The double life of a smooth(ie) operator

Rastafarian Addam Jacob Cram, known to most as the “smoothie guy” from the Marche, is also known by another name: Visionary. A musician born in Florida, Adam left high school after a run-in with homeland security over a paper he had written about 9/11 and began to play music around the country. Today he lives in Burlington, Vt. working at UVM and trying to bring people together through his music. How would you describe your music?Roots music.And what are you listening to now?I’ve been studying Bobby McFerrin. He is probably one of the best male vocalists in the world. He speaks music as a language. I’ve been trying to study how we can communicate in that way. Like, I have this idea to have the audience be a part of the show, part of that energy.Where is the most memorable place you’ve played?Out on different streets, where people are just out there, like Church Street. People are out on a mission and the music just stops them and makes them think and breathe for a minute. Do you play anywhere on a regular basis?I try to play at Slade as much as I can, and other than that I just try to take any opportunities that open mics have to offer. I guess starting next Wednesday I’ll be playing djimbe in a band called Closer to Nowhere. One of the guys who works [at the Marchéww] is the drummer. We’ll be playing every Wednesday night at Nectar’s.Are there many UVM students who have taken an interest in you as a musician?I get a lot of kids coming to me with ideas. Last year I did a project – I was living on Church Street – and I called all the musicians that walked by together into my apartment and we recorded for a weekend. We didn’t even know who we were as people: we were just a bunch of strangers playing. I made it into an album and handed out a few copies on campus. I also recorded an album this year that I’ve been handing out and I just hear more kids coming out with ideas. My goal is just to unite people, especially the youth, because that’s what we need, so if someone has an idea or wants to play they should just come and join us. Do you think being a musician who plays on campus as well as a UVM employee has given you a different perspective on this school?Well, I usually see kids at work when they come up to me and tell me their stresses that school is bringing to them. They don’t have a lot of things to help them with that, and so when they see me out of the workplace, playing music, my main goal is to tell them that they have to be conscious of their actions and just relax. Do whatever you want to do. What are your goals as a musician?Unity, consciousness. Rastafarian Addam Jacob Cram will be playing in Harris/Millis and Living and Learning between late February and early March. You can listen to his music at myspace.com/visionaryrastafari.