Every time ekoostik hookah goes to Jamaica (first time was 1999, this was the 6th trip with shows and fans), they do an informal jam night at 3 Dives restaurant on the cliffs in Negril. The owners of 3 Dives are dear, old friends of mine, fans and friends of the band and now good friends to many of the band’s fans. They are on a beautiful cliff property with a restaurant and bar by the road, a stage (new this year) on one side and a lot of mostly undeveloped grassy cliffside loveliness. So the setting is perfect. (Check out some photos and video from one of these nights, back in 2006 and 2009.)
|Lydie and me and Paula at one of the shows later in the week.|
This year the band was playing only two full electric stage shows and those were on a Thursday and Friday. Most fans came in on the weekend and this bonfire jam session was on a Tuesday, so it was the first night everyone really got together, as we were staying in hotels and villas all over Negril. The 3 Dives jam is also always free and open to the public (whereas the official shows are not), so friends and passerby are welcome to come, even participate. It was also the birthday night of the guy who put the trip together this time. We had a lot to celebrate.
We’d gone up to 3 Dives for dinner the night before (Monday), to hang out and have a nice meal before all the craziness, and I’m glad we did because this night was indeed insanely busy. Not only was our group of 100-150 people there, but their regular customers were and a local web site had done a sunset webcast with the 3 Dives house reggae band as well. When we stepped out of the taxi there was a line out the bar at least 30 people deep.
As I said the owners of 3 Dives are dear old friends, some of the first people I met in Negril. I’ve visited them at their home, they’ve visited me in mine, we know each other’s families well. And I’ve always been trusted to get drinks, take money, make change and so on. When Hookah comes, they count on me to help out with the crowd and I am glad to do it. So on this evening, I went from the taxi to behind the bar immediately, and brought Nene too (she’s also helped out before). Rounding out the team here is Paula the owner getting something from the cooler and our friend Lee who actually introduced me to them many years ago.
I know it looks like I am the only one actually working here 😉
Since I was working for, oh, 3-4 hours, I totally missed the house reggae band and a lot of the jam session too. It was my job to take orders and make sure they were accurate with names and table numbers, get payment for them, and sling a lot of drinks. I didn’t want to leave the bar until most people had ordered, at least. Paula had a second bar going down by the cliffside too, so that helped a lot.
When I finally felt like it had slowed down enough for me to stop working, it was probably 10PM. (And if anyone wonders, there were well over 100 orders – not meals, orders of multiple meals – in that kitchen that night and only 3 cooks…and they cranked it out and everyone I spoke to said their food was awesome). I was really happy to be able to enjoy 3 hours or so of jamming and catching up with everyone. I didn’t bring a camera though…but of course, many friends did, and they have graciously allowed me to share their photos. When video surfaces (and I know it will), I will share that too.
Musicians present included ekoostik hookah, Rumpke Mountain Boys, Max from Oakhurst, Chris B, Derick Howard, Corinne Henahan, Kyra Jones and many local musicians who jumped in here and there.
|they came early 🙂|
|Jamming down by the stage…I see Max, Rumpke and Chris|
|Max and Rumpke|
|That is birthday boy Buckley in the middle!|
|Sunset at 3 Dives. Always beautiful.|
|Neat pano of the cliffs at 3 Dives|
|I know there will be video because I see our pro videographer in this shot.|
|This is me while attempting to cool down after I stopped working. I believe I am cheers’ing Buck on his birthday (and he mine, which began at midnight)|
|Some Rumpke, Max, Steve Sweney, Chris|
|Derick Howard there with Dave and Chris|
|Up at the restaurant. We are everywhere but 3 Dives normal customers are too. Hope they enjoyed it – the kitchen had over 100 orders in at one time that night so I know they waited for their food!|
|So much talent in one spot.|
I basically closed the place. Lydie drove us back to Catcha Gardens where we all gratefully changed back into swimsuits and jumped in the pool.
How fun is this? SO.MUCH.FUN.
Thanks again to all for the photos.