Warm welcome to travel

Published 3:24 pm Monday, February 14, 2011

A warm welcome to all readers to the new travel column featuring interviews from Polk County residents.

I am “Lucianne,” jazz singer and travel professional.

Star Clipper

Tryon residents may know me from the happy days of McDougall’s, a popular jazz club from a decade ago. Others may remember the first Nina Simone tribute concerts, in 2003 and 2006, or my record, Flamingo, which was voted “Top Vocal CD’s of 2002” in the Jazz Education Journal.

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Some have asked me, “Where’ve you been?” I’m here to ask the very same thing.

I went back to college for travel and tourism and started my own business in 2009, fittingly called Jazz Music Travel, designing trips to music festivals.

I used to travel to unique destinations to sing, but now I go as a tourist, often with my family, and with that I have explored 18 islands in the Caribbean, mostly by yacht or cruise ship.

It is considered urbane by some to be a jazz singer, and antiquated by others to be a travel agent, but I am proud to be called either urbane or antiquated.

When it comes to vacations, “life is a book, and those who DO NOT travel read only one page” (St Augustine, 415AD).

Such a bold or true point has never stood the test of time as well as that relished quote. Since most everyone in the Polk County area has traveled somewhere before, I want to share those neighborly stories. I want to ask “where’ve you been?”

Have you seen the pyramids of Egypt, or the Rock of Gibraltar?

Did you backpack through Europe as a young person? Perhaps you take a family camping trip every year?

Is your school going to Paris? Did you take a cruise to celebrate graduation? Your story is unique, and your impressions are valuable. There is truly a vacation for every style, and every budget.

It doesn’t matter if you took a vacation years ago, or if there is a destination you want to see but have never been. In my experience no one is more entertained than when someone shares a memory about a trip they took in their past, or a dream of where they’d like to go.

So, I will be the one to make you happy, featuring the trip that lives in your memory… where’ve you been?

Please send in your travel recollections to the Tryon Daily Bulletin, care of Lucianne Evans, or by e-mail to jazzmusictravel@gmail.com.

Where’ve You Been

Where: The Grenadines, Caribbean, on a week-long cruise aboard the largest fully-masted sailing ship in the world.

When? Over Thanksgiving break 2010, because that was the best time to take my teenager with me.

Did you use a travel agent? Yes, but that person was me, so I needed a “me” for me, lol.

Why? I love cruising, but was looking for more unique destinations.  I have always wanted to go to Bequia, to see the miniature boat builders, and when this came up as one of the ports of call, I was “all in.”

Loved: the cuisine, the beautiful ship, the people from all over the world, the shopping in Martinique, the price and the wonderful sun, surf and the waterfalls in paradise.

About Lucianne Evans

An accomplished jazz singer who sings under the name Lucianne Evans, developed the business idea for Jazz Music Travel, took a two year Travel and Tourism course study with the legendary Ben Streets at Blue Ridge Community College, and recently embarked on her own journey to bring more and more people to the experience of travel.

She performed her first professional gig at the age of 17 in her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA. Jazz and R & B became an interest early in her career. She studied music at Carnegie-Mellon University and mentored with members of the group, Oregon at the Naropa Institute in Colorado. By age 24 she had rave reviews for a performance at the International Festival du Jazz de Montreal, appeared on French TV and radio, and in night clubs in New York and Montreal as a solo performer and lead vocalist. Several of her recordings have received acclaim, her pop song “Dear Lonely One” - a BMI Workshop award winner and her CD, Flamingo—Blue Chip status as “Top Vocal CD’s of 2002” in the Jazz Education Journal, by Dr. Herb Wong, on a short list with Diana Krall and Bobby McFerrin. It was also the #2 download in Belgium for six months. Moving to Asheville to follow a spouse, she has proved herself as a powerhouse vocalist among both “blue collar” and “white shoe” society. Performances include WNC Jazz Society, the Jazz Society of Far Western NC, Hilton Head Jazz Society, and a successful tour of California including Carmel, where The Jazz and Blues Company featured her on KRML, the original station of Clint Eastwood's “Play Misty For Me.”

Jazz Music Travel specializes in selling status and security for cruises that visit land-based jazz festivals each year in places like Anguilla, Barbados, Martinique, Riviera Maya, Bermuda and more. Imagine arriving aboard a yacht and experiencing world class performances from artists such as Herbie Hancock, Esmerelda Spaulding, Lynne Ariale, Dianne Reeves; all in the spirit of legacies like Hank Jones and Nina Simone. Sit back and re-connect with songs that are part of your life as these towns burst into life to the strains of trumpets, sax and drums.

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