Pierre Hurel

Headshot Pierre Hurel

General Info


Improvisation Workshop/French

Personal Website


My main goal as an educator is to inspire my students to find their true voice and connect with their individuality by proudly embracing their limitless potential.

Pierre Hurel joined the Conservatory in 1997 and is an instructor of improvisation, jazz piano, time and rhythm, and French.

Born in Paris, Hurel, a painter and composer, was first discovered by Paris Jazz Conservatory's founder, Charles Henry, and has become a fixture in the local jazz scene since his arrival in Boston in 1984. Hailed as "the extraordinary local-but-Paris-born pianist" and "one of Boston's real gems," Hurel appeared on the Boston Globe's short list of the Best Shows of 2003 alongside Norah Jones and Dave Brubeck. He was described by Boston Conservatory's president Richard Ortner as "a musician whose mind, heart, and ear are in perfect synch . . . a colorist and poet who takes us to those places where words leave off," and by Jazz Magazine as a performer "whose music is characterized by grace and elegance."

Hurel has recorded eight albums with his trio, as a soloist, and with his quartet, featuring Donny McCaslin. His music has been featured on New England Cable News, WGBH, WERS, WBUR, WMBR, Paris Jazz, Europe 1, and France Inter. He has appeared in venues including Le Duc des Lombards in Paris, the Knickerbocker in New York, and locally at Scullers and Ryles jazz clubs in Boston, as well as the famous Regattabar, where he regularly gives sold-out performances. His trio has been featured at various jazz festivals, including the Nice and Toulon jazz festivals in France.

As an educator, Hurel's work centers on helping musicians find and express their true and unique voice. To this end, he developed an original approach to teaching non-idiomatic improvisation, and his improvisation workshop has been one of the most popular classes at the Conservatory for the past 11 years. He has also served on the faculty at Emerson College for the past 20 years.

Hurel holds a bachelor's degree in music (commercial arranging) from Berklee College of Music and completed advanced training in jazz piano with renowned educator Charlie Banacos.

Notable Recent Works

  • Inner Conversation (Liger Records, 2015)—Pianist, composer, arranger, producer
  • Portrait (Liger Records, 2013)—Pianist, composer, arranger, producer
  • SOLO (Liger Records, 2010)—Pianist, composer, arranger, producer
  • Live (Liger Records, 2007)—Pianist, composer, arranger, producer
  • The Crush (Liger Records, 2002)—Pianist, composer, arranger, producer


Pierre Hurel's Solo