Nuances presents
Julia Biel

GB

GER

Vocals, compositions

An award-winning original artist - singer, songwriter, piano player, producer, and guitarist - Julia Biel brings together a self-taught and singular approach to jazz with folky, diasporic, art-pop sensibilities and an instantly recognisable and timeless voice that drips with emotion with every syllable.

Fiercely gentle, and channelling depth and defiance as well as joy and triumph via the music that flows through her, the half German, half South African, British-born artist has been one of the leading lights of London’s vibrant jazz scene since the release of her much fêted debut ‘Not Alone’ back in 2005. With the release of the MOBO-nominated ‘Love Letters and Other Missiles’ (2015) and its eponymous follow-up ‘Julia Biel’ (2018), extensive worldwide touring with her band ensued and she was to be found performing headline sets alongside household names right across the UK, Europe and beyond at some of the world’s biggest jazz festivals including an opening set for Bob Dylan at his request for his gala concert at Stuttgart’s Schloßplatz for JazzOpen, Rochester International Jazz Festival (New York), Jazz in Marciac (France), Zorlu PSM Festival (Istanbul), and many, many more.

Now, four albums in, Julia Biel is taking a bold next step in her artistic evolution. Arising out of the challenges of touring from her base in the UK in 2020 in a post-Brexit landscape and during a global pandemic, she needed to undertake her 2020 French dates with Paris-based musicians at short notice and in the single rehearsal that was possible, the music spoke for itself. It quickly became clear that something magical was taking place in the happenstance of the line-up and the seeds of a Paris recording were sown.

Wanting to go deeper and further musically, fifth album ‘When If Not Now’ builds on the noted spiritual dimension of her critically acclaimed solo voice and piano record ‘Black and White, Vol.1’ (2020) to further the sonic explorations around the singular character of her voice and piano sound world with the combined talents of drummer Tilo Bertholo (GREGORY PRIVAT), originally from Martinique, plus the masterful double bassist Samuel F’Hima (DAÏDA), alongside the revered UK tenor saxophonist (and her longstanding musical partner) Idris Rahman (ILL CONSIDERED, WILDFLOWER, SOOTHSAYERS), whose reputation as an incredible spiritual jazz player has also been travelling far and wide.

The results are a testament to music’s ability to connect both musicians and audiences on a shared wavelength no matter where they are from. Openness, curiosity and the authentic vitality of music made in the moment are revealed as Julia Biel’s main priorities here, feeding her need to search for truth in a complicated modern world.

Upcoming concerts
16
Oct
Black and White, Vol. 1
20:00 - Rhino Jazz Festival, Saint-Chamond (FR)
Bands
Jazz, soul, pop
Black and White, Vol. 1

Solo :

Julia Biel - vocals/piano/guitar

OR

Trio/quartet :

Julia Biel - vocals/piano/guitar

Idris Rahman/Rob Updegraff - saxophone/guitar

Viktor Nyberg - double bass

Tilo Bertholo - drums


An award-winning original artist – singer, songwriter, piano player, producer, guitarist – whose neo mellow sound combines an indie jazz approach with folky art-pop sensibilities, Julia Biel’s soulful, unhurried, unmistakeable and timeless voice drips with emotion with every syllable. Fiercely gentle, she soothes and stirs the listener in equal measure whether accompanying herself on the acoustic solo and stripped back piano versions from her current ‘Black and White’ series or singing over fuller studio productions.

Since her debut album release in 2005, the airy folk-jazz of the much praised ‘Not Alone’, Julia has emerged as one of the leading lights of London’s vibrant jazz scene. With her unique artistry combining powerful songwriting skills and an individual jazz vocal style, she has gone on to produce two further full studio albums as band-leader featuring her self-penned material. MOBO-nominated ‘Love Letters and Other Missiles’ (2015) and the eponymous album ‘Julia Biel’ (2018) have resulted in the last few years being filled with extensive touring for Julia and her band and have seen them performing headline sets right across the UK, Europe and beyond at some of the world’s biggest jazz festivals such as Rochester International Jazz Festival (New York), Jazz in Marciac (France), Zorlu PSM Festival (Istanbul) and many, many more.

Being able to count the likes of Bob Dylan (for whom she opened at Stuttgart’s Schloßplatz during the JazzOpen Festival in 2019), Jamie Cullum (who frequently features her on his BBC Radio 2 show) and Ben Watt of Everything but the Girl (with whom she has collaborated alongside the german producer Stimming) among her famous fans has certainly given added momentum to her word-of-mouth success but the dual British and German national with South African roots has quietly been earning rave reviews and winning over the hardest of hearts with her spell-binding performances wherever she goes.

Listen
song cover
Broken Little Pieces
00:00
00:00
  • Broken Little Pieces

  • You Could Turn a Rainbow Grey

Videos
Photos
Press
SÜDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG
« Her awe-inspiring voice and melancholic sensuality captivated the audience right from her very first note and did not let go over the full one and a half hours of an impressively spell-binding performance. »
STEREOPLAY
« It only takes a few notes to fall in love with this voice. Bets are on: the beginning of an extraordinary career. »
FRANCE INTER
« Billie Holiday, Chet Baker, Amy Winehouse... today Julia Biel joins their ranks without the need for drugs. »
ANDRE MANOUKIAN
MADAME FIGARO
« On ne peut être qu'envoûtés par l'univers sonique planant de cette artiste »
PAOLA GENONE
TELERAMA SORTIR
« Avec sa voix fêlée, ses chansons à fleur de peau et sa maîtrise d'un registre sophistiqué mais jamais factice, la chanteuse anglaise fait mouche dans son troisième album... Autant dire qu'il ne faut pas la manquer. »
LOUIS JULIEN NICOLAOU
L'HUMANITE
« Une musicienne totale... On entend un arc-en-ciel irisé d'altérité, l'espoir d'une humanité pacifiée »
FARA C.
A NOUS PARIS
« Des chansons finement ouvragées et des arrangements délicats »
STEPHANE KOECHLIN