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British Musician Jamie Cullum To Play At L.A.’s Ford Amphitheatre

Sarah Erickson |
July 20, 2010 | 9:45 p.m. PDT


Forget Susan Boyle. The multi-platinum British pop-jazz sensation Jamie Cullum, who’s already captivated crowds all over the world, now sets his sights on capturing the American market. With charm, tenacity and talent to spare, Cullum is up for Cowell’s challenge.

On his second tour of the U.S. this year, Cullum will be returning to Los Angeles this week to play at the Ford Amphitheatre. In March, Cullum pleased a sold-out crowd at the Avalon in Hollywood with an a cappella performance in the audience – even climbing on one fan’s shoulders to jazz-scat.

Cullum broke records when he erupted onto the British music scene in 2003 with his third studio-album release, “Twentysomething.” As “Twentysomething” became platinum almost overnight, Cullum earned the title of best-selling British jazz artist of all time by the end of that year – a title he maintains to this day.

Fast-forward seven years, and this popular jazz-crossover artist is finally making some noticeable waves in the U.S. market. How did he win his sizable (and growing) American following?

Aside from writing the Golden Globe-nominated title track to Clint Eastwood’s film “Gran Torino” in 2008 and appearing as a guest and performer on numerous U.S. talk shows like “Ellen” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”, Cullum released his fifth studio album, “The Pursuit.” Known for re-making and adding a fresh twist on jazz and musical theater standards like “Singing in the Rain” and “High and Dry,” on this album, Cullum re-vamped recent pop music hits by Rihanna including “Please Don’t Stop the Music.”

“It was intentional to work with a new producer and new musicians, and to record in a city that I didn’t know that well,” Cullum says on his website. “It was the right time for me to take myself out of my comfort zone, and to push myself to be bolder.”

The American popular music scene has never been a stranger to the influence of foreign artists. From the original British Invasion by the Beatles in the 1960s, to the most recent chart-toppers like Phoenix, Leona Lewis and Jay Sean, America seems more than willing to welcome musical ambassadors from around the world – particularly those from Europe.

Naturally, this cultural exchange extends in both directions. Elvis influenced The Beatles, who in turn influenced the Beach Boys, Bon Jovi and many other music legends.

Now, with musicians like Jamie Cullum gaining global popularity, it seems that the British have once again perfected an American musical invention: jazz.

Tickets to his performance at 8 p.m. on Wednesday night are still available and can be purchased from his website www.Jamiecullum.com/tour or the Ford Amphitheatre website at http://www.fordamphitheater.org/



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