Category Archives: Performing Artists

Julian Hartwell

Julian Hartwell is a sought-after pianist, composer, bandleader, and educator living and working in Germantown and the surrounding Philly area. Although most rooted in jazz, he is influenced by many genres such as funk, soul, hip-hop, and RnB that all contribute to his distinctive sound.

Career highlights so far include sharing the stage with major names Christian McBride, Jimmy Heath, and Jon Faddis at Lincoln Center with the Temple University Jazz Band.  In addition he has appeared  with the latter two musicians on that band’s release from Spring 2015 entitled “Dear Dizzy: A Tribute to Dizzy Gillespie.”

Julian’s full skill-set as a composer, arranger, and pianist in his own right are most evident on his band’s all-original debut album “The Julian Hartwell Project,” which released to critical acclaim in October of 2015. He continues to hone his talents as a sideman and leader with The JHP and the Julian Hartwell Trio, as well as explore a more nuanced approach with a growing repertoire of neo-classical compositions for solo piano.

Connection to Germantown: Julian has been living in Germantown for a year+ and has no intentions of leaving anytime soon, continuously inspired by the artistic community he finds here and the connections he makes. He teaches and works often from his home studio and lends his hand to community ventures like the recently founded Pastorious Community Garden, among others.



Twitter handle: jewelz_hartwell

Also see:

Jim Hamilton

resized Jim Hamilton

Jim Hamilton, drummer/percussionist, has worked with a wide variety of artists from Judith Jamison (Alvin Ailey) to Tony Braxton. He is a founding member of The Spoken Hand Ensemble and Alo Brasil. He has his own percussion group called “The Rhythm Poets” and plays often with Richard Drueding. They have just released a new c.d. called “Smoke”.

“I’ve been playing my whole life. My musical motivation or style is born of my desire to find a commonality between all music’s of the world. Through my own rhythmic expression I’m attempting to blend this multiplicity of musical dialects into a cohesive whole. I believe there is no “pure’ or singular anything in music. It’s always a mixture of something or the something’s that came before it and, as with language, you can pull the syllables apart and see where those individual parts came from. Most of my own work has this singular interest and focus.

For me, creating in ensembles is very much like playing scrabble. The more letters you have the better chance you have of making up new words that reflect your understanding of the language your speaking. In this sense each individual or ensemble has its own unique “culture” and as such, has the potential to influence its surroundings. Art itself is an expression of who we all are.”

Connection to Germantown: Hamilton has lived on Rittenhouse Street for about 25 years, and has welcomed a plethora of notables to his basement recording studio and teaching space, from steel-drum ensembles to spoken-word artist Ursula Rucker.

Current Projects:
Barakka- Original Turkish Rock
•The Rhythm Poets
•Richard Drueding
•Ensemble Novo…The New Wave Of Brazilian Music
•Atzilut… Arab and Israeli Traditions, Uniting through Music
•Gina Roche… highly original acoustic music with a Brazilian tinge.
•Fabio Fonseca Trio…with saxophonist Tom Moon.
•Jim Hamilton Tim Motzer Duet
Global Illage

baraka group 2-1

Tony Miceli


Tony Miceli has been performing for the last 30 years on the vibraphone.  He is a musician, performer, composer, and teacher who performs presently as a leader and sideman in countless jazz clubs and concert halls throughout the US and abroad.

He has performed with such jazz greats as David Friedman, Joe Magnarelli, Dave Liebman, and Elio Villafranco.  He has played in festivals and clubs including the Degu Jazz Festival( Korea), The Percussion Festival of Patagonia, The Reading Jazz Festival, The Melon Jazz Festival, Festival De Primavera (Santa Eufemia, Spain), Somers Point Jazz Festival (Somerspoint, New Jersey), Chilpo International Jazz Festival (Pohang, South Korea), Long Wood Gardens Wine and CheeseJazz, 12th International Percussion Festival of Patagonia,the Kimmel Center(Pennsylvania), The Jazz Standard, The Zinc Bar, The Irridium, The 55 Bar(NYC), Evans Club (Korea), Thelonious (Argentina), and The Mallet Institute(Dusseldorf Germany) and many others.

Tony’s workshop appearances include The Curtis Institute of Music, The Royal Academy of Music in Dublin, Ireland, Millersville University, and the Universities of Delaware, North Dakota, Iowa, among others.

•Tony is the founder and artistic director of
•Teaches at  University of the Arts and Temple University
•Tony has recently moved to Germantown

Tony Miceli

Monnette Sudler


Monnette Sudler is a jazz guitarist, composer, vocalist, bandleader, performer, poet, and recording artist known throughout United States and internationally. She has performed with many jazz greats including Hugh Masakela, the late Grover Washington Jr., Byard Lancaster, Odean Pope, Kenny Baron, Steve Turre, Frank Lacey, bassists Gerald Veasely and Reggie Workman. She has recorded with poets Sonia Sanchez and Pew fellow Trapeta B. Mayson.

Monnette is the recipient of the Transformation Award from the Leeway Foundation as well as the Art and Change Grant 2014.  Most recently Monnette received two grants – one from The Philadelphia Chapter of the Composers Forum for “If You Could Hear These Walls Talk”, in cooperation with the Mural Arts program, and the other, an Artist in Residence Grant, from the Kimmel Center in collaboration with vocalist/composer Vennissa Santi.

She is the founder and artistic director of the Philadelphia Guitar Summit going into its 7th year. In addition to the PGS annual concert, workshops she has offered include String and Roots Folklore, Women Behind the Guitar and the guitar techniques of Pat Martino and Lionel Loueke.

•Produced several CDs, most recently, “Born Again” Ladies Night Out released on MSM Records in 2012 which features an all-female quartet (Guitar, drums, organ and alto/soprano sax).

• •Studied at Berklee College of Music and received her degree from Temple University’s Esther Boyer College of Music majoring in composition, music therapy and performance.

•Included in recent publications: The Great Jazz Guitarists: The Ultimate Guide by Scott Yanow and Growing up with Jazz: by Royal Stokes

•Native Philadelphian living most of her life as a resident of Germantown.

•Affiliations: BMI-Broadcast Music Inc.; ASCAP Academy of Recording, Arts and Sciences, Inc. NARAS; American Composers Forum, Philadelphia Chapter; P.A.E.P. Philadelphia Arts in Education Partnership; Chamber Music America , Mechanical Copyright Protection Society MCPS/PRS

For events, gigs, lessons:
Contact: 267-626-0054
Tool free: Fax/vmail: 877-542-9491

Noriko Kami, Leesa Dawn Robinson,Monnette Sudler,Lynn Riley

Noriko Kami, Leesa Dawn Robinson, Monnette Sudler, Lynn Riley

Karen Smith

Karen Smith(center), percussionist and playwright,
with Weez the Peeple ( V. Shayne Frederick and Bert Harris)

Karen Smith is a percussionist leading for Weez the Peeples in performances throughout the city as well as Sistahs Laying Down Hands, a spoken word, vocals, dance and percussion ensemble. During the summer of 2014 she took her drumming talents to the Youth Advocacy Program of the Mural Arts Program. Karen recently acted as Outbeat Coordinator for American’s First Queer Jazz Festival as well as performing in this groundbreaking jazz event in Philadelphia.

Since the start of 2012, Karen has been utilizing her theater management skills to create a production company of her own, which entails overseeing budgets, contracts,connecting with sponsor, interviewing and hiring performers for workshops and full production of her project “3 Divas 3” performed both in Philadelphia and NYC in 2014. Currently, Ms. Smith will be premiering a multi-media play in February entitled, Stay Free, focusing on the leadership of Frederick Douglass.

Over the last few years Karen has worked in after school programs combining positive self expression through live music (drumming circle) along with exercise and nutrition routines.

Karen continues to volunteer with The Philadelphia Futures Organization: a not-for-profit organization that prepares high school students from low-income families to enter and succeed in college.

Born in Brooklyn NYC, living in Germantown, Pa.

Karen Smith profile         IMG_118584243399050


Steve Giordano

Steve-Giordano 5-(small )

I have been a musician since the age of 6. Although I have had a few “teachers” along the way at different times in my life, my real teacher has been the music itself. Obviously, our ears are the most important and personal mechanism when it comes to music. Musical knowledge should never supersede listening. Along these lines, our musical taste is personal, but deserves the chance to evolve without being stifled by rules or close minded opinions. In my young adult search for a jazz teacher, I never quite found what/who I was looking for because everyone had a “method” that never included self musical exploration or how to think about music. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise for me because I looked at music from a common sense point of view without inhibitions and sort of became, for my students, the teacher I was looking for.

The following is my life’s understanding of music and how to play with it, have fun with it, and experiment with it and hopefully, how to think about it. Please check out the “writings” section to read more about my thoughts on music and teaching, and feel free to get in touch if you are interested in taking a lesson.

I have lived in Germantown for 20 years teaching and doing house concerts through Groupon/Sidetour.



My composition/jazz projects:
Behn Gillece – vibes
Steve Meashey – bass
Joe Mullen – drums
Bob Meashey – trumpet/flugle horn
Steve Giordano – guitar

Musical Candlelight
Steve Giordano/Carla Jenkins (composition project)


Organ Trio: Dave Posmontier – organ,Dan Monaghan – drums,Steve Giordano – guitar

Guitar Duo: Jason Klinke – guitar,Steve Giordano – guitar

Symbiosis Syndicate: John Swana – EVI/Trombone,Bob Meashey – trumpet/flugle horn,John Mosemann – percussion,Joe Mullen – percussion,Steve Giordano – piano/synthesizers

Various trios with various world class musicians