Blue Note at Sea 2018



Leslie Odom, Jr. (Hamilton) Also Joins the Line-up of Grammy and Tony Award Winning Artists and NEA Jazz Masters

blue note at sea 2017 marked the initial sailing of Blue Note at Sea, a nautical musical collaboration between Blue Note Records, Blue Note Jazz Clubs and Entertainment Cruise Productions. Don Was, president of Blue Note Records and a three time Grammy winning producer has called this three-way production team “the dream team of jazz at sea.”  With his expertise and direction, the production and programming savvy offered by Steven Bensusan and his team at Blue Note Jazz Clubs and the 17 years of jazz cruises produced by Entertainment Cruise Productions, Was’ description seems apt.

The 2018 cruise roster is nearly finalized and includes winners of 48 Grammys and 2 Tony Awards.  The cruise also features 4 NEA Jazz Masters (the highest award in jazz), all of whom are sailing on Blue Note at Sea for the first time.

These four illustrious performers are among the most celebrated jazz artists of our time: 22-time Grammy winner and NEA Jazz Master Chick Corea, NEA Jazz Master Charles Lloyd, triple Grammy-winner and Dee Dee Bridgewater, and Dr. Lonnie Smith.

Legendary saxophonist (and Blue Note recording artist) Charles Lloyd will join the cruise in St. Thomas with his band The Marvels – Bill Frisell, Greg Leisz, Reuben Rogers and Eric Harland. Bridgewater, who, in addition to her three Grammys, has earned a Tony award, will be backed by her own band as well. Smith, a Hammond B-3 guru, has been featured on over seventy albums, and has recorded and performed with a virtual “Who’s Who” of the greatest jazz, blues and R&B giants in the industry. Both Bridgewater and Smith will be joining the ranks of NEA Jazz Masters in 2017.

Bridgewater is not the only Tony Award-winner who will be performing for audiences on the Celebrity Summit next February. Leslie Odom, Jr., best known for his role as Aaron Burr in the Broadway smash hit Hamilton, for which he took home both a Tony (for Best Actor in a Musical) and a Grammy (for Best Musical Theater Album), is set to bring his jazz chops to the forefront when he performs with his band on the cruise. The New York Times describes Odom’s style as “tender jazz vocals with flashes of adult-contemporary R&B.”

Blue Note at Sea ’18 will again be hosted by multi-Grammy winning bassist Marcus Miller. Other Grammy-winning artists who will be returning are Robert Glasper, Lalah Hathaway and David Sanborn. While Glasper and Sanborn will perform in the  same configurations as they did on Blue Note at Sea’s inaugural sailing, five time Grammy winner Hathaway will bring her own band on board this time out.  The three bands feature 11 top jazz musicians, all of whom will be performing in other configurations and groups during the cruise.

The multi-Grammy winning pianist Robert Glasper will also be appearing with the Blue Note All Stars, an incredible sextet of young visionaries who first formed in 2014 to celebrate Blue Note’s 75th Anniversary. The band features Glasper along with his label-mates Ambrose Akinmusire, Lionel Loueke, Marcus Strickland, Derrick Hodge and Kendrick Scott.

Both Don Was and Steven Bensusan will also participate on the cruise. Was will emcee several events and will interview many of the performers, as he did on the 2017 sailing.  Bensusan will host the Blue Note Jazz Club at Sea, a gorgeous late night venue that offers cabaret style seating in the tradition of his many Blue Note Jazz Clubs.

Featuring the most highly respected and renowned contemporary jazz performers in the world, Blue Note At Sea is a collaboration among Blue Note Jazz Clubs, Blue Note Records, and Entertainment Cruise Productions.  From stunning main shows to their signature Night Music events to Late, Late Night shows and jam sessions, Blue Note at Sea defines what is new and hip in the world of jazz while also retaining and respecting those aspects of the genre that have made jazz one of the true enduring musical styles around the world.

Blue Note at Sea will sail on Celebrity Summit from January 27 – February 3, 2018, departing from Ft. Lauderdale, with ports of call in San Juan, St. Thomas, Coco Cay (Bahamas) and Labadee (Haiti).  For more information about the cruise program, go to

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