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johnnythirkell playing Trumpet


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, more than 100 top ten albums and 37 US & UK No.1 records, including the recent BTS global smash "Dynamite". 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:

  • Jamiroquai

  • Sir Paul McCartney

  • David Bowie

  • Pet Shop Boys

  • George Michael

  • Tina Turner


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)

In 2023 he scored his 36th No.1 record with Shania Twain's "Queen of Me"

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.



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