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There are at least two artists with this name: an American jazz musician and a British musician.

John Wallace Carter (24 September 1928–31 March 1991) was an American jazz clarinet, saxophone, and flute player.

John Carter was born in Fort Worth, where he played with Ornette Coleman and Charles Moffett in the 1940s. From 1961, Carter was based on the West Coast. There he met Bobby Bradford in 1965, with whom he subsequently worked on a number of projects. He also played with Hampton Hawes and Harold Land. In the 1970s he became well known on the basis of his extraordinary solo concerts. At New Jazz Festival Moers 1977 he and the German clarinet player Theo Jörgensmann performanced on three days. Afterwards John Carter received complimentary reviews and wide recognition from around the world. He and Jörgensmann met again in 1984. The program of the Berlin Jazzfest was built around the clarinet. After Carter's solo performance, they also played together.

Between 1982 and 1990 Carter composed and recorded "Roots and Folklore: Episodes in the Development of American Folk Music," in five albums focused on African-Americans and their history. The complete set was acclaimed by jazz critics as containing some of the best releases of the 1980s.

A clarinet quartet with Perry Robinson, Jörgensmann and Eckard Koltermann was planned for 1991, but John Carter did not recover from nonmalignant tumor.

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