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Michael McDonald: The Voice with the Midas Touch

Many of us heard Michael McDonald before we heard of Michael McDonald. It may have been his soaring background vocals and harmonies on four Steely Dan albums, including the iconic Aja and Gaucho recordings. Or maybe it was his lead vocals on the many hits by the Doobie Brothers, such as “Minute by Minute,” “What a Fool Believes,” and “Takin’ It to the Streets.” Or on “On My Own,” his smash hit duet with Patti Labelle. Or his solo recordings like Motown I, Motown II and Soul Speak. Over the years he’s collaborated with the likes of Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Kenny Loggins, and our own Marcus Miller. Oh, and Van Halen too. Michael was even featured on a single by Thundercat – “Show You the Way.” He’s appeared on 30 Rock, American Idol and other hit TV shows. Throughout it all, that mellifluous baritone voice remains a constant. Instantly recognizable and forever soulful, Michael’s vocals have become sui generis. Everything he sings on seems to turn gold, or even platinum.

That’s why we are thrilled to have Michael performing on The Smooth Jazz Cruise ‘23.1 and ‘23.2. He even took a few minutes out of his busy touring schedule to answer some of our questions…

Q:  We are excited that you will be performing on The Smooth Jazz Cruise for the first time.  What are you looking forward to most?

I’m incredibly honored and excited to be performing on The Smooth Jazz Cruise to celebrate its 29th and 30th sailing. The fans are unique and create such a special environment for all. It is truly an event that is not to be missed.

Q:  When you create a show for an event like The Smooth Jazz Cruise, how much of it varies based upon your understanding of the guest profile?

I like to let the show I play reflect the energy of the crowd in front of me, and The Smooth Jazz Cruise is no exception to that. They can expect to hear some of their favorites they know and love, but I hope I’ll be able to surprise them with some of the songs that I bring to the event. 

Q:  Cruise Host Marcus Miller is a longtime acquaintance of yours.  Are you looking forward to working with Marcus as the music director for the event?

I really look forward to working with Marcus once again. He’s a brilliant musician and music director. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Marcus in the past on two different album projects, “Blink of An Eye”, and my most recent studio album, “Wide Open”. It will be a great reunion!

It’s really an honor to have Michael performing for us in 2023. If you’d like to there to see what he has in store for us, you need to book now! A very limited supply of staterooms remain available on both sailings. Click here to view availability and pricing.

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