Hitting The Perfect High Note With Tauck
Posted by Guest Blogger
Posted in: Tauck’s Travelogue
Tags: Tauck Events, Travel, USA
When CherylAnne Williams learned that Tauck had partnered with the filmmaker Ken Burns to produce travel experiences exploring the themes of his films, she was immediately intrigued. “I knew if you combined Tauck and Ken Burns you’d get something pretty cool,” she reasoned. The youthful and exuberant 64-year-old CherylAnne was already a Tauck devotee thanks to an earlier trip to France, and she was also a big fan of Ken Burns (not just because they’re both residents of New Hampshire).
A talented musician in her own right and the daughter of a music teacher mom, CherylAnne quickly booked a reservation on The Tauck Jazz Event – “I jumped on it like a June bug” – which she attended last October. Although her expectations were high, she was still blown away. Her experience, she says, was “not what I expected, everything I expected, and more than I expected.”
But it was one special connection made during the event that she most treasures. The final night of the event featured a Mississippi River dinner cruise aboard the steamboat Natchez, with music provided by Doreen’s Jazz New Orleans. Led by New Orleans native and clarinet virtuoso Doreen Ketchens, Doreen’s Jazz New Orleans has been a fixture on the city’s music scene for over 25 years, and their infectious, foot-stomping performances have also taken the band around the globe.
“Doreen rocked my world,” recalls CherylAnne frankly. “She has serious chops! I mean, that woman can play!” CherylAnne was similarly impressed by the entire band. “I felt as though the members of Doreen’s band were one person; yet the melody line of each song moved from one performer’s instrument to the next, finally returning to Doreen for a dazzling finish.”
During one of the band’s breaks, CherylAnne approached Doreen and the two quickly began chatting about their shared love of music. In CherylAnne's words, “we hit it off like crazy!”
Over the course of a spirited conversation, CherylAnne was inspired to make Doreen a touching and heartfelt offer. CherylAnne had inherited a number of instruments from her mother following her death two years earlier, and among them was a vintage, 1940s-era silver soprano saxophone. CherylAnne had taken the time to have the instrument meticulously and professionally refurbished, but since she herself couldn’t play it, would Doreen be interested in receiving the saxophone as a gift?
Email and snail-mail addresses were exchanged, and after returning home, CherylAnne made good on her offer and shipped the restored instrument to Doreen in New Orleans. Moved by the gesture, and knowing CherylAnne’s emotional connection to the saxophone, Doreen followed up with CherylAnne to learn more about her mother and the instrument’s history. The two have continued to stay in touch, and CherylAnne has been thrilled to receive her own gifts in return from Doreen, including a copy of her latest CD and a personally autographed pastel poster of Doreen playing in New Orleans’s Jackson Square.
“I absolutely enjoyed Tauck’s Jazz Event, and I’m still overwhelmed by how fabulous it was,” says CherylAnne. “And becoming friends with Doreen, and knowing that my mom’s saxophone is in great hands and helping keep jazz alive in New Orleans? Well, that just continues to touch my soul.”