Reuben Allen is a pianist, composer, and educator from Chicago. Based in New York City and active in its vibrant music scene, Reuben holds an Artist Diploma in Jazz Studies from the Juilliard School as well as Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Jazz Performance and Composition from the Eastman School of Music. He has performed at major venues including the Blue Note in New York, the Torino Jazz Festival, The Jazz Showcase in Chicago, and the Stanford Jazz Festival and has been honored to share the stage with Diane Reeves, Jimmy Heath, Bob Brookmeyer, Peter Erskine, Steve Nelson, and Bernard Purdie. A versatile composer, Reuben’s works range from original compositions and arrangements for jazz ensembles and classical chamber groups to music for film.
In December 2014, the Kenny Barron Quintet performed his original composition For the People throughout a week-long residency at the legendary Village Vanguard in New York. In January 2013, Reuben’s string quartet arrangement of Aaron Copland’s “Hoe Down” was performed for President Barack Obama, members of the U.S. Supreme Court, and Congress following the Inaugural Ceremonies in Statuary Hall. His music to the film “Benny and Jack’s Flying Machine” was featured in a screening at Juilliard’s Beyond the Machine Festival 14.2 in March 2014. Reuben’s work has also been performed by the U.S. Navy Band Jazz Commodores, the Eastman Jazz Ensemble, and The Eastman Saxophone Project. He is the recipient of a number of awards including the ASCAP Foundation Young Jazz Composer Award, the Max Schirmer Prize in Jazz Composition from the Eastman School of Music, and 1st place in the Chicago Union League’s Jazz Improvisation and Composition Competitions.
Grateful to have studied with a number of mentors including Kenny Barron, Frank Kimbrough, Harold Danko, and Bill Dobbins, Reuben is an enthusiastic and committed educator himself, who strives to guide and inspire students of all ages. Reuben has taught privately and conducted masterclasses at the Torino Conservatory of Music, the Stanford Jazz Camp, York College, and the Eastman Community Music School. As a Gluck Community Service Fellow at Juilliard, he performed interactive outreach concerts for residents and patients at hospitals, nursing homes, and alternative care facilities throughout New York City. Last May, Reuben received the Juilliard Artist Diploma in Jazz Studies, a two-year program in which a select group of musicians performs and conducts educational outreach throughout the United States and abroad.