Born in Fort Worth, Texas in 1954, pianist John Salmon has had a lifelong fascination and involvement with Dave Brubeck's music. As a precocious five-year-old, he first discovered Brubeck's "Time Out" album among his older sister's jazz record collection and immediately became a fan. As a fifteen-year-old leader of his own jazz trio, Salmon improvised on Brubeck's "Brandenburg Gate" and "The Duke" and his own polymetric/polychordal pieces on a European tour. In 1994 some 34 years after his first encounter with the jazz great, Salmon helped award Brubeck an honorary doctorate from the Gerhard Mercator University in Duisburg, Germany.
John Salmon received Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Arts (philosophy) degrees from Texas Christian University; the Soloist's Diploma from the Hochschule fur Musik, Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany; the Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School; and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from The University of Texas at Austin. He won prizes from the Busoni, University of Maryland, Beethoven Foundation and Premio Jaen competitions, and has performed both classical and jazz concerts throughout Europe and the United States. Since 1989, he has been on the faculty of The University of North Carolina at Greensboro.