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Kevin Dorn ::89.1 Jazz
Jazz is diversity-the language of life itself. This diversity is the common thread of my experience that lead me to WEMU. I was born in Detroit, brought up in Birmingham, and matured in Ann Arbor. It was there, while working a university landscaping job on north campus, that I first discovered the music of WEMU. I’d listen, enamored, to the soundscapes of89.1 Jazz with Linda Yohn and Michael Jewett all day while I tended landscapes.
Post Graduation, with a Bachelor of Science in Ecology, I ventured to Morocco to sow my oats in the Peace Corps. Morocco has rich musical traditions, and I was nourished by traditional Arabic and Berber sounds as well as contemporary world fusions. While my work in community development sustained me practically, my exposure to ganawa, rai, and folk music nourished my soul.
Post Peace Corps I tried my hand in ecology, working on an organic farm, at the People’s Food Coop, and the Department of Natural Resources. All the while my soul sought music; and with friends in various local bands I developed into a supportive disc jockey for concert events. Finally my love of music had developed into something I could share. As DJ Special K I focused on Reggae and Hip Hop. I thank my friend Marc Taras, host of 89.1 Jazz and Cuban Fantasy, at PJ’s Records for guiding my intimate acquaintance with jazz. Marc directed me to records by John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Charles Mingus and Herbie Hancock. Wow! What grace and freedom. Eventually I picked up a Dave Bailey date with Curtis Fuller and Clark Terry and everything changed. I went on to catch Curtis Fuller at the 2006 Detroit International Jazz Fest. My fire for jazz was burning hot.
My love of Jazz was set and my radio dial tuned to 89.1. Seeking more jazz experience, I volunteered at the 2006 Fall fundraiser and became a volunteer producer of 89.1 Jazz which lead to employment as a producer. When Wendy Wright began From Memphis to Motown, Linda Yohn offered the Sunday morning show to me-which I gratefully accepted. I have experienced great joy and growth learning from Linda Yohn, Michael Jewett, and the WEMU audience. We have something really special here and I am honored to be part of the WEMU community as an 89.1 Jazz host.
Otherwise, I live on the west side of Ann Arbor with my wife, Atcha, and cat, Jay. Besides listening to music, I enjoy spending time with family and friends, eating, taking walks, and gardening vegetables and flowers. The rest of my career is split between hosting events as DJ Special K and working in Special Education. I am currently pursuing a teacher certification at Eastern Michigan University. My roots are dug deep in our community and I hope to flourish here. See you soon!