b. 23 July 1972, Guildford, Surrey, England. Hargreaves began playing cello at the age of six and also had piano lessons but it was not until the age of 17 that the piano became his principal instrument. Early jazz tuition was in England before he attended the Berklee College Of Music in the USA. His jazz tutors were Biff Smith, Barry Harris, and Mark Eisenman. Additionally, he studied classical piano with Henry Becker and Marc Durand, and attended Leon Fleisher’s master-classes at the Royal Conservatory of Music. Hargreaves’ formative musical leanings thus embraced the classics and jazz and among influential jazz pianists were, initially, Fats Waller and Art Tatum, then Bud Powell, Wynton Kelly and Oscar Peterson, and later Herbie Hancock, Bill Evans and Phineas Newborn Jnr. In his jazz playing Hargreaves developed an attacking style and virtuoso technique. Early in his professional career he worked in trios in the UK, playing with artists such as Allan Ganley, Malcolm Creese, Martin Drew and Duncan Hopkins.
For Hargreaves’ first regular trio as leader, formed for his own-name recording debut in 1998, he had bass player Andy Cleyndert and drummer Tristan Maillot. Leading and playing in bands ranging from trio to 10-piece ensemble, Hargreaves is comfortable in latter-day bop, fusion and funk. Among regular collaborators in his groups are bass player Andy Hamill, Maillot, David Okumu and alto saxophonist James Knight. Among many other musicians with whom he has played are Guy Barker, Peter King, Mornington Lockett, Jim Mullen, Gerard Presencer, Jean Toussaint, and John Etheridge, having played numerous gigs with the latter, mainly in duo. More recent influences display an intriguing musical mix, encompassing jazz and rock and pop performers such as Brad Mehldau, Chick Corea, the Crusaders, Tower Of Power, Donny Hathaway, Brian Wilson, John Scofield, Marcus Miller, Michael Brecker, Jimmy Smith, Marvin Gaye, and Joey DeFrancesco. In 2005 in addition to working with his trio, with Maillot and Hamill, Hargreaves also had gigs with Michael Bublé, Alison Moyet, Natalie Imbruglia and Harry Beckett. He also composed the title and incidental music for the television programme My Fair Kerry. In addition to piano, keyboards and cello, Hargreaves also plays bass and drums.