SECS is an acronym for "Self-Effacing Comedic Statements" — also known as making fun of yourself.
Entertainment Cruise Productions
Our Take: Enjoying SECS Is Important
The title is not a typo. Instead, it is a cheap and tawdry way of catching your attention. SECS is an acronym for "Self-Effacing Comedic Statements" — also known as "making fun of yourself." Calling it SECS is more fun, don't you think?

To get this discussion started, I gladly will admit that I have never fully embraced anyone who was not willing to make fun of themselves. I will go further. My best friends are those who enjoy doing so. Not sure why that is so attractive to me, but it probably has to do with coping with my own boatload of peccadilloes and inane habits. I guess I could try to hide or correct them, both of which sound like a lot of work. Or, I can just laugh at them. Sign me up for that.

The presence of SECS varies from profession to profession. When I practiced law, I wrote a piece titled, "There Are No Funny Lawyers, Only Funny People Who Made the Wrong Career Choice." Predictably, the article received mixed reviews. The mixture ran from "what are you trying to say?" to "give up the practice." Admittedly, it was a Jerry Maguire moment, as here, too, trashing your own profession was frowned upon. But, seriously, how many funny lawyers do you know? I thought so.

Having produced music cruises and events now for 20 years, I can report that there is very little SECS in the music world either. (Even if you are not enjoying this, I love the double entendre thing going on here.) Musicians, particularly jazz musicians, are very serious people. They are dedicated to their craft, ever guarding the heritage of jazz or ever exploring the world beyond. Their careers have a "mission" quality. For the most part, SECS from the bandstand are presumed to diminish the product.

We are blessed with several jazz musicians who enjoy SECS (now, I am laughing out loud). They are able to separate the importance and significance of their work from the importance and significance of themselves. They understand that having fun and, even making fun, does not undermine their talent or disrespect the genre. I was inclined to call these folks out by name, but I would undoubtedly forget someone, so I will leave the roster of jazz musicians who are comfortable with SECS up to your determination.

Being able to enjoy SECS is important to me. Doing so reminds me that the "ups and downs" of my world are insignificant in the scheme of things.

My life is dictated by a hard and fast set of 10 or so credos. Not all of them are beneficial, but they rule my behavior nonetheless. As you might have guessed, "never miss the chance to joke" and "what matters to me probably does not matter to others" are high on the list.

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
The Smooth Jazz Cruise 2021!
The Smooth Jazz Cruise '21.1 & '21.2 ...
More Popular Than Ever!

That guests are excited about The Smooth Jazz Cruise is not news. The two annual sailings are always fully subscribed many months before the cruises set sail.
Nonetheless, the response to the recent launch of The Smooth Jazz Cruise '21.1 & '21.2 has been more exciting than ever. Whether it is the amazing lineup, the prospect of a completely upgraded ship (REVOLUTION), exciting new ports of call or the promise of no price increase if you act before September 5, sign-ups for 2021 have been extraordinary, particularly the Pre-Sale Reservations made by guests who are not sailing with us in 2020.

Please remember that guests sailing on either of the 2020 sailings have until September 5 to reserve their current staterooms for 2021 and lock in the "no price increase" guarantee. Guests who are not sailing in 2020 have until September 5 to make a Pre-Sale Reservation, which ensures priority access for 2021 and locks in the "no price increase" guarantee.


Whether you are a 2020 Guest looking to rebook for 2021, a Past Guest not sailing in 2020, or a New Guest who wants to make a Pre-Sale Reservation, your path to sailing on The Smooth Jazz Cruise in 2021 starts by clicking the button below!
Listen: Jazz Cruise Conversations!
Podcast 13: Lee Ritenour with Marcus Miller
Podcast 13: Lee Ritenour with Marcus Miller
In this week's installment of Jazz Cruise Conversations, the podcast series from Entertainment Cruise Productions, we present to you Lee Ritenour with Marcus Miller, an interview recorded earlier this year on The Smooth Jazz Cruise.

Ritenour has recorded more than two dozen albums as a leader since his debut "First Course" in 1976, as well as countless recordings as a studio player. A founding member of the contemporary jazz group Fourplay, Ritenour has been nominated for 16 Grammy Awards. During one of the two sailings of The Smooth Jazz Cruise '19 he spoke with Marcus about his life as a first-call studio musician in L.A. in the 70s and 80s and his transition to becoming a leader of contemporary jazz groups.

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.
Where's Alonzo?
It's been too long since The Weekender has been graced with an Alonzo Bodden appearance. The funniest man on the planet has been overseas, but he's now back in the U.S. with several shows in the backyard of many of our cruise guests.

Our friends in Chicago can go see Alonzo at Chicago Improv in Schaumburg. Tickets are available for five shows between August 9-11.

If you're in Tampa, check him out August 15-18 at SideSplitters Comedy Club.

And remember, Alonzo loves when jazz cruisers are in the house, so take in the show and let him know you are in the audience.
We Know the Way to San Jose
It's festival season and there are so many great ones coming up. One of our favorites is San Jose Jazz Summer Fest, which will be held August 9-11 in Silicon Valley.

The festival will feature headliners such as Gregory Porter, Dianne Reeves, Marquis Hill and Monty Alexander.
Montclair Jazz Festival's Free All-Day Event
If you're in the Greater NYC area next weekend, consider driving to Montclair, N.J. on Saturday, August 10 for the "Grand Finale" of the Montclair Jazz Festival. The all-day event takes place in bucolic Nishuane Park and includes sets by Christian McBride, Eddie Palmieri, Joey DeFrancesco and Bettye Lavette. Sets go from noon until 9 p.m. and it's completely free. 

The festival is organized by the same team who runs Jazz House Kids, a very special program founded by Melissa Walker that provides jazz education to underserved youth in northern New Jersey. Christian is the artistic director for both Jazz House Kids and Montclair Jazz Festival.