Jazz Notes: Spectacular Vocalists, Pre-Cruise Hotel & More!
Now less than a year from Embarkation Day, it is time to get ready for The Jazz Cruise ’22!
It’s February 2021. We should be basking in the glow of the warmth of the Caribbean and another amazing sailing of The Jazz Cruise! Sadly, for the first time in more than 20 years, The Greatest Jazz Festival at Sea was postponed. But, just as fans from all over the world are doing, it is time to get ready to head back to sea for The Jazz Cruise ’22! The lineup is set. Our ship has completed the “Revolution” upgrade program. More than 80% of the staterooms have been reserved.
This note is our fifth monthly update to guests on The Jazz Cruise ’22 and to those who will be completing reservations in the weeks to come. Our goal is to provide up-to-the-minute updates about the cruise and tips that will help our guests maximize their cruise experience and be ready to sail on January 17, 2022!
In this issue, we spotlight the spectacular vocalists sailing in ’22, get you ready for TONIGHT’s streaming episode of Jazz Cruise Conversations LIVE with Ann Hampton Callaway and Niki Haris, and announce that the reservation process for our Pre-Cruise Guest Hotel begins now.
Also, we will share some amazing programming ideas and plans for the cruise. One benefit, perhaps the only benefit, to being idle in ’21, is that we have had the time to explore every nook and cranny of our cruise programs for The Jazz Cruise. We will share our new ideas with you over time, but, rest assured, we have come up with some amazing plans.
Please take a moment to read through this jam-packed edition of Jazz Notes. It is the best way to be up to date about The Jazz Cruise ’22.
Vocalists have enriched the history and popularity of jazz going all the way back to Louis Armstrong and Billie Holiday, with influential and popular singers like Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Carmen McRae, Betty Carter, Joe Williams and others carrying the music forward through the 20th century. Here in the 21st Century, we’re proud to have had so many gifted vocalists sail with us on The Jazz Cruise over the last 20 years, including Dianne Reeves, Freddy Cole, Nnenna Freelon, René Marie, Patti Austin, Mary Stallings and many others who enthralled both our guests and their fellow musicians.
The Jazz Cruise ’22 has another blockbuster lineup of singers, including two NEA Jazz Masters and numerous Grammy Award winners and nominees. The dynamic Dee Dee Bridgewater, a 7-Time Grammy nominee and 3-Time Grammy winner, triumphantly returns to delight us with her stage presence and musicality, two qualities she shares with so many of our vocalists. Dee Dee is the only performer in the world who can claim a Tony, a Grammy and membership as an NEA Jazz Master. Fellow NEA Jazz Master, the legendary Sheila Jordan, is sailing with us for the first time. Her amazing story of perseverance and excellence includes a personal and artistic relationship with Charlie Parker.
Other amazing female vocalists on The Jazz Cruise ’22 include the highly decorated and accomplished Tierney Sutton and Ann Hampton Callaway, two vocalists with a long list of achievements and recognition. And, there is Niki Haris, a former Madonna side voice, who has earned a special place in the lives and hearts of the guests of The Jazz Cruise, whether she is performing at The Gospel Show or in All-Star groups.
From the male side of the equation, The Jazz Cruise ’22 features two Grammy Winners, Kurt Elling and Steve Tyrell. Kurt has been the “voice” of The Jazz Cruise for years and always manages to provide the hippest and boldest shows on the cruise. After finally overcoming a “cruise-phobia,” Steve has become entrenched as one of our keepers of the Great American Songbook. Standing right there with him is crowd favorite John Pizzarelli, whose voice and guitar pack whatever venue he is assigned. Being amazingly funny and engaging only ices his cake.
All of these artists are great individually, but one of the pleasures of The Jazz Cruise is the opportunity to see them sing together. Always a highlight is the Singers Show that Music Director Shelly Berg hosts during the cruise, featuring all of the vocalists swapping stories and songs in a performance that is not duplicated anywhere, at sea or on land.
And don’t forget those multi-faceted singer-instrumentalists, including Bria Skonberg and Nicki Parrott, who somehow manage to both play and sing at the highest level. Also aboard are numerous instrumentalists who dabble with vocals from time to time, like Wycliffe Gordon, Joey DeFrancesco, Lewis Nash and James Morrison. We don’t expect that the Randroid (aka Randy Brecker) will make a comeback, but anything can happen on those seven days and nights of great music. Keep your ears open.
Chat Live With
Niki Haris and Ann Hampton Callaway!
Speaking of great vocalists, the next session of Jazz Cruise Conversations Live will feature two favorites — Niki Haris and Ann Hampton Callaway. The latter will host the chat, which will stream live at 8pm TONIGHT (Wednesday, Feb. 10).
Ann and Niki will be sure to talk about their common ability to sing not only jazz but other genres of music. A favorite topic for both vocalists is inspiration – where it comes from and where to take it. Watch and listen to their candid conversation on The Jazz Cruise’s Facebook or YouTube pages. It is sure to remind you of the in-depth talks we enjoy at sea.
The Jazz Cruise ‘22 Experience
Starts at the Pre-Cruise Hotel…
The Hilton Miami Airport Blue Lagoon
PRE-CRUISE HOTEL — One of the traditions of The Jazz Cruise is our guests gathering the day/night before embarkation at the official Pre-Cruise Hotel. For The Jazz Cruise ’22, we have secured a Pre-Cruise Hotel room block on Sunday, January 16, 2022 at the Hilton Miami Airport Blue Lagoon, $209/night (exclusive of tax and other charges, estimated at 12%).
Another tradition of The Jazz Cruise is that the Pre-Cruise Hotel fills up very quickly, so CLICK HERE to reserve your room at the Hilton Miami Airport Blue Lagoon!
PRE-CRUISE HOTEL TRANSPORTATION TO THE PIER — For your ease and convenience, guests staying at the Pre-Cruise Hotel can purchase transportation from the Hilton to the pier on Embarkation Day! Your luggage will be loaded onto the motor coach by our team and you will be assisted at the pier by the cruise line porters. No tips or lifting necessary!
Coach transportation from the hotel to the pier costs $25/person when reserved in advance or $30/person when reserved on-site. Guests staying at the Pre-Cruise Hotel may register for the Pier Transfer now by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You will receive an email confirmation with further instructions regarding the Pier Transfer approximately 15 days prior to the cruise. The fee will be added to your account under your reservation.
Guests often make suggestions about various aspects of our cruise programming, lineup choices and procedures. We love your enthusiasm, attention to detail and how dedicated you are to working with us. In responding, we often utter the following: “It is easy to make The Jazz Cruise different. The trick is making it better.”
As we indicated earlier, we have used the hiatus in our sailing to walk through each and every aspect of The Jazz Cruise. Over the next few months, we will discuss aspects of the cruise that are being modified and a few aspects of the cruise that we have eliminated. We think that you will be very pleased with our progress.
For this edition of Jazz Notes, we decided to list the amazing elements of The Jazz Cruise that will not change (well, maybe just a little):
The Jazz Cruise Welcome Shows
Anita’s Big Band directed by John Clayton
Behind the Instruments Interviews with Dick Golden and Eulis Cathey
Wycliffe Gordon’s Gospel Hour
Shelly Berg’s Night with the Singers
Passenger Jam Sessions
The Jazz Cruise Hall of Fame Shows
Birdland at The Cosmopolitan Restaurant
Bridge with Ronnie & Arnold Malasky
John Pizzarelli’s All-Star Jam Session
Hopefully, this list will remind past guests of the wonders of The Jazz Cruise and give new guests just a taste of what it is like to participate in our activities. With a long list of new events and opportunities to be added here, you can see how excited we are to be bringing The Jazz Cruise back to our worldwide group of jazz fans in 2022.