Julian Hartwell is a sought-after pianist, composer, bandleader, and educator based in Philadelphia, PA. Originally hailing from Birmingham, AL, his family made the move north to Philly when Julian was a ripe twelve years old, helping contribute to the musical evolution of the budding young pianist by exposing him to the rich musical legacy of performers and educators that the city has to offer. It was here that the language of jazz truly took hold and led him on the path to where he is today.
And it is just that – as over the past 15 years he has performed throughout a wide swath of the Delaware Valley and Philly area – from jazz clubs to rock venues, music ministry to high-class cocktail hours, weddings, jam sessions, and everything in between. Attending University of the Arts for jazz performance and later finishing his degree at Temple University, he now finds himself as an adjunct professor teaching piano and theory classes at his alma mater. Career highlights so far include sharing the stage with major names like Christian McBride, Jimmy Heath, and Jon Faddis at Lincoln Center with the Temple University Jazz Band, in addition to appearing with the latter two musicians on that band’s release from Spring 2015 entitled “Dear Dizzy: A Tribute to Dizzy Gillespie.”
Since 2013 Julian has been leading his own group The Julian Hartwell Project, providing an ever-evolving platform for his growing repertoire of 30+ original compositions and arrangements to date and finding his voice not only as a pianist but a composer as well. These talents are on full display on that group’s self-titled debut effort, garnering favorable reviews (see Press) from All About Jazz and others upon its release in late 2015. He continues to hone his talents as a sideman and a leader with The JHP and other groups around town, as well as continuing to explore a more nuanced and exploratory approach with a growing repertoire of neo-classical compositions for solo piano. 2018 currently finds Julian writing and arranging the music for a next collaborative recording project featuring guest vocalists and MCs, and in general just living, breathing, and making music the majority of his waking hours.