John Dickinson started drumming at age 12 and within a few years was playing in multiple bands. Soon enough, jamming with his friends became his favorite thing to do. Following high school, John attended Berklee College of Music where he continued his education and studied with several well-known drummers including Rick Considine, Rod Morgenstein, and Jackie Santos.
After graduating Berklee in 2009, John joined Spokey Speaky, a reggae band out of Wilmington, DE, who has had the honor of opening for reggae legends like Toots and the Maytals, The Wailers, Third World, Barrington Levy, Ziggy Marley, Stephen Marley, Damian Marley, Julian Marley, Beres Hammond, Jimmy Cliff, and more. Spokey Speaky has held a weekly residency at D and H Jamaican Cuisine in Newark, DE for over a decade, as well as started an annual Bob Marley Birthday Show at The Queen Theater in 2012. Additionally, John performed with the funk band Universal Funk Order from 2010-2019 and recorded on their debut album, This is We Do. He has performed in many notable venues throughout Philadelphia and Wilmington including The Trocadero, The Electric Factory, The Mann Center, The Queen Theater, World Cafe Live Philadelphia, and The Bottle and Cork.
John’s love for various genres of music including funk, rock, reggae, jazz, fusion, blues, hip-hop, and soul, combined with 12 years of teaching experience and 20 years of performance/gigging experience, make him a well-rounded instructor with plenty knowledge to pass on to his students. In addition to drums, he has studied several melodic instruments from a young age. He first took piano lessons, but then moved to the trumpet, with which he performed countless times with his school concert band, orchestra, and church. These experiences have helped him tremendously with his drumming, musicianship, and musicality. John encourages his students to play with fellow musicians as much as possible, emphasizing the importance of good timing, technique, unique sound, and learning to be a melodic drummer.