John Snyder grew up playing piano and trumpet and attended the University of North Carolina at Greensboro on several music scholarships. In college he booked his band on a Caribbean, North Atlantic, European, North African tour one summer and a tour of Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, and the Pacific Islands the next. He graduated from the University of North Carolina School of Law in 1973 and is a member of the New York State Bar.
Snyder has produced hundreds of recordings and CD reissues and compilations as a music and video producer. Recordings he has produced have received 32 Grammy nominations and 5 Grammys. In addition, Snyder has held positions at the upper levels of many major recording companies. As the assistant to the president of CTI Records, Creed Taylor, Snyder oversaw legal and business affairs, publishing, manufacturing, distribution, and artists and repertoire operations.
He served as director of Horizon Jazz Series for A&M Records under the tutelage of Herb Alpert after which he opened his own record company, Artists House in 1977, releasing recordings by Ornette Coleman, Gil Evans, Chet Baker, Andrew Hill, Thad Jones & Mel Lewis, and Paul Desmond, among others. Later served as director of jazz production for Atlantic Records under the guidance of Ahmet and Nesuhi Ertegun; his responsibilities included A&R, production, manufacturing, promotion, publicity, and marketing.
As a member of the New York Chapter of The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS), Snyder served on the Board of Governors, the Education Committee, the Jazz Committee, and the Grammy in the Schools Committee, among others.
As an artist manager, Snyder managed Chet Baker, Gerry Mulligan, Jim Hall, Gil Evans, Ornette Coleman, and Art Pepper, among others. As a music producer Snyder produced records with Etta James, Dave Brubeck, Count Basie Orchestra, George Shearing, Sun Ra, Cecil Taylor, Gerry Mulligan, Chet Baker, Dizzy Gillespie, Art Blakey, Derek Trucks, Mavis Staples, James Cotton, Junior Wells, the Muddy Waters Band, Charles Brown, Honeyboy Edwards, Robert Lockwood, Jr., and Gatemouth Brown, among others. He also recorded Eric Clapton, Paul Simon, Shirley Caesar, Buddy Guy, Santana, Bonnie Raitt, Bobby Womack, Dr. John, Wynona Judd, Stevie Wonder, Gregg Allman, and Isaac Hayes, among others, on various blues, R&B, and tribute records.
Snyder has been on the faculty of the Loyola University New Orleans College of Music and Fine Arts faculty since 2004 where he is the Hilton/Baldridge Eminent Scholar in Music Industry Studies, Professor, Chair of the Department of Music Industry Studies, and Director of the School of Music Industry. He was also Project Director for the Center of Music and Arts Entrepreneurship and co-founder of the artist health and wellness initiative, Athletes and the Arts (www.athletesandthearts.com).
Snyder is also President of Artists House Foundation (http://www.artistshousemusic.org/) which was funded by Herb Alpert to help musicians and music entrepreneurs create sustainable careers.
Snyder was appointed to the New Mexico Music Commission, for which he wrote the enabling legislation, by Governor Bill Richardson and appointed to the Louisiana Music Commission by Governor Kathleen Blanco and Governor Bobby Jindal, for whom he wrote the Strategic Plan for Music for the State of Louisiana. The alignment of creative education and the development of the creative workforce with the creative economy defines his work, his teaching, and his efforts on behalf of his community.