Now in its eighth year, the popular Jam Cruise will embark January 3, 2010 with a host of funk, techno, and roots-rock related acts on board. STS9, Maceo Parker, Zappa Plays Zappa, and the John Medeski/Robert Randolph/North Mississippi Allstars vehicle The Word are some of the top acts scheduled to play. The five night concert voyage leaves from Fort Lauderdale, Florida and makes stops in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands.
Other acts scheduled include the new-funk groups Galactic and Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, psych bluegrass act Railroad Earth, Grateful Dead cover act Dark Star Orchestra, as well as members of The String Cheese Incident, Soulive, and The Meters playing in various projects.
"Jam Cruise is about so much more than the lineup," the event's producer Mark Brown tells Billboard.com. "It's the overall experience on Jam Cruise that is so special." Over the years, Brown says feedback via surveys help shape the lineup. "The thing about Jam Cruise is that everyone has a back stage pass," he says of the unique setting to hear live performances. "There are autograph signings, workshops, panel discussions, excursions at port, and tons of other activities where fans and artists interact."
By last summer, Jam Cruise 7, which set sail in January 2009, was entirely sold out. This year, 950 cabins were pre-booked before any dates, ports, or artists were announced. Reservations for cabins will be available for the public starting on June 4 at jamcruise.com. Rooms hold from two to four people, with rates starting at $799 and going up to $2449. Even with the current economic climate, Brown is optimistic about this year's journey. "We kept our prices about the same as last year and pre-booking this year was our highest yet. Our 'repeat offenders' come year after year and bring their friends. Word of mouth is definitely our best seller," he said.