Michael Skinner has been drumming for 20 years. His formal introduction to the drums was through the local band in his hometown named the “Ingersoll Pipe Band.” This gave him experience playing in a number of different settings, including competitive Highland Games in the Ontario circuit where he won numerous awards, as well as various government and corporate functions throughout southern Ontario. The pipe band was also featured annually at the Indianapolis 500. He began his snare drum studies with Larry Willis and later went on to study with Hugh Cameron.
Michael started playing the drum kit in high school. By this time he was asked to play in various groups for school functions as well as gigs in and around Southern Ontario. His formal training on the drum kit was under the instruction of Brian McHugh, then went on to study at Mohawk College under some of Canada’s finest musicians; drummer Kevin Dempsey, trumpeter Mike Malone, saxophonist Don Englert and drummer Ted Warren. He also participated in a jazz workshop where he received one-on-one instruction from Terry Clarke. While finishing his diploma in Jazz Studies at Mohawk College, Michael displayed his talents in numerous venues around the Hamilton and Toronto area including The Rex, The Cat and Fiddle, Collins Brew House and the Fortinos Supermarket Heart and Stroke foundation gala fundraising events.
For 3 years Michael performed on Carnival Cuise Lines in the show band, playing nightly performances of Las Vegas style productions. He was also the leader of several jazz trios which performed nightly. After his time on the cruise ships Michael moved to Vancouver to further his musical career in teaching and performing. In that time he joined the SFU pipeband organization where he played with the New Westminster police for two seasons. He was also taking private instruction from two time drumcorps world champion Reid Maxwell where they focused on proper technique and stick control.
Michael currently leads his own quartet with juno nominee Adrean Farrugia on piano, Sal Roselli on saxophone and Mark Cashion on bass.