With the coming of Opening Day for 2021, hope springs eternal.
Our Take: For 2021, We Choose Hope
Opening Day in baseball is synonymous with the feeling of hope. On that day, every team in the league has the hope, however faint, of winning the World Series. For most teams that hope is quickly replaced with the other predominant baseball cry, “wait until next year.” As far as 2021 goes, yesterday was our Opening Day and next year is now.
2020 will long be remembered as the year that could not end soon enough. The number of times we have uttered the words “2021 will be better” is matched only by the number of times we have hoped for the pandemic to end. Of course, the pandemic was not the only travail we have endured in 2020. I often wonder if, absent the pandemic, all else would have been taken in stride. Certainly, our level of tolerance and our margin for error were greatly impacted by the very real stress, strain and seriousness of COVID-19. But, the other pressures in 2020 were very real.
The common thread among the various maladies, tragedies and displacements in 2020 was that each compounded the loss of hope that permeated the country. Without true hope, tolerance, resiliency, caring and adherence to truth are more difficult to summon. With hope, we can muddle through almost anything. Believing that there is something valuable and uplifting on the other side is the essence of hope. It is hard to be angry when you feel hope and very easy to do so without it.
Our jazz has always been the music of hope. Born in the slave fields of the south, the music that eventually was called jazz was created to remember a heritage lost and to preserve the hope of living in freedom and happiness. Even jazz’s somber partner, the blues, is music of hope. Hope as catharsis, but hope nonetheless. For those who have had the time to take in all or a part of The Jazz Cruise Holiday Show or The Smooth Jazz Cruise Holiday Show, you can sense the hope for the future in every word spoken and note performed.
Which is why we, at Entertainment Cruise Productions, have forsaken the creation of a long list of New Year’s Resolutions in favor of just one. For 2021, we choose hope. Hope that everyone stays safe and well. Hope that those feeling the pain and suffering of the pandemic are provided the help and sustenance they need. Hope that our musicians will be performing “live” in the next few months. And, most of all, hope that common ground and common purpose can be found for everyone.
Very little of that was achieved in 2020, but with the coming of Opening Day for 2021, hope springs eternal. We will continue to support our musicians, produce the very best musical experiences possible and continue to respect and care for our guests, fans and patrons. One last hope: Let’s make 2021 the year when no one feels it necessary to “wait until next year.”
Make each day count. Make each encounter meaningful and joyous. Let hope abound.
Our Take is written by Michael Lazaroff, Executive Director of The Jazz Cruise, The Smooth Jazz Cruise and Blue Note at Sea. Feel free to express your views or pose questions to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PS… just in! One thing that will not have to “wait until next year” is the marriage of my daughter. I was just informed that Jessica is engaged to be married to Morgan White on September 25, 2021. Having watched both the Spencer Tracy and Steve Martin versions of Father of the Bride literally dozens of times, I am prepared for this event. The real question is whether the event is ready for me! For that, there is no hope!
Final Days to Watch 2 Amazing Holiday Shows!
More than 30,000 music fans from around the globe have tuned in to share in the good cheer and great music packed into the Holidays Shows from The Smooth Jazz Cruise and The Jazz Cruise. Featuring dozens of stars from all of our cruises, both shows remain available to you through tomorrow, January 3, for free on each cruise’s website and YouTube channel.
We hope that these Holiday Shows give you some enjoyment and pleasure, and serve as a reminder of how much fun we have had on our cruises and will be rekindling in 2022. Happy Holidays!
The Jazz Cruise: Conversations LIVE Returns with Christian McBride!
After a short holiday hiatus, The Jazz Cruise: Conversations LIVE will return on Wednesday, January 13, with an interview of Christian McBride by Alonzo Bodden.
This series of live online jazz chats launched over the summer with several of the amazing Artists who sail on The Jazz Cruise, including Kurt Elling, John Clayton, Joey DeFrancesco, John Pizzarelli, Jeff Hamilton, Terell Stafford, Nicki Parrott, Wycliffe Gordon and Ann Hampton Callaway. You can see any or all of those conversations on The Jazz Cruise’sYouTube page or you can listen to them as podcasts on iTunes, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.
More new episodes will follow every two weeks, so tune in at 8pm ET on The Jazz Cruise’sFacebook and YouTube pages.
New Album Coming From Emmet Cohen
We’ve enjoyed seeing Emmet Cohen develop from a student of The Jazz Cruise Music Director Shelly Berg at the University of Miami to one of the foremost pianists on the jazz scene today. His latest musical step is ours to enjoy later this month when Future Stride is released via Mack Avenue.
The new album, which meticulously spans jazz’s past century and melds its context with modern music, features Emmet with his longtime trio of Russell Hall and Kyle Poole, along with special guests including trumpeter Marquis Hill and saxophonist Melissa Aldana.