Man with the Magical Horn Plays His Last Post
Carmichael-based John Skinner was an iconic Sacramento band-leader.
Carmichael, CA (MPG) - Carmichael resident and musical legend John Skinner died last weekend. He was 71.
For decades, the trumpeter powered the most go-to band organization in Sacramento. An Air Force veteran and airline pilot, Skinner juggled two long and successful careers. He was also a champion for music education and supported many local community causes. “Johnny Trumpet” (as he jokingly dubbed himself) had fronted bands since teenage days as a trumpet prodigy in Orland CA. His bands also backed shows with show-biz giants like Ray Charles, Luciano Pavarotti and Ann Murray.
In recent years, mobility issues forced the leader offstage. His popular Skinner Band nevertheless played on, with Skinner cracking the whip from the sidelines. At a Carmichael Park concert this month, he was greeted affectionately by hundreds of fans. Playing his trumpet from the audience, Skinner performed a vibrant final solo.
He and his singer wife Susan last week travelled to Ohio for a musical convention. The bandleader suffered a heart attack and died in the hospital. He is survived by Susan and his daughter Kathryn. Skinner.
A full tribute to this larger-than-life Sacramento figure will appear in next week’s Carmichael Times. A musical celebration of his life will be presented at the La Sierra Center , 5325 Engle Road in Carmichael, beginning at 2 pm, September 17. Anyone may attend. See John Skinner’s Facebook page for more details.