John Sampson (musician)

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John Sampson (born 18 April 1955, Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland) is a Scottish multi-instrumental musician, actor and entertainer.

Early life[edit]

Sampson was brought up in the Salvation Army and attended Wick High School, Peterhead Academy and Boroughmuir Secondary School in Edinburgh before studying music at Edinburgh’s Napier University, graduating in 1978.


Sampson has collaborated with Britain's poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy in live performances since 2003.[1] His solo live act involves playing recorders, trumpets, crumhorn,gemshorn,cornettino and other instruments, and his theatre work includes many seasons with the Natural Theatre Company of Bath including Scarlatti`s Birthday Party,[2] and Bill Brydon’s The Big Picnic (also for BBC TV).[3] He worked with John McGrath on tv and theatre productions Border Warfare( Channel 4) John Browns Body(channel 4).He worked at the Young Vic,London in Peribanez with Rufus Norris.He worked with John Bett on the Jolly Beggars & Para Handy both with Wildcat Theatre.

Sampson worked again with the BBC for six series of the popular sitcom Rab C. Nesbitt.[4] His 2011 album Cullen Skink was launched at the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh.[5]

Sampson was based in Hamburg, Germany from 1985 where he performed with pianist Patrick O`Connell in the duo Pat & John.[6]

Sampson also regularly plays trumpet with reggae band Makossa, and occasionally plays trumpet with the rhythm and blues band, Dr Hip and the Blues Operation.

He was short listed for the Critic's Award for Theatre in Scotland in the Best Music and Sound category for his work on A Taste of Honey, Royal Lyceum Theatre Company, Edinburgh.[7] In 2013 with trumpeter Finlay Hetherington he formed the Brass Quintet, Brass Tracks. John performed with Anne Lorne Gillies on the albums Song of the Gaels & Milestones along with tv & radio broadcasts on the BBC.

He is also a member of the Scottish committee of the British actors’ union, Equity.[8] In June 2016 he became a member of the Royal Society of Musicians of Great Britain.


  1. ^ "Carol Ann Duffy, UK Poet Laureate and John Sampson, Actor & Musician | Derry~Londonderry City of Culture 2013". 2013-10-05. Retrieved 2014-06-27. 
  2. ^ "Scarlatti'S Revenge". Archived from the original on 2014-06-07. Retrieved 2014-06-27. 
  3. ^ "THE BIG PICNIC by Bill Bryden". Promenade Productions. 1994-11-13. Retrieved 2014-06-27. 
  4. ^ "Cafe Cadenza". Retrieved 2014-06-27. 
  5. ^ "Musician tunes up at gardens". The Scotsman. 2011-07-05. Retrieved 2014-06-27. 
  6. ^ "Pat & John Musical Comedy Duo". Retrieved 2014-06-27. 
  7. ^ "CATS: 2012–13 shortlist". Retrieved 2014-06-27. 
  8. ^ "Scottish National Committee 2013-2015". Equity. 2013-11-01. Retrieved 2014-06-27.