John Klemmer began playing guitar at age 5. After interests in graphics and visual art & writing with ambitions of being dancer, puppeteer, painter, sculptor, writer, & poet, at schools that include The Chicago Institute of Art, he began alto sax at age 11 switching to tenor sax by high school. In addition to extensive private lessons in piano, conducting, harmony, theory, composition, arranging, clarinet, flute & classical & jazz saxophone, that continued up through college, he also attended Interlochen's National Music Camp with the highest of accolades.
Upon graduating from High School, Klemmer, at an incredibly early age, signed with legendary Cadet/Chess Records in 1967, recording five plus albums, including his innovative hit album of the first of the jazz/rock fusion genre, BLOWIN GOLD. Being a Chess Records Recording Artist availed him access to recording sessions & exposure to such artists & friends, Muddy Waters, Donny Hathaway, Phil Upchurch, Pete Cosey, Richard Evans, Minnie Riperton & Maurice White expanding his knowledge of R&B, Blues & Pop music. During this time he explored electronic saxophone developing his now trademark delay sound to create an ethereal, haunting & lovely chord like sound. Klemmer led his own groups touring the East Coast and Midwest, using the cream of the now legendary chicago sideman. He did his first PBS special for WTTTV Chicago.