John Klemmer (born July 3, 1946) is an American saxophonist, composer, song writer and arranger.
He was born in Chicago, Illinois, and began playing guitar at the age of 5 and alto saxophone at the age of 11. His other early interests included graphics and visual art, writing, dance, puppetry, painting, sculpting and poetry. He studied at schools that include The Art Institute of Chicago and began touring with various local midwest "ghost big bands" (Les Elgart, Woody Herman) as well as playing with small local jazz and rock groups. After switching to tenor saxophone in high school, Klemmer participated actively in the local Chicago jazz scene, playing with commercial small groups and big bands while leading his own groups in the Chicago area and touring.Klemmer had extensive studies in music, taking private lessons as a youth and in college in piano, conducting, harmony, theory, composition, arranging, clarinet, flute and classical and jazz saxophone. He studied saxophone and jazz improvisation with noted Chicago saxophonist and teacher Joe Daley. He attended the prestigious Interlochen's National Music Camp. The year he graduated from high school, Klemmer was signed by producer Esmond Edwards at Cadet/Chess Records, eventually recording five albums with Cadet/Chess, including his innovative hit album, Blowin Gold (co-produced by ex-Rolling Stones producer Marshall Chess). This album was considered by many as the first of the jazz/rock fusion genre; follow-up albums introduced innovative rock rhythms, sounds and production techniques and debuted electronic effects with the saxophone that became his now trademark delay sound.
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