The Julian Hartwell Project is a contemporary jazz quintet melding elements of funk, hip-hop, RnB and more into an upbeat, groove-heavy aesthetic. Led by pianist, composer, and arranger Julian Hartwell, this ensemble of up-and-coming players from the Philly scene infuse the small-group traditions of the past with genre-crossing, contemporary panache, embracing a sweet spot between rich, adventurous horn arrangements and inspired group interplay.
In 2015 they released their all-original eponymous debut album to critical acclaim from jazz fans and the general public alike, and have since continued to hone a dynamic live sound with performances throughout the northeast and beyond. Planning to return to the studio in 2019, their next release will showcase new creative directions for the group as they explore collaborations with guest vocalists, instrumentalists, and more.
Sophisticated yet down-to-earth; intellectually satisfying but always sure to groove; it is quite evident that the ensemble known shorthand as “The JHP” is offering a fresh and distinctly soulful take on the jazz idiom, appealing to both the traditional and novice listener alike.
“The JHP offers a splendid slice of straight ahead jazz delivered with a fresh new sound.”
-Ed Blanco, All About Jazz
“Indeed, The JHP puts value on heavy horn arrangements and high-caliber musicianship, and it shows.”
“This is feel good music that doesn’t get too unapproachable like so many jazz groups get…making music that appeals not only to the head, but to the heart as well.”
-Mark Weber, Mark Weber Music Blog
“Liner notes don’t (always) fib…when they say that Julian’s piano playing (along with the rest of his players on this high-energy jazz outing) evokes “funky, soulful & swinging”, they aren’t kidding, or hedging at all…”
-Dick Metcalf, Improvijazzation Nation Blog
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From Julian’s Independent Music Awards Artist Spotlight:
“The JHP is the multi-purpose vehicle/testing ground/workshop for my original compositions and arrangements, where I try out various sounds and front-line configurations…taking the sound I’m hearing in my head and writing on paper to the stage, to be translated in real-time to flesh-and-blood live musicians, who usually also happen to be my friends…”
“…jazz is a wide umbrella w/ as many interpretations as musicians. So to narrow it down I like to use the term nouveau jazz, or groovejazz, to describe what I do, because I just use the jazz tradition, technique, and instrumentation as a springboard for incorporating the ethos of funk, soul, hip-hop, rock and more into a unique and memorable sound.”
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Listen to The JHP here