Glide’s Andrew Bruss is providing day to day coverage of Jam Cruise 13 as it makes its way around sea over the course of five days. Here are the highlights and photos from day 2 aboard the ship.
Vote Nikki Glaspie for Captain: This Berklee College of Music-trained drummer has kept the beat for artists ranging from Ivan Neville to Beyoncé so it’s no surprise that while playing to the beat of her own drum, she exhibits a passion unlike anything her fans have heard from her to date. Glaspie left Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk during the summer of 2014 to commit full time to her primary project, The Nth Power.
Alongside Nigel Hall from Lettuce (keys), the bassist from John Brown’s Body, a 110th generation djembe player and singer/guitarist Nick Cassarino bringing all the pieces together, The Nth Power has been one of the most talked about up and coming acts of 2015 and for damn good reason. Their daytime set on the pool deck has been the best performance of the first two days of JamCruise 13 and almost every single JamCruiser was there to enjoy it. The concert was only their 100th as a group together so the sky is t he limit for their 200th gig.
Following the performance, Glaspie hightailed it to the Jam Room seven floors below the pool deck, back in the ass of the boat, to practice for the Super jam she’d be hosting later that night. As of 3:44am EST she’s holding it down with her core crew from Nth power with some help coming from members of The London Souls, The Motet, Lettuce, Snarky Puppy, and Ivan Neville. It’s too early to say, but we might be talking about the JC13 MVP in Nikki Glaspie. The Nth Power still has another performance scheduled before this trip ends.
Mind, Body and Soul Support: On the second day of the trip, JamCruisers had multiple opportunity to grow musically in ways that weren’t just for entertainment.
The Bob Moog Foundation, which honors the memory of the late godfather of synthesizer technology, hosted a workshop on the pool deck early in the afternoon featuring Derek Vincent Smith (Pretty Lights) giving an interactive explanation of how he recreates his tracks live. Smith is slated to host the Jam Room and play a Pretty Lights set with a live band, and he explained that he’ll be sampling and manipulating the performances of the musicians on stage with him on the fly.
In addition to the Pretty Lights seminar, the Moog Foundation hosted a music therapy clinic on a lower deck that really compounded on the value this foundation brought onboard. In addition to providing an array of Moog synths and Theremins for passengers to use, there was also a sound therapy machine being operated by its inventor. Using sonic frequencies, the machine doesn’t just put you in a mental trance but actually vibrates the body and leaves you feeling like you’d had an incredible massage.
The most uplifting sight to date had to be staffers of the MSC Divina rocking out in the rain to The London Souls. The service industry is dehumanizing by design and the cruise industry takes that dehumanization factor up to 11. The folks vacationing on this boat are here because they believe in the power of music to bridge gaps between people and lift humanity up as a whole. So more than any of the performances themselves, seeing the ships crew, on their free time, let go and dive into our journey head first was affirming of the power of music, in addition to shining a light on the commonalities inherent in the human condition as a whole. And that brings us to The London Souls….
The London Souls vs. The Elements: Soaking rain makes rock concerts roll that much harder and if you need more evidence to support this established fact, look no further than The London Souls midnight set out on the pool deck.
There couldn’t have been more than a few dozen people dancing in front of the stage and maybe a hundred or so more watched the set from farther back under cover. While they didn’t draw the largest crowd, the guitar/drum/bass trio from New York City provided the most heavy-hitting, boot stomping rock of the weekend. Rose Hill Drive came to mind during their set, although this crew’s roots are less Black Sabbath metal and more Band of Gypsies power blues.