17 April 1948, Prague, Czechoslovakia. This former child prodigy was working in a jazz ensemble at the age of 14, and studied theory and composition at the Prague Academy of Muse Arts. In 1968, as Czechoslovakia fell under Soviet rule, Hammer won a scholarship to Berklee College Of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Two years later he was playing with artists such as Elvin Jones and Sarah Vaughan, before joining the Mahavishnu Orchestra and playing on the seminal fusion albums The Inner Mounting Flame and Birds Of Fire. Hammer also played synthesizers on albums by Santana, Billy Cobham and others. After leader John McLaughlin temporarily disbanded the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Hammer and violinist Jerry Goodman made a 1974 duo album for Nemperor. This was followed by Hammers debut solo set, The First Seven Days, a concept album based on the creation of the Earth.
During the late 70s, the Jan Hammer Group (Hammer, violinist Steve Kindler,...
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