Julian Hartwell is a sought-after jazz pianist, composer, bandleader, producer, and educator based in Philadelphia, PA. Originally hailing from Birmingham, Alabama, for the better part of two decades he has been performing throughout the Northeast USA and beyond from his home base of Philly, PA – making a name for himself in a vast array of genres, venues, and musical contexts.

Jeff Duperon, WRTI:

“There are so many different styles that you blend in your music that make it a little more memorable. Listening to your music allows the listener to really be invited in, and it’s a warm spot. It has a lot of melodies that are memorable. And when you start creating music like that, that’s long-term. And that’s good.”

Since 2012 Julian has been leading his own group dubbed The Julian Hartwell Project, the primary vehicle for his ever-growing repertoire of 40+ original compositions and arrangements to date. His talents as a composer and arranger, not to mention pianist, are on full display on that group’s self-titled debut album, which garnered favorable reviews from many respected jazz outlets like All About Jazz and others upon its independent release in 2015.

Mark Weber’s Music Blog:

“The Julian Hartwell Project had me hooked upon hearing their first song. It’s a fresh take on jazz music, that somehow manages to sound like something old school AND brand new at the same time.”

“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.”

Edward Blanco on All About Jazz:

“Well worth a sample and repeated spins, The JHP offers a splendid slice of straight ahead jazz delivered with a fresh new sound…Hartwell is one of the young lions of jazz in the making.”

Some of Julian’s memorable career highlights in recent years include a solo performance at the Barnes Foundation presented through Philly Jazz Project, performing at TedX Media, and sharing the stage with jazz luminaries like Terell Stafford, Christian McBride, Jimmy Heath, and Jon Faddis, appearing with the latter two legends on Temple University Big Band’s own 2015 release “Dear Dizzy: A Tribute to Dizzy Gillespie” – which the group had the opportunity to perform at Jazz at Lincoln Center in NYC. In 2018 Julian orchestrated his first tour overseas, performing original music as a bandleader with local musicians in both Berlin and Prague, to widespread positive reception from diverse audiences. 

George Harris of

“All the songs are originals and display a sophisticated sense of tradition and swing…Hartwell’s own touch on the piano is confident and clean, as on the playful ‘Sweet Dreams’ and easy back beat of ‘KnewBlews’…an upbeat delivery.”

In addition to honing his unique voice as a composer in his larger group, Hartwell also finds himself an often in-demand sideman for other projects in the area, in diverse genres. His vast musical sensibilities find him equally at-home interpreting time-worn jazz standards to filling in studio work for pop, RnB, hip-hop artists and more.

Last but not least, Julian continues to explore a more nuanced and exploratory approach in original compositions for solo piano. He is currently working towards his first full-length solo piano record, which will surely unveil yet another dimension to the artistry of this up-and-coming young artist already making waves in the jazz world and beyond.

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Performing Credits:

Julian has performed professionally at venues in and around the Delaware Valley and Northeast USA including:

Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola at Lincoln Center (NYC), Painted Bride Art Center, South Jazz Kitchen, Chris’ Jazz Cafe, Time Bar & Restaurant, The Barnes Foundation, Heritage, Rittenhouse Soundworks, Silk City Diner, Heritage, The Media Theatre, Warmdaddy’s, Prince Theater, World Cafe Live, Performance Garage, Temple Performing Arts Center, The Art Yard (NJ), The Tusten Theatre (Upstate NY), Shrine World Music Venue (NYC), Twins Jazz Cafe (DC), and many others . . . 

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International appearances include:

La Trastienda Club (Buenos Aires, AR); B-Flat Jazz Club (Berlin, DE); U Stare Pani (Prague, CZ)

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Recording Credits / Discography:

Systems Two Recording Studios, Brooklyn, NY “Dear Dizzy: A Tribute To Dizzy Gillespie” by ‘Temple University Jazz Band  Feat. Jimmy Heath & Jon Faddis’ (Released May ‘15)

Boyer Recording Studios and Turtle Studios, Philadelphia, PA; “The Julian Hartwell Project” by The Julian Hartwell Project, 8-track original full-length album (Self-released Oct. 2015)

Morningstar Studios, East Norriton, PA, 4 track EP, ‘Ghost Heron’ Blues Project by Forest Heinz

Art Institute of Philadelphia; 5 track EP, ‘PhilaPhonix’

Forge Recording Studios, Oreland, PA; 4 track EP, ‘Christopher Grand Quartet’

Range Recording Studios, Ardmore, PA; 4 track demo, ‘Drop Collective’

Ted Audio Recording, Philadelphia, PA; feat. pianist on “I Love Christmas” (single) by Palatine

Silvertone Studios, Ardmore, PA; Demo for duo project, ‘Natural Ease’


Please use the Contact tab to inquire about Julian’s teaching rates and availability.