with paid adult and children 9-12 start at $15.

To learn more and purchase tickets, go to . 

Visit Manitowoc  is the city of Manitowoc's Department of Tourism. Email  [email protected] , call 920-686-3508 or go to Visit Manitowoc's downtown Visitor Center, 824 S. Eighth St., open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays-Fridays (closed holidays).   For more about upcoming events, follow @VisitManitowoc on Facebook, Instagram, X (formerly Twitter) and TikTok.

This article originally appeared on Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter: Maritime Bay Classic, Metro Jam among Father's Day weekend fun in Manitowoc

Maritime Bay Classic bike race in downtown Manitowoc.

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7 Of The Best Things We Saw On Jam Cruise 20: Day 2 [Videos]

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Jam Cruise 20 continued on Monday with a day at sea featuring more than 17 hours of live music as the  MSC Divina made its way to the journey’s first port stop in Montego Bay, Jamaica, where we’re docked as I write this (I can hear steel drums playing outside my window at the port as I write this. Not a bad way to wake up after a solid 2 hours of sleep.)

Monday’s loaded lineup featured performances by The HillBenders ,  J & The Causeways ,  Al Schnier (moe.),  Lebo ,  Daniel Donato’s Cosmic Country ,  Cimafunk ,  Jerry Harrison & Adrian Belew  Remain in Light ,  John Medeski (solo piano set),  Big Richard ,  Lyle Divinsky ,  Perpetual Groove , Jimi’s Dead , Eddie Roberts & The Lucky Strokes , Proxima Parada , Medeski Martin & Porter ft. Aba Diop , Lotus , Lettuce , Ryan Montbleau Band , and Franc Moody in addition to a DJ Logic birthday dance party in the Galaxy Disco and a Jam Room led by TAUK Moore’s Isaac Teel and Kanika Moore .

With several scheduled sets running simultaneously from noon on Monday through after 5:00 a.m. Tuesday morning—and even more “unofficial” music still going when I finally called it after 8:00 a.m.—it was impossible to catch all the music played on the ship on day two. Below are just a few of the most memorable moments from the second day of Jam Cruise 20. Follow Live For Live Music  on Instagram  for more video content all week long.

Daniel Donato’s Cosmic Country Plays The Weather On The Pool Deck

While guitarist  Daniel Donato has already been making an impression on the Jam Cruise crowd for some time (he played last year’s edition with  Trouble No More and as a solo performer, then sat in with  moe. on this year’s opening night), Monday afternoon marked his first Jam Cruise performance with his touring band,  Cosmic Country . Following easy-going early-afternoon sets by  The HillBenders , moe.’s  Al Schnier ,  J & The Causeways , and  Lebo , Donato and Cosmic Country hit the Pool Deck for one of the day’s most energetic performances.

The band’s white-and-grey dress code seemed to match the thick layer of clouds that covered the sky as the set began, though an orange glow on the horizon line hinted at hope for some afternoon sun. The band matched the rabid energy of the crowd throughout the performance as Donato,  Will “Mustang” McGee  (upright bass, electric bass),  Nate “Sugar Leg” Aronowitz (keys), and  Will Clark (drums) treated the line between country sensibility and cosmic improvisation like a slalom course, picking up momentum all the while.

“We’re all here on the same wavelength,” Donato said of the happily sequestered Jam Cruise ambiance. “We’re all here together. It’s so beautiful.” As Donato led the band into an ethereal take on Irvin Berlin classic “Blue Skies”, the clouds above the Pool Deck began to part, revealing the crystal blue sky behind them. Guess we just had to ask.

Adrian Belew & Jerry Harrison Talk To Heads, Play Talking Heads

Jerry Harrison and  Adrian Belew , Jam Cruise 20’s resident rock legends, had a busy day on Monday. In the afternoon, they participated in a live  JAMTalks discussion moderated by  Relix associate editor  Hana Gustafson and spent time answering questions from fans, many of which led to interesting and amusing anecdotes from their decades in the business.

A favorite: In response to a question about his session work with Nine Inch Nails , Belew explained that he often didn’t know what a given song he worked on would actually sound like until it came out. When the graphic hit “Closer to God” came out, he said he heard his kids listening to it (“I wanna f— you like an animal” set off his Dad senses) and tried to tell them they shouldn’t listen to music like that. “But Dad,” they said, “ you’re on this track .”

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Later that night, Belew and Harrison joined up with their touring backing band/Jam Cruise regulars  Cool Cool Cool for a phenomenal performance in the Pantheon Theater that paid homage to Talking Heads tours of the ’80s. As they played, it was hard not to think back to past memorable Jam Cruise moments—like the time  Turkuaz covered P-Funk’s Funkentelechy vs. the Placebo Syndrome in its entirety in the same room on Jam Cruise 18 with a raft of notable guests. While plenty has changed for these musicians since then, Monday’s  Remain In Light set felt strangely nostalgic. The chameleons of Cool Cool Cool can still embody an iconic songbook like few others—same as it ever was.

Cimafunk Makes Jam Cruise Debut In Cuban Waters

Are you ready for some funky party? As the Divina passed through Cuban waters, Cuban/Afro-Caribbean funk sensation Cimafunk and his namesake band took to the Pool Deck for their boat debut and left many Jam Cruisers raving about their new favorite band for the rest of the night. Cima’s ensemble is packed with versatile, consummate performers—the vocal/horn section of Hilaria Cacao (trombone, backing vocals) and Katy Cacao (saxophone, backing vocals) in particular—but it was hard to take your eyes off the frontman as he played the band like an instrument, threw down eye-popping dance moves, and howled like his soul was possessed with the funk. Did the late James Brown reincarnate in Cuba as Cimafunk? Sure, you can’t prove it, but you can’t convince me it’s not true, either.

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Lyle Divinsky Turns The Atrium Into The Living Room

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about Jam Cruise it’s that the best things happen in the Atrium. While bands like Lotus handled the high-intensity crowd in the theater, Lyle Divinsky reaffirmed that cardinal rule on Monday night with a laid-back singer-songwriter set that showed off both his own growing catalog and his many talented friends.

With the Atrium’s makeshift stage arranged so that the musicians faced each other in a circle—to mimic the atmosphere of a living room jam, Divinsky explained—the performance put the spotlight on voices and vibes over technical prowess and improvisation. Revolving guests featured throughout the set included Joe Tatton (The New Mastersounds)  Cris Jacobs ,  Isaac Teel (TAUK), Adryon de León , Shira Elias (Cool Cool Cool), Sammi Garett (Cool Cool Cool), Ryan Montbleau ,  Tuck Ryan , and Lebo .

The Montbleau appearance in particular was a standout moment of the entire night. As Divinsky explained, too often when songwriters get together to play, they end up playing covers. Instead, he wanted to celebrate his peer by “covering” one of his songs with him. With that, Lyle started into Montbleau’s beautiful “Our Own Place”, taking the first verse himself before sitting back with his hands in his lap and a grin beaming from his face as he watched Ryan do his thing with the rest of us.

To cap off the show, Divinsky led all his guests—and every voice in the gathered Jam Cruise choir—for a hair-raising rendition of Boyz II Men ‘s “End of the Road”.

Lettuce Goes Psychedelic, Plays Dead

Lettuce ‘s superpower is its ability to sound like a different band every time they take the stage. While the group’s sail-away set on day one embodied the “funk” space in a classic sense, Monday’s late-night set in the Pantheon Theater took a hard left turn into futuristic, bass-heavy, dancehall psychedelia as familiar faces like Tycoon and  Nikki Glaspie (The Nth Power) filtered in and out on percussion. That all built up to an appropriately thrilling psychedelic climax: A future-funk reimagining of the  Grateful Dead ‘s “West L.A. Fadeaway” featuring bassist  Erick “ Jesus” Coomes on the Garcia vocals as old Dead lot footage and stylized liquid light visuals swirled together on the screen behind them.

Franc Moody’s Jam Cruise Debut

Things I learned about English act Franc Moody late on Monday night on the Pool Deck:

1. Franc Moody is a four-piece band, not a person. 2. None of the four people in the band are named Franc Moody. 3. A 2:15 a.m. Franc Moody set on the top deck of a cruise ship might be one of the most fun dance parties a human being can attend.

The Isaac Teel/Kanika Moore Jam Room Perpetually Grooves (Until 5 a.m.)

Monday night’s Jam Room was hosted by multi-talented TAUK drummer  Isaac Teel and powerhouse vocalist  Kanika Moore , so TAUK Moore became the de facto house band for the late-night session. But this is the Jam Room, so the lineup never stays the same for long.

When I arrived at 4:45 a.m.,  Brock Butler and other members of  Perpetual Groove , who had played a set on the Pool Deck earlier in the evening, were at the helm for a cover of  Prince ‘s “I Would Die 4 U”. After bringing the main band back to the stage, Teel kicked off a sing-along slide through Rick James ‘ “Mary Jane” that saw Tony Hall , Adam Deitch , Deven Trusclair , and more rotate in for their last licks of the night as the clock pushed past 5:00 a.m.

Revisit highlights from the rest of Jam Cruise 20 here: Day 1 | Day 3 | Days 4 & 5 .


Labor Day weekend festival Kickoff Jam in PCB canceled just months after being announced

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PANAMA CITY BEACH — Just a couple months after being announced, the new Kickoff Jam festival scheduled for Labor Day weekend has been canceled.

The news was announced by event organizers in a press release on June 7. The festival, planned to be held at Frank Brown Park in Panama City Beach from Aug. 30 to Sept. 1, was slated to be overseen by the same producing team that runs Gulf Coast Jam.

They declined to comment further.

"After the success of Gulf Coast Jam last week in Panama City Beach, we realized the weekend after Memorial Day is a much better time to host a festival," Kickoff Jam producers said in the release. "So, we are going to cancel Kickoff Jam and provide refunds."

Past reports note that Gulf Coast Jam is overseen by the group PCB Entertainment, while Kickoff Jam was to be overseen by Panhandle Events. Both are led by Rendy Lovelady and former PCB Mayor Mark Sheldon.

Held at Frank Brown Park from May 30 to June 2, the 2024 Gulf Coast Jam garnered the largest crowd in the event's history, with more than 120,000 combined participants over the four days. It boasted headliners Parker McCollum, Jelly Roll, Cody Johnson and Morgan Wallen.

Kickoff Jam was announced in April, at which time an entire lineup for the event also was released. It listed Jamey Johnson, Tyler Farr, Gavin Adcock, Pam Tillis, Catie Offerman and Alabama performing Aug. 30; NEEDTOBREATHE, Lauren Alaina, Restless Road, Carter Faith, Kayley Green and Carrie Underwood performing Aug. 31; and Randy Houser, Oak Ridge Boys, Rhett Akins, Mackenzie Carpenter, Allie Colleen and Garth Brooks performing Sep. 1.

In April, Lovelady told the News Herald that idea for Kickoff Jam was sparked by Panama City Beach Tourist Development Council officials, who contacted him last year about creating a new concert to boost tourism in the area during Labor Day weekend.

Looking back: Bless your hearts: Another star-studded country music fest planned for Panama City Beach

Lovelady also said then that he planned for Kickoff Jam to have an attendance cap of about 30,000 people, which is about 5,000 more than Gulf Coast Jam.

More information on Kickoff Jam and its cancellation will be released as it becomes available.

Review: Imperfect, yes, but ‘Jelly’s Last Jam’ is still wildly entertaining in Pasadena revival

John Clarence Stewart and cast in "Jelly's Last Jam" at Pasadena Playhouse.

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Pasadena Playhouse has become the best place in town to see a musical. The theater is big enough to give a show breathing room but intimate enough to allow an audience proximity.

Most regional theaters of this scale have given up on trying to produce major musical offerings. The orchestra alone would break most budgets, never mind the murderous expense of large casts and elaborate sets.

But Pasadena Playhouse somehow manages to persevere. In recent seasons, it has delivered a fresh take on “Little Shop of Horrors” and served up two glorious revivals in its Sondheim Celebration, “Sunday in the Park With George” and “A Little Night Music.”

On stage now with a 10-piece orchestra is “Jelly’s Last Jam,” the musical about one of jazz’s founding fathers, Jelly Roll Morton. With a book by George C. Wolfe and lyrics by Susan Birkenhead, the show tells Morton’s story through his music. The score by Morton, adapted by Luther Henderson, who composed additional material, confides his spiritual biography.

One of the conceits of the musical is that not only Morton’s personal suffering but the history of his people’s suffering — a history that he kept aloof from — is encoded in the music. “Jelly’s Last Jam” begins at the end, with Morton’s body lying on a coroner’s slab, and works backwards, offering a life in review, a moral autopsy , if you will.

Cress Williams in "Jelly's Last Jam" at Pasadena Playhouse.

Chimney Man (Cress Williams) is the figure who guides Jelly (John Clarence Stewart) through this postmortem reckoning with his past. He asks Jelly to think of him as the doorman or concierge to his soul as he leads him to confront in death what he evaded in life — the pain he experienced and the pain he caused.

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“Jelly’s Last Jam,” which premiered at the Mark Taper Forum in 1991, marked the emergence of Wolfe as one of the mighty creative forces in the American theater. His play “The Colored Museum” had already established him as a playwright of tremendous daring.

In “Jelly’s Last Jam,” Wolfe proved he could be just as innovative with a musical. What set him apart as writer-director was the way he combined electric showmanship with biting political critique.

The musical, which had its Broadway premiere in 1992, catapulted Wolfe into the upper ranks of Broadway directors. But what no one who saw this production will ever forget is the dazzling Tony-winning performance of Gregory Hines in the title role.

Hines was a marvel, not just with his fevered tap dancing and supple singing but with the sensitivity of his characterization. His Jelly had the heartfelt charisma to withstand the brunt of Wolfe’s harsh interpretive scrutiny.

The tap dancing is vibrant in "Jelly's Last Jam" at Pasadena Playhouse.

Although ahead of its time in many respects, “Jelly’s Last Jam” hasn’t had a revival on Broadway. The reasons aren’t hard to find. It’s a big show and a costly one. But more consequentially, it still has the feeling of a work-in-progress, a musical oozing with potential but still a few drafts away from its ideal form.

All the more reason, then, to be grateful to Pasadena Playhouse for producing this revival of “Jelly’s Last Jam.” The musical is historically noteworthy even if it falls short of classic status. (An Encores! concert staging was well received earlier this year at New York City Center.) But more to the point, the musical abounds in theatrical riches that are on brilliant display in this production, directed by Kent Gash.

The energy of the staging sweeps you along even when the storytelling gets blurry or, in its final stage, predictable. Stewart’s Jelly is not sentimentalized. He’s the strutting, arrogant, trouble-making peacock everyone says he is.

Jelly is the first to attest to his own musical genius. He claims that he invented jazz, a point that when disputed enrages him. As a primer on his musical achievement, the show relies a lot on hearsay. We enjoy what we hear, but a deeper understanding of the music wars of the time and the rivalries with other jazz trailblazers are treated superficially.

A number delivers the excitement of the Jazz Age in "Jelly's Last Jam" at Pasadena Playhouse.

The pain Jelly would rather deny is communicated in everything he can’t say — in what he refuses to acknowledge even to himself. Stewart conveys this repression physically, through a defensive crouch that uncoils when under attack. His bombast and braggadocio betray a subtle flinch. Jelly is only truly free when at the piano, making music in a way no one has ever done before.

Stewart doesn’t charm us through sheer virtuosity in the way Hines was able to do. But he gives passionate embodiment to Jelly’s wounds.

Wolfe positions Jelly as a race traitor, who denies his Black roots but whose music tells the full story of his origins. Born to a New Orleans Creole family, he was raised in a musically sophisticated household, where French opera was revered but the lure of the blues floated temptingly just outside his front door.

The traumatic event of Jelly’s early life was his banishment by his grandmother, Gran Mimi (Karole Foreman), after she discovered he was jamming with musicians at a brothel and doing God only knows what else there. Music led him to culturally cross over, but the conflict within his racial identity was established after Gran Mimi slapped him upside the head and told him “You are not Creole!”

What follows are musical snapshots of an artist, who on the lam from himself, hones a style that will forever change the landscape of modern music. On the road, Jelly pairs up with Jack the Bear (Wilkie Ferguson III), and together they careen through a blur of dodgy nightspots and underworld dens, each requiring a hasty exit after Jelly starts running his mouth.

Jasmine Amy Rogers in "Jelly's Last Jam" at Pasadena Playhouse.

The staging, which can seem cluttered and breathless in the early going, traipses through these seedy locales with a theatrical swiftness that captures the milieu that bred the syncopated rhythm of the Jazz Age. (Edward E. Haynes Jr.’s scenic design, Rui Rita’s lighting, Samantha C. Jones’ costumes and Dell Howlett’s choreography create a series of fluid tableaux, part motion picture, part nightclub whirl.)

Jelly eventually meets his match, in every sense, in Anita (Jasmine Amy Rogers). She’s a singer who is as confident as he is cocky. The music they make together is sublime. (Rogers bewitches with her singing in a knockout performance.) “Jelly’s Last Jam” is most alive in their tumultuous love story.

What makes the relationship special from a theatrical standpoint isn’t so much Jelly and Anita’s suitability for each other. (Jelly isn’t ready for her.) It’s Anita’s emotional heft. She’s a worthy antagonist for Jelly, who until now has been shadow-boxing with sketchy ghosts. Anita forces him to confront the emptiness he’s been fleeing his entire life.

The second act of “Jelly’s Last Jam” plays like an outline that hasn’t been filled in. The show’s supernatural frame involving Chimney Man feels more and more like a cheat. The epiphanies that occur via this pathway come cheaply.

Doran Butler and Karole Foreman in "Jelly's Last Jam" at Pasadena Playhouse.

The most thrilling moments of the first half involve the thunderous tap dancing between Jelly and his younger self. (A soaring Doran Butler imbues Young Jelly with an endearing grace.) But sometimes the production tries to mask the problems of the book with empty theatrical pizzazz. The minstrel-inflected “Dr. Jazz” number that closes the first act is given a little too much Vegas oomph.

“Jelly’s Last Jam” is an imperfect show, but a wildly entertaining one. It’s a significant American musical that needs an overhaul that only the authors could provide. Morton certainly deserves it. There’s a deeper knowledge base of his music since the show was written. (The 1992 Broadway musical helped launch discoveries of his oeuvre.)

Wolfe offers an interpretation of an artist that is bracing in its political boldness yet ultimately seems too narrow. But what a vibrant, muscular musical, and how lucky for us that Pasadena Playhouse has undertaken to remind us of its treasures.

'Jelly's Last Jam'

Where: Pasadena Playhouse, 39 S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena When: 8 p.m. Tursdays-Fridays, 2 and 8 p.m Saturdays, 2 p.m Sundays. (Check for exceptions.) Ends June 23 Tickets: Start at $44 Contact: (626) 356-7529 or Running time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

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Charles McNulty is the theater critic of the Los Angeles Times. He received his doctorate in dramaturgy and dramatic criticism from the Yale School of Drama.

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