ABOUT

In a long and varied career, Johnny has an impressive record of achievements and  unparalleled experience as a trumpet player, producer and latterly as a tech entrepreneur. Upon leaving  Leeds College of Music he studied Trumpet in New York with the great Carmine Caruso before embarking on a playing career which would see him perform in many genres of music at the highest level. From the B.B.C. Radio Orchestra through the Buddy Rich & Gil Evans Orchestras and on in to the Rock & Pop industry, Johnny established himself as a versatile and adaptable musician of the highest calibre.

A measure of his success lies in the fact that his trumpet playing featured on at least 1 album in the UK album chart, continuously, without a break for over 13 years and at one point he was playing on 11 of the top 50 albums in a single week. He has performed on over 6000 recordings, 40 top ten albums and 23 No.1 records, including the recent Bruno Mars smash hit “Uptown Funk”. The list of Artists with whom he has recorded reads like a who’s who of the music industry and includes such illustrious names as:

 

  • Tina Turner

  • Jamiroquai

  • David Bowie

  • Pet Shop Boys

  • George Michael

 

As well as touring and playing live with Artists like Phil Collins, Eric Clapton, Bon Jovi & Ray Charles, Johnny has been a regular member of 3 very successful groups:

 

  • Swing Out Sister   (1985 – 1988)

  • Level 42                 (1988 – 1994)

  • Jamiroquai            (1993 – 2000)

A full list of credits can be found HERE

 

A natural progression was into record production and he has produced (or co-produced) over 250 commercial releases and co-written many of the songs. Indeed, he has had over 500 songs published including songs for Artists as diverse as The Spice Girls (he co-wrote their early songs) Odyssey & The Three Degrees.

 

In recent years he has focused on building and selling a number of businesses in the music and technology space and currently has offices in London and New York.

 

Johnny also enjoys employing his communication skills and experience through writing and speaking.

​johnnythirkell.com

 
 

LATEST NEWS

Snake Davis Trio Tour

September 20, 2019

The beginning of October sees another tour of the Snake Davis Trio, one of my most favourite things to do. As usual we'll be taking in the sights while we travel around the country, including an appearance at the famous Marsden Jazz Festival, one of the leading Jazz festivals in the UK - which also happens to sit right on the border of the South Pennines and the Peak District. A truly stunning part of the country.

Return of the Space Trumpet

July 12, 2019

I was very happy to be back on stage with Jamiroquai at On Blackheath  -after a 20+ year gap. It was just like the old days - except with a MUCH better rider 😉. The band was tight and Jay was on absolute top form.

The day was made doubly special for me as I also played earlier in the day with my most favouritest band, Swing out Sister.

On Blackheath.... twice!

July 07, 2018

26 years after we recorded "Emergency On Planet Earth" and 20 years since I last played on stage with Jay, I'm very happy to be performing with Jamiroquai tomorrow at the On Blackheath Festival. Said happiness will be doubled by the fact that I will also be playing with my favourite band "Swing Out Sister" at the same festival. On the same day. 

Glastonbury

June 27, 2019

26 years after my first appearance at Glastonbury (with Jamiroquai, in case you're wondering) I'll be making my 4th (or maybe 5th?) with Marti Pellow tomorrow on the Acoustic Stage.

Part of the "Summer of Love" Tour we're all looking forward to a nice sweltering show, in a tent.... in the 35º heat....dressed in black.

I'm sure we will be feeling it in our fingers. And in our Toes......

Horn Camp 2019: The Movie

June 03, 2019

What an amazing week we had at Horn Camp 2019!!  As it was the first time that we had run it, we were a little nervous as to how it would turn out.

However, much to our delight the feedback we got was beyond what we could have hoped for and it seems everyone concerned (including Snake & I) had the most fun-filled and fabulous week.

So much so that, a large number of them have signed up for Horn Camp 2020!!

So, with that in mind, we have decided to run TWO Horn Camps next year.

You can click on the button below for details but, in the meantime, click on the image on the left to get a flavour of Horn Camp 2019.

Snake Davis Trio becomes a Quartet for the night

May 16, 2019

On our May mini-tour we were delighted to be joined by our old friend Corinne Drewery of Swing Out Sister at the show in Louth. Originally from Louth, Corinne came up and sang a few of the Jobim tunes in the set..... we even cobbled together a quick version of 'Breakout', much to the  clear satisfaction of the sold-out audience. We all agreed it was such fun and........ you never know when it might happen again 😉

Horn Camp

April 12, 2019

Preparations are now well under way for the 2019 Horn Camp. For the first year running, my good pal Snake Davis and I will be taking half a dozen Trumpet and Sax players to spend a week in the foothills of the beautiful Sierra Nevada mountains playing, talking and studying all things brass. From the 5th to the 11th May we'll be chewing the cud and annoying the neighbours. Keep an eye on social media for a running commentary on how it's going.......

After 35 years.........!

March 11, 2019

35 years after the global success of "Breakout" and the No.1 Album from which it came, I'm beyond excited to be back playing and touring with my old friends Swing Out Sister.

 

Following the original success of the Album, I spent 5 very happy years touring with them before joining Level 42. Now , to celebrate this, quite frankly astonishing anniversary, we are off to Japan with pretty much the original line-up. Not only do I love the music but I also love the people so, as you can imagine, there's going to be fun and games. I might even do a video blog..........

Snake Davis Trio hit the Road.......

November 30, 2018

After a couple of weeks off I'm back on the road again. This time with the Snake Davis Trio.

My Boa-like buddy and I are joined by our old pal Mark Cresswell on guitar as we bring you an evening of beautiful tunes and mellow music.

There's still a handful of tickets left for some of the shows so, why not pop along if we're in your area.

Questions were asked in the House.........

November 26, 2018

Following on from the recent "Sound of Silence'"campaign when the Musicians Union asked me to speak on their behalf to BBC Radio stations nationwide about the shrinking opportunities for children from poorer backgrounds to learn an instrument in school, I was invited to put the case to a House of Commons inquiry into social mobility in the Arts.

So, off I trundled to the Houses of Parliament and I told them what I thought. Makes a change from my usual audience of unsuspecting strangers and old ladies at the bus stop.

Check out the picture. 3 MPs, 2 Lords and  a tubby little Trumpeter. 

Five Goooooooold Riiiiingggsss.........

The Reviews are IN!!!

November 12, 2018

So, after the first run of my two-man, one-man show "Blown It!", what did the public make of it? Did they enjoy it! Was it a success? Will there be more?

 

Find out for yourself..........

'Blown It!' - Tales from a life in the Music Industry

October 16, 2018

This is the first in a series of regional tours of my two man, one man show where I share tales of life in the studio and on the road.

I've been kidnapped by the Japanese Mafia, shot at in Manila, court marshalled by the Captain of the QE2 and much more. There'll be stories galore and a chance to ask questions about anything you like. Find out about the making of your favourite record or what it's like to spend weeks on the road with a bunch of strange and dysfunctional musicians.

If you live in or near the North of England, why not pop along and say hi?

Lisa Stansfield US Tour 2018 - Daily Video Blog

October 07, 2018

In a change from the usual drill, rather than a daily written blog from on the road, I will be posting a daily video blog. A Vlog, if you will.....

A behind the scenes look at the daily routine, for better or worse, of being on the road in the USA. Expect fun, despair and everything in between!

Lisa Stansfield U.S. Tour Announced.....

July 27, 2018

In October we will be touring the US & Canada for 4 weeks of fun and merriment. Tickets are now on sale for all of the shows and, by all accounts, are flying out the door. So, if you wanna come, you'd better get cracking. We'll be doing the usual mix of old classics and songs from the new album. With a couple of surprise new band members too!!

Mouthpiece Online interview

June 26, 2018

Myself, Randy Brecker, Marvin Stamm and Markus Stockhausen share our memories of studying with the great Carmine Caruso in New York. Carmine was an absolute genius and was for me, the first teacher to address the mental and psychological approach to playing the trumpet.

Back home..... after 82 days on the road!

June 25, 2018

Finally, after 6 weeks in Europe with Lisa Stansfield immediately followed by another 6 weeks with Marti Pellow I'm very happy to be home now for a while. I hope to be relaxing for a couple of months across the summer before the touring starts again in September. Let's see how we get on with that..........

Meanwhile, check out this nice little tour summary from Marti P himself.......

Lisa Stansfield European Tour 2018 - SOLD OUT!

April 19, 2018

News in today that the entire Lisa Stansfield European Tour is now sold out. So far we have had some absolutely barnstorming shows and, with only two UK shows left before we head across to mainland Europe, news that the Album has just entered the German charts at No.7 bodes well for the shows there.

Reviews of both the shows and the album have been universally very positive. Check this one from last night's show in York.

Look Out, it's the boss's birthday!!

April 10, 2018

​Today, as we hit day 6 and show 5 of the Lisa Stansfield European Tour, it's Lisa's birthday!  Edinburgh is a great city in which to celebrate a birthday at the best of times, but having a show here at the Queen's Hall makes it all the more memorable. Tonight should be a good one!!

Happy birthday boss! x

Artist Profile feature on MouthpieceOnline.com

February 27, 2018

A few weeks ago I met up with John Hutchinson, Trumpeter, Teacher and  creator of MouthpieceOnline.com, an amazing online resource for all things Trumpet. Over a couple of beers and a rather sumptuous pub meal, we chatted about the Trumpet and, more specifically, my career and approach to the Trumpet and the music business in general. 

Check it out.....

Snake Davis Trio Mini Tour

February 08, 2018

I'm very much looking forward to this little group of dates in the Yorks / Humber area with my old pals Snake Davis (Sax) and Mark Cresswell (Guitar). We've known each other since we were all at Leeds College of Music together, back when Brahms was a boy, and this trio was formed as a sort of antidote to the usual shouty, screamy stuff we are normally asked to play. Just nice tunes, played in a nice way with nice people.

Audiences so far seem to have loved the intimate feel of  the shows as much as we do and demand for tickets is always high.

Having said that, I believe there are still tickets left for the show at Ropery Hall in Humberside on the 25th Feb. Click on the picture for more details and maybe we'll see you there?

UPDATE: ALL SOLD OUT!

Marti Pellow 2018 "Private Collection" Tour

January 01, 2018

Immediately following the Lisa Stansfield European Tour I will be straight into rehearsals with Marti for his UK tour. When I say immediately, I mean, fly from the last Lisa show in Germany, car picks me up at the airport straight to Marti rehearsals kind of immediately.

I did Marti's UK tour last year and had an absolute blast. He's a great guy and a great singer and the guys in the band and crew are an absolute pleasure to work with. Musical Director Grant Mitchell has done a fabulous job of re-imagining the hits of Wet, Wet, Wet and Neil Sidwell's horn arrangements are a joy to play. 

Lisa Stansfield Announces 2018 UK & European "Deeper" Tour Dates

January 01, 2018

April of 2018 will see me hit the road with my old pal Lisa Stansfield on a UK and European Tour to promote the new album "Deeper". Over 6 weeks we will be covering the UK, France, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland and Austria on what promises to be a fun-filled laughter fest showcasing some of the tunes from the new album and, of course, a healthy dose of the old favourites. 

Even after 25 years of playing together, I never get bored of working with Lisa, Ian and the guys. It's like going on a crazy extended holiday with your family - albeit a mildly dysfunctional family with a healthy collection of odd-ball uncles and fashion disasters.

Sheffield Music City Foundation

December 07, 2019

I'm very pleased to have been invited to join the Board of the Sheffield Music City Foundation. Set up to encourage, inspire and  assist up-and-coming musicians in the Sheffield area by funding and developing the local infrastructure, it is an opportunity to pass on some of the experience I have gained from a long and varied career in the Music Industry.

The Foundation will be involved in a whole host of projects, all with the aim of ensuring the continuation of Sheffield's rich musical and cultural heritage and I very much look forward to contributing what I can.

My 5th Jamiroquai Album.........

March 30, 2017

24 years and 5 albums later, I'm thrilled once again to be on the new Jamiroquai album which is released today. 

After my 10 year, self-imposed break from playing the trumpet in order to run my business,  it's great to be playing again - and what better way to celebrate than by getting back in the studio with my old mucker Jay. We've been close friends for 25 years and close neighbours for 15 of those, but to be back making music with him is an absolute joy.

He's no less demanding than he was in the beginning but that's the secret to how he keeps making consistently great music. 

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