Skip Wilkins was born and raised in eastern Massachusetts. He grew up in a musical home and began listening to jazz at a very early age. His father played drums locally, so Skip was able to interact with professional musicians as a small child. He first found his way to the stage in kindergarten and has not left the stage since. In many ways his earliest experiences have proved the most enduring. He learned to love singing and listening to subtle harmonies before entering school, taking particular delight in the Great American songbook repertoire of such composers as Richard Rodgers, George Gershwin and others of the first half of the twentieth century. Also drawn to syncopated rhythms and polyrhythms of jazz recordings that he heard at home, it is readily apparent that the seeds of his future style were already planted in pre-school. Many years later, a seasoned professional pianist, Skip is noted for his lyricism, fascination with harmonic color, boundless rhythmic energy, and interest in exploring songs from the Great American Songbook.
Skip has been fortunate to play with luminaries and un-sung local players wherever he has lived. As he was coming up in Boston, he worked with drummers Joe Hunt and Bob Moses and with saxophonists Jimmy Mosher and John LaPorta. In Denver, where he established his style, Skip was a well-known figure regionally, and often performed with the marquee players when they visited the area. These included saxophonist Plas Johnson, vocalists Mark Murphy and Darmon Meader, trumpeter Conte Candoli, bassist Milt Hinton, and drummer Peter Erskine. He also made his first recording, Two Much Fun!,on Eaglear Records, as co-leader with flutist Jill Allen. While in the Rocky Mountain region, he toured the West with various groups and performed regularly at all the established jazz clubs, including the famous El Chapultepec. He also performed countless times at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, where he taught during his eight years in Colorado.
Relocated to eastern Pennsylvania in 1995, Skip resumed his performing career on the east coast with the Wilkins & Allen Quartet. In 2001 on Cathexis Records, Skip and Jill Allen released Petty Theft,which featured guest performances by Grammy-nominated saxophonist David Liebman. He also continued to perform in concert with all-stars, including saxophonists Stanley Turrentine and Bobby Watson, trumpeter Clark Terry, trombonist Al Grey, and drummer T.S. Monk. Of course, right in his backyard Skip periodically performs with Philadelphia legends Mickey Roker, Larry McKenna and John Swana, among many others. Skip plays all of the great regional jazz venues, including Ortlieb’s Jazzhaus and Chris’s Jazz Café, both in Philadelphia, and Delaware Water Gap’s Deer Head Inn.Read more
- Skip Wilkins Quintet, Vol. I by Tom Greenland
- The Paint-Peeler by Matthew Warnock
- Czech Dreams by Edward Blanco
Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson
New Port Line
New Port Line
Skip Wilkins Quintet,...