Some of the finest musicians in the world are invited to share their talent and insights with our students - living together for a week and getting to know each other. And, with a maximum of 8 students, the tutors are able to truly customise their teaching and give the student the kind of personalised tuition and mentoring which is just not possible on more large-scale retreats. This individual approach means that we can cater for students of all ages and capabilities.
The Camps are held at ace trumpeter Johnny Thirkell's farmhouse in the foothills of the beautiful Sierra Nevada mountains of Andalucia, Southern Spain. With its gorgeous climate and exquisite surroundings it is the perfect setting for playing music, learning, relaxing and getting to know the tutors.
A truly memorable experience - which explains why so many of our students keep coming back!
In a long and varied career, Johnny has an impressive record of achievements and unparalleled experience as a trumpet player, producer and latterly as a tech entrepreneur. Upon leaving Leeds College of Music he studied Trumpet in New York with the great Carmine Caruso before embarking on a playing career which would see him perform in many genres of music at the highest level. From the B.B.C. Radio Orchestra through the Buddy Rich & Gil Evans Orchestras and on in to the Rock & Pop industry, Johnny established himself as a versatile and adaptable musician of the highest calibre.
A measure of his success lies in the fact that his trumpet playing featured on at least 1 album in the UK album chart, continuously, without a break for over 13 years and at one point he was playing on 11 of the top 50 albums in a single week. He has performed on over 6000 recordings, 40 top ten albums and 25 No.1 records, including the recent Bruno Mars smash hit “Uptown Funk” and "Dynamite" by K-Pop superstars BTS. The list of Artists with whom he has recorded reads like a who’s who of the music industry and includes such illustrious names as:
Pet Shop Boys
As well as touring and playing live with Artists like Phil Collins, Eric Clapton, Bon Jovi & Ray Charles, Johnny has been a regular member of 3 very successful groups:
Swing Out Sister (1985 – 1988)
Level 42 (1988 – 1994)
Jamiroquai (1993 – 2000)
In 2020 he scored his 25th No.1 record with "Dynamite', the global smash hit by BTS
A full list of credits can be found
A natural progression was into record production and he has produced (or co-produced) over 250 commercial releases and co-written many of the songs. Indeed, he has had over 500 songs published including songs for Artists as diverse as The Spice Girls (he co-wrote their early songs) Odyssey & The Three Degrees.
In recent years he has focused on building and selling a number of businesses in the music and technology space and currently has offices in London and New York.
Johnny also enjoys employing his communication skills and experience through writing and speaking.