Welcome to the Crystal Anniversary Sailing of The Jazz Cruise!
January 17-24, 2016
15 years ago The Jazz Cruise became the first, and it remains the only, full ship charter dedicated to “straight ahead” jazz. During that span of time, the cruise has become one of the most important events in the jazz world, uniting jazz lovers and artists from all over the world for a week at sea celebrating the music, people and history of this beloved genre.
The lineup for The Jazz Cruise ’16, our Crystal Anniversary Sailing, was announced on February 6, 2015 and the cruise is already 80% sold out. The energy generated by the fabulous sailing in January, 2015, together with the excitement surrounding the announcement of the new lineup, have combined to accelerate the customary sales process.
Now is the time to book a cabin on The Jazz Cruise ’16.
This program is presented by Entertainment Cruise Productions, LLC, the world’s leader in jazz cruises, having produced around 56 full ship charters, mostly featuring jazz, throughout the world.
The finest musicians and vocalists in the world of “straight ahead” jazz
Grammy® Winners, NEA Jazz Masters and internationally recognized performers
17 autonomous performing groups and 17 - 20 individual performers
CONCERTS, THEME NIGHTS, T-SHIRT PARTY AND MORE!
Interviews with the leaders in jazz
Concerts, big band & intimate venues
Dancing and jam sessions
Birdland in Ocean Bar
SIGN UP TODAY - SPACE ON THIS EXCLUSIVE CRUISE IS LIMITED!
Awards from the Conde Nast Traveler's "Readers Choice Awards" and "World's Best" by Travel + Leisure
Sophisticated mid-size ship with 11 passenger decks
Premier dining options, lounge with panoramic views and generous stateroom size
PORTS OF CALL
Ports of Call & Excursions
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Some of the most picturesque settings
Choose from historical, adventurous or relaxing excursions
Lovely tropical excursions that are unforgettable
Win a FREE Cruise!
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See the best jazz musicians on one of the best cruises for FREE!
Winner announced November 1, 2015
WORLD CLASS TALENT
LEARN THE WAYS
From JazzU to Jam Sessions learn how passion turns to music and how music turns to passion.
THE EVENING IS
THE EVENING HOURS ON THE JAZZ CRUISE BELONG TO YOU
Guests may select their dining experience to coincide with their desired music choices and schedule for the evening.
AND GROUP TRAVEL
BRINGING PEOPLE AND MUSIC TOGETHER
Materials and services that are available to help provide the best for your clients.
HEAR FROM THE BEST
IN STRAIGHT-AHEAD JAZZ
With world-class musicians in attendance Guests can anticipate thrilling interaction and interviews with the artists throughout the week.
The Jazz Cruise Experience
The Jazz Cruise was created for jazz lovers by jazz lovers. Each day is filled with set music performances, jam sessions, special music events and up-close-and-personal interviews, all in the luxurious setting of a first class cruise ship sailing the blue waters of the Caribbean in January, far away from the cold, sleet and snow. The music venues are intimate, professionally set up for the best sound, seating and sight lines that we can produce. Perhaps the most fascinating difference between a customary jazz performance and those on the cruise is the interactive nature of the experience and the ability of our guests to talk and converse with the musicians. The 1,900 or so guests have full access to the 100+ musicians which allows for greater learning, appreciation and excitement. The Jazz Cruise also creates performances and formats unlike other concerts or festivals which result in truly unique performances and pairings. And, at any time during the cruise, you can take a break from the music and enjoy the food, excursions, amenities and comfort of a Holland America Line Signature cruise ship. Now you know why this cruise sells out year after year after year and why Guests continue to sail for many years.
Birdland on The Jazz Cruise
One of the most iconic brands in Jazz has found a home at sea on The Jazz Cruise. Birdland, a name that is synonymous with jazz, will continue to host our late night events in the Ocean Bar of the ship. With Birdland owner, Gianni Valenti, at the helm, each night of the cruise features a memorable show, special drinks and cocktails and amazing camaraderie. The Jazz Cruise and Birdland … a great team.
Getting to Know Our Artists
Kenny Barron Trio
The Jazz Cruise is thrilled to welcome revered pianist Kenny Barron to its 2016 lineup. With more than 40 recordings to his name, Kenny has earned nine Grammy® nominations and consistently ranks at the top of jazz critic and reader polls in Downbeat, Jazz Times and JAJZZIZ magazines.
Dee Dee Bridgewater
With not one but three Grammy® Awards, a Tony and other performing honors in her pocket, jazz vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater brings an unrivaled command of the stage to The Jazz Cruise ’16.
3 Cohen Sextet
In this family, there’s something running even thicker than blood: music. Siblings Anat (tenor saxophone/clarinet), Avishai (trumpet) and Yuval (soprano saxophone) play with such intuitive fervor that their performances transcend entertainment to become more about familial communication, and guests of The Jazz Cruise ’16 will have the privilege of bearing witness to these impressive, often improvisational “conversations.”
Guests of The Jazz Cruise 2016 will be transported to bygone days when pianist and singer Freddy Cole takes to our stage. The younger sibling of the legendary Nat King Cole, Freddy captivates an audience with a baritone that sings the heart out of bebop and ballads alike.
Joey DeFrancesco Trio
Joey DeFrancesco comes from a musical family. His Grandfather Joseph DeFrancesco (his name sake) was a reed man. His father “Papa” John DeFrancesco is a fine jazz organist in his own right. At the age of 4 Joey began taking a strong interest in the organ. By the time he was five, he was playing Jimmy Smith songs verbatim.
Fourteen-time Grammy® winner Paquito d’Rivera brings an authentic Latin flavor to The Jazz Cruise ‘16. The Cuban-born multi-instrumentalist and composer performed at age 10 with the National Theater Orchestra; studied at the Havana Conservatory of Music; and became a featured soloist with the Cuban National Symphony at just 17.
When every record he’s ever recorded gets nominated for a Grammy®, you know Kurt Elling needs to be heard, and, fortunately for Guests of The Jazz Cruise ‘16, that opportunity is within reach when he takes to our stage for yet another remarkable stint at the mic.
Jeff Hamilton TrioDrummer Jeff Hamilton has been honing his big band skills since the tender age of 8, earning him a presence on the stage with legends like Ella Fitzgerald, the Count Basie Orchestra, Rosemary Clooney, Monty Alexander and Diana Krall. Currently performing with Oscar Peterson, Ray Brown and the Clayton Brothers or co-leading the Clayton/Hamilton Jazz Orchestra (the Grammy®-nominated big band that provides backup for Diana Krall), this in-demand drummer brings his eponymous trio to The Jazz Cruise ‘16 for guests to revel in his sensational stylistics at the helm of a drum.
Ann Hampton Callaway
Few contemporary jazz artists boast a resumé – and fan base – like that of singer, pianist and composer Ann Hampton Callaway. With three platinum records, Broadway nods, television credits and high-profile admirers like Barbra Streisand, Clive Davis, Carly Simon and Wynton Marsalis, Ann brings a voluminous skill set to The Jazz Cruise ’16 lineup.
Tommy Igoe Sextet
While his peers were still in highchairs, 2-year-old Tommy Igoe was sitting down at and mastering a drumset. Now a bit older and an in-demand studio and touring drummer, he’s traveled the world with big-name pop and jazz artists while simultaneously conducting clinics and master classes at top-notch institutions of education.
Grammy®-winning saxophonist and composerJoe Lovano is constantly striving to redefine jazz, and he’ll continue pushing the genre’s envelope on The Jazz Cruise ‘16. The Gary Burton Chair of Jazz Performance at Berklee College of Music started playing the alto sax at age 5 and switched to the tenor shortly thereafter.
Christian McBride Trio
The Christian McBride Trio returns for an encore performance on The Jazz Cruise in 2016. Renowned bassist Christian McBride, pianist Christian Sands and drummer Ulysses Owens Jr. comprise the magnetic group founded on the fundamentals of jazz – hardcore swing, blues and the American songbook.
The Charles McPherson Group
Charles McPherson’s love affair with the saxophone was propelled by the summer concerts he attended as a child in his hometown of Joplin, Missouri. When, at the age of 9, his family relocated to Detroit, the city’s vibrant jazz scene sealed his destiny.
Electric bassist Marcus Miller, winner of two Grammy® Awards, the 2013 Edison Award for Lifetime Achievement in Jazz (Holland), the 2010 Victoire du Jazz (France) and 2013 UNESCO Artist for Peace, brings his world-renowned musical finesse to The Jazz Cruise ‘16.
Houston Person Quartet
Soulful tenor saxophonist Houston Person is sure to delight guests of The Jazz Cruise ’16 with his warm, personable and entertaining demeanor – not to mention stellar sax skills when playing from the popular songbook in his soulful, hard bop style.
John Pizzarelli Quartet
Guitar and vocal virtuoso John Pizzarelli has been breathing new life into the Great American Songbook since the age of 6. The GRAMMY®-nominated vocalist will captivate guests of The Jazz Cruise ‘16 with his cool, suave spin on the songs of Richard Rodgers, George Gershwin, Nat King Cole, his musical inspiration, Frank Sinatra and even the Beatles.
Few can pay homage to the hits of Bob Marley, Fleetwood Mac, Marvin Gaye and Ani DiFranco with the authenticity that celebrated jazz vocalist Dianne Reeves achieves in her most recent release, “Beautiful Life.” Recent 2015 Grammy® award winner for Best Jazz Vocal Album, Dianne’s latest artistic endeavor is a true testament to her virtuosity, melding R&B, Latin and pop influences with 21st century jazz.
Drummer/percussionist Ernie Adams returns to The Jazz Cruise to woo audiences once again with his brilliant technique and magnetic personality. The Chicago-based artist has played professionally since age 15.
Shelly Berg (Music Director)
Musical director of The Jazz Cruise and a three-time Grammy® nominee, mainstream jazz pianist Shelly Berg brings a wealth of knowledge and unrivaled talent to our program. Entering the Cleveland Institute of Music at age 6, Shelly has since amassed accolades and performance credentials that only the best of the best can boast.
Multiple Grammy® Award-winning trumpeter Randy Brecker has been a staple of The Jazz Cruise and in the jazz, R&B and rock worlds for over four decades, gracing hundreds of albums of notables like James Taylor, Bruce Springsteen, Parliament/Funkadelic, Frank Sinatra, Steely Dan, Jaco Pastorius and Frank Zappa.
Originally a touring and studio musician, reed player Jeff Clayton defines the term “virtuoso” with his skills on the clarinet, alto sax, flute, oboe and other woodwind instruments. Jeff was a member of the Count Basie Orchestra under the direction of Basie and, later, Thad Jones.
John ClaytonThe Jazz Cruise is excited feature bassist John Clayton, a composer, arranger and conductor who learned his trade starting at age 16 from the great Ray Brown, in its 2016 lineup. With a Grammy® and eight additional nominations under his belt, John cites arranging the ‘Star Spangled Banner” for Whitney Houston’s performance at Super Bowl 1990, playing bass on Paul McCartney’s CD “Kisses On The Bottom,” and arranging and playing bass with Yo-Yo Ma and Friends on “Songs of Joy and Peace” among the most notable moments of his career.
John Fedchock (Big Band Director)
Our big band director, John Fedchock, has been a mainstay of the New York jazz scene for decades, and with him at the helm of the stage, The Jazz Cruise experience rises to a whole new level. The revered bandleader and master of the trombone has been wowing audiences and fellow musicians since his debut with the Woody Herman Orchestra in 1980.
The Jazz Cruise is privileged to have one of the top trombonists of his generation, Wycliffe Gordon, return for an encore performance as our Gospel Show host. Both an accomplished soloist and leader of his eponymous quartet, Wycliffe tours the globe performing for audiences of every caliber, from elementary school students to heads of state.
James Morrison is, by anybody’s standard, a virtuoso in the true sense of the word. Besides the trumpet, this multi-instrumentalist also plays piano, all the brass, saxophones, and double bass. At the age of six he began on piano, at seven, he was given his first brass instrument, at nine he formed his first band and at thirteen he was playing professionally in nightclubs.
Playing his first professional gig in elementary school, Ken Peplowski has spent his life – along with many a wedding and high school Polka band engagement – mastering the clarinet. With just a year of college under his belt, he joined the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra under the direction of Buddy Morrow.
Bass trombone virtuoso Jennifer Wharton is a familiar face on The Jazz Cruise stage as well as in Broadway theaters, recording studios and live performances with some of jazz’s greatest ensembles.
Todd Barkan (Archivist)
Our very own in-house – or, more appropriately, onboard – historian, Todd Barkan brings a wealth of experience and decades of stories to The Jazz Cruise 2016. Todd initially made a name for himself in the jazz world as owner and artistic director of the legendary San Francisco jazz club, Keystone Korner.
Alonzo Bodden (Comedian)
Season 3 winner of NBC’s Last Comic Standing, Alonzo Bodden keeps the boat rolling – in laughter, rest assured – as comedian-in-residence for The Jazz Cruise. With a resumé that includes numerous appearances on the late-night circuit (The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien Show, The Late Show with Craig Kilborn, The Keenan Ivory Wayans Show, and Comedy Central among others).
Entertainment Cruise Productions is the most successful and most heralded theme cruise producer in the world. Having produced over 50 full ship cruise programs over the years, Entertainment Cruise Productions has produced The Jazz Cruise, The Smooth Jazz Cruise, Malt Shop Memories Cruise, Country Music Cruise, Soul Train Cruise, Celtic Thunder Cruise, Dave Koz Cruise, Playboy Jazz Cruise, The Elvis Cruise, North Sea Jazz Cruise, The Signature Jazz Cruise on Seabourn and The 80s Cruise. The formula used to make these cruises successful is very simple. We take a great cruise ship and substitute world class entertainment of a particular genre for the entertainment typically on the ship and add, further, events, parties and other interactive forms of entertainment that engage the guests with the artists and with the genre of the cruise. By doing so, we create a cruise experience unlike any other, particularly since all of our cruises are full ship charters where the entire passenger population is of one mind and one purpose.
At Entertainment Cruise Productions, your vacation is our responsibility and we take that responsibility very seriously.