John started playing the piano at the age of 5, but when a move to Paisley at the age of 8 unearthed his grandmother’s 3/4 size violin he eagerly picked up this new challenge. A year later, and back in Edinburgh, John continued his violin studies and became a member of several school orchestras and the local Strathspey and Reel Society.
He first started playing for Scottish Country Dancing while at Edinburgh University in the early 1980s, and it was during a dance trip to Belgium in 1984, when the accordionist he was to play with could not make it for several days, that he decided to take up the accordion himself. His first teacher was Chrissie Leatham (who taught Jim Johnstone and Ian MacPhail) and then Pete Farnan (Graeme Mitchell and Sandy Nixon) when continuing his studies at Aberdeen University. Although by this time a keen accordionist John joined the Craigellachie Band in 1990 as a violinist before moving to second accordion.
John now lives in Wales with his wife Sally, and enjoys guesting with the band when the occasion allows. He retains his interest in learning new instruments and now plays the harp, that celebrated instrument of Wales, which he started in 1999.
|Brenda de Souza|
|Three Hands Across|
|The Blackwater Collection|
|Take Your Seats|
|Craigellachie in Oxford|
|After the Chord|