Julian Hartwell is a sought-after pianist, composer, 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 U.S.  – making a name for himself in a vast array of genres, venues, and ever shape-shifting 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.”

Over the years Julian has developed an extensive body of original work that melds his jazz, funk, soul, RnB, and modern music influences, most visibly expressed through The Julian Hartwell Project, his quintet of 7+ years. 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. He followed this album at last with LYVELIFE in March of 2021, a highly-collaborative effort incorporating a slew of special guests from the Philly scene that branches further into worlds of RnB, funk, and much more.

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.”

Some of Julian’s notable career milestones include a solo performance at the Barnes Foundation presented through Philly Jazz Project, performing a slot 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. 

Thanks to 2020 and its attendant challenges to live music, Julian has steadily transitioned into the world of music production by growing his skillset in all things production/mixing/mastering over the last two years, building on his previous talents. Using a well-honed ear and accumulated years of music theory knowledge to his advantage, Julian currently finds himself wearing the hat of Music Producer more often than mere instrumentalist these days – as he dives headfirst into the world of sync licensing and custom music production to support himself and grow a catalog of original material. Check out a sampling of different genres he has composed in so far, as he seeks to develop his voice as a producer in this next stage of his evolving music career, right here!

At the moment Julian is working on a collaborative album of meditation music, a body of cinematic/soundtrack material, and a few more surprises in the pipeline that you’ll just have to keep those eyes (and ears!) out for in the next few months!

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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:

Rittenhouse Soundworks, Retro City Studios, Philadelphia, PA. “LYVELIFE” by The Julian Hartwell Project & Special Guests. (Released March ‘21)

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 (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.