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Julian Argüelles

Julian Argüelles

British musician
The basics
Occupations Saxophonist Composer Jazz musician
Countries United Kingdom
Gender male
Birth January 28, 1966 (Birmingham)
Authority Discogs id ISNI id Library of congress id Musicbrainz id VIAF id
The details

Julian Crook Argüelles (born 28 January 1966) is an English jazz saxophonist. He is Professor of Jazz Saxophone at the KUG Jazz Institute in Graz, Austria as well as leading his own bands, touring as a sideman and arranging and writing music worldwide.

Life and career

Born in Lichfield, Staffordshire, Argüelles was raised in nearby Birmingham, the younger brother of the jazz drummer Steve Argüelles.

Argüelles started playing with big bands including the European Community Big Band that toured throughout Europe. In 1984 he moved to London. He studied briefly at Trinity College of Music before joining the much acclaimed band Loose Tubes, staying with them for four years and recording two albums. In 1986 he received the prestigious Pat Smythe award for young musicians.

The first album by Julian Argüelles, Phaedrus, featured pianist John Taylor. The second CD Home Truths was a quartet which included Steve Swallow.

Argüelles has worked with musicians drawn from around the world including Archie Shepp, Tim Berne, Hermeto Pascoal, Steve Swallow, John Abercrombie, Dave Holland, Peter Erskine, Chris McGregor, Evan Parker, Mike Gibbs, John Scofield, Carla Bley, Dudu Pukwana, Arturo Sandoval, and Giorgio Gaslini. Julian was also a member of several big bands including The HR in Frankfurt, The Kenny Wheeler Big Band, Django Bates' Delightful Precipice and Colin Towns' Mask Orchestra.

In July 1995 Argüelles performed a concerto specially composed for him by Mario Laginha with the Lisbon Symphony Orchestra and still performs with Mario.

Argüelles was commissioned by BBC Radio 3 to write 60 minutes of music for a new octet. It was performed and recorded at Bath International Music Festival in May 1996. The group toured and recorded and the CD, called Skull View, was released in 1997 also on the Babel Label. His second octet CD Escapade was released in the autumn on the Provocateur label.

Argüelles has been commissioned to write and arrange for the HR Frankfurt, Phronesis, Scottish National Jazz Orchestra, Apollo Saxophone Quartet, his octet (by Birmingham Jazz), Berkshire Youth Jazz Orchestra, Walsall Youth Jazz Orchestra, The Fenland Youth Symphony Orchestra, NDR (North German Radio Big Band) and Royal Academy of Music. In 1999 Julian was the recipient of the Jazz Composers Alliance Composition Award from the USA.

In 1999 Argüelles released Escapade. His second, some five years later, was As Above So Below – a large scale work for jazz and classical musicians featuring the 20 piece Trinity College of Music String Ensemble. The album evolved from a commission that was originally performed in Saint Wendreda's Church in March in the Fens.

In addition to performing, he recently took a full-time post as Professor of Jazz Saxophone at the KUG Jazz Institute in Graz, Austria and until recently held

teaching posts at York University (Octet in Residence), The Royal Academy of Music and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He has also taught on various summer schools such as Glamorgan Jazz School, Edinburgh and Manchester summer schools and the Royal Conservatory, Den Haag. Jazz Musician in Association at the Royal Northern College of Music and at the University of York.


As leader

Argüelles in Aarhus, Denmark, 2015
Photo: Hreinn Gudlaugsson
  • Phaedrus (1991)
  • Home Truths (Babel, 1995)
  • Scapes (1996)
  • Skull View (1997)
  • Escapade (1999)
  • As Above So Below (2003)
  • Partita (2006)
  • Inner Voices (2009)
  • Momenta (2009)
  • Ground Rush (2010)
  • Circularity (2014)
  • Let It Be Told (2015) - Winner of Parliamentary Jazz Award for best CD 2016
  • Tetra (2015)

As sideman

With Loose Tubes

  • Delightful Precipice (1986)
  • Open Letter (1988)

With Django Bates

  • Summer Fruits (and Unrest) (JMT, 1993)
  • Winter Truce (and Homes Blaze) (JMT, 1995)

With Carla Bley

  • Big Band Theory (1993)
  • The Carla Bley Big Band Goes to Church (1996)

With Kenny Wheeler

  • The Long Waiting (2012)

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