The second annual Blue Note at Sea cruise sailed January 27-February 3 with multiple stops at ports in the Caribbean and featured more than 50 performances by dozens of notable artists, including Chick Corea, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Jose James, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Charles Lloyd, David Sanborn, Robert Glasper, Lalah Hathaway, Maceo Parker and many others. Co-sponsored by Blue Note Records and the Blue Note, the cruise was produced by Entertainment Cruise Productions, who have organized the Jazz Cruise for the last 15 years and also produce the Smooth Jazz Cruise and the 80s Cruise.
The music on Blue Note at Sea is decidedly more contemporary and modern in its focus than the Jazz Cruise, which has a more mainstream bent. On Blue Note at Sea 2018 Dee Dee Bridgewater performed material from her Memphis project, Jose James brought to life the music of Bill Withers and Charles Lloyd and the Marvels (Bill Frisell, Greg Leisz, Reuben Rogers and Eric Harland) explored the area between Americana and jazz. David Sanborn hosted Night Music – a late night jam meets variety show paying homage to the 80s TV show of the same name.
Next year’s Blue Note at Sea takes place January 26-February 2 and among the performers are the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, Kurt Elling, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Christian Scott, Terence Blanchard, Jason Moran, Sanborn and musical directors Eric Marienthal and Marcus Miller.
All photos are by Amanda Turner/Tuke Photography.