Neil Cowley

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Neil Cowley
Born (1972-11-05) 5 November 1972 (age 44)
Instruments Piano
Labels Hide Inside Records
Associated acts Diamond Wookie
/Fragile State
Green Nuns of the Revolution
Neil Cowley Trio
Emeli Sandé

Neil Cowley (born 5 November 1972) is a contemporary jazz pianist whose previous incarnations include Fragile State, the Green Nuns of the Revolution, and the Neil Cowley Trio, which appeared on Later... with Jools Holland in April 2008 and won the 2007 BBC Jazz Award for best album for Displaced.[1]


Cowley began as a classical pianist. He performed a Shostakovich piano concerto at the age of 10 at Queen Elizabeth Hall.

In his late teens Cowley moved into being a keyboardist for soul and funk acts Mission Impossible, Brand New Heavies, Gabrielle and Zero 7. He also appeared as a co-composer and session musician with the jazz-rock group Samuel Purdey. An early album was "Foxbury Rules", released under the pseudonym Diamond Wookie.

In 2002 he formed the duo Fragile State with Ben Mynott; after its end, the Neil Cowley Trio.[1]

In 2006 he released an album called Soundcastles under the name Pretz.

In 2008 the Neil Cowley Trio recorded cover versions of The Beatles' "Revolution 1" and "Revolution 9" for Mojo magazine.

In 2012, he appeared as the session pianist on Adele's album 21.

In 2013 he was Musician in Residence for Derry when it was designated the inaugural UK City of Culture.[2]

On 16 September the new album Spacebound Apes was released by Neil Cowley Trio.[3]


  • Foxbury Rules as Diamond Wookie

With Fragile State[edit]

  • Nocturnal Beats
  • The Facts And The Dreams (2003)
  • Voices From The Dust Bowl (2004)[4]

As Pretz[edit]

  • Soundcastles (2006)

With Neil Cowley Trio[edit]

  • Displaced (2006)[5]
  • Loud... Louder... Stop! (2008)[6]
  • Radio Silence (2010)
  • The Face of Mount Molehill (2012)[7]
  • Touch and Flee (2014) [8]
  • Spacebound Apes (2016) [9]

For other musicians[edit]

Cowley has also played piano, as a sideman, for a number of other musicians.[10][11]


External links[edit]