Just to clarify the blog from earlier today. Each and every aspect of this cruise, including the 5 Nights of The Jazz Cruise All Stars (Karrin Allyson, Shelly Berg, Anat Cohen, Jeff Hamilton, John Clayton, Randy Brecker and Wycliffe Gordon) remain as presented. We are forced to scrap the last four nights of Diana Krall and substitute Chris Botti and his entire band for those days.
Whether this is solace or not, they have now heard from most of the TJC All Stars fully endorsing the selection of Chris Botti as being an “amazing” substitute.
Entertainment Cruise Productions sadly announces that Diana Krall will not be able to sail with us on the upcoming sailing of The Signature Jazz Cruise due to health reasons. Her personal physician has advised that she is unable to travel long distances, perform concerts or otherwise engage in the strenuous activities related to international touring at this time.
We know that all of our guests and us as well, have been looking forward to this amazing event for many months now and there are no words that can adequately express our emotions or disappointment. Always a great cruise on its own, the inclusion of Diana Krall made this cruise, as we liked to say “Beyond Perfect”. We wish her a speedy recovery and we are discussing now her ability to sail with us on future cruise programs.
Since learning of this unfortunate turn of events, with the assistance of Krall’s representatives, almost miraculously we have been able to secure Grammy® winner and International Trumpeter Chris Botti and his entire touring show to perform on those dates. Chris will join us in San Remo and perform nightly for the last 4 nights of the cruise, just as Ms. Krall was scheduled to do. Joining Chris on the cruise will be Billy Kilson (drums), Richard Goods (bass), Geoffrey Keezer (Piano), Leonardo De Souza (guitar), Andrew Erzin (Keys), Lucia Micarelli (Violin), Syretha Smith (vocals) and George Komsky (vocals).
Our attraction to Chris Botti is evidenced by the fact that he was to have been our lead guest for next year’s sailing of The Signature Jazz Cruise. In essence, he is arriving one year early and we are so excited that he will be joining us. Having seen his show over the years, I can honestly say that Chris’s show is one of the best musical experiences in the world. The talent of his band and complementary performers is at the highest level and there is no better host than Chris. He is the consummate performer, reverent of the history of jazz and the best example of current stars performing the American songbook and the music of the world.
For those who are participating in the Barcelona Post Cruise package, we will be substituting a private dinner with entertainment for the October 10 evening activity. All of the balance of that package remains intact.
On a personal note, our goal at Entertainment Cruise Productions is always to present the very best cruise experience in the world and to live up to and surpass any and all representations that we make. That we are unable to present Diana Krall is disappointing to us in so many ways. That we are able to create a situation that allowed a superstar, such as Chris Botti, to take her place in such a short period of time and so close to our sailing date is something that we are very proud of, indeed.
We look forward to seeing you onboard and we remain dedicated to making this cruise the most amazing cruise ever.
Music may be the driving force behind The Jazz Cruise, but we know there’s more to the experience than that. One of the hobbies our Guests love to enjoy aboard our cruise is a relaxing game of bridge. We are happy to announce that Arnie and Ronnie Malasky have been appointed to serve as 2015 The Jazz Cruise Bridge Directors
Ronnie and Arnie live on Longboat Key, Florida, and spend summers in Lenox, Massachusetts. They love playing bridge and are Certified Bridge Directors, Accredited Bridge Teachers and successful tournament players. They have been teaching and directing bridge games on cruise ships for more than 16 years. In addition to bridge, they volunteer at an aquarium and enjoy music, theater, tennis, scuba diving, skiing and, of course, travel. They love spending time with their two sons, daughters-in-law, and, especially, their granddaughter.
Ronnie and Arnie have some exciting ideas for the program and look forward to meeting TJC bridge stalwarts and any new folks who wish to participate. The program will feature bridge events Monday - Saturday; times post shortly. There is no charge for participation and you may join for one, two or all of the sessions. You just have to show up and be ready to play! Prizes are awarded to the winners on a daily basis. If you think you are interested, send a note and we will pass it on; they would like to be sure they have enough supplies and materials for this wonderful event.
FYI: Only 60 cabins remain! If you're a fan of straight-ahead jazz, this is THE event for you! Sailing on Holland America's m/s Eurodam Jan 25 - Feb 1, 2015, Ft. Lauderdale, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Key West, return Ft. Lauderdale.
Houston native Joe Sample was most known for his work with The Jazz Crusaders, who later changed their name to The Crusaders
HOUSTON - Houston jazz musician Joe Sample died Friday night at the MD Anderson Cancer Center after a bout with lung cancer. He was 75
Sample studied piano at Texas Southern University before starting his group The Jazz Crusaders in the early '70s. The Jazz Crusaders changed their name to just The Crusaders in 1971.
During his career Sample worked with musicians such as Anita Baker, Eric Clapton, Joe Cocker, Marvin Gaye, B.B. King and many others.
The following statement was posted on Sample's Facebook page:
"At 9:50 p.m. (Houston,TX time), September 12, 2014, Joe Sample passed. His wife Yolanda and his son Nicklas would like to thank all of you, his fans and friends, for your prayers and support during this trying time."
The Smooth Jazz Cruise 2016 ... More Artists, More Music, More Luxury, More Intimacy and More Excitement ... All at Special BOOK NOW Rates!
The Smooth Jazz Cruise, the undisputed music cruise leader, is proud to announce there will be two sailings in 2016, Jan. 10-17, 2016, and Feb. 21-28, 2016.
We will soon be announcing the booking procedure and the new BOOK NOW RATES for our current and past Guests, as well as for new Guests, so stay tuned. As always, Guests of The Smooth Jazz Cruise 2015 will have early booking and rate privileges for The Smooth Jazz Cruise ’16. So, without further ado, here is the lineup for The Smooth Jazz Cruise 2016 ...
If contemporary jazz is your cup of tea
Do not hesitate; Register Now
The 2016 Smooth Jazz Cruises are sure to sell out again!
DON'T MISS THE BOAT!!
We are excited to announce that MC Extraordinaire Doug E. Fresh will be joining the all-star Soul Train Cruise 2015 lineup.
Doug E. Fresh is dubbed the “World’s Greatest Entertainer,” but over the course of his 30-year career he has established himself as much more, including an artistic icon, a trailblazer, a businessman and an activist. Doug E. forever became part of music history as hip-hop’s originator of the human beatbox.
If you join us on the Soul Train Cruise, you will experience Doug E.’s exciting live show during a poolside performance. Plus, groove each night in Club Soul Train as Doug E. and his handpicked DJ keep the dance floor hopping to hits both old school and new. Plus, Doug E. will also host a special event with our superstar lineup that will allow Guests to get to know everyone just a little bit better.
“‘Soul Train’ meant so much to me as a young artist. To be a part of the Soul Train Cruise as it travels through the Caribbean Sea of my childhood brings my worlds together like never before,” said Doug E., who was born in Barbados.
Doug E. Fresh rocketed to stardom in the mid-1980s with performances in the iconic hip-hop film “Beat Street” and his international smash hit “The Show/La Di Da Di,” recorded with his Get Fresh Crew, which included MC Ricky D (aka Slick Rick). He has remained one of the most recognizable and popular figures in music and pop culture, inspired The Dougie dance craze, was the first rapper to perform at the United Nations for the United Nations Day Concert (in front of representatives from 193 countries), has been invited to perform at the White House and was commissioned by First Lady Michelle Obama to create the forthcoming album for Obama’s “Let’s Move” initiative.
The Soul Train Cruise is an experience like no other, with over 30 LIVE performances and 25 celebrity-hosted interactive events for seven days of Love, Peace and Soul. Where else could you learn how to “Dougie” from the man himself? Dance down the Soul Train Line with the original Soul Train Dancers? Rub elbows with R&B superstars?
Book now while the cabin selection is still good and you have the most time to take advantage of our easy payment plans. Plus, check out our simplified pricing with one easy price per cabin category.
We are proud and thrilled to announce that superstar alto saxman Gerald Albright has been added to the lineup of both the sold out Smooth Jazz Cruise 15.1 (January 11th) and The Smooth Jazz Cruise 15.2 (March 1st).
Whether he is playing contemporary or straight-ahead jazz, Gerald stands in a class all by himself. He is known for his swiftness on stage and for his unique round sound, which is percussive yet soulful. He has the ability to surprise the audience with something out of the ordinary. Gerald gives his audience what they come for — a great show! With a recent Grammy nomination under his belt and a new hit recording in the mix, Gerald is hot — and ready to join us again on The Smooth Jazz Cruise.
Gerald will be replacing Joe Sample, who is currently ailing. We know that Joe will be performing in a few months, and he has agreed to join us on The Smooth Jazz Cruise 16.1 and 16.2. There will be more information about those sailings later. In the interim, we wish Joe a speedy recovery.
Though you cannot get on board The Smooth Jazz Cruise 15.1 in January because it is 100% sold out, you still have a chance to get on board The Smooth Jazz Cruise 15.2 in March. But hurry, it's already 85% sold!
Maze and Frankie Beverly are ready to take the Soul Train Cruise party to new heights! The greatest live band in R&B will rock the boat when fans “get up offa that thing” and dance through the night. Frankie talks to the 411 about his early days in Philly doo-wop, Sam Cooke, mentor Marvin Gaye and how he wanted to join Soul Train Cruise the moment he heard about it.
For nearly four decades, Maze has set the standard for what an R&B show can — and should — be. The energy and power of lead singer Frankie Beverly. The musicians who are among the very best in the business. The fans who start the concert on their feet and finish dancing down the aisles. And the songs that move and groove and stir the soul: “Happy Feelings,” “Lady of Magic,” “While I’m Alone,” “Workin’ Together,” “Golden Time of Day,” “Southern Girl,” “Joy and Pain,” “We are One,” “Running Away,” “Back in Stride,” “Can’t Get Over You,” “Silky Soul” and “The Morning After.” Frankie Beverly and Maze attribute it all to a lifetime of hard work, the unwavering dedication of their fans, and a bit of good advice along the way from a couple of guys named Sam Cooke and Marvin Gaye.
“At first, I had a singing group named the Butlers in Philadelphia, a doo wop group,” Beverly says, recounting the path that brought him to Maze. “We did that for years and years, and then when the ’60s came, the whole music thing changed and this self-contained band thing happened with the pop groups like The Rolling Stones. There, in the middle of it all, was Sly and the Family Stone, who really influenced me. They showed me that you could be a singer, but have your own band as well — and that’s what we decided to do.” He held onto the Butlers name as the group grew to three singers and a three-piece band, but their sound began to change so much that Beverly needed a new name to match the music. “We moved to San Francisco and called ourselves Raw Soul and starved almost for three or four years,” he says with a laugh. “Then we were lucky enough to play a local nightclub there. Marvin Gaye was in the club and just fell in love with us.”
Gaye went on to become the group’s mentor, helping them land their first recording contract, bringing the group on tour with him and influencing their music forever more. But, as Beverly is quick to point out, Marvin Gaye was behind something even bigger. “First thing he said to me when I met him was, ‘that’s the ugliest name, please change that name.’ And within four or five months we changed from Raw Soul to Maze and have never looked back.”
For a decade, Maze sent hit songs up the R&B charts. And then came “Joy and Pain” in 1989. One of the group’s most powerful signature songs, Beverly wrote it after reading philosopher-poet Kahlil Gibran’s “The Prophet.” The song, buoyed by an irresistible sing-along chorus, was a reminder to fans and peers of the growing strength of Beverly’s songwriting.
“When you have your own band, you’re doing everything together and it allows you to stretch out in more ways than if you were always working with a band that doesn’t know you as well,” he explains. “So we started doing original music. Having a band and working all of these things out and working together really turned it into a whole different world.” Beverly would eventually take on production and arranging duties as well, carefully constructing every aspect of the songs Maze performed. “We’ve been together for so long that when I’m writing now I know what my band is going to do. So I’ll write it and play and work it out in the studio, and then I’ll introduce it to the band, and then when it’s time to get down and dirty, I’ll play what I did, and then the band will take it to this other place. You can change things and do things, and that’s what music is. I’ve been blessed all my life, and I’ve had some of the best people performing in Maze. We still have one or two guys who have been with me for 40 years.”
But the performances and the songs are just two parts of Maze’s magical formula. The third, and — according to Beverly — most important is the fans. “We have a fan base that’s second to none. We just do our thing, and people love us for who we are,” Beverly says gratefully. “We’ve never had a big pop record like some of the other groups, we never had this pop breakout kind of thing, and yet to this day when we play concerts — even big festivals — we have to headline the thing because our fans come out by the busload. It’s amazing, whenever we go to Europe and England and when we go to Japan it’s like The Beatles or something,” he marvels.
Beverly’s relationship with his fans and the heartfelt, mutual respect they share for each other is rooted in an encounter he had with soul legend Sam Cooke as a teenager. “I was a kid, maybe 15, maybe 14, and backstage outside at the Uptown Theater in Philadelphia. He walks up to the door, and I ask for an autograph. “He walks over to us and he’s signing and he asks me, ‘You guys ever been backstage? Well, come on!’ He brought us backstage and gave us food and sodas. And I think that had a big impact on who I was going to be because I try to be the same way now to the people who are so kind and supportive of us.”
"I’m a cruise person. I love them. I love cruises.
Passionate about music and passionate about cruising. Put 'em together and I'm in heaven -- you can catch up with me on a themed cruise and, especially, on an Entertainment Cruise!