Coming To America
His label committed £1 million to making him a star, and he’s well on his way, singing for Queen Elizabeth and joining in with fellow U.K. phenomenon Katie Melua for a resounding duet at the Brit Awards.
Unfortunately, he’s being branded as a “jazz artist” when he sounds a lot more like a piano man from New York. Actually, he sounds a lot like THE piano man from New York, Billy Joel, who definitely can’t be pigeon-holed.
“Someone who is in love with jazz is going to get annoyed when I’m called the greatest British jazz artist alive today, which is fair enough,” Cullum told the U.K.’s Independent.
“People question whether I’m jazz at all, and I resolutely say I am, but I’m not pushing the boundaries in the usual way. I’m pushing the limits of the music in terms of how entertaining and accessible it can be without making lift-music.
” I’m trying to find out whether you can get 16-year-olds who listen to The Strokes and 20-year-olds who listen to house music to think, ‘Actually, this is cooler than I thought.'”
The twenty-something piano player starts things off in Portland, Ore., then Seattle and San Francisco. Dates include Denver, Minneapolis, New York, Toronto, Philadelphia and even Nashville before saying goodbye to the States in Austin, Texas, October 29.