Article: Jamie Cullum Proves A Hit As Guest Director Of Cheltenham Jazz Festival

Written by John Fordham
Monday 2 May 2011

Jamie Cullum at Cheltenham Jazz Festival

Photo Credit: Marilyn Kingwill for the Guardian

Jamie Cullum could not be described as edgy, but he loves jazz passionately and wants a lot more people to get its point. “It’s only the second time I’ve been out of the house since my child was born,” he informed an adoring crowd at the Cheltenham jazz festival, “and it’s being simulcast in 75 cinemas in six countries.”

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After a nervous start to a rare one-man show, his first gig since the birth of his daughter in March, Cullum, the festival’s guest director, rattled through two sets of pop covers, new recordings and songs he’d played years ago as a wine bar pianist, performing with all the gleeful boyish bounce, rollercoaster momentum and Sinatra-to-soul sound that has made him a star.

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