Bachelor of Music (Contemporary Performance - Vocal Major)
Briana is an enthusiastic teacher, composer and professional performer with the experience and attitude that suits anyone from a beginner to a professional singer. She completed her Bachelor of Music Degree (Contemporary Performance, Vocal Major) at the Australian Institute of Music, and provides a comfortable and fun atmosphere for students to grow and develop as a musician and singer. With a great technical approach and versatile with style and genre (jazz, rock, pop, latin, R&B, blues). Briana is a suitable teacher for a student at any level.
“Her songs routinely thwart expectations of where they might go next … Cowlishaw’s lighter-than-air voice drifts and floats, even as it tackles her songs’ harmonic twists.” – John Shand, The Sydney Morning Herald, 2011
“Cowlishaw has a young woman’s voice; high, bright, clean. It’s an attractive instrument, and she uses it accurately and judiciously, delivering her lyrics persuasively. Of course, her work is superbly enhanced by the musicians surrounding her.” – Adrian Jackson, Rhythms, 2011
‘With influences ranging from Joni Mitchell and James Taylor to painters Rothko and Picasso, Cowlishaw’s new sound is bound to be a heady brew’ – The Sydney Morning Herald, 2012.
A voice with a warm and silky timbre, lyrics that ooze honesty and contemplation and melodies that weave beautiful threads, Briana Cowlishaw is a Sydney raised vocalist and composer who has accomplished a large amount in her tender 25 years of age. Inspiration ranging from Nancy Wilson, The Beatles, Joni Mitchell, Ellis Regina, Fiona Apple, Ahmad Jamal and James Taylor, Briana’s approach to singing and composition is quite an intriguing one. Her unique creativity and ability as a performer, improviser and composer continues to cultivate new opportunities for the young vocalist and is paving a very exciting path for her career both in Australia and on an International front.
Briana graduated from the Australian Institute of Music (BMUS) in 2008 and was awarded an ‘Artstart’ grant by the Australia Council of the Arts in 2010 to establish her music career. She jumped on a plane to New York and recorded her debut album of original compositions ‘When Fiction Comes to Life’ with
renowned New York musicians Aaron Goldberg, Reuben Rogers, Gregory Hutchinson, Ambrose Akinmusire and Mike Moreno. Released in Australia May 2011, the album recently received a nomination for ‘Best Vocal Jazz Album’ in the 2012 Australian Jazz Bell Awards.
In 2012, Briana travelled back to New York with a ‘Skills and Development’ grant from the Australia Council of the arts to work closely with a large handful of talented New York singer/songwriters, jazz musicians, composers and producers, some of which include Becca Stevens, Alan Hampton, Ryan Scott, Gretchen Parlato, Chris McNulty, Barry Harris, Aaron Goldberg, Kurt Elling and Sean Wayland. With a growing interest in production and a quest to find a half-way point between the jazz and pop genres, she went on to record her second album ‘Paper Mache City’ with New York producer and guitarist Ryan Scott. The new album fuses elements of pop, jazz, folk and rock with a modern day Beatles flair, “With influences ranging from Joni Mitchell and James Taylor to painters Rothko and Picasso, Cowlishaw’s new sound is bound to be a heady brew.” (George Palathingal, Sydney Morning Herald). ‘Paper Mache City’ was released in Australia October 2013, followed by a national tour with her band to launch the album which visited Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Canberra, Katoomba and Tasmania.
Briana was a finalist in the 2012 National Jazz Awards for Voice and was selected as one of six vocalists from around the world to attend the 2012 Banff International Jazz and Creative Music Workshop in Canada (directed by internationally acclaimed trumpeter Dave Douglas (USA)). A co-founder of a new
international multimedia arts collaboration called ‘The Wires Project’, Briana worked side by side with Sydney pianist Gavin Ahearn, bassist Jonathan Zwartz and drummer Nic Cecire on a two week tour of Asia, June 2013, performing at jazz clubs and schools in Kuala Lumpur, Phnom Penh and Singapore. Briana’s six piece band was later flown over to South Korea to perform at the 2013 Chilpo International Jazz Festival (August 2013), which featured Sydney musicians Peter Koopman (guitar), Gavin Ahearn (piano), Richie Maegraith (Tenor Sax, Bass Clarinet), Alex Hewetson (bass) and Nic Cecire (drums). Most recently, Briana’s new international multimedia arts collaboration ‘The Wires Project’, co-founded by Australian Pianist Gavin Ahearn, travelled back to Kuala Lumpur to perform at KL’s cultural arts festival called Urbanscapes (November 2013). This new improvised based experimental project has prospects to continue performing in Asia and collaborating with artists from Asia in 2014.
Aside from international touring, Briana has completed two national tours of Australia in 2011 and 2012, performing at well known venues The Paris Cat, Bennett’s Lane (Melbourne), The Ellington (Perth), The Underground (NIMA, Newcastle), Venue 505, The Seymour Centre (SIMA), Camelot Lounge (Sydney)
and COMA (Adelaide). She has played alongside some of Australia’s best musicians (Tom O’Halloran, Peter Jeavons, Ben Vanderwal, Matt McMahon, Jonathan Zwartz), supported established Australian artists such as Katie Noonan and sung on stage with internationally renowned New York jazz musicians
Aaron Goldberg, Reuben Rogers and Gregory Hutchinson.
With a hunger to create new art, travel to unseen places and achieve her very ambitious goals, the sky seems to be the limit for where Briana’s creativity will take her next. With two self released albums now being distributed in Australia and Japan, Briana’s musical endeavors have vastly expanded on an International and National front over the past few years. Who knows what 2014 and beyond will bring for Briana and her blossoming music career.
These details were last updated on January 10, 2014