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Euge Groove

South Hagerstown High School graduate swings through the area on concert tour

South Hagerstown High School graduate swings through the area on concert tour

November 11, 2002|by KATE COLEMAN

katec@herald-mail.com

Feel like getting in the groove?

Area jazz fans will have a couple of chances to hear one of their own when a saxophone-playing Hagerstown native heads East this week.

Euge Groove - known as Steven Eugene Grove when he graduated from South Hagerstown High School in 1980 - is headlining dates at two metro-area clubs. He'll play at the Ram's Head Tavern in Annapolis Tuesday, Nov. 12, and at The Birchmere in Alexandria, Va., Sunday, Nov. 17.

He'll be joined by Michael Egizi on keyboards, Ian Martin on bass guitar, drummer Michael White and Fred Clark on "very funky" guitar.

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The last time Groove performed at East Coast clubs was 10 years ago - then as a sideman playing his saxophone with Tower of Power.

He spent 15 years on the road, playing with the likes of Huey Lewis, Richard Marx, Joe Cocker and Tina Turner on her final tour two years ago.

Groove's gone from 200 to 50 performance dates a year, but he's coming back this way - this time the man in front. Philadelphia, New Haven, Conn., New York City, Rochester, N.Y., and Boston are other East Coast stops.

He recorded his first album in 1999, the self-titled "Euge Groove." That CD's success helped him land a Warner Bros. record contract and nominations for national Smooth Jazz awards.

His second collection, "Play Date," was released in July. "Slam Dunk," a single from the album, is in its fourth week at the top of the Radio & Record Industry's Smooth Jazz chart.

Groove's already working on his next project, a new album expected in 2004. "I'm always writing," he says.

He's come a long way since kindergarten when he sang in the Cherub Choir his mother led at Christ Lutheran Church in Hagerstown. He took piano lessons and had his first recital when he was in second grade. He came to the saxophone in fifth grade, continued through high school and studied classical sax at University of Miami.

Groove, who lives in California with his wife, two sons and daughter, says being exposed to and studying music early in his life had an impact on his future.

As his parents did for him, he's "making" his sons, 12 and 11, take piano lessons. "It's kind of the basis of everything," he says.

His kids sing along with George Benson as well as Kid Rock.

"All influences come together," Groove says. "You can't identify any one."

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