Jam Cruise Pre Cruise Show with Umphrey's McGee and The New Mastersounds
Held annually in January, Jam Cruise is a music festival on a cruise ship. It features artists of the jam band genre playing at multiple venues aboard the vessel. While some aspects of the journey are typical of all cruise lines (ports of call with shore excursions, abundant dining opportunities), other features are unique to the Jam Cruise experience - most notably, intimate performances by bands from the top of the scene. Each of the past 9 Jam Cruise sailings have sold out. This highly coveted event is considered to be the highlight of the year for bands and fans alike. A jam band coming out of the Midwest in the mid-'90s, Umphrey's McGee edged toward the Frank Zappa side of the improv rock scale, as opposed to the Grateful Dead/Allman Brothers Band direction espoused by many of their contemporaries, like the Big Wu. The members of Umphrey's McGee met at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana.