MAVERICK is a term which is often applied to Chilly Gonzales.

Performer, composer, rap artist and musician, the Grammy Award winning pianist will be coming to Manchester's Royal Northern College of Music next week to showcase his latest album - Solo Piano III - which completes a trilogy of work which he began 14 years ago.

But it's not as though he has been idle in between.

He's worked with everyone from Jarvis Cocker to Drake and this year has even opened his own music school - the Gonzervatory though which he aims to bring back the art of performing live.

A conversation with the Canadian-born artist is as wide ranging as you might expect given his CV, covering everything from Zen masters, the career of Franz Liszt and the inherent problems facing the recording industry.

Solo Piano III comes some six years after its predecessor which in turn took eight years to bring to fruition.

"I'm constantly writing," he said, "but I had to and wait until I had a collection of songs that can only be properly expressed alone at the piano. It was question of waiting until those songs came together and which worked together to provide the end of the trilogy.

"Although it was a solo record, I didn't feel as though there were less constraints. If anything it felt a bit more stressed than usual as I knew I was competing with two records which exist in people's cannon so the expectation from them was already there.

"I'm very lucky that the first two albums made it into many people's collections but you do feel that legacy when you make that third record"

With the trilogy now complete Chilly - real name Jason Beck- is in no hurry to produce a fourth solo piano work.

"I'm not sure I want to step up to the plate a fourth time," he said. "Plus Solo Piano IV as a title sounds underwhelming."

From avant garde compositions to hard core rap, Chilly's output over the years has left many fans wondering where he will go next.

But the man himself believes that his musical diversions aren't as random or wild as they may seem

"When I started out I may have been changing with every album but that wasn't me being deliberately radical," he said. "I think it was more about me finding out about myself.

"Certainly something changed around 2011 or 2012 and if you look you'll see I haven't haven't written any rap lyrics since then or made any electronic beats. From that point my career has been a little more conventional than you might expect."

Having said that, Chilly believes that he was 'hard-wired to surprise people'.

"As an artist you have to surprise people as well as satisfy them," he said. "The artists which have a long career understand that - it's like the Miles Davis/Picasso approach where you have different phases in your musical life."

His main mission now is developing the Gonzervatory idea. This year he took seven very different artists and helped them become true performers.

"Young performers in the era of Soundcloud can make music and find an audience with very little cost which is a great thing," he said, "But it is taking them away from the thing that music has always been about - the performance. I have a five or 10 year quest to teach what people think is unteachable."

Chilly Gonzales, RNCM, Manchester, Tuesday, September 11. Details from 0161 907 5200 or