Alida was born in the Netherlands and came to the United States with her husband Pieter. Initially, her stay would be for one or two years only, while Pieter completed a post-doctoral appointment at Brookhaven National Laboratory on National Laboratory on Long Island.
However, Pieter's career has kept Alida permanently in the United States. She started her own career in travel in 1973, using her extensive travel experience and her proficiency in foreign languages. She worked as a travel consultant in various offices and obtained her CTC (Certified Travel Consultant) diploma in 1984.
Music has always been part of her life. At the age of 9 she learned to play guitar and accompany herself singing pop songs. She also performed as a singer in several musicals. After she met Pieter she became more interested in jazz, took guitar lessons again and learned how to play “rhythm guitar”.
The (tenor) banjo followed and for the next 25 years she played, sang and recorded with various bands (e.g. Isotope Stompers, Nightblooming Jazzmen). Around 1997 she announced her retirement as a performing musician so that she could devote more time to the growing business of JAZZDAGEN TOURS. In 1984 the first jazz tour took place to her native country, the Netherlands. The main event during that tour was a jazz festival in Eindhoven called "JAZZDAGEN" (Jazz Days). The tour was a big success and the tour company adopted the title of the festival in its official name; "JAZZDAGEN".
JAZZDAGEN TOURS has organized dozens of tours and cruises with widely varying destinations, such as the Caribbean, Panama Canal, South Africa, Alaska, the Mississippi River, China, the Amazon River, New Zealand, Australia, the Baltic Sea, the Mediterranean, the Po River, the Rhone River, the Mexican Riviera, Hawaii, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Tahiti, Brazil, Argentina, Chile as well as annual tours to jazz festivals in Europe. Among them have been many New Year’s Celebration Cruises to several national and international destinations.
Alida escorts all of her jazz cruises and tours. She enjoys listening to the music and likes to hang out with the musicians. She loves to be with people and always has a personal word for each Jazzdagen client. However, her cruises are not all fun-and-games for her. She is a perfectionist who likes everything to be just right.
The next Jazz Alive will be from Los Angeles to Caldera, Costa Rica on Sep 28 – Oct 11, 2019 on the Crystal Symphony with 20 outstanding musicians.
Alida, a sponsor of many jazz festivals, is often joined by one or two assistants on most of her trips.
You will meet very often Pauli van der Zijden and Joy Ellen Berg from the Netherlands. The day-today affairs will be handled at the Jazzdagen office in Los Angeles.