Composer and classically trained pianist Stanley Cowell is one of the greatest living exponents of jazz. He performs professionally as a solo pianist and in ensembles, from duo to orchestra, in a variety of venues, often using electronic sounds and African finger piano. The Toledo, Ohio, native earned his bachelor's degree at the conservatory, and his master's degree at the University of Michigan. He's also studied at the Mozarteum Akademie, Salzburg, Austria, and has done graduate work at Wichita State University and the University of Southern California.
Cowell established himself as a versatile and sensitive pianist and composer, performing with such renowned and diverse artists as Sonny Rollins, Clifford Jordan, Oliver Nelson, Donald Byrd, Roy Haynes, Miles Davis, Abbey Lincoln, Stan Getz, Art Pepper, among others. From 1974-1984, Cowell toured, recorded, and conducted workshops throughout the Americas, Europe, and Japan as the featured pianist with the Heath Brothers—Percy, Jimmy, and Albert.
Cowell has also taught jazz piano at the New England Conservatory, Boston, and was a professor at Lehman College, CUNY, teaching music history, jazz history, piano, improvisation, and electronic and computer music. He is currently a tenured professor at Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. He and his wife, Sylvia, currently produce concerts in Prince George's County, Md., through the Piano Choir, Inc., a nonprofit music and educational organization.