Theme or specialty cruises are among the hottest trends in travel these days. Whether your interests are classic rock or the baseball heroes of your youth, any number of cruise lines are more than happy to sell you the opportunity to indulge your passion while sailing the Caribbean or Pacific.
There you are on the Lido deck, thousands of miles removed from the winter cold and snow, sipping a pina colada and rubbing shoulders with your own brand of celebrity. These things are, quite literally, a floating gathering of the faithful.
It turns out jazz fans (and artists) are not immune to the blandishments of such events. Indeed, given their popularity, now is the time to make preparations for next winter’s sailings. Here are just some of the cruises to consider.
Smooth Jazz Cruise: You can’t beat this cruise when it comes to star power and popularity. According to the website, two January 2011 sailings are on pace to sell out in the next few weeks, a full 10 months before a single sax is played. Among those providing the music on your week’s wandering in the Caribbean are David Sanborn, Boney James, Gerald Albright, George Duke, Candy Dulfer and Richard Elliot.
Jazz Cruise: Same company, same Caribbean course but different performers. Among the artists you’re likely to encounter by the pool next February are Freddy Cole, Jeff Hamilton, Houston Person, Bucky Pizzarelli, Nnenna Freelon and Bobby Broom.
Jazz Party at Sea: Forget winter, this party gets under way a few weeks before Thanksgiving 2010. As for the performers, they may not be quite as well known as some of the other lines’ but they are undeniably talented – Mulgrew Miller, Larry Coryell, Steve Turre, the Heath Brothers, Jeb Patton and David Wong, among them.
Jazz SuperCruise: Another smooth jazz outing, this one-week affair returns you to Miami just in time for Halloween 2010. The lineup includes George Duke, Spyro Gyra, Brian Culbertson, Jeff Lorber, Kirk Whalum and the Bay Area’s own Ledisi.
Jazzfest At Sea: If your tastes run more toward Dixieland, here’s the ticket. (That said, it’s worth noting that Person is among the performers.) This cruise hits the high seas in the Caribbean the week after Thanksgiving 2010 and has a deal for families, with kids under 12 sailing free.
Dave Koz and Friends At Sea: This package should hold a special appeal for West Coast fans, not least because it saves you a cross-country plane ticket. The smooth jazz saxophonist-radio host is the point person on this summer 2011 trip from Seattle to Alaska. His friends, as it turns out, are some of the genre’s biggest names, including Peter White, Chris Botti, Mindi Abair and David Benoit.
Want to keep up with the best in Bay Area jazz?
Subscribe to us: Have our jazz Examiner columns sent to your inbox. Click SUBSCRIBE TO EMAIL on the button above this column. It’s free. (And we won’t spam you or give out your information.)
Bookmark us: http://www.aerochug.com/x-12458-Oakland-Jazz-Music-Examiner
Make us your home page, add us as a Favorite Examiner (see above), take us mobile at www.aerochug.com/mobile.html