Skip Wilkins is an American jazz pianist who splits his time between Eastern Pennsylvania and Central Europe. While in the U.S. he makes his home in the town of Delaware Water Gap, living at the famous jazz club Deer Head Inn. In his adopted hometown, Skip performs with National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master Phil Woods, The Festival Orchestra, Larry McKenna, Kim Parker and others. When in Europe, he is based in Prague, and tours regularly throughout the Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. A prolific composer, Skip has released twelve CDs as a leader or co-leader.
Skip has been fortunate to play and record with luminaries and un-sung local players wherever he has lived. Most recently he is heard on the recording “New Celebration” from NEA Jazz Master Phil Woods and the Festival Orchestra. Skip and Phil are neighbors in Delaware Water Gap, PA. In 2015 Deer Head Records will be releasing a 2014 live recording that he made with vocalist Najwa Parkins and Philadelphia tenor saxophone legend Larry McKenna. Skip plays often at Deer Head Inn and at the COTA Festival of the Arts.
Born and raised in eastern Massachusetts, Skip 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.