Multi-instrumentalist, Composer, Arranger, Saxophone, Guitar, Piano, vocalist, and Emmy nominated composer, John Lee Sanders comes from the deep roots of jazz, blues and roots music through his early years in the Mississippi Delta, Alabama, the Bayous of Louisiana, and The plains of Texas. John Lee has a universal gift to reach audiences from a broad and diverse musical spectrum.
With blues at the core, he has evolved a complex musical gumbo, with the flavors of Cajun, Rock, Gospel, Pop, Jazz, R&B, Soul, Country, classical, with a deep love of the traditions, and culture of New Orleans.
John received a degree in classical and jazz composition from the University of North Texas, and the University of Louisiana, and Film Scoring at San Jose State University. John has 12 CD releases since 1995, and learned record production from Grammy Producer of the year, Narada Michael Walden, the most successful record producer of the 80s and 90s.
He Comes from a gifted Memphis musical family with ties to WC Handy, father of the blues. His aunt lived only a few doors down from Elvis Presley, and a young Aretha Franklin living a mere 4 blocks from his Grandmother's house in Memphis, He spent his formative teen years in Birmingham, Ala, whose great Gospel Quartet traditions later help form the Motown Vocal Sound. Birmingham concert promoters in the early 60s billed 13 year old “Little John” as Birmingham’s answer to “Little Stevie Wonder”, Upon graduation, John left Texas & Louisiana with the Bay Area legendary band, Uncle Rainbow in 1977, upon a production contract with the Late Michael Hossack of the Doobie Brothers. On the band’s first visit to Hollywood for recording, John Lee surprised everyone, auditioned for the Gong Show, and won!
John signed a large recording contract in 1980 with Rod Stewarts, Riva Records. From 1977-2006, John Lee performed, and worked in the studios with hundreds of CDs demos,commercials, soundtracks.
His voice and music are used in advertisements for clients such as Wal-Mart, Nissan, Apple Computer, CBS Television, The Sierra Club, and many more. John is currently the resident piano/vocalist at the beautiful Perdido Beach Resort in Orange Beach Alabama. He is rapidly gaining a reputation as one of the top entertainers on the Gulf Coast.
Sanders’ touring schedule takes him to many of the major Jazz and Blues festivals of Europe, and Western Canada. John Lee just finished a tour of Europe, with the National Jazz Orchestra of Croatia, performing some of his greatest works, that he arranged for a 22 piece jazz orchestra.
Since 2009, John has performed yearly at the US Library of Congress for the House of Representatives, with the greatest songwriters of American music, including Carly Simon, Randy Newman, Stephan Schwartz, Hal David, Alan Bergman, Bill Withers, Johnny Mandel, Jimmy Webb, Paul Williams, Ashford & Simpson, and other megahit songwriters.
A gifted composer/lyricist, John has a 2004 Blues Award Nomination for song of the year, 2007 Emmy nomination, song of the year, 3 BC Interior Music Awards. His childhood encounters with the likes of Elvis Presley and Dr. Martin Luther Kingare part of the landscape that influenced this gifted performer and composer.
John Lee has shared the stage, opened for, recorded or toured with some of the legends last 50 years, including Jimmy Page, Stevie Wonder, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, Starship, Bill Withers, Chuck Berry, Bonnie Raitt, Freddie King, John Lee Hooker, Tower of Power, and many more. His songs have been recorded by Eddie Kendricks of theTemptations, Aretha Franklin, and Marsha Ball, who received a Grammy nomination, for blues CD of the year, with the hit single from Sanders. He is a 2012 Canadian Maple Blues award nominee for Piano Player of the Year!
2014 Grammy Song is Born concert with Paul Williams, Kris Kristofferson, Bonnie Raitt, and legendary songwriters
In January 2014, John Lee Performed at the Grammy’s with Paul Williams, who won “Album of the Year” with the Daft Punk Cd, “Random Access Memories”