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|Birth name||James Rudolph Cheatham|
|Born||June 18, 1924|
Birmingham, Alabama, U.S.
|Died||July 12, 2007 (aged 83)|
San Diego, California
In 1978, Cheatham was invited to lead the jazz program at University of California, San Diego. In 1979 he began to direct the school's African American and jazz performance programs. He retired in 2005.
Cheatham met his wife, Jean Evans, in 1956 in Buffalo, New York, when the local musicians' union chief called them separately to replace two musicians who could not make a job at the local Elks Ballroom. They married in 1959.
In the mid-1980s Cheatham formed The Sweet Baby Blues Band with his wife. The Sweet Baby Blues Band played Kansas City style blues. Cheatham's Sweet Baby Blues album won a French Grand Prix du Disque. Their album Luv in the Afternoon was voted blues album of the year in a 1991 critics poll in Down Beat magazine.
Cheatham's legacy is carried on by several students who went on to become, like him, prominent composer/performer/educators: flutist Nicole Mitchell, bassist Karl E. H. Seigfried, and drummer Vikas Srivastava.
With Jeannie Cheatham
- Sweet Baby Blues (Concord Jazz, 1985)
- Midnight Mama (Concord Jazz, 1986)
- Homeward Bound (Concord Jazz, 1987)
- Back to the Neighborhood (Concord Jazz, 1989)
- Luv in the Afternoon (Concord Jazz, 1990)
- Basket Full of Blues (Concord, 1992)
- Blues and the Boogie Masters (Concord Jazz, 1993)
- Gud Nuz Bluz (Concord, 1996)
With Bill Dixon
- Intents and Purposes (RCA Victor, 1967)
With Chico Hamilton
- El Chico (Impulse!, 1965)
- The Further Adventures of El Chico (Impulse!, 1966)
- The Dealer(Impulse!, 1966)
- The Gamut (Solid State, 1968)
- Juniflip (Joyous Shout, 2006)
With Grover Mitchell
- Meet Grover Mitchell (Jazz Chronicles, 1979)
- The Devil's Waltz (Jazz Chronicles, 1981)