– About The Band –

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jim cullum

JIM CULLUM - cornet, leader

Jim Cullum is a jazz cornetist and band leader who has been active mostly in San Antonio, Texas for over 50 years.  Beginning in a partnership with his late father, a clarinetist, Mr. Cullum also has specialized, developing an individual sound from the pre-World War II traditional jazz stylings.  He is influenced, though not dominated, by the playing of Bix Beiderbecke, Louis Armstrong, Texas cornetist Garner Clark and the blues singing of Bessie Smith.

One of the highlights of Mr. Cullum’s career that has brought national acclaim is his development of and performance in Riverwalk Jazz, a highly successful weekly nationwide public radio program.

The Jim Cullum Jazz Band, under Mr. Cullum’s direction, has become widely known.  The Band has, on numerous occasions, toured internationally, performed at Carnegie Hall and often included other legendary greats in appearances.

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mike pittsley

MIKE PITTSLEY - trombone

Mike Pittsley took up the trombone when he was 10 and was playing professionally by the time he was in high school. The Northern California native gained an abiding appreciation of vintage jazz from his involvement with the Sacramento Traditional Jazz Society. He joined the Jim Cullum Jazz Band in 1978 and during his initial 12-year stay appeared on over 100 broadcasts of Riverwalk, Live from the Landing. After leaving the band, he worked as a freelance musician, taught low brass and co-led the Mission City Hot Rhythm Cats — a traditional jazz band which also included Jim Cullum Jazz Band alumni Mark Hess and Eddie Torres. For several years Mike was the principal substitute for Kenny Rupp with The Jim Cullum Jazz Band. When Kenny departed the band in April, 2011, Mike rejoined the band as the full-time trombonist.

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john sheridan

JOHN SHERIDAN - piano

John Sheridan began his musical training, studying the piano, at the age of seven. His life was forever changed when at the age of eight, his father brought home the recording of Benny Goodman’s 1938 Carnegie Hall concert. He was immediately taken with the piano playing of Jess Stacy and Teddy Wilson, who remain two of his primary influences to this day.

After graduating from Capital University in Columbus in 1968, Sheridan enlisted in the US Navy. He was assigned to the prestigious US Navy Band in Washington, DC, serving there until his discharge in May, 1972. It was during his military service that John began arranging. John joined The Jim Cullum Jazz Band in 1979 as pianist and principal arranger for the band. He has written over 1,000 arrangements for the ensemble.
  
He left the band at the end of 2002, to work as a freelance musician and arranger. He performed at jazz parties across the U.S. and recorded extensively with his own “Dream Band” which included vocalist Rebecca Kilgore. John returned to the Jim Cullum Jazz Band in August, 2011.

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phil flanigan

PHIL FLANIGAN - string bass

Bassist Phil Flanigan is one of the most versatile jazz musicians active today. He is comfortable in a variety of settings from Traditional Jazz to Bebop, and his impressive resume' includes work with a remarkable assortment of musicians in all Jazz styles.
  
One of Phil's first musical associations was with saxophonist Scott Hamilton, and that led to tours of Europe, Japan and many recordings on the Concord Jazz label. When the Scott Hamilton Quintet played a residency at Eddie Condon's in New York, Phil frequently sat in with the legendary trumpeter Roy Eldridge at nearby Jimmy Ryan’s. Other great musicians has Phil worked with include Benny Goodman, Vic Dickenson, Wild Bill Davison, Dick Wellstood, Jimmy McPartland, Ruby Braff, Maxine Sullivan, Kenny Davern, Rosemary Clooney, Sonny Greer and Ed Polcer. He has recorded over 90 sessions for labels such as Arbors, Nagel-Heyer, Atlantic and others.

Phil's bass playing has won praise from fellow bassists such as Bob Haggart and Ray Brown as well as musicians in the Traditional, Swing and Modern Jazz style. He has conducted bass clinics and has written and arranged his own compositions -- including string quintets.

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(All photos except Phil Flanigan by James Cullum)

Note: For full-band presentations, the Jim Cullum Jazz Band is augmented by great musicians such as Allan Vache', Evan Arntzen, Bob Leary and others.

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