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The Jazz Cruises Expands Programs
(Published: September 30, 2010)

Everyone at Entertainment Cruise Productions d/b/a Jazz Cruises hopes that each of you had a wonderful summer, filled with great times and great music. With the coming of fall, we have put our cruise production activities into high gear as we get ready for the two sold-out sailings of The Smooth Jazz Cruise 2011 and the approaching sold-out 10th anniversary sailing of The Jazz Cruise 2011.

The manifests are nearly complete, and the performance schedules are going to print. Each cruise will feature a lot of new events and music, but, for those who have sailed with us before, do not worry, the favorites and the traditions will be there as well.

Though our cruise programs feature different forms of jazz music, there are some common programming elements: gospel show, interviews, CD signings, T-shirt party and special parties, just to name a few. So, whether you are a traditionalist and love "straight-ahead" jazz, or you prefer contemporary jazz (unfortunately known as "smooth jazz"), Jazz Cruises has the perfect cruise for you, and each of them provides the very best music cruise experiences in the world!

Special Note From Michael Lazaroff ... Let's Help Jazz Musicians In Need!
The music we love has been created by some wonderfully talented and soulful players and vocalists. A life in the world of jazz is more often the pursuit of a passion than the realization of riches, and not all of these talented and dedicated musicians have been able to sustain a lifestyle. The gap is obvious and well documented. There are hundreds of these special folks who have devoted their lives to jazz and blues and have made ours so rich with their music. Sadly, hundreds are at risk of eviction, homelessness and in need of serious medical care, as they never were paid enough to sustain them in their later years. They need your assistance at this time to survive, to be cured and to live in dignity.

For years now, I have been searching for a meaningful and effective way to embrace this problem and support the many folks who already have been chipping away at it. Thankfully, I found the Jazz Foundation of America. To those of you already familiar with their great works, you are probably mumbling to yourself, "Why did it take this long for him to find JFA?" You would be right.

For those who, like me, are new to the organization, here is what they are about. Their literature states: "For over 21 years, the Jazz Foundation of America has been the first and only national organization dedicated to saving the homes and lives of elder jazz and blues musicians in crisis." Quite frankly, each of us who loves jazz and lives in the jazz world owes it to these folks, and to the next generation of needy musicians, to fund these programs.

I have selected two of JFA's programs to support and, in each case, all of the funds collected through this effort will be placed under the name of one of my parents, both of whom have contributed to the jazz world in their own right.

The Harold Lazaroff Fund - Keeping the Electricity On The Harold Lazaroff Fund, named after my father, will participate in JFA's Jazz & Blues in the Schools fund, which creates gigs for elder musicians to keep them self-sufficient through work, not a hand out, while introducing thousands of children to jazz, growing new audiences and allowing the elder legends to make enough to pay their own rent and keep their dignity.

Dad was a player. He played alto saxophone from the time of his youth right up until his death. He participated in bands, shows and concerts, at first to earn money for school and, later in life, for charities and for fun. Interestingly, as he grew older, especially during his 70s, most people felt that his playing was better than ever.

Nearing his 80th birthday, Dad became too ill to perform at his usual New Year's Eve gig at St. Louis' most decorated restaurant, and he died just a few months thereafter. He would always say that his real estate business was a necessary evil - necessary to afford him the time and ability to pursue his music. The Jazz & Blues in the Schools helps with everything from keeping the phone and electricity on to ensuring that these jazz veterans have food and clothing. Dad would have been proud to know that there is a fund in his name for this purpose.

The Anita E. Berry Fund - Pro Bono Medical Care for Uninsured Artists
The Anita E. Berry Fund, named after my mother, will participate in the Jazz Foundation's pro bono medical care program through their partners at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, a program which has never turned away an uninsured musician in 17 years.

My mother's contribution to the world of jazz approaches legendary status. After years of selling cabins and assisting with Norwegian Cruise Line's jazz cruises, Mom, at the age of 70, became the first person in the world to charter a whole ship for a jazz cruise. It was just over 10 years ago that her dream, The Jazz Cruise, had its first sailing. The cruise will celebrate its 10th anniversary when it sails this January 30 - February 6, 2011.

From this base, we have established Jazz Cruises as the foremost producer of jazz cruises in the world. Our list of jazz-related cruises includes The Jazz Cruise, The Smooth Jazz Cruise, North Sea Jazz Cruise, Playboy Jazz Cruise and Dave Koz & Friends at Sea Cruise. With more than 25 full-ship charters and over 200 days of jazz cruising, Jazz Cruises is clearly the leader in the world. All of this is attributable to Mom's courage and foresight.

Let's Raise $200,000 to Help Jazz Artists in Need!

Our goal is to raise $100,000 for each of these funds. I am personally contributing $10,000 to each of the funds, so we have a pretty good start towards that goal. If you feel it appropriate, please make whatever contribution you like. You should send those contributions to the fund of your choice, either Harold Lazaroff Fund or Anita E. Berry Fund, C/O Jazz Foundation of America, 322 West 48th Street, New York City, 10036. Or, you can simply click here to make your private contribution online.

Our Appreciation for Your Gift
Contributions are gifts. I respect that, but I also wish to personally thank every person who takes the time to contribute, so I have asked Jazz Foundation of America to provide me with a list of the donors, but not their donation amounts. That is your business, not mine.

Thank you for taking the time to read this request. Please reflect upon it, and I hope that you will help us reach these goals ... and more.

Michael Lazaroff
Executive Director
Entertainment Cruise Productions d/b/a Jazz Cruises

More Information: http://http://www.thejazzcruise.com/

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