[Dixielandjazz] trip

Jim Kashishian jim at kashprod.com
Tue Mar 29 09:15:57 PST 2005

I'm back with you all, as you can see by my previous message.  As mentioned
before my trip, I took a Carribean cruise with my wife and 4 friends.  We
were on an Italian Cruise company called Costa.  A very different
experience, I am told, than the American Cruise ships.

The mix of ages was similar to what we experience in our jazz club gigs, all
the way from small babies up to the older set. The oldest person on the boat
had her 80th birthday during the cruise & I have her on video dancing to the
steel drum band...so she was a very young 80!  I am told the U.S. cruise
ships tend more to the older crowd.  I would say there were more young
people than older on this ship.

The language?  First Italian, followed by Spanish, English, German, French &
Portuguese.  You were assigned waiters at your table for the language you
requested.  Ours was Spanish, as 2 were Spanish speaking in our group, and
the rest of us all speak Spanish daily.  Also, there was a European sitting
for dinner (9:30pm) which was nice for us, as that is what we are accustomed
to. All the shows mixed the languages, and made it a lot of fun.  A real
European party in the middle of the Carribean!!

No jazz on this cruise.  The Steel drum band was marvelous....a quartet from
Trinidad.  They've been on ships for 15 yrs!  Next was a band that consisted
of a guy & girl singers (excellent!), and a keyboardist that also sang (even
better), and a drummer.  We heard, of course, guitars, bass, percussion,
backing singers, strings, etc., thanks to the computer!
Nasty, I guess, but it's all down to economics.  

One of the shows in the theater featured an ex-Platter named something
Pressley, Jr.  He is an excellent showman & has a very strong voice. Don't
know when he was a Platter, and it would be fun to hear from someone who
might have some history on that.  He did a 45 min show backed by playback,
which included backing voices, even.  He handled it well, by referring to
the band leader as though he were behind the closed curtain, and even
announcing the name of a sax player during a sax solo.  He stopped the band
(turning his back to us & waving at the curtain...good fun, that!) when
there was a only a patter of applause when he started the big hit "Only
You".  He told us all off for not going ape, then started the band by
counting it off (good sound technician there!), and got a huge roar &
applause after the "Only Youuuuuu" this time around.  (I took note of that
little trick for future personal use!)

The last group we didn't bother with, and girl singer was quite poor, to be
kind, and a keyboardist.  They were backed by electronics, and were quite

The disco, on the 14th floor, had excellent sound (if you can stand the
levels), but was always empty.  Don't know why, but we didn't hang around
due to the lack of ambience.

We travelled at nights, and visited 7 islands to the south of the Dominican
Republic.  Beautiful weather, marvelous ship, great company.  I'm still a
bit woozy, though, and having a bit of trouble with my balance.  How long
does that last, anyway?


More information about the Dixielandjazz mailing list