George Klein


George Klein has been a jazz fan since first hearing it on WHAT FM while a high school student in Philadelphia during a previous millennium. The essence of George’s entry point into the music -- 50’s and 60’s jazz – can be heard on his weekly Groove Yard program, which began in 1989. The idea was to feature the period when the long-playing record allowed musicians to record more extensively, which in turn led to the rise of independent record labels such as Blue Note, Riverside, Prestige, Atlantic, Pacific Jazz and others dedicated to documenting contemporary jazz.

Before staking out the Groove Yard, George hosted varioust jazz programs on WEMU starting in 1982, when vinyl and magnetic tape were state-of-the-art. He has also participated in live remote music broadcasts from Detroit and other locations.

Outside of WEMU, George was the director of the study abroad office at Eastern Michigan University and is a true believer in the transforming power of global experience as well as music. He has taught courses on jazz history and culture at EMU and Wayne State University.

These days George often extends the boundaries of the Groove Yard through thematic programming that can reveal surprising similarities and influences. While East Coast hard bop is never far away, some of George’s growing interests include spiritual and gospel elements, jazz around the world -- especially from the Caribbean and South Africa, and the whole range of music from New Orleans. All of this makes for an increasingly intercultural musical landscape.

2:54 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Remembering Musical Passings of 2013

The Groove Yard remembers some of the musicians who passed this year, including Yusef Lateef, one of George's all-time favorites.

Before turning the page on 2013, The Groove Yard's George Klein gave tribute to many artists that left the music community in 2013. 

George compiled a list, below. However, it is not intended to be complete. It is a list of passings in music (mostly jazz and blues) and in music and creative culture that George learned about during the year and verified through various networks.

Read more
Dave Brubeck's Death
9:48 am
Thu December 6, 2012

WEMU Remembers Dave Brubeck

Groove Yard

Early modern jazz from the 1950's and 60's with a special emphasis on a different artist each week.