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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.