[Dixielandjazz] audiences

PJ Ladd pj.ladd at btopenworld.com
Sun Dec 21 11:34:35 PST 2003

Hi all,
about playing were the kids are.
We have a phenomenon here in the UK called Jamie Cullum. He is a local lad who has shot to fame  and fortune in the last year as a jazz piano player and singer.
He says that the first records he bought were Monk and MIles Davis and then Herbie Hancock and singers like Harry Connick so there is little early jazz in his repertoire although he obviously appreciates the `standard` numbers.
His treatments however are anything but `standard`. I get a kick out of you` starts with a rocking latin beat produced by banging his hands on the piano front, sides, lid, damping and plucking the piano strings, backed by drums and bass. Then he picks up the mike and sings a bit , back to the piano ,nice chord work while he backs his own voice, a lightning fast solo break, spots for his drummer and the bass player. You can see it, can`t you?. He takes stuff from a wide range, Cole Porter, Jimi Hendrix, Radiohead and turns it all into a high energy show.
Jamie has served his time in pubs, wedding gigs, cruise ships etc now at the ripe old age of 24 is really big.His name on a tv show guarantees good ratings. Papers and magazines are full of interviews
He used to sing with a local, and widely known  group of singers named the Bath Silver Ring Choir. His mother is a member.
Last night I went to a Christmas Charity Concert featuring the Choir and  the Jamie Cullum Trio.
Tickets have been sold out for weeks. The very large hall was packed. The choir, about 100 strong sang some Christmassynumbers and some carols and  Cullum strutted his stuff.
Personall;y I wished he would stop messing about and get back to playing some jazz but the audience, a very strange mix of the ancient (me) and modern, ( scads of teens and twenty somethings) roared their approval and an ovation at the end with half the audience standing shouting for more.
The organisers were pleased enough to give a cheque for £5000 t0o a local charity.
Perhaps staging events which appeal to more than one group but linked closely enough to be compatible is one way of getting audiences.
Just a thought.

Cheers and Merry Christmas to all



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