In our later years, one of our cherished traditions is embarking on the Dave Koz Jazz Cruise, which we eagerly anticipate every year. Over the past few years, we have had the pleasure of going on four of these cruises. Both Gina and I have been lifelong jazz enthusiasts, and this cruise offers an extraordinary musical experience that captivates us. Moreover, it has provided us with the opportunity to explore parts of the world we haven’t ventured into before.
Dave Koz, an esteemed American saxophonist, has left a significant imprint on the smooth jazz genre since his emergence in the late 1980s and early 1990s. As one of the most accomplished and renowned artists in the smooth jazz scene, Koz has played a pivotal role in shaping the genre’s evolution and popularity. His impact extends across various facets, including his music, media presence, live performances, collaborations, and philanthropy. Through his annual cruises, Dave Koz brings together over 50 iconic artists who grace multiple stages, ensuring an intimate setting for us to enjoy this enchanting music and personally connect with the artists.
The music from these cruises has become the soundtrack for my fishing videos, as the artists involved in this genre actively encourage fans to record and share their music on social media, setting it apart from other musical genres. Additionally, Dave Koz has established himself as a premier promoter of emerging talent in this space, and we have had the pleasure of witnessing incredibly gifted young musicians launch their careers on these cruises. After being delayed for several years due to the pandemic, this highly anticipated two-week cruise finally took us to seven ports in Spain, Morocco, and Portugal, all of which were entirely new to us. Many of our friends, whom we have met throughout the years on these cruises, were equally thrilled to reunite on this voyage.
Barcelona, Spain. April 28th – May 1st
Barcelona, situated on the northeastern coast of Spain within the Catalonia region, is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city. As the capital of Catalonia and the second largest city in Spain, Barcelona showcases a captivating history, breathtaking architecture, and a diverse cultural scene. Just beyond the city lies a wealth of remarkable fly fishing rivers, ranging from expansive and flowing streams to small, crystal-clear creeks. Despite being relatively unexplored in the world of fly fishing, Spain offers exceptional fly fishing opportunities less than an hour away from the bustling city. The Pyrenees basin, stretching from Aragon to Catalonia, boasts majestic mountains with granite slopes, providing awe-inspiring views and the chance to engage in dry fly fishing for trout during the spring season. Notably, the Blue Trout found in this region is a unique species. Although Gina and I only had three days in Barcelona, I managed to engage in conversations with local fly fishing guides, despite their Fly Shop being closed for two of those days. In the meantime, Gina and I immersed ourselves in the brilliance of Gaudi’s architecture and savored delectable meals in Spain. Although we were fortunate to have mostly pleasant weather during our stay, we did experience an unexpected downpour one evening that flooded the streets. Thankfully, we navigated our way back to the hotel, dashing between store awnings, and managed to stay relatively dry.
Our arrival in Spain coincided with the second game of the Warriors Playoffs against the Lakers. Fortunately, it was an early game in California, allowing us to stream it at a reasonable hour around 11:00 PM local time. Interestingly, we discovered that there are numerous NBA fans in Spain, although a majority of them seemed to support the Lakers. Sporting my Golden State Warriors hat around town drew mostly negative comments from the local NBA enthusiasts. We decided to skip the English Pub Sports bar that was airing the game, just in case the warriors won. Good Call.
The fly shop in Barcelona is call FlyShop Salmon 2000. where you can book a guided fly fishing day trip in Barcelona, Catalonia, Pyrenees, Asturias, Spain.
Unbelievable performance of Europa by Richard Elliot on the Koz Cruise 2024