The Jim Cullum Jazz Band – Back 5 Nights a Week at The Landing
Beginning the first week of October, Jim and the Band return to their five-night-a-week schedule at The Landing through a gala New Year’s Eve party to cap off the year. As Jim says, “This is the longest-running Hot Jazz gig in the US.” Be sure to drop by The Landing on Oct. 6, when Chicago multi-instrumentalist Andy Schumm is the guest cornetist with the band.
Original Band Members & New Personnel
Jim Cullum says, “The band personnel now includes four original members—Mike Pittsley, John Sheridan and Howard Elkins join me on stage every night—plus three new musicians, including reedman Evan Arntzen, bassist Bernie Attridge and drummer Benji Bohannon. This begins a new phase for the band, with much new energy and excitement!”
The Band welcomed the arrival of bassist Bernie Attridge, a British musician who has worked extensively in Chicago and New Orleans since emigrating to the U.S.
In August the Band bid farewell to Jim Turner, our pianist of 10 years. Jim and his family returned to his native California.
Pianist John Sheridan returned to the band and the piano chair, which he occupied so masterfully for over 20 years. Bandleader Cullum says, “John Sheridan left the band to sow some wild oats. Having sown them, now—to paraphrase Douglas MacArthur—’He shall return.’”
Longtime reedman Ron Hockett also departed the band this summer to relocate to the United Kingdom. On Sept. 8, clarinetist and saxophonist Evan Arntzen made his debut with the Band at Annie’s Café in Austin. Evan is the recipient of multiple prestigious awards for his musical performances, including the Montreal Jazz Festival’s Grand Prix de Jazz and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s Jazz Award of Merit.
On the Road with The Jim Cullum Jazz Band
The Jim Cullum Jazz Band played a series of very enjoyable private functions in California and a concert at the prestigious Filoli Mansion in late July. There was barely time to unpack before the JCJB was once again on the road—to Davenport, Iowa and the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival—where its performances were warmly received.
Recording Session In Dallas
Just a few days after returning from Davenport, four of the band members (Jim, Mike, John and Howard) boarded a Southwest flight to Dallas. With the addition of JCJB alumni Allan Vaché (clarinet), Don Mopsick (bass) and Hal Smith (drums), the band recorded Playing With Fire— co-composed by Jim Cullum and Frank Ticheli — with the Dallas Wind Symphony for Reference Recordings. Don and Hal were featured on the first movement, “A La Bauduc.” Jim took center stage on “Shades of Blue.” John and Mike soloed on “Polyphonies and Riffs” before Allan uncorked 20 red-hot choruses of improvised blues. We will be sure to let fans of the JCJB know when the CD is available and how to order it.
In September, the band played weekends only at The Landing but made several appearances in the Austin area, including three nights for the full band at Annie’s, a classic Austin restaurant. Also in September, the band performed for “Balboa Night” at the Vortex Repertory Co./Butterfly Café in Austin.
Cruisin’ with The Jim Cullum Jazz Band
October 22-29, the Band will board the MSC Poesia for the JazzFest At Sea together with all-star musicians from across the US. See the article above or click here for more information. For the latest on the Band’s appearances, please check the Schedule page for details. You can also read all about the newest additions to the JCJB on the About the Band page.