(born August 20, 1979) is an English jazz/pop pianist and
born in Essex. His mother, Yvonne, is a secretary of
Anglo-Burmese origin, whose family settled in Wales after
Burma's de-colonization; his father, John Cullum, worked in
finance. His paternal grandfather was a British Army
officer, while his paternal grandmother, Omi, was a Jewish
refugee from Prussia who sang in Berlin nightclubs; Cullum
sees her as his "cultural icon". He was raised in
released his first album, Jamie Cullum Trio—Heard it All
Before, in 1999. A mere 500 copies were made. Original
copies have sold for as much as £600 (and above) on eBay.
The success of Heard It All Before resulted in Jamie
being invited to appear on Geoff
Gascoyne's album Songs of the Summer. After
graduating from the University of Reading in 2001 (with a
1st), Cullum—who is completely self-taught, bar a few piano
lessons as a youngster—released a best-selling album,
Pointless Nostalgic, which stirred interest from Michael
Parkinson and Melvyn Bragg. Following that, in April 2003 he
signed a contract with Universal, for three albums, who beat
Sony in a bidding war.
then started recording his third album, Twentysomething,
in the summer of 2003, which was released in October 2003.
It went platinum and became the #1 selling studio album by a
jazz artist in the United Kingdom.
Cullum's breakout hit in the
was "All At Sea" closely followed by a reworking of
Radiohead's "High and Dry".
Although primarily a jazz musician, Cullum performs in a
wide range of styles and is generally regarded as a
"crossover" artist with his musical roots firmly based in
jazz. Cullum draws his inspiration from many different
musicians, from Miles Davis to Tom Waits and many, many
more. Cullum has been part of quite a long list of bands,
ranging from banging drums in a hip-hop group to playing
guitar in rock bands such as Raw Sausage and The Mystery
Machine, in his teenage youth.
Together with his elder brother, Ben Cullum, he wrote the
music for a West End stage version of When Harry Met
Sally.... Cullum names his brother as his biggest
musical influence and claims he would not be making music if
it wasn't for Ben Cullum.
British Jazz Awards first recognised Cullum's growing
success by awarding him the "Rising Star" award, at the 2003
ceremony in July. At the 2004 Brit Awards, Cullum was
nominated in the "British Breakthrough Act" category. He
performed live in the ceremony at Earl's Court, a duet with
Katie Melua of The
Cure's "Love Cats". In the 2005
Brit Awards, Cullum was nominated for two awards:
"Best Male Artist" and "Best Live Act". Following that,
Cullum was nominated for a prestigious Grammy award in 2005,
and went on to win yet another award at the BBC Jazz Awards,
this time scooping BBC Radio 2 "Artist Of The Year", as
voted for by listeners of Radio 2.
Cullum's third major label album, entitled Catching Tales,
was released on the September 26, 2005, in the United
Kingdom and The Netherlands, and two weeks later in the
United States, on October 11.
American and French versions of Catching Tales do not
feature Fascinating Rhythm, unlike the European
version which does. The second single released, in the
United Kingdom and the Netherlands, was "Mind Trick," a
catchy funky track written by Jamie and his brother Ben
Cullum. The third single released from the album was the
self-penned track "Photograph." Cullum has said it was
written on New Years Day (2005) after he found a box of
photographs that reminded him of how special his youth was,
despite the fact it didn't seem it at the time.
special edition version of Catching Tales is also
available in Europe, featuring an exclusive 20 minute
documentary, including behind the scenes footage of Jamie
recording the album and on the road footage, from across
Europe. It also features a 28-page booklet containing
exclusive photos, Jamie rarities, extended liner notes plus
a track-by-track introduction from the man himself.
Catching Tales has also been released on double vinyl,
as was the first single, "Get Your Way."
was to feature a collaboration with Pharrell Williams.
Cullum and Williams recorded various songs together and it
was thought that the track titled 'Wifey' would make an
appearance on Catching Tales. Unfortunately, due to
publishing laws, it ended up being taken off the album.
Usher recorded a version of the song "Wifey", which was
released on a special Japanese import. After much paper
shuffling Jamie's vocals finally featured on Pharrell
Williams's debut solo album, on a track titled "You Can Do
It Too". It is such a small part that Jamie is not even
credited as a 'featured' artist.
album Catching Tales was produced by Stewart Levine,
who also produced Twentysomething.
has been touring with the new album, Catching Tales,
since the end of October 2005 and will continue to do so
until December 2006. Playing gigs in places such as:
Singapore, Hong Kong, New Zealand, South America, South
Africa, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Germany, Spain, Portugal,
as well as returning to America no less than four times this
year, to tour extensively across the USA. Cullum has played
at many large music festivals, including Glastonbury
Festival 2004, Coachella 2005, 2006 South by Southwest, and
the 2006 Playboy Jazz Festival.
29th of April 2006 Cullum played his biggest ever crowd on Queensday in The Netherlands.
Jamie gave a 45 minute performance for 180,000 people who
crowded around the massive stage in
Museum Square. As a tribute to The Netherlands, Cullum wore
a shirt from the Dutch Artist Anouk and orange Converse.
will be taking all of 2007 off to write new music,
collaborate with various musicians, make a new album, as
well as enjoying some well deserved time off, at home. Jamie
fans that he will perform some gigs in the summer of 2007.
played the part of DJ English Hughie in the computer game,
Cullum is very well known, not only for his outstanding
abilities on the piano, but also for his unique
entertainment style and charisma. Jamie makes the most of
his concerts by adding fun elements such as stomping his
foot (and sometimes his rear end) on his piano for certain
songs, jumping from the top of the piano onto the ground,
and drinking a can of Guinness at nearly every show. At his
concerts, Jamie often plays other instruments such as the
acoustic guitar and the steel drums. When he plays the
drums, he mimics the music played at the
Notting hill Carnival in
England. One of Jamie's new features at his concerts is the
stompbox, which is small block made of wood. The stompbox is
used to amplify a musician's tapping foot. Jamie found this
in Australia and uses it to enhance upbeat and fast-paced
songs such as Seven Nation Army by the White Stripes.
Cullum Official Website
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