Women in Jazz Media: In Conversation with Julia Biel


Manage episode 338148789 series 3338721
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Welcome to our latest episode of ‘In Conversation With’ featuring music from Hannah Horton! You can now find our podcasts in the top 60 Best Jazz Podcasts in FeedSpot! Click here In this episode, host Hannah Horton welcomes our special guest, award winning British singer, songwriter, piano player, producer and guitarist Julia Biel.

An award-winning original - singer, songwriter, piano player, producer and guitarist - whose neo mellow sound combines her jazz approach with art-pop sensibilities, Julia Biel’s unhurried, unmistakable and timeless voice drips with emotion with every syllable. Dubbed ‘fiercely gentle’ (Jazzwise) early on in her career, she continues to sooth and stir the listener in equal measure whether accompanying herself on her acoustic, stripped back piano versions in her current ‘Black and White’ series or singing over fuller studio productions.

Critically acclaimed solo albums featuring her self-penned songs, ‘Black and White, Vol.1’ (2020), ‘Julia Biel’ (2018), ‘Love Letters and Other Missiles’ (2015) and ‘Not Alone’ (2005), as well as MOBO and Urban Music Award nominations have launched the British artist onto the worldwide stage whilst collaborations with the likes of Ben Watt (Everything But the Girl), Stimming, Polar Bear and Soothsayers have given added momentum to her word of mouth success. In 2019 her music reached the ears of Bob Dylan who hand-picked her to open for him at his concert in Schloßplatz, Stuttgart as part of the Jazzopen Festival.

Her trademark warm and textured voice draws on the spirituality of gospel music, the joie-de-vivre of soul, the sorrow of the blues and the freedom of jazz, whilst poetic lyrics reveal a sharp perspective on life and love against a magical backdrop of contemporary musical soundscapes to lose yourself in. The sound of an intense inner musicality paired with a defiant passion and a burning and individualistic creative spirit, these are the qualities that have seen Julia Biel compared time and again to some of music’s most celebrated voices ranging from Joni Mitchell, Nina Simone and Billie Holiday to Björk, Radiohead, Amy Winehouse and Chet Baker.

“There’s so much strength that shines through their vulnerabilities”, says Julia of these comparisons. “They inspire me to be fearless in mood and melody - that’s what I’m striving for.”


Hannah is a British Female Jazz Saxophonist whose music is rooted in jazz, folk and funk. She has performed with many great jazz artists including Ian Shaw, Amy Winehouse, John Etheridge, Tina May, Georgia Mancio, Polly Gibbons, Natalie Williams, Esther Bennett and Irene Serra; and at venues including Ronnie Scott’s, Pizza Express Dean St, The 606, The Pheasantry, Love Supreme Jazz Festival, Royal Festival Hall and The Barbican. She has also toured in Europe and USA with her own and other groups. Her latest album has been going down a storm across the world.

“Hannah makes the big beast of a baritone sax sound like an angel” – Ian Shaw


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