The Johnny Griffin classic “Chicago Calling” can also be considered a reference to the suburbs of the Windy City. Skokie, IL native, John Temmerman, influences include tenor titans like Chicago’s Eddie Harris, Dexter Gordon, John Coltrane, Wayne Shorter and mutlti-instrumentalist Rahsaan Roland Kirk. His third recording Live in Evanston -- John’s Mixed Bag captures his band in live quartet and quintet performances from 2007 and 2008.
Temmerman, who pursues his music career on his terms, has a “day gig” as Controller for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. This is not as uncommon as many jazz musicians are also degreed professionals, for example Pete “LaRocca” Sims, Eddie Henderson, and Von Freeman.
There is no evidence, however, of the stereotypical mindset of a “number cruncher” in his endeavors, but the balance of a methodical approach with the emotionalism inherent in any of the great players who inspire him. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois and earned a Master of Business Administration from the University of Chicago. “I’m fortunate in that I don’t have to pull out my horn unless I really, really want to do it,” he says. “It’s tough to pursue jazz as a primary source of income. Teaching can be lucrative if that’s what you want to do … Nothing wrong with having a day job. You need to figure out how you want to survive because performance is a tough way to go.”