Terry Disley was born in London. He studied Piano and theory of music at the Salterton School of Music from the age of 9-18. He studied piano for 12 years studying classical repertoire, as well as jazz, composition, harmony and arranging for 10 years. In 1982 Terry and his group Macondo received the award for Best Jazz Musician’s of the year from the Greater London Arts Association.
He started composing at age 11 and by 13 was writing for his own electric/acoustic chamber group. Terry has gone on to write for a multitude of ensembles. Including string quartets, electronic contemporary dance music, jazz big band, ambient new age music and contemporary pop songs. In 1997 he composed the music for the motion picture ‘Monument Avenue’, a Ted Demme film which premiered at the Sundance film festival.
He also wrote 2 compositions for the Grammy Award nominated “Back on the Case” album by British new age jazz group Acoustic Alchemy, with whom he toured and recorded for six years. He also wrote “the Beautiful Game” for Alchemy—a top ten hit for 16 weeks and resulted in a top twenty placement in the “Best Contemporary Jazz Album of 2000” —Billboard Magazine.
As a player and performer Terry was featured soloist with London’s Metropolitan Orchestra on the soundtrack of the movie “Beautiful Girls” starring Matt Dilon and Uma Thurman, in which Timothy Hutton played the part of a pianist for whom Terence created the music. He also was featured on soundtracks for “The Ref”, “Showgirls” and “Crime Time” along with Marianne Faithful.He is a highly acclaimed jazz pianist and has appeared many times at London’s prestigious Ronnie Scott’s club alongside luminaries such as McCoy Tyner, Cedar Walton and Monty Alexander.
He collaborated with pop star Dave Stewart (Eurythmics) on a whole range of projects throughout 1992-97. One highlight was appearing live in concert at 5 Bob Dylan shows in Tokyo in 1997 to 5,000 people a night—although his biggest audience so far was with ska band Madness at the Roskilde Festival in Denmark—85,000 people. He was Dave Stewart’s musical director for 5 years, recording 25 albums and 4 major motion picture soundtracks.
As a session player in London he was much in demand and has been commissioned to work on projects with Sir Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Sir Mick Jagger, Brian Wilson, Van Morrison, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Tom Jones and Bon Jovi.
Since 1997 he has lived in San Francisco recording and performing with his own projects.