Perhaps nobody has popularized jazz in the 21st century as much as Jamie Cullum. The historically best-selling UK jazz musician, a piano virtuoso, an unmistakable singer, and performer became famous with his fantastic adaptations of the famous songs of all genres, but especially with his spectacular performances. At his concerts, the grand piano turns into a giant cajon or even a jumping bridge, while he performs fantastic piano solos, beatbox, uses effect loops, and brilliantly cooperates with the band and the audience. His concerts do not multiply the album experience, they enhance it. You can come get the first-hand experience at the 22nd Pohoda.
The biggest figure of jazz popularization is 164 cm tall. Behind the microphone and the piano, however, he shades everyone. Contrarily though, behind the microphone on his BBC 2 jazz show, he helped artists such as Gregory Porter and Laura Mvula get noticed. Anyway, let us return to providing some more facts. Jamie has received nominations for the Grammy Awards, Golden Globe (2), GQ Man of the Year (2), Brit Awards (3), Sony Radio (3), and many more. He had done shows at BBC, Sky, and VH-1. His BBC 2 show won two awards at the New York Radio Awards and the Gold Sony Radio Award. Jamieʼs beginnings were not at all easy, though. He earned money for his studies playing in bars, at weddings, and on the streets. He released his debut album “Jamie Cullum Trio—Heard it All Before” at his own expense (500 pounds). Today, CDs from this limited edition are sold on eBay for $ 800 apiece.
In 2002 followed the album “Pointless Nostalgic” that enchanted the famous moderator Michael Parkinson. It was the Cullumʼs appearance in the Markinsonʼs show that catapulted the young jazz man among the biggest stars of popular music. Subsequently, he signed a million contract with the Universal record company to produce three albums, and the first one, “Twentysomething”, made him the most prominent UK jazz artist of all time. He won 11 platinum, 11 gold, and 2 silver discs for the album in different countries. In addition to his own songs or collaborations with his brother Ben, the record contains jazz standards and cover versions of well-known hits such as “Everlasting Love”, “Frontin”, and “High & Dry”. It was through these songs that he most introduced jazz to mass audience, and brought mainstream music closer to jazz fans. Gradually, he reworked some more hits such as “Seven Nations Army”, “Teardrop”, “Gold Digger”, “Donʼt Stop The Music”, and many more. Jamie has also proved to be a drummer in a hip-hop band and a guitarist in the rock band Raw Sausage.
In 2004, he played in the USA with Stevie Wonder and N.E.R.D. and headlined the Glastonbury festival. In 2005, he released the album “Catching Tales” that featured a cooperation with Dan Nakamura (Gorillaz) and Pharell Williams. The album won him a Grammy nomination. At that time, he started recording for Disney and he also contributed to songs for several films. While working on “Grace and Gone”, he met Clint Eastwood, for whom he later made music for the film Gran Torino. He received a Golden Globe nomination for the eponymous song. After a long break, he released the album “Pursuit” with a “Bond” cover that features a picture from the video for the cover of Rihannaʼs “Donʼt Stop The Music”. Billboard wrote that “while many artists sound anything but comfortable breaking these kinds of musical barriers, Cullum proves once again that he sounds most like himself when the walls come tumbling down”. So far, the 2013 album “Momentum” has been the most personal. It includes great covers such as “Pure Imagination” but Cullumʼs remarkable compositions such as “Get A Hold Of Yourself”, “Save Your Soul”, and “Youʼre Not The Only One” stand out. The cover album “Interlude” shows his return to jazz roots and it features, for example, Laura Mvula and Gregory Porter. Helen Brown of The Telegraph wrote that “this record finally captures the warmth, passion and spontaneity of Cullumʼs live gigs”. He introduced the album along with a 12-member big band in the most famous jazz clubs: The Blue Note in New York and Ronnie Scotts in London.
Richard Müller too described his performance in Paris Olympia as one of the most powerful musical experiences. Cullum also performed in Bratislava, and after his concert, the portal Jazz.sk wrote: “It was not the applause but the singing for the encore that was one of the most powerful proofs of a functioning connection between the audience and the band”. After another concert, the portal Hudba.sk wrote: “He was singing basically standing on his concert piano, allowing the viewers in the first row to touch him. He gave the audience everything he had, he was panting lying on the stage, and then he continued playing. The Beatbox cover version of “Get Lucky” was great, and so was the Jimi Hendrix stuff. The audience continued singing for minutes after he went off stage. We love Jamie Cullum!” In addition to the biggest jazz events (Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, Monterey Jazz Festival, Jazz à Vienne, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Java Jazz), his show was loved by the audiences in Glastonbury, Coachella, Fuji Rock, and many others. In less than a half year, he will perform his “classical entertainment” also at Pohoda 2018.