John Bradley was born in Orange, NJ. He is the son of Robert Bradley of Cloonacool, Tubbercurry, County Silgo, Ireland and Margaret O'Malley of West Orange, NJ. John began piping in 1983 at the age of eleven under the tutelage of Tom Tevlin in West Orange, New Jersey. On Memorial Day weekend of 1986, John began what is now over 22 years of private instruction under Pipe Major George M. Bell. P/M George M. Bell, a World Champion Piper, is regarded as one of the fathers of piping in America.
In 1987, John was ranked first overall by the Eastern United States Pipe Band Association (EUSPBA) in Grade III. At the North American Championships in Maxville, Ontario, Canada, John won the Grade II Piobaireachd (challenging up from Grade III.) In 1988, John repeated his Grade II Piobaireachd win at Maxville and was ranked first overall in Grade II by the EUSPBA. In September, he was cast in the role of "The Bagpiper" in Touchstone Pictures Academy Award winning film Dead Poets Society. The EUSPBA upgraded John to Grade I.
John began teaching the bagpipe while attending college in New Jersey. As the number of his students grew, so did his passion for teaching. By 1997, John was teaching full time.
In 1998, John helped form the Passaic County Emerald Society Pipe Band as their head instructor. In the fall of 1998, John moved to New York City, founded the NYC Bagpipe Academy, and began teaching out of his Manhattan studio. In 2001, he became the founding instructor of the Union County Police and Fire Pipes and Drums. In 2005, he became the founding instructor of the Newark Fire Department Pipe and Drum Band.
From 1999 to 2007, John toured the nation with the Celtic rock band, Gael Force. They performed at wide variety of events, from the Chicago Irish Fair where they shared the stage with the Saw Doctors, to the All Ireland Fund benefit at the Waldorf Astoria, where John performed with Ronan Tynan. John also appears on their two studio albums, Set in Stone and Flame of Wrath; the second of which John also produced. During this time, John studied many types of musical composition including guitar, bass, and vocals with fellow band members.
In 2003, John reentered competitive solo piping and is currently ranking third in Grade I by the EUSPBA. In early 2006, John returned to his hometown of West Orange, NJ to pursue a lifelong dream of becoming a firefighter. He currently resides there with his wife of two years, Lynda.
Some of John's early solo piping accomplishments