Whether leading a jazz piano trio or composing for orchestra and film, Reuben Allen is an adept story teller, drawing listeners into the unique experience of every piece. Reuben has been honored to share the stage with Wynton Marsalis, Dianne Reeves, Bernard Purdie, John Boutté, and Bob Brookmeyer, and has performed at the New Orleans, Torino, and Stanford Jazz Festivals as well as at venues including The Blue Note and Dizzy's Club in New York City. His compositions and arrangements have been performed by the Kenny Barron Quintet at the Village Vanguard, the Houston Symphony Orchestra with The Suffers, the Navy Commodores Jazz Ensemble, and the Eastman Saxophone Project. Reuben’s string quartet arrangement of Aaron Copland’s Hoe Down was performed in Statuary Hall following the Inauguration of President Obama in 2013. As a composer for film, he created music to the documentary "Lives Visible" which explores the history of Chicago's lesbian community and contributed to the feature film "The Second Sun" as co-composer, arranger and orchestrator.
Born in Chicago, Reuben was fortunate to be surrounded by beautiful music from a young age, including live jazz performed by local and touring masters at the Jazz Showcase as well as classical music from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Thanks to his parents, he discovered recordings by Duke Ellington, Oscar Peterson, and Miles Davis, which inspired him to study jazz throughout high school. Reuben went on to earn Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the Eastman School of Music in Jazz Performance and Composition/Arranging respectively, as well as the Artist Diploma in Jazz Studies from Juilliard. During these years, he was fortunate to study with Kenny Barron, Frank Kimbrough, Harold Danko, and Bill Dobbins. Reuben currently lives in New York where he is an active performer and composer, and teaches jazz piano and arranging courses at the Juilliard Evening Division.