If you’ve been in the Sacramento area for a long time, chances are you tapped your toes or danced to the music of John Skinner.
Skinner was a remarkably talented trumpet player who had been performing and leading bands for more than 50 years. He died Aug. 18 at the age of 71 while he was attending a music convention in Ohio with his wife, Susan.
The John Skinner Band played at Gov. Pete Wilson’s birthday parties and entertained at Town and Country Village during the 1980s. Throughout his career, John played trumpet with Ray Charles, Donna Summers, The Temptations, The Brady Bunch and Luciano Pavarotti.
Skinner was a Vietnam War veteran and had been a music teacher even before he graduated from college. He made sure he practiced his trumpet every day of his life. Skinner's wife, Susan, and his daughter, Kathryn, often joined John on stage, singing with the band. Besides all this, Skinner was a lovely person and quite a celebrity through decades in Sacramento.
There's a Memorial Concert planned for him Sunday, a celebration and two hours of big band music from 16 of northern California’s most talented musicians with a military flag presentation.
The program is from 2-4 p.m. at the La Sierra Community Center in Carmichael. Doors will open at 1:30 p.m.