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Twelve Tone Music bio picture

John Schirmer - Artist and Tour Management, Producer, Mixer

“You don’t grow up in the rich musical melting pot that is New Jersey, without soaking up some of it’s musical heritage.”


2011 Grammy nominated Producer, Engineer and Mixer, John Schirmer grew out of the very seed planted by the Garden States musical royalty. Artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Les Paul, Frank Sinatra, Paul Simon, George Clinton and William “Count” Basie left behind an indelible imprint within the soil that makes up the Garden State. An Imprint that would inspire for decades, young musicians to break free of their meager beginnings and search for something better, something more musical.


For the last seventeen years John Schirmer has strived to obtain nothing less than something better, something more musical. Cumulating his expectations into a personal journey that has afforded John the opportunity to tour the world with major label and independent artists.


As a Producer, FOH and Studio Mixer, Tracking Engineer, Production and Tour Manager, John has had the opportunity to develop an insiders perspective of the people and places that make up the fabric of the entertainment industry. This is a privilege that John does not take lightly. John believes that his experiences with both live and studio artists , and his interactions with the artists label and management on the road and behind the glass, allow him to meld both the live and studio enviroments into one unique perspective that brings out the best in his artists. Both on the road and in the studio John uses his insight, experience and contacts to facilitate an interaction between artists and environment, that is both positive and creative, and always capable of delivering the best possible performances.


“If the vibe and the energy are just right, the feel of the music will be undeniable.”


Over the last six years, John has worked almost exclusively with three time Grammy winning Songwriter and Artist Keb Mo. John and Keb Mo have established a professional and personal relationship like none other within the music industry.


 “John Schirmer is my right hand man, he is the Holland to my Dozier.” -Keb Mo


John has taken on multiple roles within the Keb Mo organization, roles that have become mutually beneficial to Keb Mo and to the artists outside of the Keb Mo organization that John has had the privilege to work with. For the last six years with Keb Mo, John has filled the role of Tracking Engineer and Mixer (Live & Mo, The Reflection, The Reflection Acoustic EP, The Christmas EP), FOH Engineer, Tour Manager and Production Manager for every tour  Keb Mo has done since 2006’s ‘Suitcase” tour. John designed and equipped Keb Mo’s Nashville based, 2000 square foot Stu Stu Studio, where Keb Mo and John work tirelessly producing, engineering and mixing artists records for Keb Mo’s label Yolabelle International, as well as scores for the multitude of television shows that Keb Mo composes for. (Mike and Molly; CBS, Memphis Beat; TNT and Are you There God it’s Me Vodka; Comedy Central)


Outside of his relationship with Keb Mo, John, through the years has had the esteemed privilege to work with some of the most talented artists in the entertainment industry. Just some of the Artists, John has been able to call clients, colleagues and most importantly friends include:


Keb Mo, Bonnie Raitt, Carole King, Jackson Browne, Brian Wilson, Angelique Kidjo, The Black Eyed Peas, Vince Gill, Lee Roy Parnell, Gary Nicholson, Mindi Abair, Dave Koz, Marcus Miller, Coco Montoya, Melissa Manchester, Playing for Change, Drag Pipe, Monster Magnet, Ween, Reach 454, Nicole Atkins, The Roots, Thelonious Monk Jr., Kirk franklin, Rebecca St. James and India. Arie.


Just as my predecessors from the great Garden State of New Jersey, I live for the moment the lights go down and the bass rolls across the floor. These are the moments that define me, the moments that I anxiously await waking to each and everyday. My life is based around watching V.U. meters and riding faders. Music is my life and it defines me.”


Monthly Archives: May 2009

“Let The Sun Shine In”

poster On May 25th, 2009, The Narada Michael Walden Foundation produced a concert at Louise M Davies Symphony Hall to benefit young Christopher Rodriguez, who at age 10, was disabled by a stray bullet while at his piano lesson in Oakland early last year. The Concert at Louise M Davies for Christopher featured artists Keb’ Mo’ and Sting along with Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis of 5th Dimension Fame, Mary Wilson of the Supremes, Earl Klugh, David Grisman, Bob Weir, Gerald Alston of the Manhattans, Lisa Fischer,Tevin Campbell, Shanice Wilson, Jeanie Tracy, Ralphe Armstrong, Dale “Satchmo” Powers, the Narada Band, AND an orchestra of students from The San Francisco Conservatory of Music conducted by Michael Morgan of the Oakland East Bay Symphony, along with many other surprise performers. 

We as the Keb’ Mo’ organazation were extremely proud to be a part of this event. And our hearts go out to Christopher and his family.

Keb’ Mo’ Continues Summer Tour with Opening Slots for Joe Cocker

images-1 This past weekend Keb’ Mo’ and the band performed at the Sonoma Jazz Festival and the Santa Cruz Blues Festival. We had the great privilege of performing behind one of musics greatest living icons, Mr. Joe Cocker. Both festivals were sold out affairs and the audience was treated to some really great sets from both artists. Once again we had a great time and were treated very well by the promoters and our audience.

Keb’ Mo’ Kicks Off Summer Tour

images This weekend Keb’ Mo’ and the band have hit the road running. With stops in Augora Hills, CA @ the Canyon Club and Dana Point, CA for the Doheney Blues Festival, Keb’ has begun to bring his mixture of story telling and rhythm and blues to the masses for yet another summer gathering of friends.

On Friday night may 15th, we took our show to the people of LA, performing a two hour set at the Canyon Club in Augora Hills, CA. With opening artist Heather Lauren Donovan and joined on stage by Niki J. Crawford for a performance of Dangerous Mood, and Gerald Albright, Keb’ brought the house down. The show was really well received and most of the audience was excited to see Keb’ in LA, as we so seldom perform there.

On Saturday we took our show to Dana Point, CA for the Doheney blues festival. California’s largest blues festival, and in this engineers opinion one of the best. We played a late afternoon set to about 8000 blues fans, and then were followed by Brian Setzer and the Nashvillians. Again Keb’ was joined on stage by Niki J. Crawford for a killer version of Dangerous Mood. Niki walked away from her performance the talk of the festival.

The very next day Keb’ performed a solo acoustic set to a select bunch of fans while Coco Montoya performed to another group of blues hungry fans. The highlight of day two was listening to Coco tell his fans about his upcoming release that Keb’ produced and I engineered. Coco is really proud of this record and it seems like his fans are eager for it.

Later in the evening Derek Trucks and BB King filled the festival air with soulful performances. It was a magical weekend of music.  Keb’ the band and our crew are off and running. Keep your eyes and ears open, we may be heading your way.