As a son, father and grandfather, there is much to be grateful for this Father's Day.
Entertainment Cruise Productions
Our Take: Happy Father's Day
In the past, I have shared with you the musical influence my father has had upon me. He played saxophone, sang and loved Bebop and the Standards. Our Father's Day celebration always centered around his music, both in terms of gifts and the day's events.

That was what Father's Day meant to me for the first 34 years of my life. It was a celebration of my father and a chance to show him that we knew what he liked to do and how he wanted to live his life. In fact, my default image of my father is him playing his Selmer Alto Saxophone to the Music Minus One albums he owned. The image is clear as a bell.

Father's Day 1985 was my first Father's Day as an honoree. My son was born in October 1984. That first Father's Day was emotional, not only because I had finally become a father, but that I was balancing my desire to enjoy the day as a father while still honoring my father. The dual role made the day seem more complicated, but still a lot of fun.

That was Father's Day until February of 2005 when my dad died of cancer. I had reason to check out his obituary recently. Two sentences tell the story:
"Mr. Lazaroff was President in 1970 of the St. Louis Real Estate Board.
He was a certified property manager, a regional Vice President of the Building Office Management Association, a member of the Musician's Union, a graduate of Washington University and well-known as a local jazz saxophonist and vocalist."

There is no doubt in my mind that acknowledgement of his being a member of the Musician's Union and a well-known local musician was how he wanted to be remembered. The rest of that stuff was what he had to do to take care of his family. His nourishment was his music. That was what defined him and how I will remember him forever.

Father's Day 2018 was another change in the dynamics of the holiday. My son had his first child, a daughter named Sloan. I would tell you how cute, smart and funny she is, but don't you hate when grandparents try to tell you about their grandchildren? They can't all be wonderful. Jeffrey Dahmer had grandparents, I believe. I wonder how they described little Jeffrey.

Nonetheless, Father's Day is now more about my son being a father than me being a father. In fact, in a few hours from now, I will be attending a Revealing Party at which we will find out the sex of his second child and my second grandchild. My prominence on Father's Day will fade even more.  It is funny how life begins with looking up to your father and will end with looking down to see your child's kids. It reminds me of those commercials where they trace a person's life, showing how well they did at various stages of their years. In a 30-second ad, the person goes from being a child to a grandparent. Clearly, it does not happen that fast, but, at times, it seems to.
It wasn't that long ago that I would sit in my pajamas on a Sunday morning and listen to my father play his saxophone. Actually, it was almost 70 years ago. It's happened just like the commercial.

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
Blue Note at Sea —
Where Great Music Is the Only Rule

Great Music is the Only Rule on Blue Note at Sea!
In its 4th year, Blue Note at Sea has firmly established its identity in our group of cruises. Simply stated, Blue Note at Sea has no labels and no restrictions. Further, it is bound by one and only one principle — that "Great Music is the Only Rule." It is a spectacular music vacation for those looking for the highest quality of contemporary jazz in a setting that is conducive to listening and having a great time. 
Blue Note at Sea '20 features 7 amazing headliners and over 65 jazz musicians. Join Marcus Miller, Robert Glasper, Gregory Porter, Melody Gardot, David Sanborn, Christian McBride and Kamasi Washington as they set the pace for an amazing week of music. Blue Note Records President Don Was also serves as a host along with other jazz celebrities and pundits.
The 2019 sailing was fully subscribed by December 1, 2018, and reservations for Blue Note at Sea '20 are substantially higher at this time than the '19 sailing. Great staterooms remain, but the time to act is now.
As Don Was said, "I can't think of a better way to spend 7 days & 7 nights than cruising with Blue Note at Sea! Great music, great vibes. I look forward to it every year."
Michael Cuscuna & Don Was with Mark Ruffin:
Podcast 8: Blue Note Records' 80th Anniversary Roundtable With Don Was & Michael Cuscuna
Podcast 8 Is Live!
In this week's installment of Jazz Cruise Conversations, the podcast series from Entertainment Cruise Productions, we present to you Mark Ruffin interviewing Don Was and Michael Cuscuna in honor of Blue Note Records' 80th Anniversary.

Michael and Don have a lot in common. Both produced Bonnie Raitt, albeit 20 years apart, and more importantly both have played a large part in the legacy of Blue Note Records. Cuscuna worked closely with Bruce Lundvall to produce both new releases and reissues during the 1980s and 90s, and Was has directed the label as its president since 2012.

During Blue Note at Sea, the two sat down with Mark Ruffin, host of Real Jazz on SiriusXM Channel 67, to talk about their experiences with the label.

Every Jazz Cruise Conversations podcast is available on our website at: and You can also find Jazz Cruise Conversations on your preferred podcast platform, including iTunes and Spotify.
Visit Us at Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival
Summertime, and the living is easy. Especially if you live in Pittsburgh. Coming to the Steel City June 20-22 is the Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival, which includes headliners such as Patti Labelle, Charles Lloyd, War, Stanley Clarke, Joey DeFrancesco, Sean Jones and Warren Wolf. 

The festival features a combination of free outdoor shows as well as some ticketed shows at the August Wilson African American Cultural Center. Entertainment Cruise Productions will be there with a booth on-site, spreading the word about the cruises and entering folks into a contest to win a free cabin on Blue Note at Sea.
In NYC? Catch Christian McBride & Kurt Elling
Christian McBride, who will be sailing Back-To-Back on Blue Note at Sea and The Jazz Cruise in 2020, is in the middle of another back-to-back engagement — this one at Dizzy's at Jazz at Lincoln Center in NYC. The first week featured his big band, but there's still time to check out the second week when Christian performs June 20-23 with his Tip City Trio featuring Emmet Cohen on keyboards and Dan Wilson on guitar.

Kurt Elling, a longtime favorite of The Jazz Cruise, will also be in NYC performing for four nights starting on June 19 at Birdland Jazz Club. If you miss Kurt next week, you can still catch him on The Jazz Cruise '20!

Click here for more information about Christian at Dizzy's and click here for more information about Kurt at Birdland.
Vail Jazz Festival Kicks Off June 30
In celebration of their 25th anniversary, our friends at Vail Jazz are launching into their biggest summer ever, with free and ticketed performances from the end of June through Labor Day weekend.

On Wednesday and Thursday evenings, respectively, the Vail Jazz Club and Vail Square series feature a lineup of the biggest names in jazz today, including favorites of The Jazz Cruise such as John Pizzarelli, Ann Hampton Callaway, Emmet Cohen and Veronica Swift. The grand finale of the festival is the Vail Jazz Party held over Labor Day weekend.