As we fast approach what’s expected to be a very different Christmas for us all this year, the multi- platinum selling musician and multi-instrumentalist Jamie Cullum, today reveals plans to help lift our Christmas spirits, and bring us all together this festive season by joining him in an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the largest music lesson ever held. Jamie will be hosting a virtual music lesson on the 9th December to teach people how to play the Christmas carol, ‘In The Bleak Midwinter’. The music lesson will be in association with Bonza, a new generation resource for music in schools, supporting teachers and learners alike and led by some of the world’s best known artists.
Jamie says, “I had really wanted to create music that would celebrate the bringing of people together at this magical time of year. I wrote the album during the first lockdown and at that point I don’t think any of us imagined that we’d still be in a similar situation come Christmas time. I’ve seen so many imaginative ways of creating a spirit of togetherness from the artistic community this year, in spite of how physically apart we’ve actually been. I’m passionate about how music and the participation of making it can form such powerful bridges between people. With that in mind, I will be holding a virtual music lesson on the 9th of December to teach people how to play a Christmas carol on the piano. Schools across the UK will be getting involved but the lesson is open to absolutely everyone and together we’re going to attempt to break the world record for the largest music lesson ever held! So if you want be part of a special Christmas moment and be part of breaking a world record, join me on Dec 9th at 2pm. You can head to thepianomanatchristmas.com to sign up and receive all of the information.”
Drawing listeners into a world imbued with seasonal sophistication, Jamie’s latest album, The Pianoman at Christmas out today via Island Records, features 10 original songs played by 57 of Britain's best musicians. The album was recorded in Abbey Road's famous Studio 2 and is produced by Greg Wells whose The Greatest Showman soundtrack spent 28 weeks at number 1.
Jamie appears on the album cover with his wife, the author Sophie Dahl, creating a cinematic and timeless image in collaboration with the photographer Jane Hilton.
Speaking on the album release, Jamie said -
“So much of the Christmas music we all love is stuffed full of all the things I am really drawn to in songs. Our ears seem ready from December onwards for big bands, huge orchestras, beautiful chord changes and focused, timeless lyrics. It is a world of classic songwriting that I have been operating in since the beginning of my career. So I set myself the task to try and write ten, original Christmas songs that used these skills and obsessions to create something uncynical and adventurous, full of the joys and complexities of the season, that could be something you feel like reaching for every year. I have been so lucky that every corner of this record has been touched by the world’s best - from the legendary Studio 2 at Abbey Road, to the engineers, the arrangers, the producer and mixer. I hope the care, attention to detail and sheer joy that we put into this record will bring a little magic this Christmas.”
Meeting Jamie’s sharp songwriting with an army of orchestral percussion, The Pianoman at Christmas is a joyful homage to the festive season. Through delights ‘Hang Your Lights’, ‘So Many Santas’, ‘Christmas Never Gets Old’ and more, Jamie intwines playful Christmas lyrical imagery in an album to be enjoyed by the whole family.
Jamie surprised Amazon Music listeners this month with an exclusive Amazon Original reimagined version of ‘In The Bleak Midwinter’. The track is part of Amazon’s slate of brand-new Christmas content for listeners including releases from Justin Bieber, Jess Glynne, Mary J. Blige and Carrie Underwood.
The Pianoman at Christmas follows the 2019 release of Jamie’s ninth studio album and most introspective work to date Taller. Jamie entwined funk, pop and gospel influences on Taller and the release saw him bravely explore personal subject matters with a fresh sense of authenticity, each song reflecting a desire to grow, learn and explore life. The album went on to land in the top 20, was lauded by the likes of The Sunday Times and The Arts Desk for its ‘sublime’ songwriting and it even picked up an Ivor Novello award for the prescient ‘Age of Anxiety’ from the project.
Jamie commenced the electrifying Taller live experience in February 2020 and is set to resume the UK and European tour in 2021 playing the likes of London’s Palladium and Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall - full dates below.
With 11 million album sales to date, Jamie is a celebrated musician the world over with loyal fans in every corner of the globe. With a career spanning over 20 years, his legendary live shows have seen him perform and work alongside artists as diverse as Herbie Hancock, Pharrell Williams, Kendrick Lamar and IDLES - Jamie writing on the latter’s latest album Ultra Mono. The success of Jamie’s major label breakthrough, Twentysomething in 2003 and its follow up Catching Tales saw him nominated for a BRIT, Grammy and numerous other awards around the world. In addition to his enduringly successful recording career, Jamie has also established himself as a multi-award winning music broadcaster; his BBC Radio 2 show celebrated its 10th year on air this year.
The Pianoman at Christmas Tracklist:
1. It’s Christmas
2. Beautiful, Altogether
3. Hang Your lights
4. The Jolly Fat Man
5. The Pianoman at Christmas
6. Turn On The Lights
7. So Many Santas
8. Christmas Never Gets Old
9. How Do You Fly?
10. Christmas Caught Me Crying
17th April 2021 – Cardiff, St David’s Hall
18th April 2021 – Portsmouth, Portsmouth Guildhall
19th April 2021 – Oxford, New Theatre
21st April 2021 – London, Palladium
22nd April 2021 – London Palladium
26th April 2021 – Liverpool, Philharmonic Hall
27th April 2021 – Manchester, Bridgewater Hall
29th April 2021 – Gateshead, Sage One
EU TOUR DATES
2nd May 2021 – Germany, Wendelstein, Eventhalle Jazz & Blues open
3rd May 2021 – Germany, Gronau, Bürgerhalle, Jazzfest
4th May 2021 – Germany, Berlin, Tempodrom
10th May 2021 – Switzerland, Zurich, Samsung Hall
11th May 2021 – Germany, Ludwigshafen, Feierabendhaus
12th May 2021 – Belgium, Brussels, Cirque Royal
14th May 2021 – Netherlands, Utrecht, TivoliVredenburg, Grote Zaal
16th May 2021 – Poland, Wroclaw, National forum of Music
18th May 2021 - Germany, Munich, Philharmonie
24th May 2021 - Germany, Frankfurt, Jahrhunderthalle
2nd June 2021 – Czech Republic, Prague, O2 Universum
3rd June 2021 – Germany, Hamburg, Stadtpark
7th November 2021 -Germany, Aalener JazzFest
8th November 2021 -Germany, Hannover, Kuppelsaal
10th November 2021 – Germany, Leverkusener Forum Jazzstage
11th November 2021 - Germany, Leverkusener Forum Jazzstage
12th November 2021 - Germany, Ingolstadt, Festsaal, Ingolstädter Jazz Days
24th November 2021 - Monaco, Monte Carlo, Opera Garnier, Monte Carlo Jazz Festival