Read on for proof that jazz and country can coexist under one roof.
Entertainment Cruise Productions
Our Take:
Jazz & Country: A Tale of 2 (Music) Tastes

Paula, my wife, and I work together at Entertainment Cruise Productions. In fact, that is how and where we met. Feel free to insert your own salacious story line and plot, but this is a music column.

Paula, who does an amazing job as our Director of Talent Services, was not into jazz when we met. Her music of preference was country. For those of you snickering — or asking, "which country?" — I found her taste in country to be very selective and musical. Best of all, she was very open to learning about jazz. Over time, Paula has become a jazz fan. In part, this is due to her willingness to go to live shows, a mandatory step, in my opinion, for anyone seeking to understand and love our music. But, on the whole, her love of jazz is attributable to forces and influences not seen or heard on the bandstand.
"Paula adores the cross-section of jazz fans, the fact that it appeals to folks of all countries, religions and race."
First, her job entails handling the travel and accommodations for all the musicians. This puts her into close, and often personal, proximity to the musicians. In collecting the passport information of the musicians and their companions, she is privy to a lot of information. I will leave it at that, though I will share with you that she guards that information like a hawk. Until Paula began working here, I had never heard of the musician/travel coordinator privilege, but, evidently, it ranks up there with the doctor/patient and clergy/worshiper safeguards.

She is our first responder to any problems that the musicians have with their travel, accommodations or other matters. Solving those, as she does every day, creates a bond and a connection that is much more personal with the musicians than any of us at Entertainment Cruise Productions have. It is this connection that has brought a "face" to jazz for her and has enhanced her commitment to the music.
 
Second, Paula loves the people who love jazz — our guests. I will not take this moment to compare jazz fans to country music fans. Granted, not all country music fans see "red" (think "necks" and the states in which they reside) and we know some wonderful people who love country music. Last week, we had dinner with all four of them. Paula adores the cross-section of jazz fans, the fact that it appeals to folks of all countries, religions and race. As someone who understands that you are judged by what you do and not who you are, the "meritocracy of the bandstand" is consistent with Paula's values. The friends that we have made together on our jazz cruises are among the nicest people we know. In short, Paula feels "at home" with our jazz fans.
 
In a perfect world, this would be the part of the story where I confess my love for country music out of my devotion to my wife. Yes, I am totally devoted to my wife. However, my commitment stops just ahead of liking country music. If she is picking me up in her car and the radio is turned to a country music station, I will ask her if we are going on a hayride. I just cannot move further on that subject. Having said that, I will soon be purchasing tickets to the Garth Brooks concert in St. Louis, scheduled for next March. She has told me that this concert is high on her "bucket list" and, as all the men out there know, keeping your wife happy is the only thing that matters on your "bucket list"! 

Yeehaw!


Our Take is written by Michael Lazaroff, Executive Director of Entertainment Cruise Productions. Feel free to express your views or pose questions to him at michael@ecpcruises.com.
 
SFJAZZ Collective Radio Now on
Real Jazz Sirius XM 67

We're excited to have the SFJAZZ Collective sailing with us on The Jazz Cruise '19. The group, which was created more than 15 years ago, features some of the greatest players in contemporary jazz brought together for a year or more of recordings and performances. The current edition features Etienne Charles (trumpet), Robin Eubanks (trumpet), David Sánchez (saxophone), Miguel Zenón (saxophone), Warren Wolf (vibes), Edward Simon (piano), Matt Penman (bass) and Obed Calvaire (drums). But you don't have to wait until January to hear them. You can listen every Saturday from 10–11 a.m. PST and Wednesdays from 11 a.m.–12 p.m. PST on Real Jazz Sirius XM 67 to hear music from their past recordings, hosted by SFJAZZ founder Randall Kline and featuring commentary from members of the group.
TUNE IN
 
2019 Cruises: Weekend Stateroom Update
We promised to keep you apprised of stateroom availability on our 2019 jazz cruise programs. As of today, here is your update:
 
The Jazz Cruise '19 (January 19 – 26, 2019)
Fewer than 35 Staterooms are Available
AquaClass (10); Veranda (12); Ocean View (12)
All other Stateroom Categories are Wait List Only  

Blue Note at Sea (January 26 – February 2, 2019)
Inside and Ocean View Staterooms Are Available
Fewer than 10 Staterooms with Balconies Are Available (Veranda and AquaClass) 
All other Stateroom Categories are Wait List Only

The Smooth Jazz Cruise '19.1 (February 2 – 9, 2019)
All Stateroom Categories are Wait List Only  
 
The Smooth Jazz Cruise '19.2 (February 23 – March 2, 2019)
All Stateroom Categories are Wait List Only
 
This Weekend: Reading Blues Fest
One of our longtime and valued partners for all the jazz cruises has been John Ernesto of the Berks Jazz Fest. That festival combines nearly every style of jazz, plus some blues too. So, it should come as no surprise that John is now producing a blues festival as well. The Reading Blues Fest runs this weekend (November 16-18) at various venues in Reading, Penn. Among the artists performing are Booker T. Jones, Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials, Vanessa Collier, Shemekia Copeland and many more.
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Bobby McFerrin Concert Benefits
WCLK-FM in Atlanta

The iconic vocalist Bobby McFerrin is slated to perform a special concert on November 30 at Symphony Hall in Atlanta. The concert is a fundraiser for Jazz 91.9 WCLK-FM, one of the country's most notable jazz radio stations, and one of our valued partners. The station celebrates its 44th anniversary. You can see one of the greatest singers of our time AND support jazz on the radio. That's a win-win!
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