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Jazz Cruises Will Dock in Las Vegas for 2021

An annual event transitions from the Caribbean to the Strip

Cyrille Aimee by Noé Cugny
Cyrille Aimée (photo: Noé Cugny)

Run aground by the COVID-19 pandemic, the world’s most popular mobile jazz venue has set up shop far from the water. In February 2021, Entertainment Cruise Productions—the producer of both the Jazz Cruise and the Smooth Jazz Cruise—is “docking” on the shores of Las Vegas in order to present two weeklong programs of music at the Encore Las Vegas Resort Theater.

“Jazz: Live in Las Vegas,” the Jazz Cruise’s component, will take place February 21-26. Over five days and five nights, the program will host artists including Cyrille Aimée, Shelly Berg (who will also serve as musical director), Randy Brecker, John Clayton, Emmet Cohen, Joey DeFrancesco, Kurt Elling, Wycliffe Gordon, Jeff Hamilton, Niki Haris, Christian McBride, Lewis Nash, Ken Peplowski, John Pizzarelli, and Veronica Swift, with more artists to be announced as the scheduled date approaches.

Then, on February 28, begins “The Smooth Jazz Cruise Live in Las Vegas,” another five-day, five-night presentation (February 28-March 5). This lineup includes Mindi Abair, George Benson, Alonzo Bodden, Jonathan Butler, Eric Darius, DW3, Lisa Fischer, Dave Grusin, Eric Marienthal, Marcus Miller, and Lee Ritenour, accompanied by two bands featuring Collin Clauson, Munyungo Jackson, Randy Jacobs, Gerey Johnson, Arlington Jones, Nate Kearney, Nate Phillips, Third Richardson, Patches Stewart, and Jay Williams.

Both onshore cruises are produced by ECP in association with SiriusXM’s Real Jazz and Watercolors channels, respectively.

Although the Encore Theater has an ordinary capacity of 1,480 attendees, it will observe social distancing guidelines with a strict 1,000-person limit for both events.

The Encore Resort, whose theater is hosting the events, is offering special event packages to accommodate attendees for either presentation. For more information about “Jazz: Live in Las Vegas,” visit www.thejazzcruise.com/vegas. To learn more about “The Smooth Jazz Cruise: Live in Las Vegas, visit www.thesmoothjazzcruise.com/vegas.

The shipboard Jazz Cruise and Smooth Jazz Cruise will resume in 2022.