Co-Host, Co-Executive Producer, cornetist, bandleader, and club owner
In the 1950s, when everyone else his age was listening to Elvis Presley, Jim Cullum locked onto the sounds of early jazz greats Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, Bix Beiderbecke, and Jelly Roll Morton. He discovered his father's record collection of 78's, and spent one whole summer spellbound in his bedroom at home in San Antonio, spinning these scratchy discs and memorizing solos note for note.
The next summer, enlisted in the family grocery business, Cullum's job was to guard the soda pop and candy bars in the delivery truck while the driver delivered the goods. Tantalized by a shiny brass horn glimmering in the sunlit window of a pawn shop across the street, the 14-year-old abandoned his post and set off to negotiate for his first cornet. It was a 1920 C. Bruno & Sons cornet; the sale price $7 plus $1 for a booklet. "How To Play The Cornet."
From Carnegie Hall in New York to home-base at The Landing on the Paseo del Rio in San Antonio, Jim Cullum has been recognized as a leading figure in the jazz world for almost 35 years. He has spent his adult life researching, performing, and presenting repertoire from an often overlooked but increasingly popluar era of American music — jazz and popular song from the 1920s and '30s.
The Jim Cullum Jazz Band, an outstanding all-acoustic septet, offers a superb combination of individual musicianship, sophisticated arrangements and high energy ensemble playing which is the product of their many years performing nightly at The Landing.
"Riverwalk Jazz" presents a season of captivating shows that tell the story of jazz in America. The Jim Cullum Jazz Band's music covers the genre's early years — from turn-of-the-century blues and cakewalks, to the small swing ensembles of the 1920s and '30s. Hosted by the award-winning storyteller David Holt and bandleader Jim Cullum, "Riverwalk Jazz" features The Jim Cullum Jazz Band and special guest artists.
Sponsored by Sun Products, each weekly episode of "Riverwalk Jazz" presents music and narratives, spotlighting renowned artists such as Joe Williams, Lionel Hampton, Dick Hyman, Nicholas Payton, Nina Ferro and Carol Woods.