Local jazz legend Jim Cullum Jr. dies at 77
SAN ANTONIO – Jim Cullum Jr., a legendary San Antonio jazz artist who, for nearly five decades, entertained locals and visitors alike at the Landing on the Riverwalk, died Sunday, his personal assistant confirmed.
Cullum, 77, and his cornet were at the heart of the Jim Cullum Jazz Band. When Cullum's Riverwalk gig ended a few years ago, he and his band continued to perform at restaurants such as Cookhouse and Acadiana Cafe.
The Syncopated Times attributed Cullum's death to either a fall or a heart attack.
According to Cullum's website, his involvement in the Riverwalk Jazz public radio program brought him national acclaim.
"The Band has, on numerous occasions, toured internationally, performed at Carnegie Hall and often included other legendary greats in appearances," his website states.
John Sheridan, who played the piano for the Jim Cullum Jazz Band for more than 30 years, told KSAT that Cullum took the band to great heights.
"He was one of a kind, and he was great to work for," Sheridan said. "And because I was with him, I got a chance to go places I would never have got to go otherwise. I mean, it was a great career. You know, I mean, he made that possible."
Mayor Ron Nirenberg released the following statement regarding Cullum's death:
“For decades, Jim Cullum kept the flame of jazz burning in San Antonio, and it was through his gift as a band leader that he’s given life to a new generation of musicians. We will miss him, but Heaven just got a little more swingin’. Rest In Peace, Jim.”
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