Second Night Jungle Jam


Jungle Jam

Dulcalunas Jaco Costa Rica

March 12 2016

Photos by JMS Art & Photo 

Check out the review of night one of Jungle Jam here.

To Submit a review or story for consideration hit us at [email protected]

Check out the Live Music News and Facebook page for updates and announcements. 

So we were settled in and getting used to the lifestyle in Costa Rica and we were ready to go for night two of Jungle Jam!  Arriving during a DJ set I was relieved that the stifling temperature and humidity evident from the night before was no longer as much of an issue-  while it was still hot, it wasn’t stifling.Congo Sanchez

I met up with some friends, soaked up a little bit of AC and was then ready to when the main stage music started.  Congo Sanchez was firing it up, so I went to check it.  The band is interesting-  not a traditional lineup at all-  no regular melodic instruments like guitar or keys or bass-  Center stage is a stand up percussion set with some keys and electronic gear integrated into it.  That is the center of the music, establishing the beats and loops for the band.  In addition there are two vocalists-  Halie Supreme who supplied melodic vocals with influences ranging from reggae to world, with even Middle Eastern scales and melodies flowing from him, and MC and hype man Flex Matthews supplying a much more hip hop driven reality.  Both guys were all over the stage and in the crowd, bringing forth a ton of energy.  At one point Oteil Burbridge joined them for some great jamming, and improvisation seems to be at the root of their sound.   

In a cool move, the band took advantage of their stay in Costa Rica not only to get together with a lot of musicians and play for Jungle Jam.  They spent some time planting trees, showing that they aren’t just partying and traveling, but actually participating in the lives and communities of the places that they are going, kudos Congo Sanchez peeps!

After a break which included another DJ set at the pool stage, Oteil and Friends took the stage.  Tonight was not a repeat of the personnel of music of the night prior, which was a great Bob Marley Jam.  This show was Gratefully deadicated with an amazing lineup:  Jeff Sipe on drums (Aquarium Rescue Unit, Leftover Salmon, Warren Haynes, Tedeschi Trucks and many others), Oteil and Friends 2Oteil Burbridge on bass (Aquarium Rescue Unit, the Allman Brothers Band, Oteil and the Peacemakers, Dead and Company), John Kadlecik on guitar (Dark Star Orchestra, Furthur, Golden Gate Wingmen, John Kadlecik Band) and vocals, Scott Murawski on guitar (Max Creek, Mike Gordon Band, Bill Kretuzman trio) and vocals, and Jason Crosby on keys (God Street Wine, Phil Lesh and Friends) and fiddle.  They also had a previously unexpected guest on percussion for almost the whole set in Congo Sanchez who kept it much more in the standard percussion world, complimenting the band nicely, rather than in the sounds that were evident during his band’s set.

It was clear that the show was going to be a classic Dead style set.  After teasing Terrapin during warmup, the band came in strong on China Rider.  It was a curiosity right from the get go how the two guitar players would react, as both are typically lead players.  Their vocals blended really well-  Kadlecik and Murawski both have voices that can range from rocking to tender to gritty, and they made really great harmonic choices.  If you paid attention at all, you could easily pick out their individual voices, yet the blend was superb.

These are the two guitar players I have probably seen the most over the last few years so I was especially interested to see how they would deal with sharing a stage.  From the get go you could hear Murawski going for more of a rhythm guitar role with Kadlecik taking many of the solos.  But they were very gentile to each other on stage and there was plenty of Scotty licks for eager fans. Scotty

 The band fired through a variety of paired songs throughout the set from the China Rider opener to the classic pairings of Scarlet into Fire,  Estimated into Eyes of the World.  One great surprise was the inclusion of the Murawski / Max Creek song Cruel World to provide a counter point to the otherwise Dead centered set list.

Something interesting happened within an otherwise familiar song list.  Because the band was filled with members who were comfortable with each other musically but likely new to playing together, there was a bit of mystery as to how the songs would unfold.  Signature riffs and lines weren’t necessarily obvious as to who was the person to execute them-  so that open concept led to a lot of listening on stage, and sometimes those signature parts wouldn’t even happen necessarily, or would unfold slightly differently from the originals.  This didn’t lead to fumbling, rather to a freedom that allowed for the band to explore the music without feeling constrained to previously defined aspects of the songs.  The end result wasn’t a distant trip from the material, but rather subtle shifts and feels that allowed for this band to be themselves while playing within a defined construct.  

The show was a good two hours straight, and you could tell the guys on stage were having a good time together, without pressure.  The intimate crowd soaked it up, and you could just feel the love, the Pura Vida that a Costa Rica night can supply.  An easy taxi ride back to my hotel took just a few minutes and I was resting up for day three of Jungle Jam.

 Crosby fiddle


China Cat Sunflower->

I Know You Rider

Scarlet Begonias ->

Fire on the Mountain

Cruel World

Estimated Prophet ->crowd shot

Eyes of the World

Standing on the Moon

Not Fade Away




Check out the review of night one of Jungle Jam here.



To Submit a review or story for consideration hit us at [email protected]

Check out the Live Music News and Facebook page for updates and announcements.