Dierdra Skinner

Dierdre Skinner was born in New York City in the Sugar Hill section of Harlem. Before her first birthday, the Skinner family relocated to the Bronx. Her family encouraged entrepreneurship, education and a love for the arts. Growing up Ms Skinner studied music learning several instruments. She was greatly influenced by the musical sounds around her. She found herself drawn to rhythms from Africa and the African Diaspora. This included Gospel and other Sacred music, Jazz, Blues, R&B, Reggae, Calypso, Boogaloo, Salsa, Brazilian Jazz and other genres. Ms. Skinner’s parents passed away before she finished High School and after graduation she discontinued playing music. She went to college and studied business and worked for over 20 years in the insurance industry. However her love for music and the arts never died. She maintained friendships with musicians and singers, gaining much happiness as she supported their endeavors over the years. Ms. Skinner has always been concerned with children having the opportunity to study art and music for so many reasons. In her understanding of the progression of music she also has a concern for the preservation and education of music that descends from African rhythms. In America most of this music has its roots in Gospel, Jazz, and Blues. According to Ms. Skinner Blues has two parents Gospel and Jazz. In Ms. Skinner’s studies of the Blues she has learned the Blues has many children and grandchildren, the most well known is Rhythm and Blues. But two other well known genres in the U.S. Reggae which was born in Jamaica in the 1960’s and Bugaloo are also children of the Blues. Bugaloo is a genre that started in East Harlem, NYC in the 1960’s. The great musicians of both of these genres always give praise to the Blues and its influence. Many have demonstrated, how the Blues chords, and rhythms are used throughout their musical compositions. Since the Blues has influenced so much of the music in world it must be preserved, taught, and shared. Ms. Skinner is pleased and honored to join Lamont Jack and Denise Pearley and other members of the advisory board of Jack Dappa Blues Foundation in this endeavor.