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Euge Groove

October 04, 2000

Euge Groove



By KATE COLEMAN / Staff Writer


When Tina Turner takes to the stage of the MCI Center in Washington, D.C., Saturday night, she'll be backed on sax by one of Hagerstown's very own.

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The sold-out concert is part of Turner's "Twenty Four Seven Millennium Tour 2000. " Joe Cocker will be there.

And so will Steven Eugene Grove, a 1980 South High grad.

How did he get from here to there?

And how in the world did he come to be known as "Euge Groove" with a self-titled debut CD?

He started picking out tunes on the piano when he was 5, said his mom, Ruth Grove, who led the children's choir at Christ Lutheran Church in Hagerstown. Piano lessons began when he was in second grade, and he took up the sax at 9 or 10. He studied privately and graduated from University of Miami's School of Music, one of 65 saxophone majors, he said.

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He went to Los Angeles in 1987, and played, toured or recorded with many notables: Tower of Power, Eurythmics, Huey Lewis and the News, Elton John, Bonnie Raitt and Richard Marx.

Groove, who is married with children ages 10, 9 and 3, became "Euge" when his in-laws shortened Eugene, his middle name. Mr. Grove frequently was called "Mr. Groove" on European tours.

Although he studied classical music, Groove, 37, learned that there was "no money" in classical sax. He did the math on the numbers of people attending jazz concerts and the numbers of people attending pop concerts. Playing sax in a pop-instrumental format is what works for Euge Groove and his family.

"It's still unbelievably difficult," he said. He's on the road a lot, but he's made good use of his time. He wrote seven of 10 tracks on his solo album on a laptop while touring.

In 1999, he took off a year to record the album in his home studio. While he was waiting for producer Paul Brown to mix the recording, he put the tracks he had made on the Internet at www.mp3.com. His music was No. 1 on the Mp3 jazz site for six weeks. Groove later signed with Warner Brothers Records.

The Turner performance schedule allows him time to promote his record and write more music. He called Turner "a blast - a total sweetheart." His mom and his dad, James Grove, will be at the MCI Center Saturday for the sold-out concert.

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