Stick with the folks who love jazz. Good things will happen.
Our Take: The Sabins – It Began With Jazz
When The Jazz Cruise started over 20 years ago, our marketing plan consisted of placing ads in JazzTimes. Period. There was no social media, emails, radio spots, testimonials or even a website. The deals were struck between Anita E. Berry, our founder and my mother, and Ira Sabin, founder of JazzTimes and father of Glenn Sabin, who would assume the role of president of the magazine about the same time that I began to direct the activities of The Jazz Cruise.
Mom and Ira were old school in every way. And, their lives were remarkably similar.
Ira Sabin was a bebop drummer who launched a four-page newspaper in 1970 to promote new releases at his record store in Washington, D.C. That newspaper ultimately became JazzTimes magazine, one of the world’s leading jazz publications. Ira died in 2018 at an assisted living facility in Rockville, Md. He was 90.
Anita E. Berry was a travel agent who in the 1970s became the leading seller of staterooms on Norwegian Cruise Line’s Jazz Cruise. In 2000, she became the first person in the world to produce a full-ship charter jazz cruise. Anita died earlier this year at an assisted living facility in St. Louis, Mo. She was 90.
Ira and Mom really enjoyed each other. They were comrades in arms, particularly since the height of JazzTimes overlapped the start up of The Jazz Cruise.
Glenn and I worked together for years. In some respects we were the jazz equivalent of Oscar and Felix. Glenn makes decisions in an orderly manner, relying upon whatever data and metrics apply to that particular subject. He studies, contemplates and then acts. I rely upon gut instincts, feel and intuition. Never ventured, never gained is my business credo. You can see how working together would be a challenge. It could have been perfect, him adding structure to my ideas and concepts. At times, it worked. But, mostly, we drove each other crazy. We fired and hired each other more often than George Steinbrenner and Billy Martin.
We each have histories. Histories that define us and clarify why we are the way we are. Let me tell you Glenn’s history. In 1991, Glenn was the 28-year-old publisher of JazzTimes and a newlywed recently diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, an incurable cancer. No one could predict when a large-scale clinical trial would discover a cure for his disease, so Glenn began his own. His medically monitored and carefully researched lifestyle changes focused on diet, nutrition, sleep, and supplements. He would go on to conduct his own, single patient clinical trial, chronicled through the Harvard Medical System. In 2012 — 21 years after his diagnosis — Glenn cleared his bone marrow of leukemia without conventional therapy of any kind.
I have nothing but admiration for Glenn. He tackled real adversity and came out on the other side not only okay, but as a true inspiration. He is among the most peaceful, content and clear-headed people I have ever known. Still, the time he takes to make a decision, including whether to participate in this note, has not changed. Glenn, by necessity, is a very, very careful eater, but, even if he weren’t, he would be the type of guy who went to lunch so that he could complete his order for dinner. With all that, I love talking about jazz with Glenn and learning where he is on his amazing journey.
There are people who, without trying, make you feel dumb, make you feel awkward or make you feel like a failure. Glenn makes me feel inconsequential. After all, as the joke goes, “we are not curing cancer here,” except Glenn actually did.
Ira, Anita, Glenn and me. Two generations of folks who came together through jazz and so much more developed. Stick with the folks who love jazz. Good things will happen.
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.
2021 Cruise Programs Update
As the world works on how to “get back to work” under the shadow of COVID-19, cruise lines are working hard to outline their timelines for sailing and the parameters of their operations. Though our first ’21 sailing is more than 8 months away, we are working hard to “see the future.” Below is an excerpt from a note that was sent yesterday, May 8, to over 7,200 guests who have reserved staterooms for our jazz cruise programs in 2021.
MAY 8 NOTICE TO GUESTS ON ’21 PROGRAMS
“Our mission, for the past 20 years, has been to provide our guests with a fun, exciting and safe cruise experience. We work hard to present music programming and special events that provide lasting memories and we do so at the highest level of production and detail. We plan for everything that might happen on a ship and go to great lengths to provide you with the information you need to prepare for your vacation.
Producing a cruise amid a pandemic is a new challenge. Job 1 is to gain certainty that, when we sail in 7+ months, the proper steps have been taken to ensure the health and safety of our guests and that our customary procedures and programming will not be affected by any new regulations or restrictions.
Guests have posed important questions about the cruises and we are doing our best to answer each one. Many guest inquiries require input from Celebrity Cruises. We are working directly with their top officials to secure those answers. We have been told that answers will be forthcoming in the next few weeks and we are grateful for Celebrity Cruises’ cooperation. We will report back to you no later than June 10.
In the interim, all June cruise payments due from guests will be postponed until June 15. No credit cards will be charged during this period.
Our decision to produce a cruise requires certainty that we can ensure your health, safety and full enjoyment of our cruise program. Anything less than that is not acceptable to us.”
We understand our duty to our guests and our role as their agent for issues like this. With over 20 years of cruise experience, we are equipped to assess risk and to ask the right questions. As the letter says, safety and full enjoyment are the foundation for our cruise programs.
This Week’s Guide to Great Music Online
Emmet Cohen’s Private Concert for Our Jazz Cruise Fans
Emmet Cohen, who has been sailing on The Jazz Cruise and Blue Note at Sea since he was a student at University of Miami, is performing a free private concert for fans of our jazz cruises.
Saxophonist Eric Darius, who will be sailing on all three editions of The Smooth Jazz Cruise in 2021, is hosting a weekly concert series he calls “Live from the Living Room.” Streamed every Saturday at 3 p.m. EDT on his Facebook page, Eric will be debuting a new song during today’s show and wants help from viewers to name it!
To all moms in the world, we wish you the happiest Mother’s Day! For many, this will be their first Mother’s Day without the tradition of getting dressed up and going out to brunch. For some, this might be their first Mother’s Day ever. No matter what your “mother status” might be, please know that we know how important you are, how much you have sacrificed for your children and how much we each love you.
Moms are awesome. Jazz-loving moms invented “awesome.”