Take a moment this Easter and consider what putting all your eggs in one basket means in your life.
Entertainment Cruise Productions
Our Take: Hopping Into the Easter Spirit
Granted, Easter and Jazz are not a thing. To even speak of Jazz in terms of the religious and spiritual meaning of Easter is somewhere between foolish and blasphemous. Yet, the other side of Easter, the one with the Easter Bunny, Easter eggs and Easter baskets, can be connected to our favorite music.

In researching to what extent Easter and Jazz overlap, I happened upon an NPR article by Shaunna Morrison Machosky in which she listed five songs that she thought would "help you hop into the Easter spirit."

Of the five, by far the most interesting is "I'm Putting All My Eggs in One Basket," a 1936 tune by Irving Berlin introduced by Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in the musical comedy film "Follow the Fleet." The song was later released by the incomparable team of Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong.

Fred and Ginger are incomparable as well, but when it comes to singing a song, Ella and Louis are tough to beat. Imagine Ella and Louis singing a song and Fred and Ginger dancing to that music. Incomparable would take on an entirely new dimension.

But I was mostly struck by the title of the song and the lyrics. What does it mean to put all your eggs in one basket? In the context of the song, it means putting all your love and hope in one special person. For some of us, that is how we view love, even life. But, for others, the riskiness of being all-in is frightening and to be avoided. We hedge our bets, curb our enthusiasm and, of course, do not count our chickens until they have hatched.

There are other ways to interpret "all my eggs in one basket." Perhaps it is the recognition that we are all in the same basket … or, in the case of our cruises, on the same ship!

As we have seen, the tune was first performed by a white couple whose fame is so legendary and iconic that they achieved first-name-only status: Fred and Ginger. And, the song is forever cemented in our minds by another legendary and iconic first-name-only team: Ella and Louis. And, of course, this team was black. Irving Berlin was a Jewish American composer born in Russia. Many of his most famous compositions ("Easter Parade," "White Christmas" and "God Bless America") belie that heritage. For a relatively obscure song composed more than 80 years ago, that is a lot of diversity in one place.

Spiritually, "I'm Putting All My Eggs in One Basket" could be a message from a higher voice, a voice that is reminding us of the fragility and precarious nature of our condition. Just as the success of the tune itself reflects folks of different genders, races and religions, so too is our world. No one sect can be successful on their own.

Take a moment this Easter and consider what putting all your eggs in one basket means in your life. Does it reflect your devotion to a cause, your love of another or your willingness to bet the farm on a particular idea or pursuit? And, does it also mean that we are in this basket together and what happens to one of us happens to all of us?

The moral of this story is easy. Be a good egg. Don't play mean yolks on others. Avoid getting poached, fried or scrambled by things you can't control. If you feel that you are about to boil over, turn down the heat. But, most importantly, don't be spoiled, rotten or bad. Try to get along with others, as you never know what type of omelet in which you will find yourself.

I could go on and on, but it is time to eggs-it stage right!

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 michael@ecpcruises.com.
 
Listen to Wynton Marsalis and Marcus Miller!
New: Jazz Cruise Conversations
In the second installment of Jazz Cruise Conversations, the new podcast series from Blue Note at Sea and The Jazz Cruise, we present to you two very special onboard interviews.

Before the Wynton Marsalis performed on Blue Note at Sea '19 with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra for two special sets, the incomparable trumpeter sat down with Marcus Miller for a conversation about his early years in New Orleans and the long-lasting influence of both of his parents, who were very serious about education. As you'll hear, Wynton himself has a marvelous ability to explain the history and composition of jazz to all audiences.

On The Jazz Cruise '19, radio host and author Dick Golden interviewed the pianist Bill Charlap about his work with Tony Bennett as well as his deep appreciation for the Great American Songbook. Charlap also treated guests to multiple performances with his longtime trio of Peter Washington on bass and Kenny Washington on drums, as well as a solo set.

Every podcast is available on our website at: bluenoteatsea.com/podcast and thejazzcruise.com/podcast. You can also find Jazz Cruise Conversations on your preferred podcast platform, including iTunes and Spotify.
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SJC '19 Cruisin' On Watercolors
Jazz Appreciation Month is going out on a high note! Beginning Monday (April 22) and continuing for 8-straight days, Watercolors SiriusXM Channel 66 will be broadcasting live shows recorded on The Smooth Jazz Cruise '19.

At 6 p.m. Eastern Time Monday to Sunday, Watercolors will feature a double billing of incredible artists, including Marcus MillerBoney James, Jonathan Butler and more, plus a special featured concert from legends Dave Grusin and Lee Ritenour!

The musical celebration culminates with an All-Star concert from The Smooth Jazz Cruise at 4 p.m. Eastern Time on April 29, featuring over 10 jazz greats sharing the stage for one unforgettable performance. Tune in and you'll hear why The Smooth Jazz Cruise is truly "The Greatest Party at Sea." 

Stay tuned because we will have more details about The Smooth Jazz Cruise's 8-day residency on Watercolors heading your way!
 
Keeping Up With Alonzo
We can't confirm or deny whether it's related to his two recent shows in Las Vegas, but Alonzo Bodden is on his way out of the country.

The funniest man on the planet is crossing the border to Canada for two nights at the Halifax Comedy Festival in Nova Scotia. If U.S. Customs and Border Protection lets him back in the country, he'll spend the first week of May in Massachusetts. 

Alonzo loves when the cruisers come to his show, so if he is near you, take in the show and let him know you are in the audience.

APRIL 24 & 26: Halifax Comedy Festival in Nova Scotia, Canada.
MAY 2-4: Roar! Comedy Club at MGM Springfield in Massachusetts.
MAY 5: WBUR CitySpace in Boston.
 
Joey DeFrancesco to Perform With Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in NYC
Organist Joey DeFrancesco, who will be sailing back-to-back on Blue Note at Sea and The Jazz Cruise in 2020, will perform a special show with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra (JALCO) on May 17 and 18 at the Rose Theater in NYC.

Joey and the orchestra are collaborating on performances of Duke Ellington's "New Orleans Suite" as well as Oliver Nelson's take on "Peter & The Wolf," which originally featured jazz organ great Jimmy Smith. Joey is working with Vincent Gardner of the JALCO to create new arrangements of the Ellington material.
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DC Jazz Festival Announces Finalists
The DC Jazz Festival, held June 7-16 in the nation's capital, has announced the three finalists for its DCJazzPrix competition, which recognizes and supports rising jazz bands.

The three groups — the Ernest Turner Trio, AmyAna and MIXCLA+1 — will perform in the finals on June 15 at Pearl Street Warehouse. The winner will be awarded a $15,000 cash prize and a yearlong association with the DC Jazz Festival to assist in their professional development, as well as a compensated main stage performance at the DC Jazz Festival in 2020.
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