b. Julian Raphael Nathaniel Joseph, 11 May 1966, London, England. Pianist and band leader Joseph has been at the forefront of attempts to break down barriers between jazz and classical traditions. His 20-piece All Star Big Band certainly includes some of the most prominent musicians in both genres, including Tony Remy, Jean Toussaint and Andy Sheppard. His records have received excellent reviews from several quarters, yet Joseph treats them as little more than an adjunct to his live performances: ‘Recording is just a documentation of where you are creatively. Live is where you move on and do other things.’ His concerts, at venues including the Royal Albert Hall, Wigmore Hall and the Barbican in London, and the Montreal Jazz Festival in Canada, have captured a wide range of supporters.
The successful marriage of disparate forms arose as the result of Joseph’s studies in classical composition at the Berklee College Of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, where he would blend the required listening of Prokofiev and Beethoven with jazz influences such as Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock. His third album, meanwhile, documented his set at the Wigmore Hall auditorium, which featured Alec Dankworth, Eddie Daniels, Jason Rebello and Johnny Griffin. In the same year he also performed Gershwin’s Piano Concerto In F, live on BBC television, as well as a duet with Bheki Mseleku. Afterwards he began a fourth album, this time a studio affair with the aid of drummer Mark Mondesir and bass player Reginald Veal.