Jamie Cullum: Wikis


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Jamie Cullum

Cullum at Colours of Ostrava, July 10, 2009
Background information
Born 20 August 1979 (1979-08-20) (age 30)
Romford, Greater London, England
Genres Crossover jazz, power pop, blue-eyed soul
Occupations Musician, Songwriter
Instruments vocals, piano, guitar, stomp box, drums
Years active 1999–present
Labels UCJ, Candid, Decca, Verve (US), Verve Forecast (US)
Website www.jamiecullum.com

Jamie Cullum (born 20 August 1979) is an English pop and jazz-pop singer-songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. Though he is a primarily a vocalist, he also accompanies himself on instruments including piano, guitar, and drums.


Personal life

Cullum was born in the hospital in Romford, East London. He was brought up in Hullavington, Wiltshire, and educated at the independent fee-paying Grittleton House School and the sixth form at Sheldon School. He then went on to study English Literature and Film Studies at Reading University, where he graduated with First Class Honours.

His mother, Yvonne, is a secretary of Anglo-Burmese origin, whose family settled in Wales after Burma's independence; his father, John Cullum, worked in finance. His paternal grandfather was a British Army officer, while his paternal grandmother was a Jewish refugee from Prussia who sang in Berlin nightclubs.

Cullum married British model Sophie Dahl at Lime Wood country house hotel in the New Forest National Park in England on 9 January 2010.[1]

Musical career

Cullum released his first album, Jamie Cullum Trio—Heard it All Before, in 1999, of which 500 copies were made. Due to their rarity, original copies have sold for as much as £600 on eBay. The success of Heard It All Before resulted in Cullum being invited to appear on Geoff Gascoyne's album Songs of the Summer.

After graduating from Reading University, Cullum released a best-selling album, Pointless Nostalgic, which stirred interest from Michael Parkinson[2] and Melvyn Bragg.

Just after Cullum made his first television appearance, on Parkinson in April 2003, he signed a £1m contract[3] for three albums with Universal, who beat Sony in a bidding war. Cullum's third album, Twentysomething, released in October 2003, went platinum and became the #1 selling studio album by a jazz artist in the United Kingdom. Cullum ended 2003 as the UK's biggest selling jazz artist of all time.[3]

Although primarily a jazz musician, he 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 and listens to an eclectic mix of music from Miles Davis[4] to Tom Waits and many more. Cullum has belonged to several 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. Cullum names his elder brother, Ben Cullum, as his biggest musical influence, and the two continue to collaborate extensively.

Cullum is well known not only for his abilities on the piano, but also for his unique entertainment style and charisma. One of the many things that features in Jamie's concerts is the "stompbox" (not to be confused with an effect pedal for guitars), made from a small wooden block. 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 originally by the White Stripes and "Gold Digger", originally by Kanye West. He is also often found using a looping machine. This plays a heavy part in Cullum's versions of Seven Nation Army and Teardrop by Massive Attack. Cullum is also often found beatboxing at most gigs.

As well as the White Stripes and Kanye West, Cullum has performed work by Massive Attack, Rihanna, Pussycat Dolls, Radiohead, Gnarls Barkley, Elton John, Justin Timberlake, John Legend, Joy Division, Lady Gaga and many others. He has also performed with Kylie Minogue, Sugababes, Will.i.am and Burt Bacharach.

Cullum rarely works to a set list and on average his gigs last just over two hours. The gigs are largely improvised, rooted in jazz but not solely consisting of jazz music.

Cullum has played at many large music festivals, including Glastonbury Festival (in 2004 & 2009), Coachella 2005, 2006 South by Southwest, North Sea Jazz Festival, the Hollywood Bowl (performing with the Count Basie Orchestra) and the 2006 Playboy Jazz Festival. On the April 29th 2006 Cullum played his biggest ever crowd on Queensday in The Netherlands.


Pointless Nostalgic

This album began life as a self-funded project and eventually got taken on by Candid Records. Featuring a mix of standard, originals and contemporary covers. It was recorded in Spring 2001 at Clown's Pocket Studios, Bexley, by Derek Nash and co-produced by Geoff Gascoyne.

On this album Jamie created covers of old classics with new arrangements of Warren and Burke's "Devil May Care", Thelonious Monk's "Well You Needn't" and Gershwin's "It Ain't Necessarily So".

The album got Jamie a spot on Parkinson and received this review in Jazzwise September 2002: "Cullum's mellifluous tone, clarity of diction, exciting pianism – clearly mark him out as a young artist with immense potential...A perfect showcase.. breathing new life into tried and tested vehicles, there's an infectious devil-may-care swagger about the whole album".


Recorded at London’s Mayfair Studio and released 20 October 2003, Twentysomething contains a mix of jazz standards, contemporary tunes and ballads.

Due to the acoustic nature of the music, producer Stewart Levine chose to record and mix Twentysomething entirely on analog tape. Since the album was recorded almost entirely "live" with no need to correct or improve performances, Levine saw no need for the infinite amount of tracks and computerised digital recording.

The album includes jazz standards "What a Difference a Day Made", "Singin' In The Rain", and Cole Porter's "I Get A Kick Out Of You", modern takes on My Fair Lady's "I Could Have Danced All Night", Jeff Buckley’s "Lover, You Should Have Come Over", and Jimi Hendrix’s "Wind Cries Mary", as well as new tracks written by Jamie and brother Ben, including the first single from the album "All At Sea" and the title track "Twentysomething".

Catching Tales

Cullum's third major label album, entitled Catching Tales, was released on September 26, 2005, in the United Kingdom and The Netherlands, and two weeks later in the United States, on 11 October. The American and French versions of Catching Tales do not include the track Fascinating Rhythm, which appears on the European version.

Catching Tales was also produced by Stewart Levine.

The first single released from the album, in the United Kingdom, was "Get Your Way", a collaboration with Dan The Automator which used a sample from the Thad Jones song "Get Out Of My Life, Woman". The second single released, in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, was "Mind Trick", written by Jamie and his brother, Ben Cullum. The third single from the album was the self-penned track "Photograph", which Cullum said was written on New Years Day (2005) after he found a box of old photographs at his parents house.

A special edition version of Catching Tales was released in Europe, featuring a 20-minute documentary, including behind the scenes footage of Jamie recording the album and on the road footage, from across Europe. Catching Tales has also been released on double vinyl, as was the first single, "Get Your Way". A limited edition version of the "Get Your Way" single was released on red vinyl.

Cullum collaborated with Pharrell. They recorded various songs together and it was thought that the track titled "Wifey" would make an appearance on Catching Tales, but this was prevented by legal and contractual problems. Cullum's vocals finally featured on Pharrell's debut solo album, on a track titled "You Can Do It Too", though Cullum is not credited as a featured artist.

Cullum toured in support of Catching Tales from the end of October 2005 to December 2006. He played gigs in places such as: Singapore, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Australia, South America, South Africa, Brazil, Argentina, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, as well as returning to America no less than four times in one year, to tour extensively across the USA.

The Pursuit

On the 4th of June 2009, Cullum announced the title of his fourth studio album, The Pursuit.[5] The album, which was released on November 10, 2009, is produced by Greg Wells,[6] and the first single is "I'm All Over It".[7] The album was recorded at a Los Angeles studio, using songs that Cullum originally recorded at his Shepherd's Bush recording studio, Terrified Studios.[8]

The Pursuit was recorded in a variety of places; Jamie's kitchen, a studio in L.A and "Terrifed Studios" (Jamie's own in Shepherds Bush). Various musicians were also used in the recording process. Songs recorded in L.A. mostly used session musicians and sees Greg Wells and Cullum play various instrument including drums and bass. "Don't Stop The Music", the second single from the album (to be released as a download only in January 2010)[9] was recorded with Chris Hill & Brad Webb.

Other band members

From 2003 to 2008 Cullum played consistently with Geoff Gascoyne, on bass, and Sebastiaan de Krom, on drums. From 2003 until 2004 the trio was joined by Ben Castle on saxophone, John Hoare on trumpet, Barnaby Dickinson on trombone and Malcolm MacFarlane on guitar.

Sam Wedgwood (guitarist and trumpeter) later joined Cullum, on tour, for a little over a year. At the end of 2005 Cullum was joined by Tom Richards (saxophonist, occasional guitarist and percussion). Soon after that Sam Wedgwood left to pursue his own solo musical career. At the beginning of 2006 Rory Simmons (trumpeter and guitarist) joined the band as a replacement, bringing the total number of band members (including Cullum himself) to five.

In late 2008 Cullum replaced Geoff Gascoyne (bass) and Sebastiaan de Krom (drums) with Chris Hill (bass) and Brad Webb (drums).


The British Jazz Awards first recognised Cullum's growing success by awarding him the "Rising Star" award, at the 2003 ceremony in July.[3] 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 "The Lovecats". In the 2005 BRIT Awards, Cullum was nominated for two awards: "Best Male Artist" and "Best Live Act". In 2005 Cullum was nominated for a Grammy while taking BBC Radio 2 "Artist of the Year" honors at the BBC Jazz Awards (as voted for by listeners of Radio 2). In 2007 Cullum won the Ronnie Scotts Jazz Award for "Best British Male". He was also nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song for his composition, "Gran Torino".


Studio albums

Year Title Peak chart positions
1999 Heard It All Before
  • 1st Studio Album
  • Released: 1999
2002 Pointless Nostalgic 55 14
2003 Twentysomething 3 19 3 14 30 29 37 57 7 83
2005 Catching Tales 4 42 3 9 22 14 11 39 30 10 49
2009 The Pursuit [10] 16 11 25 24 7 40 18 11 42
2010 Devil May Care - - - - - - - - - - -

Compilation albums


Year Title Peak chart positions Album
UK Dutch
Top 40
2002 "High and Dry" Pointless Nostalgic
2003 "All At Sea" 79 Twentysomething
2004 "These Are the Days"/"Frontin'" 12
"Everlasting Love" 20 19 35
2005 "Get Your Way" 44 31 25 Catching Tales
"Mind Trick" 32 63 26
2006 "Photograph" 88
2009 "I'm All Over It" 55 63 The Pursuit
"Don't Stop the Music" 79 24

Collaborations featured on other albums


  • Live at Blenheim Palace (2004)
  • Twentysomething DVD (2004) – with US DualDisc Edition of Twentysomething
  • Genius A Night For Ray Charles (2004) – Performs "Hallelujah, I Love Her So"
  • Get Your Way – DVD Single (2005)
  • The StratPack Live in Concert (2005) – Performs "Angel"
  • A Tribute to Brian Wilson (2005) – Performs "Sail on Sailor" with Fred Martin & The Levite Camp
  • Telling Tales (2005) – with Catching Tales Special Edition

SACD releases

  • Twentysomething (2004) – Hybrid SACD, 5.1 surround Sound


External links


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