The SuperCruise XII: Five on the Cool Hand Side – Day 4

Day 4
Fun Day At Sea

Sea days should be relaxing since we’re at sea, right? Wrong!!

Decisions, decisions! What to do with a plethora of activities that appeal to any palate? “You can get with this or you can get with that, the choice is yours”! Artists Q&A, panel discussions, daytime concerts, card game tournaments, outdoor sports games, $2 mimosas, wine tasting with African American Wineries, African Ancestry presentations, workshops, or why not sleep in?!

First up, the Business of Music panel discussion. It was refreshing to learn that Capital Jazz invited these highly-regarded soul Website representatives and esteemed musicians to share their perspectives on the topic. On the panel, SoulTracks’ L. Michael Gipson, SoulBounce’s Kimberly Hines, saxophonist, Mike Phillips, and singer/songwriter and host, Eric Roberson. I was excited about the entire SuperCruise experience that awaited L. Michael and Kimberly since it was their first time attending.

Like SoulBounce and SoulTracks, but on a slightly different scale, my former company, ONUTSS all had a common goal, and that was to shine a light on indie artists. ONUTSS proudly supported them by hosting listening parties where most of the time, the artists were in attendance and performed a song or two. This was the perfect panel for L. Micheal and Kimberly to sit at the table and share their thoughts/opinions.

The discussion was captivating; everyone in attendance was engaged and prepared with relevant questions to follow up on towards the end (although there were plenty of distractions from other cruisers anticipating the NFC football game) 🙂

The Player Makers Bar and Arcade were brimmed to the walls’ edges with New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams fans!

On the way to my cabin, I passed by Raul Midon’s Q&A at The Schooner bar and stopped long enough to hear Bluey offer to collaborate with Raul in the near future; stay tuned for this music lovers; I’m sure it will be a stunner!!

Getting ready for the big event as I used the light from my photography equipment and the garbage can for the mirror to apply my makeup🤗

I PREDICTED THE BLACK PANTHER THEME!

Since Capital Jazz’s usual travel time of the year was switched to January, they needed a theme where folks would keep their creative juices flowing. In the past, we traveled around Halloween so you can imagine the costumes that cruisers showed up and out wearing at that time!

My Crusin Cousins!

The Judges: Reggie Reg, Stepp Steward, Ingrid B., and Michael Colyar

Scenes from the competition for best costume

I was thrilled for Down to the Bone’s appearance despite the fact that I’ve seen them perform more times than I can count… I don’t think the main theatre was suited for their performance although it was good if the majority of the audience were not familiar with them. DTTB was begging people to get up and dance to their funky jazz grooves, but no one was having it! They were waiting for Incognito! My experience with DTTB is that they’ve always provided a party atmosphere, mostly on NYC cruises around the city where their fans know how they roll! They don’t need to request real fans to shake a leg because their happy feet are already thumping on the dancefloor!

Chantae Cann was a guest on the 2013 SuperCruise and like Jarrod Lawson, I’d never heard of her. They were both on the Soul Session stage and that’s where I discovered their brilliant gifts. I was disappointed I missed their shows that year but happy as hell I got the chance to redeem myself!

As I continued to follow Chantae, I stumbled upon her video with Snarky Puppy from their Family Dinner album, featuring her song

Free Your Dreams. I fell in love with it and the whole video vibe! check it out here.

I can’t help myself! I love them!

Incognito is one of my favorite bands, and I have seen their show countless times, yet I debated on whether I should see it one more time. Well, that debate was short lived. I always enjoy them each and every time!

Their album catalog spans over 40 years and I need to understand, in general, why artists don’t vary their setlist more. Will somebody kindly explain this to me🤔 There are so many great songs I want to hear live but then again, I’m only one person…

By now, it must be evident that The Soul Session hosted by Eric Roberson is one of my favorite SuperCruise musical experiences! You never know which artist will participate or what ERRO might say or do, and you damned sure don’t want to miss this! Solo artists as well as group members of featured bands, etc., take the stage and perform their favorite cover song. All the artist needs to do is tell the Jerry Brooks band what to play and it’s a done deal!

If you viewed the video below just in case you were wondering, Kenny Lattimore hit the hell out that high note at the end of EWF’s Reasons! And dammit I missed it on camera; I thought it was still recording…

Claude McKnight sang El DeBarge’s All This Love and admitted he was terrible with lyrics. Check out his background singers, assisting him and snickering at the same time😁

I didn’t get his name, however, a singer from the Secret Society band saaaang Luther’s A House is Not a Home. I didn’t get the woman’s name who sang Gladys Knight’s Neither One of Us either; however, you can hear Eric say it at the end of the song, I just couldn’t make out what he said.

Spur of the Moment, resident Capital Jazz band finally had their own show. Although I missed it, I was happy for them. I was however corrected when I mentioned it to one of the band members, who said they always have their own show when they do the tribute shows, that didn’t take place this year. I always look forward to them…

A quick look back!

Intro/Review

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Stay tuned for Day 5

The Capital Jazz SuperCruise 2021 cause 2020 is sold out!

Capital Jazz Facebook Page

The SuperCruise XII: Five on the Cool Hand Side – Day 3

Day 3
Labadee Haiti
Saturday, January 19

In the months prior to the cruise, Capital Jazz solicited donations from cruisers to contribute school supplies for Haiti’s children. The response was overwhelmingly beautiful! Whoever didn’t make efforts to bring supplies from home made sure they stopped by a store in Ft. Lauderdale to purchase them. I contributed extra pencils and markers from my coloring collection and it felt good knowing the supplies Capital Jazz collected were going to help those children in need.

The Artisans Market huts were crammed with clothing, carved wood items, jewelry, canes/sticks, purses, boxes, and plenty of vibrant, organically created music-themed paintings on canvas. It was phenomenal to see so many transactions taking place with folks enjoying their exchange.

These guys were incredible!

You may be familiar with Will Downing’s song, Don’t Talk to Me Like That; well, meet the man who wrote it and sings it at his shows as well. Then you’ll relate their baritones and realize why Will was the perfect match to record it.

“I love the potential we have to introduce Gourmet artists to fast-food buyers” Vinx

Kenny Lattimore, the dapper don with his sangin self, knows he can breathe life into a song and WOW an audience! The backing vocalists are no joke either; look at Jason Morales’ face, lol!

 

I surprised myself by breezing through Studio B to see The Floacist; as usual, every night is filled with shows. I only sat in on a couple of songs and thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent soaking it all in…

The Floacist speaking nothing but truths!

I discovered while chatting with someone that Citrus Sun is actually the brainchild of founder/frontman, Bluey of Incognito, and they’ve been on the scene for more than 20 years. Had I not received this info, I would have missed their jam-session styled performance. Bluey and the gang, mostly members of Incognito were busy bodies on this cruise! They also performed as Incognito, one of my favorite bands!

 

A quick look back!

Intro/Review

Day 1

Day 2

Day 4

The Capital Jazz SuperCruise 2021 cause 2020 is sold out!

Capital Jazz Facebook Page

 

The SuperCruise XII: Five on the Cool Hand Side – Day 2

Day 2
Friday, January 18, 2019
Fun day at Sea

One of the things I really love about capital jazz in comparison to other musical themed cruises is that there is more than just jazz.  Since I am familiar with the Indie Soul Movement via my co-founding of One Nation Under The Soul Shack, affectionately known as ONUTSS, many of the Soul Lounge artists I am either familiar with or have hosted their listening parties in New York.

Hence, when Capital Jazz presents artists I am unacquainted with, like Secret Society, Black Violin, Jarrod Lawson, Chante Cann, Moonchild, Butterscotch, and Matthew Whitaker, just to name a few; it broadens my horizon and allows me to share excellent talent with my readers. These artists’ music you won’t find on your local radio station, which is why many believe good music rests in the past. I’m a witness, great music LIVES and BREATHES!

The weather was a little breezy but the sun was prominent enough to allow for some tanning and getting down with the Secret Society Party Band!  It was like rocking to a DJ set but with live instruments.  They tore the invisible roof off the sucka!

Sy Smith was having a ball partying with Secret Society and posing for Jeffery! I was watching from below and wanted to be up there with them shooting her! Sy was in her element…

I’ve been wanting to see The Baylor Project for quite some time and finally had the chance to see them do their thing, and they made me proud I was in the room taking in all that goodness!  What a beautiful couple they are who creates incredible music together.  You may remember Jean Baylor from the duo, Zhane (Hey Mr. DJ).

Running into my favorite artists and chatting it up a bit is priceless!

Not so good shot, however, we had fun!

Sheila E invited audience members to the stage to party with her after she paid homage to Prince!

 

A quick look back

Intro/Recap

Day 1

Day 3

Day 4

Capital Jazz SuperCruise 2021 cause 2020 is sold out!

Capital Jazz Facebook Page

The SuperCruise XII: Five on the Cool Hand Side – Day 1

Day 1
Thursday, January 17, 2019
Sail Off

Here’s how the day began after we left the hotel, heading for the ship…

Michael Colyar, the CJ ambassador has made lasting friendships with many repeat cruisers. Every time he enters a space his energy lights it up beyond sight. People who can’t see him can definitely hear the commotion, realize who it is and a burst of laughter engulfs the room. This is what happened at the buffet while getting our grub on. Hugs smiles and laughter ensued when a group of ladies and Michael spotted each other; it was like a family reunion! Actually, anytime Michael enters a space this is what happens.

We were supposed to sail at 4:30 and didn’t depart Ft. Lauderdale until around 6:30 due to clearance of the most important subject–sound and lights. I don’t think anyone cared because this was going on…

About Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas

    • Checking in online and submitting a photo prior to boarding was genius
    • Our cabin was a door away from the promo room and allowed me to interact with the staff, especially Selina 🙂
    • Card scan instead of dipping it into the computer when departing/boarding the ship made it “smooth sailing”
    • Upon arrival onto the ship, the RC rep told us we couldn’t go to our cabins until they made the announcement that they were ready–as we boarded, they made the announcement 🙂
    • Keys were ready for us in an envelope, outside the cabin door
    • Pizza till 3 a.m.
    • $2 Mimosas on day 4

Checking in at the terminal where a Royal Caribbean rep directed us to the Artists’ check-in counter–sweet!

Getting all this sound/light equipment on the ship and approved was quite a task!

Royal Caribbean–impressive down to the food…

No mix and mingle at a designated hotel this year; the sail away party was on and poppin! Celebrated his 70th birthday while we were at it!

First up Jarrod Lawson with Micah Robinson, Tahirah Memory and Oweleo Lysette

Pat Prescott, Mike Phillips, and his band. That soundboard looks mighty interesting!

The food and service on this beautifully designed dining room were impeccable! Many cruisers chose to take the same seating and wait staff each night!

End of a long day 1…

Day 3

Day 2

Recap/Intro

 

The Super Cruise XII: Five on the Cool Hand Side

What can I say after my fifth sailing with the Capital Jazz Organization? I have not felt compelled to acknowledge another organization’s music event as I have with Capital Jazz. The organization always provides a variety of artists I may not be familiar with, which is why I appreciate that they give artists another platform to attain a new fan base. Even though I support a myriad of indie artists, my musical horizon is always broadened by attending the SuperCruise.

We set sail on January 17th and our Ports of call were Labadee Haiti, Roatan Honduras, Belize, and Cozumel Mexico. Over the next eight days, the weather did not cooperate by giving me the golden tan I desired before returning to below ‘0 temperatures in NYC. Even Florida was windy sailing out of port and a bit cooler upon our return.

The excitement and countdown began in 2017 when Capital Jazz announced the 2019 cruise. While I excitedly awaited the talent line-up announcements, I can’t be certain if my appetite is satisfied with Capital Jazz feeding the artists to us ala carte or if they should serve them all on one platter. One thing is for sure, getting the announcements piecemeal drives me crazy; however, it might be just as well for me to be kept waiting since this is what I’m used to; I’d have nothing to keep running over to the website for and get excited every time an artist or two is added 😊

This Super Cruise was no different than others in the sense of being jam-packed with activities galore and shows featuring many of my favorite artists I’d never get to see in one week, like Jon B, Stokley, New Edition’s Ralph Tresvant and Johnny Gill, Teddy Riley and friends (Guy and Black street f/Dave Hollister), Gregory Porter, Sheila E, and the legendary SOS Band to name a few…

Highlighting a few key moments and events—from day one, with Frances Jaye welcoming everyone on board with those silky, smooth soul, sounds to the sail away party with Doug E Fresh and DJ D Nice, all of the performances in between, to the last night with DJ Tanz, the ship rocked–and I mean ROCKED! The ship rocked waaaay too much on the way to Honduras and a bit less on to Belize the next night. My belly was doing overtime flips.

It was a pleasant surprise to see some of the indie soul outlets represented on this cruise like Chris Rizik and L. Michael Gipson of SoulTracks.com, and Kimberly Hines of SoulBounce.com who review music, inform and support numerous artists on their Websites that have graced many of the Capital Jazz stages.

L. Michael Gipson and Chris Rizik of SoulTracks.com

Kimberly Hines of Soulbounce.com

Sunday was filled with football fans at the NFC Championship viewing party, events like The Business of Music panel discussion and a lovely celebration of African Heritage with the Wakanda themed night, where most of us participated by getting dressed in our garb, we portrayed the Kings and Queens we ARE!

Wakanda Night

In addition to young, fresh, banging artists I was not familiar with like Butterscotch who blew a lot of our minds with her multi-musical gifts and Matthew Whitaker who took the audience to church and sold out his CDs, made a lasting impact on many! I can’t recall which show it was where he was absolutely engaged and digging the keyboardist at someone else’s show. Just a beautiful sight!

It seems like everyone I’ve mentioned the Silent Disco to so far have heard of it except me. When I arrived at the Sky Lounge to participate, I had about ten minutes and it was over, yet so very cool while it lasted! No music in the air, just music in your ear! Everyone received a pair of headphones, danced and sang to the music they heard in their ears and that’s the way the music played!

The Secret Society Party Band played the pool deck as the sun shined and the wind blew hard and fast. That didn’t keep us from having a grand time! Some of the other activities included Wine Tasting, Paint and Sip, and Salsa Dancing. Everyone needs some laughter in their lives and the good word to renew the spirit. Comedians Bruce Bruce, Melanie Carmacho and JB Smoove fulfilled their duties and Richard Smallwood spread the gospel far and wide! The Hip-Hop show with Doug E. Fresh, and Slick Rick and surprise guest Roxanne Shante, turned Studio B into a 90’s party where no one had a care in the world; it was beautiful to witness and overall good feeling to see so many people on their feet, having a great time!

Roxanne Shante

Members of the legitimate bald head community (males and females) attended the Bald Head Convention hosted by funny man, Michael Colyar. Don’t ask what it’s all about because they don’t tell 🙂

Who attends a show starting at 12:30 am? Everyone who wanted to see Babyface, that’s who! Where do you go clubbing beginning at 2 a.m.? Back in the day, NYC after hours spots would open around the same time, but this here is on a whole other level! Besides, where else are you going the next morning? Not to work, that’s for sure!

One of the most beautiful sights during this cruise is seeing artists who are fans of their peers, enjoying each other’s performances. The best is that impromptu moment! You have to be there to witness it when they are joined on the stage making magic happen!

The Capital Jazz organization works hard to include activities throughout the trip that appeals to guests who belong to specialized groups including fraternities/sororities and the military. Sea days are crammed with lots to do! If you like healthy cooking, dance exercises, yoga, participating in artists Q&As, music/comedy related workshops, costume night, a music/artist theme or preselected color to wear on designated nights, you can’t go wrong with all this fun–then there are dinner and the concerts… Whooo!

After attending a few of these cruises I became familiar with a few of the regulars. I missed your presence this year, everyone!

D Maurice “DMo”, vocalist with Eric Roberson
Samir Moulay, Soul Lounge guitarist
Steve Smith, Soul Lounge vocalist
Robert “WaWa” LeGrand, guitarist with various artists
Spur of the Moment tribute show (I missed the Funkology show where some of the featured artists joined in on their stage!)

Next up, Day 1

The SuperCruise 2017 (Did Four Hit the High Score?)

Greetings my fellow music lovers! I hope 2018 is bringing you good health, vibes, and an abundance of prosperity for your life’s longevity!

Here is my round-up of the 11th SuperCruise, and my fourth cruise with Capital Jazz. As usual, I had an exhilarating time! With all of the anticipation of seeing artists I love, I was truly excited for my friends whose first experience it would be for this intoxicating, fun-filled musical water ride!

While the 2017 hurricanes devastated parts of the US and the Caribbean, remnants of them were still at sea for the two days on our way to Bermuda which made for a swaying and rocky ride.

Capital Jazz made up for last year’s fiasco (Capital Jazz SuperCruise X – 2016) so the answer is yes, they did hit the high score for this year’s cruise event. Sidebar: The 2019 cruise has been sold out for a few months already which says they still got it! One lil bump on the water didn’t stop their show.

The Capital Jazz organization listened to their patrons and took heed to their complaints/suggestions. Instead of reserving shows on board like we did in 2016, cruisers were assigned a Theatre Seating Code which determined which day and time they could see shows in the main theatre; there was open seating for the rest of the venues. This definitely helped although some may say they missed something or another which is typical for this sort of themed cruising.

Lines, lines, and more lines! People, they are inevitable! How much of our lives do we spend on them? Whenever there’s open seating for any event, “the early bird gets worm” therefore, the early bird gets a seat and a good one!

We’ll “sea” how things fare on the next cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas. Here’s a tour of the ship where the tour guide suggests (6:07) getting to the main theatre at least 20-30 minutes ahead of showtime to secure a good seat. Therefore, SuperCruisers you know whatcha gotta do, be on that line at least an hour ahead of the doors opening like you do anyway! The good thing is, the main theatre on the Independence of the Seas holds 1,300 in comparison to Norwegian’s 700 so.

If you’ve been following me on the past three SuperCruise reviews you know my rundown by now…
Mix and Mingle
Saturday, September 23, 2017
(the day before sailing)

Day 1
Sail Off
Sunday, September 24, 2017

New York City
(my hometown)

After traveling three times to other locations to meet the ship for the CJ cruise, leaving out of New York this fourth time was pure bliss. Not having to reserve a hotel room to be in town the day before sail off was a blessing! What a beautiful thing to hop on the subway to the host hotel for the mix and mingle, and then share a car ride with my neighbors to go home was even better!

No planes, no trains, just an automobile that took approximately 20 minutes to get to the pier! The check-in was fast, smooth as butter—no complaints—at all!! The weather was insane at 90 degrees, bright and sunny—folks were ready with bathing suits in carry-on like it was Florida!

Sunday Football on the giant screen, they were ready!

Our early morning rise and daytime partying knocked us out around 6ish. We thought we’d take a quick nap and fell into a deep sleep; we missed The Luther Re-Lives Tribute Show but heard it was excellent!

Mike Phillips
Didn’t wake up till after midnight and missed the first few minutes of Mike Phillips’ show, who is one of my favorite Horn Blowers. HOWEVER, I did catch ALL this…

This the way you party the first night at sea!


Day 2
Monday, September 25, 2017
Fun Day at Sea

We woke up like this!

We were scheduled for a photo shoot in these fabulous shirts but some of us were missing. See day 7 for follow-up shenanigans!

El Gee brought the jump rope and hosted an old-school double dutch soiree–it was ON after that!

I call them the Double Dutch Bunch

Linda, Vanessa, and her daughter Leanna, great friends and fam! And, newbies who had a wonderful time cruisin’ with music!

The ladies showed out so good, he had to get some!

Meanwhile, back at the Atrium…

DJ Frances Jaye’s set, then Q&A with Eric Roberson hosted by Jodine Dorce

Conversation with Eric Roberson

About to see Dave Hollister do his thing!

Vanessa, her daughter Leanna and me

Dave Hollister

Turned up and then poured his soul out. The audience hung right in there with him as it got emotional for a minute.

Ran into Dave Hollister and had to grab him for this shot

Dave Hollister interview with New York’s own Lenny Green of the Quiet Storm

Midnight Soul with the Hamiltones
Well, the Atrium was lit with cruisers and as the saying goes, you slow, you blow–a good seat or even a standing room only spot was not in the cards for me to capture anything this night!
The Hamiltone’s interview with Jodine Dorce


Day 3
Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Fun Day at Sea

The Mr. Sexy Leg contest was supposed to take place the day before, but the weather was a little “under the weather”. Here it is, in all of its hilarity!

First timers, Ralph and Lavern–longtime childhood friends and neighbors

Margarita Tasting

We made it just in time for the Margarita tasting after the sexy leg contest. This was a day at sea so everyone needed something to do 😉

Name That Tune with Reggie Reg at the Atrium

New York violinist, Damien Escober, a passionate performer burst onto the stage with a fiery and energetic performance that the audience was well in tune with and could have rocked with him all night long!

Conversation with Damien Escobar

Special CJSC guest 1970’s actress, Pam Grier

Didn’t hang here too long; had to catch the Underground Lounge with Eric Roberson featuring Nao, Julie Dexter, Sol Elder, and Jazmin Ghent.

The Underground Lounge Hang

This year was a little different in terms of venue space. Usually, this segment of shows is held in one of the smaller clubs, two artists per show. The Soul Lounge was held in the main theatre, with all four artists on the same night and stage. I missed the intimacy of the smaller venue, nevertheless, the artists’ performances were stellar! It was also Eric Roberson’s birthday and what would the show be without him taking word suggestions from the audience to make up a song on the spot, particularly about his special day.

And this band right here ❤ ❤ ❤


Day 4
Wednesday, September 27, 2017
Bermuda Day 1

On our way to the Crystal Cave with our driver Mr. Earl who was a phenomenal tour guide and remarkably knowledgeable about the island!

The day started out cloudy, the sun eventually came out and lingered around for the duration of the day. As mentioned earlier, remnants of hurricane season was still in the air.

On the way to Crystal Cave

Outside the cave entrance

This was a fascinating experience and I’m happy I went on this excursion although I missed my beach time.

This aquarium and zoo were awful! The water was dirty and cloudy: the seal and turtles were sick and infected, however, I did get a few good shots. Poor things…

On the way to the ferry, I was reminded of home with the BX license plate

Mindy Abair is “Pretty Good for a Girl!” She came ready to kick her heels up and get the party started with Girl Power! Mindy spread her message and slogan to “celebrate women, appreciate excellence in each other, support each other’s endeavors, and motivate each other toward greatness.”

Late night at the Atrium with R.C. & the Gritz. I didn’t stay here too long; had to catch Soul Sessions with Eric Roberson cause you never know who’s going to grace the stage!

The Soul Session Hosted by Eric Roberson
I love this part of the lineup as you can probably tell. Featured performers, as well as those in the background, get to show off their chops, front and center! The Jerry Brook’s band can play any requested song you’d think was the original! This year’s Soul Lounge lineup included Chrisette Michele, Jeff Bradshaw, Nao, Jazmin, Dave Hollister, Vanessa Williams and a lady whose name I didn’t get, sang the stank out of Jill Scott’s The Way.

All About Norma – enjoying her very own photo shoot till some unknown, welcomed visitor came over and interrupted our flow. Can you tell which visitation it was?

Day 5
Thursday, September 28, 2017
Bermuda Day 2

Another cloudy day on tap and while trying to get a little shopping done, the sky opened up and drenched us. It didn’t take long for us to hit a few stores and then on to the ferry to take us back to the ship.

Before the rain

One of the suggested themed nights was Red Cool and Haute, cruisers wore an article of red clothing of which just about everyone indulged!

Caught up with Julie Dexter on the left, that’s Reggie at the top, in the middle is Norma and Laverne at the end.

I’ve been waiting to see Will Downing for a long time and he did not disappoint! I was hoping Carol Riddick would have joined him; she usually sings “Never Felt Like This” with him and then Capital Jazz would have given her a show with the Underground Lounge–my wishful thinking 🙂 However, Ms. Tracy Hamlin was sensual, sultry, and sophisticated; her voice strong, yet smooth and sweet! Tracy gave that song her absolute ALL, leaving me wanting more!

Eric Roberson also has a song called Lyrics of Pleasure, a duet with Will Downing on his Fire EP I was hoping they’d do but again, my wishful thinking got the best of me! 😦


Conversation with Will Downing

I rushed from Will’s show to catch what was left of Vivian Green‘s show. She debuted her funky, reggae-flavored track “I Don’t Know” and folks were feeling those catchy lyrics. Nineties rapper/producer, and now Vivian’s manager, Kwame joined her on stage and set it ablaze! I heard a few folks were mad at him for taking up a bit of her performance time. It didn’t bother me, he was hyped!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCGm9jDaNbA

Late Night at the Atrium with Lakecia Benjamin and Soul Squad
I was pleased to see girl power in full effect this year. Capital Jazz presented women in jazz with Lakecia Benjamin and Chelsea Greene and the Green Project (more on her later) and they performed ebullient sets that had the audiences at the Atrium in awe! Melodie Ray was the lead singer with Lakecia and her band. I was pleasantly surprised to spot her walking by me earlier in the week. I’d seen Melodie perform with a couple of other indie soul artists around New York like RaRe Valverde and Trina Broussard, who both sing with Rahsaan Patterson–all whom I adore as great singers and performers!


Day 6
Friday, September 29
Bermuda Day 3

This was a half day in Bermuda and it didn’t make sense to go out after oversleeping so we just chilled on the ship. It was a beautiful sunny day where I could have had just a little beach time, but oh well. Again that damned early bird…

The Motown Tribute
Since I’ve been traveling with the Captial Jazz cruise they have produced tribute shows, commemorating two artists I’ve always admired; Donald Byrd, and James Brown. In 2016 they skipped it, but 2017 was another story! I should have seen this coming; I was blindsided! Capital Jazz took everybody by surprise with this one. Jonathan Butler, The Hamiltones, Tracy Hamlin, Eric Roberson, DMo Macklin, Mindy Abair and Jazmin Ghent participated in this all-star tribute. It was a blast, but Eric Roberson dropped the bomb when he bombarded the stage as Rick James! I should have expected something like this from Eric; the audience was busting guts they laughed so hard.

This was oh soooo good!!

The Timeless, Lady Gladys Knight
Classic Soul at its best! Still beautiful and lovely as ever, Lady Knight thrilled us and had the audience singing right along with her! I love that Capital Jazz incorporates many genres of music we all know and love–not just jazz…

Conversation with Gladys Knight

Jonathan Butler
The Manhattan Room Jonathan performed in was the dinner show. A good seat was definitely in order! I was able to get a few nice shots instead of a little video footage. I tried… I love the life stories artists share with their audience and Jonathan has a helluva story to tell! I enjoyed his performance and his high energy.

Chelsey Green and The Green Project
The other thing I like about Capital Jazz is that I’ve discovered so many artists I hadn’t heard of before. Chelsey and her band were just awesome! Too bad the little video footage I had was ruined so I had to scrap it.


Day 7
Saturday, September 30
Last Day of Fun at Sea

It was a bright sunny day but started out rather cool. I’m spoiled. I expect 80-95 degree weather when I cruise but on this trip, the weather did not cooperate. No tan for me this time around.

Today is also the continuation of day 2 of the bikini t-shirt photo shoot. These shirts were a big hit! Looks, stares, double-takes, laughs, smiles, were all reactions to our painted-on body beautiful shirts!

Lady El Gee brought the rope out again and this time I tested my skill to see if it was still the way my mind remembered how to jump double dutch. Yes! I’m right on point!

Us trying to get tanned up in this piece! Not happenin!

After the T-shirt shoot, the Ice Bar. We needed to wrap up in these coats and gloves; two drinks included with the cover. We had to drink fast cause it was NYC below-zero winter in there!

Daley
Since I’d had Daley’s music from the beginning, it was a delight to see him perform live!

Late Night at the Atrium was a blast on this last night! I think most of the artists were off, partied and played with ERRO at the Open Mic Night.

Got a second chance at getting a few shots of the Hamiltones!

Took advantage of my Selfie moment with every artist I could… Peep my party light glasses 🙂

After Capital Jazz posted the 2017 pictures on their FaceBook page and viewing this highlight video let me know I missed a lot even though I share all of this! Nothing unusual since so much is going on you just can’t see and do everything! You gotta find time for eating and sleep–somewhere in there!

Here’s a fun look back!

Overall, I had a fantastic time hanging out on The SuperCruise with such cool people and all these fabulous artists!!

And to all, a good cruise! Until next time…

Conversations with a few of the featured artists!

Soul Talk with RC and the Gritz

Soul Talk with the Hamiltones

Conversation with Chrisette Michele

Conversation with Nao Yoshioka

Conversation with Rare Essence
Conversation with Robert Glasper
Conversation with Kirk Franklin

Liv Warfield and The NPG Hornz

Attention all Prince fans!!

Last month Arsenio Hall dedicated his show to Prince in addition to a few extra added attractions! If you watched the show in its entirety you had the absolute pleasure of witnessing Ms. Liv Warfield’s energy unfold right before your eyes. Joined by background singers Ashley Seamster and Saeeda Wright, they brought the house down with the NPG (New Power Generation) Hornz!

Liv Warfield and the gang performed at NYC’s BB King’s Blues Club Sunday, April 6th, 2014 and tore that stage up! The way Liv sashayed so gracefully across the BB King’s stage, with her head bowed, gave the audience the feeling that the show we were about to experience was definitely going to be The Unexpected! Liv blew the audience away with her beautiful voice, her, toned body, and the definition on those guns, please stop!! Liv was just breathtaking!

Learn a bit more about Liv via this interview before the show!

I didn’t get any video footage, however here is a lil taste…

After seeing Liv at the J & R Music Fest in the summer of 2007,  ONUTSS was extremely excited to receive a call a few months later asking us if we could host a listening party for her–we ecstatically accepted!

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ONUTSS was introduced to Liv when she performed at the J & R Summer Music Festival in 2007.  We miss you J & R Music World!!

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Although I had seen Liv at the J & R Music Festival her performance at the ONUTSS listening party totally took me by surprise. Deep down inside Liv is a Rocker Chick, who possesses the power to turn on her soft side and then bring the fire to heat up the song that has a Rock appeal and I love it!!

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ONUTSS presents Liv Warfield performing at Shrine World Music Venue in NYC, April 2008

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Pam, Liv and Detrel

Liv was a STAR before her rise in my eyes! I’ll see you at the top of your game, gurl!

Visit Liv Warfield and pick up her sophomore album, The Unexpected while you’re at it!!

Urban Exploration – Chambers Street Subway Station, NYC

This is one New York City subway station I absolutely HATE, but have always been intrigued to photograph it!! The station is desolate, creepy, and abandoned yet still active. It’s hard to believe that people have to look at this mess of a station while waiting for the next train to come in!

I first discovered urbex (Urban Exploration) photography on one of my favorite photography websites http://digital-photography-school.com/an-introduction-to-urban-exploration/ and fell in love with the concept which is “the exploration of man-made structures, usually abandoned ruins or not usually seen components of the man-made environment”.

The research I did to explain a little about urbex lead me to this video. My, my was I scared for the filmmaker and the camera man! In some cases urbex is illegal activity (trespassing or mischief) depending on the location (such as the tunnel where this video was shot). I learned some things I didn’t know before, and will continue to delve into urbex; it can be dangerous in some situations, yet oh so fascinating!

So excited for my next venture!!