Julian Hartwell is a sought-after jazz pianist, composer, bandleader, and educator based in Philadelphia, PA. Originally hailing from Birmingham, Alabama, for the past 18 years he has been performing throughout the Delaware Valley and beyond – making a name for himself and sharing his talents at jazz clubs to rock venues, high-class cocktail hours, local jam sessions and everything in between. In addition to an adjunct faculty role in the music department of his alma mater Temple University, some of Hartwell’s most recent career highlights include a solo performance at the Barnes Foundation presented through Philly Jazz Project, gracing the stage of the Media Theatre for the region’s inaugural TedX event, and performing as a sideman with Indian sitar and tabla virtuoso Ustad Shafaat Khan in his East Meets West fusion project. 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. He has shared 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. 

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 release in 2015. (see Press)

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

Last but not least, Julian continues to explore a more nuanced and exploratory approach with a growing repertoire of neo-classical meets jazz compositions for solo piano. He is currently working towards his first full-length solo piano record slated for an anticipated 2020 release, 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’


Private Teaching:

Julian has been teaching private piano, theory, and general music lessons for easily the past decade. He is comfortable teaching many styles of music including rock, pop, blues, jazz, gospel and more. Believing that technique should serve as the gateway to authentic creative expression, he doesn’t let rote exercises and mindless practice get in the way of Music, capital M. His lessons always involve a fair amount of improvisation and play, as tools that will serve the individual desires and musical goals of each particular student, allowing the hidden master to be revealed in students of every level and ability.

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