Although it has been barely six weeks since The Jazz Cruise, Entertainment Cruise Productions’ flagship offering, completed its 16th sailing, the line-up of artists who have signed on for 2018 has been finalized. Since 2001, The Jazz Cruise has presented the very best straight-ahead jazz in the world, and with nearly 100 jazz musicians set to perform when the ship sets sail on February 3, 2018 is no exception.
In addition to the stellar array of performers on The Jazz Cruise, the 2018 sailing has been enhanced with the addition of an iconic new port of call to its itinerary: a full day’s stop in New Orleans that will include special events, concerts, restaurant offerings and tours. The Preservation Hall Jazz Band
, the New Orleans musical institution that defies genre limitations, will board the ship for two amazing shows while on shore in NOLA, drummer Herlin Riley
will perform two shows at the George and Joyce Wein Jazz & Heritage Center. Restaurant offerings include Brennan’s, Commander’s Palace, Arnaud’s and more. ECP President and Executive Director Michael Lazaroff admits that the challenge of booking The Jazz Cruise is a unique one. “There are so many amazing musicians for us to consider,” he says. “Some guests want all the faces to be familiar, and some want as much new blood as possible. To accommodate everyone’s taste, we’ve adopted a one-third to one-third to one-third concept, with a third of the artists being ‘regulars,’ another third having performed with us in some capacity previously, and the final third featuring fresh names—artists who are joining us for the first time.”
Even when tapping the talents of The Jazz Cruise 'regulars,' however, ECP consistently strives to present these classic musicians in innovative settings. For example, in 2018, Grammy winner (and 8-time Grammy nominee) John Clayton
will step up to lead the house All-Star Big Band for the first time, while multi-Grammy nominee, Shelly Berg
, continues to serves as Music Director for the cruise.
Cruise mainstays, such as Houston Person
, Jeff Clayton
, Marcus Miller
, John Pizzarelli
, Jeff Hamilton
, Ken Peplowski
, Wycliffe Gordon
, Gary Smulyan
, Randy Brecker
and Lewis Nash
will once again grace audiences with their stellar performances, while performers returning to The Jazz Cruise fold include such critically acclaimed artists as Arturo Sandoval
, Monty Alexander
, Joey DeFrancesco
, Anat Cohen
, Benny Green
, Trio Da Paz
, Kurt Elling
, Ann Hampton Callaway
and Byron Stripling
. Among the new additions to the cruise are The Cookers
, a virtual super-band lauded by the New York Times as “a dream team of forward-leaning hard-bop,” pianist Renee Rosnes
, Brecker Brothers Band Reunion, featuring not only Randy Brecker, but Will Lee among others, trumpeter Sean Jones
, vocal group The New York Voices and vocalist and upright bassist Nicki Parrott
Also returning to the cruise this year are noted jazz historian Dick Golden and comedian Alonzo Bolden.
“The entertainment on The Jazz Cruise continues to be one of the world’s finest array of ‘straight ahead’ jazz performers in the world”, offers Mr. Lazaroff, “but for this sailing, rather than stopping at an island, we are spending 25 hours in New Orleans, enjoying a ‘taste’ of all that city has to offer.
The Jazz Cruise will sail from Fort Lauderdale on February 3, 2018 on board the Celebrity Summit, part of the highest rated fleet of premium ships delivering extraordinary service, exceptional dining featuring menus crafted by a James Beard award- winning chef, elegant rooms and the Canyon Ranch SpaClub, the most luxurious spa club at sea.About Entertainment Cruise Productions, LLC
Entertainment Cruise Productions is the world leader in live entertainment at sea. Beginning more than a decade ago, Entertainment Cruise Productions, through its various programs, has produced more than 60 full ship charters, such as Playboy Jazz Cruise, The Elvis Cruise, North Sea Jazz Cruise, Celtic Thunder Cruise, NASCAR The Cruise, and The Gospel Music Cruise. Sailing in 2018 along with The Jazz Cruise are The Smooth Jazz Cruise, Blue Note at Sea, The 80s Cruise and Star Trek: The Cruise. Entertainment Cruise Productions is dedicated to providing the finest music and entertainment cruise experience in the world.