Cunard announced that multiple Grammy® Award-winning vocalist Natalie Cole will headline the first-ever Blue Note jazz themed cruise, which will debut on Cunard’s flagship, Queen Mary 2, on 29 October 2015. Cole will join a roster of venerable jazz musicians on this very special Transatlantic Crossing including Grammy® Award-winning jazz pianist and record producer Robert Glasper, acclaimed trumpet player Keyon Harrold, tenor saxophonist Marcus Strickland, guitarist Lionel Loueke, bassist Derrick Hodge and drummer Kendrick Scott.
Cole was introduced to the world of jazz as a child in the 1950s through her famous father, vocal legend and trailblazer Nat King Cole. Throughout her celebrated career, Natalie has paid tribute to the Latin American, R&B and Jazz genres, as well as to her father through posthumous pairings and renditions of his most popular songs.
“Cunard is very pleased to host Natalie Cole onboard Queen Mary 2. Her presence, together with Blue Note Records’ talented musicians, will be a real treat for our guests,” states Richard Meadows, President, Cunard, North America. “We believe this collaboration with Blue Note will be truly unforgettable.”
In addition to headliner Natalie Cole, this special Transatlantic Crossing will feature a catalog of several celebrated jazz musicians including:
Grammy® Award-winning jazz pianist and record producer Robert Glasper, who has returned to his acclaimed acoustic jazz trio for his new album, Covered (The Robert Glasper Trio recorded live at Capitol Studios), which will be released in June 2015.
Much-admired musician Alan Hampton, who attended the Thelonious Monk Institute in LA, where he studied bass with jazz and performed with Ron Carter, Charlie Haden, and John Clayton and performed internationally with Herbie Hancock, Terence Blanchard and Wayne Shorter.
Piano prodigy and Grammy® Award-nominated Fredrico Peña, who was born in Montevideo (Uruguay) and raised in Buenos Aires (Argentina), where his piano training began under the tutelage of world renowned classical pianist Antonio de Raco.
In addition to these celebrated musicians and others, the Blue Note Jazz at Sea 29 October Transatlantic Crossing will also feature intimate jazz performances by Blue Note’s 75th anniversary supergroup, Our Point of View, as well as a Q&A with Grammy® Award-winning producer and President of Blue Note, Don Was.
Throughout its 175 years of history, Cunard has been known for offering guests unique access to some of the most beloved musicians and entertainers in the world, from Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald, who sailed on the beloved Queen Mary, to James Taylor, Carly Simon, and the late jazz legend Dave Brubeck.