London-born John Skelton learned to play the flute and whistle during the early seventies. His grandfather and great-grandfather were flute and tin whistle players. John was a founding member of the band Shegui, and for six years toured throughout Europe with them. The band included pianist/fiddler John Coakley and singer Seán Keane. John is perhaps best known for his work with The House Band, with whom he recorded eight albums on the Green Linnet label.
John has released a solo album, One At a Time, as well as Double-Barrelled, a highly regarded album of flute duets with Kieran O’Hare. He is the compiler of a series of tune collection books, A Few Tunes, A Few More Tunes, Yet More Tunes and Some Breton Tunes. John has performed at most of the major folk festivals in North America, Europe and Australia. He is an experienced and influential teacher, and has taught at summer schools in the United States, Europe and Africa. In addition to his background in Irish music, John is also well-schooled in the music of Brittany. He visits there regularly, and is a highly-regarded player of the Breton bombarde, a double-reed shawm. NPR's ‘Thistle and Shamrock’ described him as ‘the finest bombarde player outside of Brittany.’ John also plays the 'Piston' (low bombarde), the 'Veuze' (the bagpipe of eastern Brittany) and the 'Gaita Gallega' (Galician pipes).
John lives in Kentucky.