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. As a jazz pianist, Reuben has been honored to share the stage with Wynton Marsalis, Dianne Reeves, Bob Brookmeyer, Bernard Purdie, and John Boutté, and has performed at the New Orleans, Torino, and Stanford Jazz Festivals as well as at venues including the Blue Note, Birdland Theater, and Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola in New York City. In May of 2019 he performed the music of Thelonious Monk as part of the Music for a Great Space Series in Greensboro, North Carolina with the Kevin McDonald Trio.
As a jazz composer and arranger, his piece For the People was performed by the Kenny Barron Quintet at the Village Vanguard, the Navy Commodores Jazz Ensemble, and has earned him the ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Award. His arrangements for orchestra and chamber ensembles have been performed by the Houston Symphony Orchestra with The Suffers and the Eastman Saxophone Project at the Prismatic Debussy Festival. 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" and contributed to the feature film "The Second Sun" as an arranger and orchestrator.
Born just north of Chicago, Reuben grew up listening to music by local and touring jazz masters at the Jazz Showcase, the world renowned Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and a diverse mix of genres thanks to his parents’ record collection. Upon discovering albums by Duke Ellington, Oscar Peterson, and Miles Davis in high school, he began studying jazz and classical piano and earning Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the Eastman School of Music in Jazz Performance and Composition/Arranging as well as the Artist Diploma in Jazz Studies from Juilliard. He 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.