Fall 2019 Newsletter

Fall UK and East Coast Tour dates below

Fall UK and East Coast Tour dates below

Summer is over.....I know it has been a while. I thank you all for the nice messages and condolences over the last year and a half. Life has been happening........and I also moved - not too far away from my other house. Downsizing, since it is just me and the cat. That was a 2 month chore, with all the packing, purging and then unpacking and more purging....uncovering many nice memories, but bittersweet. Then weeks of painting and fixing up the "old" house. Now, I'm almost fully up and running with my new studio with a great sunset view of the Conejo Valley, and on a clear day I can see the top of the Channel Islands.

The latest news is that I'm coming back to London, UK and the East Coast in September-October for a bunch of my own shows. Please, no more hurricanes. This is not a typical bus tour......in fact, there is no bus. Only a bunch of flights and a rental car here and there. I can't believe there were flights available to allow me to jet up and over almost every day. I'll be hopping up and down the coast a bit and look forward to seeing old friends and fans again.

I've been doing a few GK shows this summer, and some fun guest spots with Peter White (Alaska) and Rick Braun (Lake Tahoe). It was cool to see Jessy J. and her sweet son in Detroit when we played on the same festival bill a couple of weeks ago. I remember us bringing Alex and Stevie along to some fun shows - at Maui Music Fest., Koz Cruise to Alaska, Dolphin Days in Kona and Catalina....Now, they are 25 and 21 and occasionally act as "Roadies" if I have a local show and they are in town and not too busy with their own lives.

I got to re-connect with the Legendary Dave Grusin and Lee Ritenour when they played at Thornton Winery in Temecula. That venue sure has evolved over the decades since it was just a stage with chairs in the field. I played the first year with Ricardo Silveira.

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Anyone who remembers our DC band Natural Bridge, or my first LA group at Bon Appetit might recognize the guy below with the large tuna melt. Drummer Joe Dougherty came thru LA with The Grass Roots and I went to hang with him at The Canyon Club. The band sounded great, all those hits from the late '60's and early '70's. Sitting right next to me was a couple who saw my Ledo's Pizza hat and immediately knew I was from Maryland. We had a nice chat about the original Adelphi, MD restaurant.

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I recently spoke to Shelby Flint, and we talked about getting together soon on some music.......... which is a reminder that our "classic" acoustic jazz holiday CD, "Home for the Holidays" is now available with a special deal, since it is never too early to plan for all those last minute holiday gifts. Just order a bunch for $10 ea. If you need more or less, just send a message.

I still feel lucky to be out there playing my own music, so I'll see you out there soon, and I hope to have some new music out in the next year.

more below.........

2 women who are key in my life and art have passed away in the last year and a half.

Yvonne, of course, and just last month, my first girlfriend at age 16, Eileen (Overman) Carson Schatz.

Eileen is well known as the founder of Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble in Maryland, and formerly of Fiddle Puppet Cloggers. Clogging and singing in schools, arts camps, Traditional music festivals and concert halls all over the world for the last 40 years. We only reconnected once, on a snowy afternoon before my Holiday Jazz show at Ram's Head in Annapolis, MD with Shelby. Even then, she was busy and had a performance the same night as mine. Here is a piece of the letter I sent to her after hearing of her cancer diagnosis.

"We started together learning Laura Nyro and Joni Mitchell songs in your parent’s living room. We had lots of fun hanging out and traveling, and experienced our first Fiddlers Convention at Union Grove in 1972. Who knew that you would become the "Cloggerina General"? Well, obviously you knew right away, and never stopped.....

To see all that you have done, and all the young people you have inspired with your art and commitment to traditional music and dance just gives me goosebumps. I’m so proud of you for taking it to the people and eeking out a living while having so much fun. Every day, every smile, and in our case - every memory, is a gift. Thanks for that. I love you."


Below is what's left of my silversmithing career. Sold a lot of it. Pulled these out of a box within a box while packing. Tarnished but intact. From age 16-22 I was jumping between keyboards and tools; saws, grinding and polishing wheels and torches. Thank you Eileen for driving me to the art supply store in Bethesda to buy new tools and silver whenever I got some money from a little gig. I would spend hours at a time working on forging silver and cutting stones in my garage with WHUR on the radio playing Stevie, EWF, Grover and the beginnings of Quiet Storm with Melvin Lindsey.

Word got around during high school - I also looked a bit like Ringo since I wore my work - and the running theme was: a girl would come up to me in the hall with a cool stone or shell she got at the beach that weekend or something and say, "Gregg, can you make a ring out of this"?......Sure I can.

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By the way, I was inspired by Ken Krausche, who had his own silversmithing booth in Ocean City, MD at Stone Free, the town's poster/headshop. He was also a cool jazz guitar player and when he invited me to his apartment with a Rhodes Suitcase to jam, that was another bonus crossover for a 17 year old kid. And we also hung with Bob Williamson, a really great guy, piano player who had a killer record collection and we'd listen to Keith Jarrett LP's (Expectations!) while he was working away at his leather shop on the boardwalk. I wonder where they are now....

I went to a bunch of craft fairs and festivals, sold a few things and had my work in a gift shop in Annapolis (Chan Chee). After a few years I had to make a choice. See, I was cutting myself and getting burns and callouses from handling the tools and torch, but I was also playing jazz/pop lounges 4-5 nights a week with East Coast Offering, jingles and writing songs too, so I eventually sold all my tools, stones and silver stock to another crafty person.

Here's a Trip Advisor review of my last visit to Atlanta: “Jazz VIP Fun!!!!” Reviewed June 3, 2018 WoW! Flew to Atlanta to catch Jazz keyboardist Gregg Karukas at Suite Lounge & it was Fabulous!! VIP tickets included any entree, adult beverage, dessert, and the artist's CD. Efficient Valet parking was only $10, bring cash. Service, all food (except collards), venue, & seats were all exceptional!! The house Jazz band accompanying Gregg were phenomenal, they played like they were always together; very professionally talented musicians. Gregg played awesomely, this intimate experience exceeded our expectations and well worth the package value!! We'll be back for more fun times and food.

Fall Tour Dates

Sept 14 Seal Beach, CA Spaghettini 5:30 and 8pm shows

Sept 19-21 London, UK Pizza Express Soho

Sept 26-27 - Philadelphia, PA South GK w/ Brad Collins, Scott Ambush (Spyro Gyra), Stanley Cooper and Deren Blessman Sept 28 Annapolis, MD Ramshead On Stage w/ Brad Collins, Scott Ambush (Spyro Gyra), Stanley Cooper and Deren Blessman

Oct 2 Boca Raton, FL The Funky Biscuit

Oct 3 Atlanta, GA Suite Lounge

Oct 4 Boston, MA Scullers w/ Brad Collins, Scott Ambush (Spyro Gyra), Stanley Cooper and Deren Blessman

Oct 5 Durham, NC Vrroom VIP Jazz Fest.

Oct 6 - Richmond, VA The Tin Pan GK w/ Brad Collins, Scott Ambush (Spyro Gyra), Stanley Cooper and Deren Blessman

Oct 19 Avalon, CA Jazztrax Catalina Festival **

Nov 30 San Diego, CA Adam Hawley Christmas Benefit with GK, Jackiem Joyner and Erin Stevenson-Titus

**(Gregg guests with Rick Braun)

www.karukas.com (exclusive autographed CD's and other goodies) www.cdbaby.com i-Tunes

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Richmond, VA Tin Pan Oct 6

Richmond, VA Tin Pan Oct 6

Spring 2018 for Yvonne

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Dear Friends,

Where to start?.......I want everyone to know I am so grateful for the love, condolences and good thoughts from near and far, especially on Facebook where the hundreds of “love letters” to Yvonne will remain forever as a tribute to her bright, positive spirit. Our family really appreciates it and we are doing ok, considering.....

My beautiful wife and partner of 31 years, Yvonne, passed away March 16, 2018 from complications of a brain tumor and pneumonia. This is not something that we planned for. Yvonne believed that she would beat it. She fought hard; we fought hard with a positive attitude, and we did our best to enjoy every moment together these last 4 years, despite her worsening symptoms. We were all set to go to London for 4 nights at Pizza Express in March, and then on to Germany to visit her relatives, but had to cancel last minute..........

I am so lucky to have the support of our close friends and neighbors all through this time, and with our boys being 20 and 23, they seem to be handling it very well. In the last few days and weeks we have visited some of Yvonne's favorite places in nature to pay tribute to her and cry and smile.......and repeat. I spent 2 weeks “camping“ at the beach and joined some of our oldest couple/friends on a trip we had planned months ago to Sedona and the Grand Canyon. The fresh air really helps, and Yvonne's spirit is now settled in her new, permanent place, deep in all our hearts.

I have been getting back on my feet and am ready to play some music again. I am flying out today for 2 weeks of shows and visiting more old friends, so I hope to see you in the coming weeks and months. Since “Soul Secrets” came out in late 2014, that was also the start of Yvonne’s health problems, and I never could answer the question, “When are you coming out with a new CD?”, other than just to hold that thought and accept that the priority is on things other than music.

I trust that music can heal; music has given us a charmed life, so I’ll be “Looking Up”, taking it as it comes, and let’s see where the inspiration leads.

Please do me a favor and check out “Three Wishes, One Desire” with great lyrics and vocals by my buddy Ron Boustead, and “Healing Song”, featuring Kirk Whalum, and think of Yvonne.

Yvonne DiSimone Karukas June 11, 1963 - March 16, 2018

Yvonne DiSimone Karukas passed away peacefully March 16 after an 18-month, hard-fought battle against an inoperable brain stem tumor. She was 54 years old. She was surrounded throughout the day by the incredible love of her family and friends, playing music and singing. We will be forever grateful for that day and hold her beautiful, positive spirit deep in our hearts.

Yvonne grew up in Thousand Oaks, CA, and attended T.O. High. The eldest of three daughters of Robert and Rosemarie DiSimone, she was raised with music always playing in the house. Dad (Bob), was a busy weekend musician and Mom (Rosie), was a passionate arts lover, singer and dancer. Yvonne was a classical piano student of local instructor Rae Holcomb, and also taught piano in her late teens. She attended Moorpark College and Cal State University Northridge, where she earned her Masters’ Degree in Health Administration. While at CSUN, she met her husband, Smooth Jazz pianist Gregg Karukas, and they spent the next 31 years together. They raised two boys, Alex and Stevie; first in Granada Hills, then moving back to the Wildwood area of Thousand Oaks in 2007. Yvonne was an active volunteer for all the kids' school activities, especially the T.O. High School Bands. She also volunteered at Conejo Players Theater as house manager while son Alex lit up the stage.

Her career in health administration brought her to Las Encinas Hospital, St John's, and finally, to Holy Cross Hospital in Mission Hills, where she handled all the claims after the Northridge earthquake.

Yvonne enjoyed hiking, camping and traveling the most. She went on many trips abroad with Gregg for his performances, to exotic places like Mallorca, Japan, the UK, The Dave Koz Cruises to Alaska, Spain, Italy, and to many shows in Hawaii.

Four years ago, before the brain tumor, she developed a painful rash that we learned was CTCL - Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma with Sezary Syndrome, a very rare form of skin cancer. Eventually, she found relief with a clinical trial drug from Japan. Four months later, she had dizzy spells and the brain stem tumor was discovered. While researching all about her brain tumor, even with her double vision, she was constantly posting on the private newsgroups and Facebook groups to support the CTCL sufferers and Glioblastoma (GBM) patients and caregivers seeking advice. Yvonne shared what she had learned and helped many others while battling her own new cancer … all by speaking/posting into her iPhone.

Yvonne is survived by her husband Gregg Karukas of Thousand Oaks; sons Alex Karukas of Glendale and Stevie Karukas of Bloomington, IN; father Robert DiSimone and sister Michelle DiSimone, both of Thousand Oaks; sister Renee Dugan and her husband Tim of Lake Oswego, Oregon, and the Dugan children, Bethany, Talia and David. She also leaves behind countless other relatives, friends and neighbors - all considered “family” in her journey.

Her good deeds and memory can be honored by making a donation to: CLF foundation https://www.clfoundation.org/giving-online

........I believe there is an undercurrent of love in all our relationships, whether we are just friends, co-workers, lovers or even just co-humans. Every song, every melody has an undercurrent of some kind of love or emotion: romantic......or funky love. We need to express it. We need to hear words and sounds of love, and now is the best time to show your love for someone close who needs it.

In tragic times like this we all have to cope with what life gives us, and hopefully you’ll get some relief from the sadness by expressing yourself. Thank you. Gregg

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Finally, if you’ve read this far, this is personal, but it sums up Yvonne and what this experience has brought out in our family. This is an excerpt from my son Stevie’s post on his Facebook:

"...........In addition to the inspiration, education, and endless support my parents have shared, I have inherited my favorite thing about my mother: her often reserved, but always lighthearted and silly, manner. Even now in her frail condition I can tell that she remains the same on the inside; her inability to express this through speech is the most heartbreaking part of this process for me. As time inevitably proceeds forward, at the very least I can take pride in carrying bits of her personality everywhere I go. I attribute my best qualities to her; it is unfortunate that most of my friends (from school, etc.) will never meet the source of my personal inspiration--you would have loved her.

Whenever I would have people over at my parent's house, my mom would greet them with a big smile and hug them, and when they left she couldn't stop talking about how much she loved each one of my friends. I bring this up because I want these people to know what she felt for them. She was so happy to see my brother and I developing true friendships--and so much more open to sharing this love than I have ever been. Even when she was in excruciating pain for 2 years due to a rare type of lymphoma, she still had a positive outlook; never once did she turn her suffering outwards.

Because I have been (away) so involved in school, my parents thought that sugarcoating the bad news would be best for me, and I can't blame them for feeling this way...I appreciate my friends who have already reached out to me, though I am not looking for sympathy; this is about my mother, not me. I was considering keeping quiet on social media about this (as I tend to do), but I realized it would be hypocrisy to hide the truth from those of my Facebook friends who have had the fortune to meet her.

She will be home soon for hospice care, and my family will be doing our best to keep her comfortable and happy. Again, I appreciate the sympathy my friends have shown me, but what is important now is how my mother feels. If you would like me to relay a message to her, comment here or send her Facebook account (Yvonne DiSimone Karukas) a private message. We may be able to read them to her depending on how she is feeling."


with Jazzmine

Fall 2017 Newsletter

Happy Fall! After a hot Summer, with some fun shows and trips in the rear view mirror, I'm looking forward to a cooler, but still busy, Fall season.

First, thanks to all who came out to my GK shows in Annapolis, Albuquerque, Honolulu, Seal Beach, Atlanta and Pensacola. As always, the "promoter people" were great hosts and the response made up for the crazy and sometimes hectic airline travel experience. I'm thankful that Southwest still has a nonstop from LA to BWI, so most of my East Coast shows can be routed from there. The band had some delays and terminal running in Atlanta and ended up missing a connection-thanks Delta...... Luckily, the show was the next day, so once their luggage arrived (late), all was good.

Coming up, I'll be in Norfolk, VA, Richmond and Philly this October. I'm returning to Richmond at The Tin Pan after a memorable show at the Richmond Jazz Fest in 2013. An hour before my showtime a massive thunderstorm hit and poured so hard, sending everyone running thru the flooded streets for cover. We waited in the van for a while, then went back to the hotel. After an hour of that, it cleared up, people drifted back to the park and we were able to play to a very damp, but happy crowd. Come to think of it, we had a similar, crazy thunderstorm in Norfolk with Jazz Attack in 2012. That time the show was cancelled by the city. I guarantee that these shows will go on, rain or shine.

They're indoors.

Back and forth a bit between shows with Peter White and Marc Antoine's "Guitar Tango"- including a return to Catalina Island Jazztrax for the 17th time.

Also, another great All-Star Festival in San Diego at Embarcadero Park Oct. 14. I'll be featured along with Paul Brown, Larry Carlton, Michael Paulo, Jessy J., Jazmine Ghent and DW3.

While back in town, we have spent lots of time at the beach whenever Yvonne has been feeling up to it. The great news is her brain tumor has not grown, and it even looks like it shrunk a little. Currently, I'm sitting poolside in Oakland with Yvonne while we play 3 nights at Yoshi's with Peter, Michael Paulo, Darryl Williams and Sergio Gonzales. Spectacular weather, and a nice waterfront area at Jack London Square. We will both be at Catalina Jazztrax for Oct. 21, going over early to hang with friends on their boat and condo. It will be nice to stay for a while and not have to rush to catch the late Catalina Express boat back on the sometimes choppy seas.

Looking forward to November 18, I will be with Deniece Williams, Michael Paulo, Freddie Washington and Land Richards at The Westin in Palm Desert. I always love playing with Deniece, who recorded our song, "This is as Good as it Gets" (written with Ron Boustead) as the title track of her 1988 album.

Deniece, Shelby Flint, Brenda Russell, Melissa Manchester, Patti Austin, Marilyn Scott......some great female singer/songwriters I've had the good fortune to accompany. It reminds me of my motivation to migrate to California from Maryland in 1982, after years in the original Jazz/Fusion bands East Coast Offering and Natural Bridge. My goal was not to become a solo artist. It was to stretch out and be versatile enough to support as many different artists and styles as possible- instrumental, vocal, fusion, jazz, R&B,Brazilian, whatever. As luck would have it (and thanks to Russell Ferrante's recommendation) on my 12th day in LA, I was playing at Donte's with some of the top players in town, reading the "book" (big stack of hand written, original charts in all those styles) of Shelby Flint. Being in Shelby's band for all those years, packing the best showcase clubs like At My Place led to just about every gig I've done since! And if you haven't heard Shelby's voice on our collaborations on my solo CDs, I urge you to check them out.

Speaking of Shelby, our acoustic jazz holiday CD, "Home for the Holidays" is now available with a special deal, since it is never too early to plan for all those last minute holiday gifts.


Realizing it is the 30th anniversary of my first solo CD "The Nightowl", we've been talking about putting together a new CD collection of favorite songs from my older catalog for those who may have just discovered my music recently. Volume 1 will cover my first 5 CD's up to 1995's "You'll Know It's Me". These projects feature some very early recorded work of future stars Dave Koz, Boney James, Richard Elliot, Everette Harp and Eric Marienthal. The real story is we all played in each others bands a lot. Dave played in my band while he was still in college (before he joined Richard Marx and Jeff Lorber), and Richard Elliot had me playing in one of his first bands. Boney played in my band before he got signed to Warner Brothers, and I went on to tour with him for 4 years until 1999. So, we're not only celebrating the music, but also our decades long friendships.

We plan to remaster the tracks to get them sounding better than ever. And, we will fit as many songs as possible on one CD which will be available everywhere, but an enhanced, autographed package will be sold exclusively on my website and at shows. I'd love to hear your suggestions of what may be YOUR favorite songs off of the titles "The Nightowl", "Key Witness", "Sound of Emotion", "Summerhouse" and "You'll Know It's Me". So, let us know and we'll try to narrow it down.

Oh yeah, happy 2nd birthday to Jazzmine the cat; and happy 20th to our son Stevie Oct 29.

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Oct 1 - Temecula, CA Thornton Winery (Gregg guests with Peter White and Marc Antoine)

Oct 7 - Norfolk, VA The Attucks Theater GK w/ Darian Emory, Scott Ambush (Spyro Gyra), Stanley Cooper and Deren Blessman

Oct. 14 - San Diego, CA Jazz Diego with Paul Brown , Larry Carlton, Michael Paulo, Jessy j. and more Oct 21 - Catalina Island, CA Jazztrax Festival (Gregg guests with Peter White and Marc Antoine)

Oct 25 - Richmond, VA The Tin Pan GK w/ Brad Collins, Scott Ambush (Spyro Gyra), Stanley Cooper and Deren Blessman

Oct 26 - Philadelphia, PA South GK w/ Brad Collins, Scott Ambush (Spyro Gyra), Stanley Cooper and Deren Blessman

Oct 27 - TBA

Oct 28 - Philadelphia, PA South GK w/ Brad Collins, Scott Ambush (Spyro Gyra), Stanley Cooper and Deren Blessman

Nov 18 - Palm Desert, CA The Westin w/ Deniece Williams and Michael Paulo

Feel free to share this.

www.karukas.com (exclusive autographed CD's and other goodies) www.cdbaby.com i-Tunes Amazon

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Rio Drive named #1 song of 2015!!

Wow, my song Rio Drive from Soul Secrets was named the #1 most played song of 2015 on Alan Kepler's Smooth Jazz Top 20! (#2 on Billboard's 2015 airplay chart). This has been quite a year - first: Elegant Nights #1, and now Rio Drive. I'm so thankful for the response, especially after 4+ years between solo releases.

The best part of this milestone in my 28 year journey as a solo artist is being able to see that the priorities I've chosen: Music (original, no covers), Relationships (over money), Entrepreneurship (maintaining ownership) have stayed the same. And I'm lucky to have such long term relationships with people who share the same goals. If you look at the credits on my CD's, or my tour history, you will see many of the same people over decades. They are all great artists in their own right, and most of them are on this chart too.

So, I'd like to thank all the radio programmers, my fans, and give a big shout out to my friends, bandmates and collaborators. Ron Boustead, Shelby Flint, Ricardo Silveira , Dave Koz, Eric Marienthal, Eric Baines, Eric Valentine, Michael Paulo, Michael O'Neill, Peter White, Rick Braun, Nathaniel Phillips, Ernest Tibbs, John Lewis, Jay Dulaney, Brad Roxanne Collins, Gary Meek, Boney James, Larry Carlton, Melissa Manchester, Lee Thornburg, Jerry Peterson, Jeffrey Pescetto, Craig Safan, Kirk Whalum, Gerald Albright, Al Evers, Tim Eyermann, Bud Harner, Adam Hawley, James Harrah, Euge Groove, Vincent Ingala, Charlie Bisharat, Luis Conte, Dave Hooper, Pat Kelley, Lon Price, Lee Ritenour, Brenda Russell, Dori Caymmi, Sergio Mendes, Jeff Kashiwa, Sergio Gonzalez, Paul Brown, Joel Taylor, John Leftwich, Steve Samuel, Bruce Atkinson, Donnell Spencer Jr, Dwayne Smitty Smith, Jacques Voyemant, Steven Madaio, Jessy J., Joe Dougherty, Gary Grainger, Gary Grainger, Melvin Lee Davis, Oscar Seaton, Thom Rotella, Jervonny Collier, Andy Suzuki, Richard Elliot, Ramon Stagnaro.

Cruise in May 2016 with Gregg, Ray Parker Jr. and Michael Paulo

The popularity of cruising with our music has soared, evidenced by the fact that all the well known Smooth Jazz cruises such as the great Dave Koz and Friends at Sea Cruise, which I helped launch as Musical Director 2011-2013, are sold out for the next year or 2. 

I am happy to announce that I'm part of a new, West Coast music cruise hosted by my friend Michael Paulo, featuring Michael, Ray Parker Jr., Ira Nepus, myself and more TBA. The Divine Jazz Cruise is a unique and intimate experience, the number of passengers is limited, allowing more one to one interaction between guests and musicians, and the onboard all-star performances are available only to our guests. It sails next May 6-11, 2016 from San Francisco to Vancouver with stops in Astoria, OR, Seattle, WA, Victoria, BC and Vancouver, BC.  

This ship is the Crystal Serenity, a true luxury ship with only 1000 passengers and 650 crew. You might have heard about Crystal Cruise Lines. For more than a decade, Crystal has won an unprecedented number of top awards across multiple categories including being voted “World’s Best” by the readers of Travel + Leisure and Condé Nast Traveler, more than any other cruise line, hotel or resort in history.

The other distinguishing factor about this cruise is that it is ALL-INCLUSIVE! Six Star Service, food, all drinks, gratuities and more are included in the price.
If you are interested, there is an early booking discount offered and space is limited, but act soon. Tell them I sent you. 

Port Highlight: San Francisco

Our cruise begins in San Francisco, one of the world's most scenic cities — with the Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars, Chinatown, pastel Victorian Houses, steep hills, and extraordinary restaurants. See the white-capped waters of San Francisco Bay, eat crab cakes along Fisherman's Wharf, and experience the roller-coaster landscape of hilly streets and the spectacular setting on San Francisco Bay.

It's strongly recommended to arrive in San Francisco at least one day prior to our cruise.  Even better is to arrive several days ahead to fully explore this great city.   Tours can be arranged to suit a wide variety of interests, including: City Sightseeing, Sausalito & Muir Woods, a Sunset Cruise, Alcatraz Island, and the Napa Valley Wine Train.    For those who would like to golf, we are in the process of organizing a morning of golf on May 6th, before embarkation.   We will pass along details as our trip gets closer.

For those that like to tour independently, you may want to consider purchasing tickets on the Hop On Hop Off bus, a wonderful means to get to many of the key city sights. San Francisco offers outstanding restaurants, fun shopping, world-class museums and a Japanese tea garden.

Crystal Serenity is scheduled to set sail at 10:00 p.m. on Friday, May 6th, however we'll be kicking off our cruise early with our Welcome Aboard Cocktail Party and Performance.  Please plan to be onboard by 4:00 p.m., giving you a chance to settle in before the fun begins. 

Don’t forget to grab your camera for the spectacular view as we sail under the Golden Gate Bridge and past Alcatraz and Angel Island!  

Here are some highlights to consider during your time in the City by the Bay:

Sights—The Golden Gate Bridge; a cable-car ride over Nob Hill; Golden Gate Park; Fisherman's Wharf; a ferry ride to Sausalito; the postcard row of Victorian homes at Alamo Square; gourmet goods at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market in the Ferry Building; Lombard Street, the crookedest street in the U.S.

Museums—The Asian Art Museum; the Legion of Honor; the de Young Museum; the Cable Car Museum; San Francisco Art Institute; Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD); Seymour Pioneer Museum; the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

Memorable Meals—Vegetarian lunch at Greens; dim sum at Ton Kiang; sushi at Ozumo; dinner, dancing and great city views at Top of the Mark; Irish coffee at the historic Buena Vista Cafe while watching the sun set.

Late Night—An evening with Jazz at Yoshi's; Cocktails and film noir at Lone Palm; Beach Blanket Babylon at Club Fugazi; dancing at Harry Denton's Starlight Room atop the Sir Francis Drake Hotel.

Walks—Hiking across the Golden Gate Bridge; strolling anywhere along the 10-mi/15-km coastline from the Embarcadero through the Golden Gate Promenade (in the Presidio); shopping around Union Square; exploring the smaller streets and alleys of Chinatown; climbing the garden-lined stairway to Coit Tower.

- Crystal Cruises Early Full Payment Savings -
Crystal Cruises offers an Early Pay Discount of 2.5% for reservations paid in full by Friday, November 6th.   If you would like to take advantage of this additional savings, please contact Lynn prior to this date.
Phone:    (855) 854-5299  
Email:    info@divinejazzcruise.com
Important Reservation Details
- Online Check-in is Now Available -
Please take a moment to access your reservation through Crystal Cruise’s Priority Check-in & Planning Center.  Once there, you can kick-start the boarding process by checking in now.  If you need assistance checking in or finding your reservation number, contact Lynn - she's always more than happy to help!    Through the Priority Check-in & Planning Center, you will also be able to pre-reserve any Crystal shore excursions.     Lastly, as soon as your reservation is paid in full, you will be able to book your specialty dining reservations, spa appointments and more.   Crystal provides one complimentary reservation in each specialty restaurant per guest, so be sure to take advantage of this delicious benefit!

Click here to access your online check-in.
Crystal Serenity's All-Inclusive Highlights

Crystal's expansive host of complimentary services includes free fine wines, champagne and premium spirits, open bar service, and prepaid gratuities for housekeeping, bar and dining staff.

Included throughout the ship:
All gratuities for housekeeping (all stateroom attendants and Penthouse Butlers), bar and dining staff (including specialty restaurants)
Fine wines, premium spirits and champagne in all restaurants, including specialty venues Prego, and Silk Road and The Sushi Bar by Nobu Matsuhisa
Open bar service
All nonalcoholic beverages including bottled water, soft drinks and fresh juices
In-stateroom satellite TV and movies on your flat-panel television
Concierge services for personal arrangements ashore
In the coming months we'll let you know of more highlights that Crystal Serenity has to offer.
Click here to get a glimpse of the Crystal experience!
Important Passport Information!
Passports are needed for this cruise.  The name on your passport needs to match your reservation exactly. If your first and last names do not match, please let us know so we can adjust your reservation details. If your passport contains a middle name, please add this when completing your online check-in. 
If you still need to order or renew your passport, please don’t delay.  You will not be able to complete the online check-in without providing passport details.   In addition, you will not be able to reserve shore excursions or specialty dining reservations. 
Your passport should be valid until November 11, 2016.
Click Here For Dept. Of State Passport Information