John Irvine initially trained as a classical guitarist, studying at Dartington College of Arts for two years after leaving school, and then at the Royal Scottish Academy Of Music & Drama (Glasgow) where he studied with Phillip Thorne, gaining a BA in Music Performance (1989) and winning the Guitar Challenge Prize (1988).
Following a Post-Grad Certificate in Performance (1990), he began a PhD in music composition, with Nigel Osborne at the University of Edinburgh, in 1992. This was completed in 1999. At this time, he was also working in Scottish theatre where he wrote music for over 40 productions, 20 of which were for the Traverse Theatre (Edinburgh).
The John Irvine Band was formed in the summer of 2011 and has released three critically acclaimed CDs of Jazz-Rock music: ‘Wait & See’ (2011), ‘Next Stop’ (2015) and ‘Metaphysical Attractions’ (2018). His latest album, ‘The Machinery Of The Heavens’, will be released in Sept/Oct 2020.
All three JIB albums have received plaudits from many magazines and websites, and several tracks have been played on internet and terra firma radio stations, such as: The Prog Rock Palace, Xymphonia, El Ritorno Del Gigante, Canvas Prog Hour, Friday Night Progressive, La Villa Stangiato and many more.
Both ‘Wait & See’ and ‘Next Stop’ were recorded with the same band lineup: John Irvine: Guitars, Keyboards, Alan Emslie: Drums, Percussion and Doug Kemp: Bass. ‘Metaphysical Attractions’ features Rich Kass on Drums, Rob Ironside on Sax and Gwen Kelso on flute.
He has taught at St Mary’s Music School (Edinburgh) and The City of Edinburgh Music School (where he currently works) and lectured for two years (2008-10) at Edinburgh Napier University, where he was asked to redesign their ‘Music, Creativity & Communication’ course for the BA in Popular Music. He also works as a PSA in Edinburgh Schools.
John is also the author of three sci-fi novels comprising ‘The Smith Chronicles’ series of books. He is a published poet and short-story writer, having had works included in several journals and web-zines such as Poetry Scotland, The Open Mouse, Blinking Cursor, Essence, Ink, Sweat & Tears, A Handful of Stones, South and Streetcake Magazine, amongst others.