Cunard, Blue Note Records, and Blue Note Jazz Clubs are excited to welcome Grammy® Award-winning artists on two Cunard Blue Note Jazz at Sea Transatlantic Crossings aboard the Queen Mary 2 in 2016.This is on one of those special sailings and you will experience the best of jazz along with Cunard’s traditional entertainment offerings, on the grandest ocean liner in the world.
Grammy® Award-winning artist, Herbie Hancock will join the Queen Mary 2 on the 1 August 2016 “Jazz at Sea” Transatlantic Crossing. The multi Grammy Award winning star will perform three, 45-minute intimate shows in The Royal Court Theatre. During the westbound Transatlantic Crossing Hancock will be joined by band members, drummer Vinnie Colaiuta, bassist James Genus and guitarist Lionel Loueke.
Cunard also announced that jazz icon Dee Dee Bridgewater will be co-headlining Queen Mary 2’s third Blue Note jazz-themed Transatlantic Crossing from New York to Southampton on October 25, 2016.
Bridgewater is a Triple Grammy® Award Winner, a TONY® Winner, a UN Goodwill Ambassador, producer, record label head, and much more. Widely celebrated for her depth of artistry across mediums, Bridgewater will perform three intimate, powerhouse shows in The Royal Court Theatre as well as a Q&A session on board Queen Mary 2’s 7-night crossing.
Bridgewater’s career spans more than four decades, and began with her phenomenal debut in New York City in 1970 as the lead vocalist for the band led by Thad Jones and Mel Lewis, one of the premier jazz orchestras of the day. Bridgewater marked an early career in concerts and recordings with musical giants including Dizzy Gillespie, before beginning a career on Broadway, where she won a Tony Award for her role as Glinda the Good Witch in The Wiz. Her time on Broadway led to work in Tokyo, Los Angeles, Paris, and beyond. In London’s West End, she garnered a coveted “Laurence Olivier” Award nomination as Best Actress for her tour de force portrayal of jazz legend Billie Holiday in Stephen Stahl’s Lady Day.
Bridgewater joins booming baritone Gregory Porter on the Transatlantic Crossing. Fellow jazz musician Gregory Porter is also a Grammy® Winner and was awarded “International Jazz Artist of the Year” in 2015 by Jazz FM. (Porter’s upcoming participation was announced in November, 2015).
Jazz, soul and gospel singer, songwriter and actor Gregory Porter was born in Los Angeles, California and grew up in Bakersfield, California, where his mother was a minister. As a child, he fell under the spell of his mother’s Nat King Cole records, learning to imitate and sing like Cole. Luckily, this charismatic artist is here to breathe life, vitality, fun, excitement, passion and honesty into the musical genres he has loved from boyhood. Flutist Hubert Laws featured Porter’s vocals on his 1998 album, “Remembers the Unforgettable Nat King Cole.” Laws’ sister, Eloise Laws, helped him get cast as one of the leads in a new musical “It Ain’t Nothing But the Blues,” which eventually enjoyed a run on Broadway. His debut album, Water, appeared in 2010, and was followed by a second, “Be Good,” released two years later in 2012. Gregory’s latest album “Liquid Spirit” won last year’s Grammy Award for Best Jazz vocal album and reached the top 10 on the UK charts. Gregory was recognised this year by Jazz FM as “International Jazz Artist of the Year” and is described by the New York Times as “a jazz singer of thrilling presence, a booming baritone with a gift for earthy refinement and soaring uplift.”
“I am thrilled to join Cunard and Blue Note for such a unique musical experience on board Queen Mary 2,” said Bridgewater. “To me, jazz symbolizes liberty and freedom of expression, and I look forward to sharing this jazz experience with guests on board and with my dear friend, Mr. Gregory Porter.”
Herbie Hancock is a true icon of modern music. Throughout his explorations, he has transcended limitations and genres while maintaining his unmistakable voice. With an illustrious career spanning five decades and 14 Grammy® Awards, including Album of the Year for River: The Joni Letters, he continues to amaze audiences across the globe.
There are few artists in the music industry who have had more influence on acoustic and electronic jazz and R&B than Herbie Hancock. As the immortal Miles Davis said in his autobiography, “Herbie was the step after Bud Powell and Thelonious Monk, and I haven’t heard anybody yet who has come after him.“
Born in Chicago in 1940, Hancock was a child piano prodigy who performed a Mozart piano concerto with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at age 11. He began playing jazz in high school, initially influenced by Oscar Peterson and Bill Evans. He also developed a passion for electronics and science, and double-majored in music and electrical engineering at Grinnell College.
“On behalf of Cunard, we are delighted to welcome Dee Dee Bridgewater on board Queen Mary 2,” said Richard Meadows, president, Cunard North America. “Dee Dee is a phenomenal entertainer who captivates audiences worldwide, and we are thrilled for our guests to have a front-row seat to this intimate jazz experience with both her and Gregory Porter on this very special Transatlantic Crossing.”
There will be three formal nights with smart casual dress for all other evenings. For the smart casual evenings, jackets are required for gentlemen and smart jeans are permitted (but cannot be torn or have holes in them).
For more information about the Queen Mary 2 or to book a voyage, contact your Travel Consultant, call Cunard toll free at 1-800-728-6273 FREE, or visit www.cunard.com.