The great jazz label Blue Note has announced a partnership with Cunard for October, when the label’s artists and its Grammy-winning president Don Was will undertake a ‘Transatlantic Crossing’ on board Cunard’s flagship Queen Mary 2.
The voyage, from New York to Southampton, will feature a supergroup formed from some of the label’s finest young talent, the Blue Note Records 75th Anniversary All Star Band. Created for the anniversary last year, the band features keyboard player Robert Glasper, trumpeter Keyon Harrold, tenor saxophonist Marcus Strickland, guitarist Lionel Loueke, bassist Derrick Hodge, and drummer Kendrick Scott. Glasper is himself a Grammy winner, for Best R&B Album for 2012’s ‘Black Radio,’ and is nominated in the same category at tomorrow’s (Sunday) 2015 ceremony.
The artists will play material from their own Blue Note catalogues in intimate performances during the voyage, as well as interpretations of landmarks in the label’s venerable history. Was will travel with his artists and take place in Q&A sessions with fellow travellers. “Cunard and Blue Note Records have accumulated 200 years of excellence and integrity in their respective fields,” says Was. “We’re going to have a ball.” There’s more information about transatlantic cruises on the Queen Mary 2 at the Cunard website.