We are always amazed by folks who achieve excellence in several fields.
Entertainment Cruise Productions
Our Take: Being a Polymath
The recent passing of Andre Previn caused me to remember those who are able to achieve excellence in multiple fields. For the sake of this note, we will use the Greek term "Polymath" to describe people who operate at this level.

Previn won four Oscars for his film work and eleven Grammys (ten for his recordings and one more for his Lifetime Achievement). He was also the music director of several orchestras as well as being a great jazz pianist and arranger. If being a Polymath is the ability to achieve greatness in several fields of endeavors, then Previn clearly qualifies for the title. Applying this type of scrutiny to others in the music world, we can come up with a very impressive list of Polymaths, both past, present and, perhaps, in the future.

Coming up with the Polymaths of the past is difficult only because I will undoubtedly leave someone out, but here goes. How about a Musical Polymath class of Louis Armstrong, Cole Porter, Nat King Cole, The Gershwins, Michel Legrand, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Gene Kelly, Lena Horne and Leonard Bernstein for starters? You realize that this list is a teaser! I expect dozens of notes highlighting those I have missed. Remember, our criterion is participating in and winning awards for music in multiple fields. We are looking for winners of Grammys, Tonys, Oscars, Emmys, Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame, etc. For example, no doubt that Ella Fitzgerald is a musical genius and her 14 Grammys attest to her skill level, but she does not have the cross-over recognition for our Polymath designation.

Admittedly, defining Polymath in this manner is problematic, but, after all, the Our Take is one of the few places in the world where I get to make the rules! Actually, it is the only place!

As we are defining polymath, there are many examples in the world of music today. Quincy Jones, Clive Davis, Barbra Streisand (Grammy/Tony/Oscar/Emmy winner), Burt Bacharach and four guys who have sailed on our cruises this year, Terence Blanchard, Marcus Miller, Dave Grusin and Don Was clearly qualify. I recognize that not including folks like Stevie Wonder (25 Grammys) may undermine my credibility, but, again, we are looking for talent that crosses mediums and has received awards in various categories. In the pop world, John Legend, Justin Timberlake and Jennifer Lopez may qualify.

For the record, Benjamin Franklin is the penultimate Polymath outside the world of music and entertainment. Jim Thorpe, Bo Jackson, Babe Zaharias and Jackie Joyner-Kersee are the Polymaths of sports. Sorry Deion, you were not a very good baseball player!

Having never excelled in any field, I am always amazed by folks who achieve excellence in several fields. Though I am sure that hard work is involved, they make it look effortless and natural. Okay, I am ready for the onslaught of names I forgot to mention!

Our Take is written by Michael Lazaroff, Executive Director – Jazz of Entertainment Cruise Productions. Feel free to express your views or pose questions to him at michael@ecpcruises.com.
April Is Jazz Appreciation Month
We are preparing for a monthlong celebration of jazz that will begin in just a few weeks. There will be special articles, music presentations, interviews and more, so stay tuned! Though we appreciate jazz all year long, it is nice to have the rest of the world involved if only for 30 days.
2020 Cruise Program Updates
The Smooth Jazz Cruise '20

Just a reminder that Ramsey Lewis, Maysa and Dave McMurray have been added to an already amazing lineup and that, unfortunately, Randy Crawford will not be joining us in 2020. At this time both sailings are fully subscribed.

If you are interested in either sailing (January 18 - 25, 2020, or March 14 - 21, 2020), please join the Wait List.
Blue Note at Sea '20

Our 7 superstars are locked in (Marcus Miller, Robert Glasper, Gregory Porter, Kamasi Washington, Melody Gardot, Christian McBride and David Sanborn). Another headliner is about to be added and we have a list of additional amazing performers that we will be announcing shortly. Stay tuned for the official launch of the cruise, but reservations are being completed now.

You can review pricing and additional details clicking here.
The Jazz Cruise '20

The lineup is set for the 20th Anniversary of The Jazz Cruise and the cruise is more than 70% reserved at this point. This is the highest level of advance sales in the history of The Jazz Cruise, which sails the Caribbean February 1- 8, 2020.

You can review pricing and additional details by clicking here.
Joey DeFrancesco Releases Album
Joey DeFrancesco
Organist and The Jazz Cruise regular Joey DeFrancesco has just released an album celebrating 30 years as a recording artist. The album, In the Key of the Universe on Mack Avenue, features a very special guest – the legendary saxophonist Pharoah Sanders, who plays (and sings) on the iconic "The Creator Has a Master Plan" and two other songs. It's been 50 years since that classic and transcendent cut was recorded on the Karma album for Impulse.

The title of Joey's new album reflects his interest in tapping into a more spiritual vein, albeit with plenty of his usual soul and groove. 

"Pharoah is one of the go-to guys when it comes to that spiritual aspect of the music," Joey wrote. “A lot of people do that kind of thing, but I like to go directly to the source, and he really is the source.”

On a personal note, Joey D is one of the true titans of jazz and blues in the world today. He's a great guy and an amazing performer. We urge you to pick up this new release.