Neil Cowley Makes Long-Awaited Return to Nerve Centre for Special Basork Show

Neil Cowley Makes Long-Awaited Return to Nerve Centre for Special Basork Show

Award-winning jazz pianist and former Nerve Centre Musician in Residence, Neil Cowley, is set to make an eagerly awaited return as part of this year's City of Derry Jazz Festival.

Friday, May 4 will see Cowley share the Nerve Centre stage with genre-defying ensemble BASORK, acclaimed instrumentalists Tom Byrne and Lucia McGinnis and performance poet Abby Oliveira for a truly unprecedented coming together of musicians and artists featuring a number of never-before-heard works.

During his tenure as Musician in Residence Cowley inspired, engaged and encouraged countless musicians from across Derry~Londonderry through his numerous workshops and collaborations. As a performer and composer, pianist he creates deeply engaging, and dynamic music that journeys between poetic and poignant, pomp and splendour to powerful rip-roaring riffs.

Since 2013 Cowley has continued to maintain strong links with the city, taking part in one-off workshops and last appearing at the Nerve Centre to perform as part of a special send-off for his successor as Musician-in-Residence, David Lyttle. A track first worked on by Cowley during his residency was also later completed by BASORK and included on the group’s debut album, which was launched last year.

‘I can’t wait to come back to my second home and high five my musical family in Derry,’ said Cowley, joking ‘I do hope no one’s taken my place as Musician-in-Residence, otherwise there’ll be a rather unsightly onstage scuffle.’

Led by multi-instrumentalist and Nerve Centre’s most recent Musician-in-Residence Marty Coyle, BASORK are a captivating ten-piece fusing sounds from across the world into one impossible to define but undeniably fun concoction. Their influences stretch from Irish trad to jazz and from gypsy folk to funk, all woven across big melodies and lots of improvisation!

Tom Byrne is an accomplished harmonica and accordion player who was named Male Musician of the Year at the 2016 Live Ireland Music Awards and has both performed and recorded with legendary artists like Frankie Gavin. Harpist Lucia McGinnis meanwhile has performed and taught all around Ireland and the UK, recorded for the BBC and Sydney Youth Theatre and even had a residency in Byblos, Lebanon.

Completing the unique line-up of guests, who all previously collaborated with Marty Coyle, is writer and poet Abby Oliveira. Based in Derry~Londonderry, Abby has performed her work at countless events and festivals, including Glastonbury, Electric Picnic and the Dublin Book Festival. She was crowned Poetry Slam Champion for two consecutive years at Lingo Festival and has supported names such as Damien Dempsey, Scroobius Pip and Saul Williams.

Tickets for the event, priced at £8 plus booking fee are available from the Nerve Centre box office or

BASORK featuring Neil Cowley and Special Guests is supported by Derry City and Strabane District Council.

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