By Cathy Rose A. Garcia
British jazz singer-songwriter Jamie Cullum will hit the stage in Seoul for the first time in April.
Cullum will perform April 10 at the Melon-AX Hall, Gwangjang-dong, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul.
The 30-year-old dabbles in crossover, jazz, pop and soul music, and also plays the piano, guitar and drums.
In 1999, Cullum independently released his first album, “Jamie Cullum Trio ? Heard it All.” His second album, “Pointless Nostalgic,” came out in early 2003, which attracted attention from top record labels. He signed a deal with Universal Music, and immediately released “Twentysomething.”
It proved to be a big hit, becoming the no.1 album by a jazz artist in the U.K.
Cullum followed it up with “Catching Tales” in 2005. His last two albums have sold over four million copies around the world.
Recognized for his music, the British musician took home the Rising Star Award from the British Jazz Awards in 2003. He has been nominated several times at the Brit Awards, including British Breakthrough Act in 2004. In 2005, he was voted Artist of the Year by listeners of BBC Radio 2 for the BBC Jazz Awards.
Cullum collaborated with his older brother Ben for a dance music project “BC vs. JC,” and artists such as Pharrell Williams, the Count Basie Orchestra and Japan’s Soil & Pimp Sessions. He also concentrated on charity work as UNICEF’s Goodwill Ambassador to Ethiopia.
The musician co-wrote the theme song for the Clint Eastwood film “Gran Torino,” which was nominated for Best Original Song at the 2008 Golden Globe Awards.
He returned to the recording studio and released “The Pursuit,” last year. The album, his first in four years, shows him experimenting with different genres, such as swing, Broadway, dance and classic jazz.
“I like that this album journeys from a big-band track at the start to a proggy (progressive) house/dance track at the end, because it’s all me. But if the only thing that people notice is that this album is stylistically all over the place, then I will feel I have failed in some way,” Cullum said on his Web site.
There’s a fresh vibe throughout his album, from the first single, “I’m All Over It,” to unique remakes of Rihanna’s “Don’t Stop the Music” and Cole Porter’s “Just One Of Those Things.”
The album title, “The Pursuit,” is taken from Nancy Mitford’s novel “The Pursuit of Love.”
“The line in `Love Ain’t Gonna Let You Down’ that says, ‘The pursuit of love consumes us all’ is a reference to that. The reason I made it the album title was that I’ve come to realize that life is one long pursuit. Being a musician is not about any obvious goal; it’s about appreciating the journey as opposed to the destination,” Cullum said.
He has cultivated a reputation as a charismatic stage performer. His concerts are often spontaneous and rarely have a set list. He also likes to improvise a lot, not just with jazz music but different genres as well.
The Seoul concert starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are 99,000 won. Visit ticket.interpark.com or call 1544-1555. To get to Melon-AX, get off at Gwangnaru Station line 5, exit 2.