Award winning composer since the age of 15 and still doing what comes naturally. A pianist now and since early lessons with Oscar Peterson's sister Daisy Sweeney. After a courtship with guitar and bass through a journey of rock and country the natural progression was back to the piano and jazz to form a Canadian band called the jazzmongers! which recorded two CDs and had seen much success via film, television and radio. Just put Ken Skinner or jazzmongers! in a search engine for more on that phase of development.
Live is limited to concerts with ticket sales in order to simply afford it. As my music developed and grew larger in scope and membership I found it almost impossible to keep it alive. Its like you've created a travelling symphony orchestra. Bars are full of elements and even with a small group it is sometimes just the wrong environment to play music in unless you can turn up your amp. Will play anywhere that has enough cash to support music in kind. I've had the great joy of working with some of the most talented people in the world such as Salome Bey, Sedella Marley Booker, Bunny Wailer, Bob Mover, Kirk MacDonald, Ronnie Prophet. Special moments include performances of my original material with a big band at the Glenn Gould Studio and working with Kimberly Glasco of the National Ballet of Canada for the BRAVO! network. My favorite jam session moment was the night I played with Wynton Marsalis.
Recordings. 78s, 45s, 33s, CDs. I find myself very influenced by Thelonious Monk for his great angular concept harmonically, and Horace Silver for his hard-driving funk and soul. Both men serve as great examples to me of people driven to do things their own particular way. Creation from a place of profound beauty and truth. I think it is aptly reflected in their work as composers and bandleaders. "Monk's Dream" on Columbia is simply a masterwork and when I think of Horace I always think of "Blowin' the Blues Away" released on Blue Note around 1958-59. After you look at those cats you might understand what Mingus was all about at this time in his offerings for Columbia and "Mingus Ah-Um" is another great recording that rocked my ears as a composer and artist. Of course growing up in Montreal and having a jazz pianist for a father led to being taught by Daisy Sweeney who is Oscar Peterson's sister. My godfather was Oscar's brother Chuck. This means that you listen to a lot of Oscar Peterson and Art Tatum from the time you could pick music out of the air as being different from all the other noises you hear. Errol Garner and Fats Waller. All the greats. Naturally I also have a very deep love for european art music as well and cite the Russian composers amoung some of my most favorite.
That changes from week to week doesn't it? These days I'm doing the bulk of my work on a computer using editing programs I stole off the net.
Know who you are but don't take yourself too seriously.