Julian Hartwell Horner is leader of the jazz band, The Hartwell Project, which will perform “Jazz for Lovers” at the Chestnut Hill Quaker Meetinghouse on Valentine's Day.

Julian Hartwell Horner is leader of the jazz band, The Hartwell Project, which will perform “Jazz for Lovers” at the Chestnut Hill Quaker Meetinghouse on Valentine’s Day.

by Ron Petrou

“The Hartwell Project,” a jazz band led by Julian Hartwell Horner, 24, will perform “Jazz for Lovers” on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, 7:30 to 9 p.m., at the Chestnut Hill Quaker Meetinghouse, 20 E. Mermaid Lane. They will play music, instrumental and vocal, from the standard jazz/Broadway repertoire, including songs by Cole Porter and renditions once performed by Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald. Donations of $10 are requested. Refreshments are included.

Julian is a senior and jazz performance major in Temple’s Boyer College of Music, who performs on keyboard with Temple University’s Big Band, a jazz band led by Terell Stafford, head of the department and a highly regarded jazz trumpeter. The vocalist is Chelsea Reed, also a jazz performance major at Temple who is the lead singer with Temple University’s Big Band.

The Big Band is the “face” of Temple’s jazz program. They rehearse every week and give two or three concerts every semester. In the spring they will perform at Lincoln Center in New York. The Temple jazz program hosts a regional high school jazz band festival, including the high schools in Cheltenham, North Penn and Lower Merion.

Julian went to elementary school in Birmingham, Alabama, has lived in Mt. Airy and Bryn Mawr, and graduated from Harriton High School on the Main Line. He also attended Kimberton Waldorf School, where his father, Germantown resident Robert Horner, taught high school English. His mother, Caryl Johnston, is the author of several books of poetry, essays, novels and a recently published memoir and family history, “Stewards of History,” about John Hartwell Cocke.

He was a controversial and honored Virginia plantation owner in the ante-bellum South, who was a friend of Presidents Monroe, Madison and Jefferson, was one of the founders of the University of Virginia, and who educated and liberated some of his slaves, some of whom founded Liberia. Johnston’s father was a civil rights attorney during the 1960s in Birmingham, Alabama. Caryl has written several articles for the Chestnut Hill Local, including one about the lively jazz scene in Philadelphia.

Julian’s band, “The Hartwell Project” has performed at LaRose in Germantown and Chris’ Jazz Café in Center City. He majored in jazz performance at the University of the Arts from 2007 – 2009 and spent four months with his brother in Argentina in 2009-10.

“Jazz is music where you have the ability to express yourself as an individual,” said Julian, “but at the same time to play in a community of musicians. It is a democratic art form, combining absolute freedom with group cooperation … Duke Ellington called jazz ‘American Classical Music.’

“I like to play because it takes a lot of discipline and hard work to master technically. Playing is ultimately rewarding because it is a search for one’s deepest self and truest voice to shine and be heard … Jazz is a developing art form that is always reinventing itself. In a jam session total strangers can go on the bandstand and instantly play a song from the repertoire in a new way that they have never heard before.

“Philadelphia is a major cradle and hotbed of jazz. Many famous jazz musicians lived and played here: John Coltrane, sax; McCoy Tyner, piano; Jeremy Heath, sax; Lee Moran, trumpet; Larry McKenna, sax, and many more.”

For questions about the performance, please call 267-429-7749 or email ronaldpetrou@aol.com.