Julian began his career as a musician at the age of fourteen touring throughout Europe with the European Community Big Band. Quickly he gained recognition as an original musician and joined the much acclaimed 21 piece UK big band “Loose Tubes”. He stayed with them for four years and recorded two albums. Since their demise Julian has collaborated with fellow Tubes member Django Bates who appears on Julian's album "Escapade" - on Provocateur Records. In 1986 Julian was awarded the prestigious Pat Smythe award and has also been awarded several BBC awards. His main interest continues to be writing and performing with his own band. In 1990 the Julian Argüelles Quartet, with John Taylor, Mick Hutton and Martin France recorded their first CD "Phaedrus". The second CD "Home Truths" was released in 1995 with Mike Walker on guitar, Martin France on drums and Steve Swallow on electric bass. This was followed by a project with his brother Steve Argüelles, entitled "Scapes" which was released in 1996. The BBC commissioned Argüelles to write 60 minutes of music for a new band to be premiered at the 1996 Bath Festival, the Octet was formed and the music became his fourth album "Skull View" which was voted Jazz CD of the Year 1997 by the Independent on Sunday. His previous two albums (Scapes & Home Truths) had been voted Jazz CD of the Year in both 1995 and 1996.
Julian has worked with musicians drawn from around the world including Archie Shepp, Tim Berne, Hermeto Pascoal, Steve Swallow, John Abercrombie, Dave Holland, Peter Erskine, Chris McGregor, John Schofield and Carla Bley. Julian is also a member of several big bands including The Kenny Wheeler Big Band and Colin Towns' Mask Orchestra.
In 1999 Julian released his first album for Provocateur the critically acclaimed Escapade. His second, some 5 years later, was the much anticipated As Above So Below – a large scale work for jazz and classical musicians featuring the 20 piece Trinity College of Music String Ensemble. The album evolved from a commission that was originally performed in Saint Wendredas Church in March in the Fenlands. The result is an album charged with a wide range of emotional and melodic surprises.
'one is left almost speechless with admiration.' THE INDEPENDENT 2004