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The seeds of Jungle Jam were planted at the first show ever done at Hotel Docelunas in Jaco, Costa Rica. It was a benefit show for the local school system (that raised over 12K), and featured Bill Kreutzman (drums-Grateful Dead), Mike Gordon (bass-Phish), and Scott Murawski (guitar-Max Creek. Since it was a benefit, we were able to secure a stage and sound system from a national corporation. Two nights before the show, I got a phone call telling me that the stage and sound weren’t coming. No explanation, nothing. End of story.
Luckily, I was able to find a sound system and sound guy (who is still with JJ today), but no stage. We could only set up the stage that we used for productions in the hotel’s restaurant. It was a foot and a half tall. When Billy Kreutzman got in, he loved the beauty and vibe of the hotel venue, but wanted to see where they would be playing that night. I didn’t know how to break the news, so I just walked him over to our kiddy stage, under the fire tree. He just stood there, rubbing his chin, not saying a word. I started to tell him the story….and he cut me off. My heart sank. After the longest time, he slowly turned and looked at me. “It’s been a long time since I’ve played on a stage like this.” Then with a big grin, “Don’t worry, we’ll put on a great show.”
And they did! 3 sets, 4 hours, they literally walked off stage, at 2:30. Then, walked up to the bar and had drinks with the fans. I said to Eric, “We should do this more often.” Billy stayed for a week.
Jungle Jam is now in it’s 7th year. A Costa Rican music festival that brings top international artists from the reggae, rock, and jam band world to Jaco. Unlike most destination music festivals, we encourage the locals to come out and dance with us! Ticos (and ex-pats with a cedula) are eligible for discounted tickets. When you come to Jungle jam, you’ll make Costa Rican friends for life. Don’t miss Costa Rica’s best annual live music festival, Jungle Jam! Pura vida.