Illuminate Festival and Music Capital presents Neil Cowley - Ciaran Lavery - Maria Kelly
Neil Cowley... having made a unique and influential stamp on the UK music scene, Neil Cowley is known for his impressive instrumental skills and dynamic compositional approach.
Unbound by genre, his bold and open approach to composition has resulted in a musical output that draws on a variety of styles; from soul, contemporary classical, orchestral, pop, and notably, jazz.
Having studied classical music at the Royal Academy of Music, in 2002, Neil Cowley formed the electronica duo Fragile State with DJ and producer Ben Mynott, the band which produced two critically acclaimed albums. Following this, he formed the Neil Cowley Trio, incorporating elements of jazz, soul and electronica. Cowley established his own label, Hide Inside Records in 2006 and from there released his trio’s debut album Displaced. The trio appeared on Later…with Jools Holland and went on to win the highly esteemed BBC Jazz Award for best album, for Displaced.
Other highlights from his impressive career to-date include playing piano with Adele (21), and further associations with; Birdy (Fire Within), Rihanna (As Real As You and Me), Zero 7 (When It Falls), and Emeli Sande (Our Version of Events).
Ciaran Lavery...Having grown up in Aghagallon in Northern Ireland’s County Antrim, Lavery has made a point of breaking free from the preconceptions surrounding Irish singer-songwriters. Taking inspiration from the likes of Thom Yorke, Mitski, Bjork and The Beastie Boys, Larvery has shaped himself to astound listeners with his defiant musical style. Compelling, honest songwriting carried by his distinctive vocal and unique twist of the idea of a singer-songwriter have built him a critically acclaimed reputation.
Scooping praise from the likes of The Independent, Clash, Complex, The Irish Times and with over 125 million streams across DPS, Lavery is clearly doing a lot right. Lavery is ever evolving across his four studio albums, one of which, Let Bad In winning The Northern Irish Music Prize.
Maria Kelly...Maria Kelly’s world of delicately woven alt-folk is laced with a sincerity that cuts to the bone. Finding comfort in the confessional styles of artists like Regina Spektor, Daughter, and Lucy Rose, she soon transferred her own introspections to music, developing a sound that is as delicate as it is disarmingly frank.
With the world at a standstill, 2020 saw Maria retreating to a small cottage on the south coast of Ireland. It’s here that Maria found space to write and record her eagerly anticipated debut album “The Sum of the In-between” – a blank canvas and an open sea with which to take stock and reflect on her 20s so far. “The Sum of the In-between” is out now on Veta Records.
“..hauntingly honeyed vocals.” - Paste Magazine
"..poignant folk music at its very best" - Nialler9
"The Sum of the In-between’ is without a doubt one of the finest alt-folk albums to come out of Ireland in quite some time." - Golden Plec