Feb 3, 2011

2011 JazzSea Panama Cruise

On Jan.2, 2011 my wife, Nida, and I boarded the Celebrity Constellation for our 13 day cruise from San Diego, California, through the Panama Canal, ending up in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. There was good weather, good ports of call - and great music!

I performed my solo concert halfway through the cruise in the beautiful "Reflections" Nightclub, with piano accompaniment by Karla West. In my show, I also included a guest singer, named Jesse DeTorres, for his outstanding version of Al Jolson's "Mammy". For my finale, my clarinet friend from Florida, Dr. Bob Felman, accompanied me on the Wm. Tell Overture.

Meanwhile, everyday I conducted and rehearsed the Banjos Aweigh band in preparation for their concert which we played towards the end of the cruise with great success.

Every year the band consists of different members, amateur players from all over North America and Europe. This year, the 27 members consisted mostly of banjos, but there was also a tuba, clarinet, violin, ukulele, mandolin, gut-bucket, washboards, spoons, a vocalist, and 4 dancers. These players just want to have fun while learning how to play. I even offered lessons while on board.

I also was asked to play with 2 other bands, Toronto's "Climax Jazz Band" and "Tex Williams And Friends". What fun!

Next year, the JazzSea Caribbean cruise will leave Ft. Lauderdale for an 11 day trip on Holland-America's Maasdam. For more information, please check out www.jazzsea.com.