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Julien Knowles

“Music to me is a mystery, unfolded only as it is created.”

- Julien Knowles

Trumpeter of the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz Class of 2023, Julien Knowles was mentored by numerous legendary jazz artists including Ambrose Akinmusire, Terri Lyne Carrington, Herbie Hancock, Walter Smith III, and Wayne Shorter. During his time in the full-fellowship graduate program Julien toured internationally with pianist and mentor Herbie Hancock, and currently leads master classes across the country on improvisation, composition, and pedagogy. Julien has studied composition with Billy Childs, John Hollenbeck, and Vince Mendoza, and trumpet with Ralph Alessi and Dan Rosenboom.

Since moving to Los Angeles in 2021, Julien has toured the United States with Louis Cole and performed as a sideman with Gerald Clayton, Joe LaBarbera, and Alan Ferber. Julien holds a weekly residency at The York, performing alongside David Binney, Justin Brown, and a revolving cast of L.A.’s most coveted jazz musicians. Julien appears on Two Legs Bad— the latest release by ECM recording artist and alto-saxophonist Peter Epstein— and is currently awaiting the release of his debut album As Many, As One on Biophilia Records, featuring original compositions for quintet and string quartet.

Julien is commissioned by the Reno Jazz Orchestra, The University of Nevada, Reno, and various independent contractors for big band and chamber ensemble pieces. In 2023, Julien’s piece “Tempest Quake” for quartet and string quartet was selected as a winner of the Ravinia Steans Music Institute Bridges Composition Competition. Julien’s arrangement of trumpeter Ralph Alessi’s composition “Arim Issela” was debuted by the Swiss Jazz Orchestra, and the Reno Jazz Orchestra’s recent release Next: New Directions showcases 3 of Julien’s new compositions and arrangements for large ensemble. Julien is credited as a producer on releases by fellow rising-star alto saxophonist Devin Daniels (Grandiose) and the Reno Jazz Orchestra (Next: New Directions).

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