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The San Francisco Traditional Jazz Foundation Collection The Charles N. Huggins Project

- Jim Cullum

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Jim Cullum

President

As a long time board member of the SFTJF and its current President, Jim spearheaded the effort to find a home at Stanford University Library for the Foundation’s extensive archive and successfully ran the campaign to secure funding for this exhibit.

Jim Cullum’s lifelong passion has been researching, preserving, and presenting authentic Traditional Jazz.

In the 1950s, when everyone else his age was listening to Elvis Presley or Connie Francis, Jim Cullum locked onto the sounds of early jazz greats Bix Beiderbecke, King Oliver, and Jelly Roll Morton. He spent long hours in his bedroom quietly listening to the out-of-fashion music of his father’s record collection, until he could whistle Bix Beiderbecke’s solos from memory.

For 50 years, he led his seven-piece traditional jazz band at his club, The Landing, on the Paseo del Rio in San Antonio, Texas. Cullum’s band has been described as,

“The best traditional jazz band in the US, quite possibly the world.”

– Stanley Dance, Jazz Journal International
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The Jim Cullum Jazz Band onstage for a live recording of Riverwalk Jazz, 2007

Jim Cullum’s public radio series, Riverwalk Jazz, was broadcast weekly from 1989 - 2014 on public radio stations nationwide, syndicated on satellite radio, and in its last decade, made available on the internet.

“Riverwalk, Live from the Landing has, since its debut in 1989, been one of the finest of all jazz radio series.”

– Scott Yanow, L.A. Jazz Scene

The Jim Cullum Jazz Band ‘book’ of musical arrangements contains over 3,000 tunes copied from old recordings and music manuscripts from numerous American repositories. By performing these tunes in his club, on the road, and for the Riverwalk Jazz series on public radio, he shared his knowledge of this American genre with millions of people. Jim continues to perform in San Antonio, San Francisco, and across the US.

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Jim Cullum, Sr. and Jim Cullum, Jr. welcome Louis Armstrong to San Antonio, 1965
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Jim Cullum and Louis Armstrong, 1965