Best of Jam Cruise 17, Day 4: Galactic, Leftover Salmon and TAUK Jam in Mexico

Raffaela Kenny-Cincotta on January 19, 2019
Best of Jam Cruise 17, Day 4: Galactic, Leftover Salmon and TAUK Jam in Mexico

photo by Jason Charme, via Jam Cruise on Facebook


Jam Cruise went south of the border on Jan. 18, with a stop in Cozumel, Mexico. After cruisers spent the day splashing in crystal clear water and lounging on the beach, it was time for some live music. When you’re on Jam Cruise, there’s always something to see and somewhere to go, so here are just a few of the highlights from day four.


Toubab Krewe for You

After cruisers absorbed some of the Mexican culture on shore, Toubab Krewe eased them back into the motion of the ocean with a set on the Norwegian Jade pool deck. The band kicked things off with “Salut” off their 2018 LP Stylo, and later welcomed a variety of guests from slide guitarist Roosevelt Collier to sax player Skerik to Antibalas guitarist Raja Kassis to Southern Avenue keyboardist Jeremy Powell. The five-piece band’s world-music influence was apparent, as they introduced many Jam Cruisers to their “globally switched-on sound.”


Story Time with Zach Gill

Zach Gill’s informal Atrium set was enlightening both musically and personally, as he dotted his performance with cuts from his newest solo LP Life in the Multiverse and shared stories about fatherhood and family. The ALO keyboardist joked that by the time he got to the Atrium’s high ceilings and grand piano, he promptly forgot his setlist. However, with tunes like “The World is New (Ode to a Father of a Teenage Daughter)” and “Me and my Shadow” he shared pieces of his music and his affable personality with the crowd.


Galactic’s Winning Streak

“There have been 17 Jam Cruises and this is the 17th time this band has played on the pool deck,” Annabel Lukins said, introducing Galactic. Needless to say, the last few months have been huge for the New Orleans funk outlet. In addition to preparing for the release of their new album Already Ready Alreadythe band also gained ownership of the legendary Tipitina’s club in their home city. The energy from the stage was palpable, as the band welcomed guests like percussionist Mike Dillon, the Turkuaz Horns, Roosevelt Collier and regular vocalist Erica Falls as well as members of Fruition for a take on “Like A Rolling Stone” and the ‘90s classic “No Diggity.” With a closing take on the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back,” Galactic sent the crowd dancing to their next musical destination.


This Party is Presented By Leftover Salmon

For their second set of the festival, Leftover Salmon pulled out all the stops, offering a set of high-energy bluegrass and welcoming a slew of guests. After opening with “Southern Belle” off their most recent album Something Higher, the band later Jon Stickley and Roosevelt Collier on “Break on Through.” From there, the stage filled with talent, as Andy Frasco jumped on keys, alongside Karl Denson and Ernie Chang on sax as well as Roosevelt Collier on guitar for a freeform take on “Unplug that Telephone.” Once the guests, cleared the stage Leftover Salmon were sure to dedicate “Astral Traveler” to dearly departed Jam Cruiser Col. Bruce Hampton.


TAUK About It

The space-age sounds of TAUK were the perfect way to close out the pool deck on Friday night, and needless to say, the band welcomed their own batch of guests up for the 1:30 a.m. set. The New York based quartet opened with “Friction” off their 2014 LP Collisions and segued into newer material with “CMF 9000” from last year’s Shapeshifter II: Outbreak. The real highlight came with the addition of guitarist Ryan Jalbert of The Motet on Jimi Hendrix’s “Power of Soul” as well as members of The Motet (Lyle Divinsky and Ryan Jalbert, plus The Motet Horns) on Prince’s “Head.” The band closed out the set well past 3 a.m. with a triumphant take on the Kill Bill theme with plenty of horns in tow.

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