Jazz Cruise Conversations features full length interviews with jazz artists done on The Jazz Cruise, Blue Note at Sea and The Smooth Jazz Cruise.
#71: Sullivan Fortner with Emmet Cohen
1:08:26Sullivan Fortner sits down with fellow pianist Emmet Cohen to talk about coming from New Orleans to New York City and his emergence on the jazz scene. Sullivan and Emmet talk about the various piano competitions they entered together. Sullivan also discusses his musical relationship with vocalist Cecile McLorin Salvant. And he shows Emmet some of his practice regimen on the piano.
#70: Monty Alexander with John Clayton
1:07:58In this episode from our live conversation series on Facebook and YouTube, the noted pianist Monty Alexander talks with bassist and former bandmate John Clayton about his storied life in music. It’s a reunion of sorts because back in the mid-70s, Monty led a trio with John and drummer Jeff Hamilton. The three road warriors performed about 300 days a year and recording two albums including the seminal "Montreux Alexander ’76." Monty reminisces about growing up in Jamaica and learning from people like Ray Brown and Oscar Peterson. We also surprised Monty with a special guest who dropped into the conversation for the last 15 minutes. This episode was sponsored by Vail Jazz.
#69: John Clayton with Ken Peplowski
2:06:33In this Before & After listening session, co-presented on Zoom with JazzTimes, Ken Peplowski plays a dozen tunes for his friend and colleague John Clayton, who shows off his very acute ears. Besides going deep on the cuts, the two talk about a wide range of topics, including the nuance of the beat, the dangers of the metronome, and why fake books hurt rather than help young musicians.
#68: Bria Skonberg with Jennifer Wharton
1:02:56In a recent conversation streamed online, bass trombonist Jennifer Wharton interviewed trumpeter and singer Bria Skonberg about her life in music. The two discussed everything from choosing the right mutes to balancing the professional demands of playing music with the personal demands of family life.
#67: Niki Haris with Ann Hampton Callaway
1:12:40This singer-on-singer chat was streamed live at part of Jazz Cruise Conversations Live series on social media. Niki Haris talked with fellow vocalist Ann Hampton Callaway about her colorful and unique career from singing and touring with Madonna to performing jazz at festivals and venues all over the world. Niki also talks about growing up as the daughter of legendary jazz pianist Gene Harris. And the two share memories of their time together on The Jazz Cruise.
#66: Paquito D'Rivera with Ken Peplowski
1:07:39Paquito D’Rivera spoke with fellow clarinetist (and saxophonist) Ken Peplowski in this chat that was streamed live on Facebook and YouTube. The two voluble favorites of The Jazz Cruise talk clarinet of course, but they also discuss Paquito growing up in Cuba, his introduction to music and jazz, his affinity for Brazilian music and his long musical relationship with trumpeter Claudio Roditit, who passed away recently.
#65: Christian McBride with Alonzo Bodden
1:20:01Bassist/bandleader/composer/radio host/educator/artistic director Christian McBride talks with comedian Alonzo Bodden about social issues, sports, comedy, jazz and of course, the bass. We also surprise Christian with some special guests who show up about 45 minutes in and who kept the conversation going for another half hour.
#64: Nicki Parrott with John Clayton
1:04:22The multi-faceted bassist AND singer Nicki Parrott talks with fellow bassist John Clayton about growing up in Australia and about how and why she took up the bass. The two share their memories of Ray Brown, a mentor to John and a big influence on Nicki. They also discuss their common appreciation for cooking and Nicki shares a short clip from her well-produced web series Chez Nicki Jams, in which she shares a favorite recipe and performs a short number while the dish cooks.
#63: Wycliffe Gordon with Eulis Cathey
1:07:32The virtuoso trombonist Wycliffe Gordon talks with Sirius XM radio host Eulis Cathey about his long and storied career, which began in Augusta, Georgia. Wycliffe explains the impact of playing music in the church there in Augusta. He also discusses his introduction to jazz, as well as the far-reaching influence of his mentor, Wynton Marsalis.
#62: Terell Stafford with Eulis Cathey
1:07:00Noted trumpeter and educator Terell Stafford talks with Sirius XM radio host Eulis Cathey about his background as a classical musicians and how he made the transition to become an accomplished and influential jazz musician. Terell talks about some of his mentors and also about what he tries to teach his students in his role as head of the music department (including classical and jazz) at Temple University.