Neil Cowley

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Neil Cowley
Born (1972-11-05) 5 November 1972 (age 48)
London, England
LabelsHide Inside
Associated actsDiamond Wookie
/Fragile State
Green Nuns of the Revolution
Emeli Sandé

Neil Cowley (born 5 November 1972) is an English contemporary pianist and composer. He has also released music as part of Fragile State, the Green Nuns of the Revolution, and the Neil Cowley Trio. With his trio, he appeared on Later... with Jools Holland in April 2008 and won the 2007 BBC Jazz Award for best album for Displaced.[1] In 2018, Cowley announced he was working on a new electronic focused solo project.[2] In 2020 Cowley announced his debut solo album 'Hall of Mirrors' [3]


Cowley was born in London, England.[4] He began as a classical pianist and 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, the 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.[5]

On 16 September 2016, the album Spacebound Apes was released by Neil Cowley Trio.[6]

In 2018, Cowley announced that the trio was on hiatus and he was working on a new electronic focused project.[2]


As leader/co-leader[edit]

Neil Cowley Trio

  • Displaced (2006)[7]
  • Loud... Louder... Stop! (2008)[8]
  • Radio Silence (2010)
  • The Face of Mount Molehill (2012)[9]
  • Touch and Flee (2014)[10]
  • Live At Montreux 2012 (2013)
  • Spacebound Apes (2016)[11]

Neil Cowley

  • Spacebound Tapes (2018)[12]

With Diamond Wookie

  • Foxbury Rules

With Fragile State

  • Nocturnal Beats
  • The Facts And The Dreams (2003)
  • Voices From The Dust Bowl (2004)[13]

With Green Nuns of the Revolution

  • Rock Bitch Mafia (1997)[14]

With Pretz

  • Soundcastles (2006)

As sideman[edit]


  1. ^ a b Sowerby, Neil (17 April 2008). "Cowley's clash of genius". Manchester Evening News.
  2. ^ a b "Neil Cowley calls time on his trio". Retrieved 8 August 2020.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Neil Cowley Trio: Slims". 18 April 2013. Retrieved 5 June 2018.
  5. ^ "Meet Neil Cowley - PRS for Music Foundation". Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  6. ^ "Neil Cowley Trio: Spacebound Apes". Retrieved 5 June 2018.
  7. ^ Nicholson, Stuart (18 June 2006). "The Neil Cowley Trio, Displaced". Observer Music Monthly.
  8. ^ Fordham, John (28 March 2008). "Neil Cowley, Loud ... Louder ... Stop!". The Guardian.
  9. ^ Fordham, John (12 January 2012). "Neil Cowley Trio: The Face of Mount Molehill – review". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 January 2012.
  10. ^ "Jazz News - Jazzwise Magazine - London". Retrieved 5 June 2018.
  11. ^ "Neil Cowley Trio: Spacebound Apes (Hide Inside Records) - Bearded Magazine: The Home of Independent Music". Retrieved 5 June 2018.
  12. ^ "Self-Titled - Stream Neil Cowley Trio's Spacebound Tapes EP, Featuring Remixes From Rival Consoles, Throwing Snow, and More". Retrieved 24 July 2018.
  13. ^ Smith, Jack. "BBC - Music - Review of Fragile State - Voices From The Dust Bowl". Retrieved 8 August 2020.
  14. ^ "Green Nuns Of The Revolution - Rock Bitch Mafia". Retrieved 5 June 2018.
  15. ^ "Neil Cowley Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 9 June 2014.
  16. ^ "Birdy (8) – Fire Within". Retrieved 9 June 2014.

External links[edit]