Late last week, an elite group of San Franciscans gathered in the second floor ballroom of the St. Regis Hotel in downtown San Francisco for a night of jazz with Jamie Cullum. The event was a part of Jazz Legends at the St. Regis, a series of intimate jazz performances taking place at various St. Regis’ locations all over the world. The flagship St. Regis in New York City was once host to many great jazz artists such as Duke Ellington and Count Basie. This history and appreciation for jazz inspired the hotel to launch the Jazz Legends series to introduce a new generation to the pleasures of jazz.
And a pleasureful evening it was. The walls of the ballroom were covered in billowing green, teal, and blue curtains and small circular tables, that seated four people, surrounded the stage which sat in the middle of the room, with a grand piano majestically waiting to be played. Gilded gold chairs with plush blue cushions awaited the well-dressed guests at the tables, which were covered in sequin cloths. On each table sat a platter with the tiniest, most-adorable caviar-topped deviled egg’s you’ve ever seen and a plate of colorful delicate French macaroons.
The Veuve Clicquot flowed freely as did the Belvedere martinis, garnished with a cucumber ribbon or salty olive, made to order at the bar. As the guests found their tables, a team of waiters passed more delectable bites: mini cheeseburgers, spoonfuls of creamy tuna tartare, polenta fries with spicy aioli served cleverly in shot glasses, and potato blinis with caviar. Once everyone was seated, Jamie Cullum began his wildly entertaining performance. With over 10 million albums sold worldwide, Cullum is the most successful jazz artist in the history of the UK. His memorable show was a combination of show tunes, he sang a ballad from Sweeney Todd, old-school favorites like Frank Sinatra’s I Get No Kick From Champagne, and new pop hits such as Bruno Mars‘ Uptown Funk. Cullum’s blend of pop, jazz, piano, and smooth lyrics combined with his humorous chats in between songs (in which he made fun of his five-foot-four height and praised San Francisco’s world class jazz students) charmed the crowd and many of the guests were singing along and dancing in their chairs.
Not afraid to share the spotlight, Cullum invited two local boys, one under the age of ten and another in his late teens, to join him on stage. Both musicians wowed the audience with their mastery of jazz. Cullum’s St. Regis world tour continues, so if you find yourself in Mexico City, Mumbai, Bangkok, New York, or Macao before the end of the year, we highly recommend you catch the lovely event.