Get to Know Your Hosts – Jeffrey Blair
We spoke with Jeffrey Blair, production manager, announcer and host/producer of Choral Classics Sundays at 5:00 PM and Tuesdays at 9:00 PM, this month to learn more about him.
What are some of your hobbies?
My biggest hobby is a purple 1971 VW bus named Grateful Phred. Cooking is also a big hobby since I spent many years working in restaurants and truly love creating good food for my wife who doubles as my number one taste-tester. I’m a big baseball fan even though I root for those hapless New York Mets. I do a little bit of fiction writing. I’ve got a great dog named Saffron that keeps me walking whether I want to or not. But I guess my best hobby is just trying to keep up with my wonderful wife, Z.
What types of music do you listen to besides classical?
It really depends on my mood and whim at the moment. I always have live Grateful Dead and Phish concerts on the iPod but beyond that my favorites include the blues, jazz (especially pre-Bebop), Classic Psychedelic Rock like Pink Floyd, Genesis, etc. I have also gotten into the Post-rock sound with bands like Explosions in the Sky and others.
There are two common threads that seem to run through my choices. First, I favor instrumental music to lyric-based music. Second, I like art where the creator is really trying to say something emotionally. I often tell young musicians that while they may be technically brilliant and flawless, if there isn’t any of their personality or character in the performance then it just falls flat. Music touches us on an emotional level and so the only way to really play music is to play it with emotion.
What was you most unusual job?
I was lucky that I discovered pretty early on that radio was my passion and I could sort of make a living at it. But before I got to that point (and actually for most of my working life) I’ve had to work other jobs to keep doing what I loved most. The first job where I had to fill out a W-2 was as a gas jockey. One of those kids who would fill your tank, check your oil, and clean your windshield. The next summer I decided that smelling like food was a whole lot better than smelling like petroleum products so I got a job in a little Italian restaurant. That job would end up being a string of cooking gigs that I would have for the next fifteen or so years as I supplemented my radio work. I’ve worked on the Dell factory floor putting computers together and third shift at a 7-11 but without a doubt my most unusual job is working at KMFA. There are always interesting things going on and great music to play.
Where was your favorite place to live besides Austin?
I was an Army brat so I grew up living in all sorts of different places but I have to admit that my favorite was Munich Germany. My dad was stationed in Mannheim and our family moved there when I was in my last year of high school. All the opportunities there instilled in me the love for traveling and exploring far away from the normal tourist destinations. I learned about art and music and beauty as well as the darker aspects of life and the universe. I learned to appreciate good food, good beer, and good company and how to slow down and just live more fully. While I was in Munich I went from being the center of the universe to being a part of the universe. I learned how to be a human being.
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