If it’s groovin’ then Euge Groove wants to be a part of it

Published on March 24th, 2021

By Jim Dail

Picture this: Your last album, “Born2Groove,” was just named JazzTrax album of the year for 2007 and your song, “Baby If You Only Knew” was named song of the year. You have a heavy schedule of shows throughout the year and have been cranking out hit music for years. What would you do?

If you are Euge Groove, you would go out on tour with Tina Turner.

“When Tina asks you just can’t say no,” said Groove, who will perform Saturday, June 7 at Thornton Winery as part of the 2008 Champagne Jazz Concert Series. “I had to do some juggling of my schedule but I’ll have a lot of solo shows and shows with Tina this year. And I’ll be working on a new album.”

It’s not the first time he’s played as a sideman. After graduating from University of Miami’s School of Music in 1984, he embarked on gigs with such artists as Huey Lewis, Tower of Power, The Gap Band, Elton John and Tina Turner, before becoming a solo artist in 2000.

“I’ll be doing three shows a week with Tina and then my shows on the weekends so it will work out great,” he said. “It’s really something being out there with her because every shot she calls is the right one.”

The saxman credits much of his success on stage to his work as a sideman.

“Being on those tours with other people I got to work with some real entertainers and I paid attention to what worked so I really learned a lot about stage presence,” he said. “As a result I have tried to make my shows really rich and full whether I am playing a big arena or a 500-seat show. I want a really big sound for every show.”

In some ways, Groove has been able to survive the music downloading trend and keep sales static while still packing people into shows.

“Downloading has really affected the traditional side of the industry and for me that just means I have to work harder and work within what is happening,” he said. “That’s probably the biggest thing I learned about the music business and that is that it is a business that you have to be thinking about 24/7. You have to look at your career and micromanage every part of it.”

While many musicians have seen their album sales take a hit, Groove points to the fact that at the very least, his sales have not gone down.

“My record sales have stayed flat so in this modern market that is sort of an increase,” he said. “If an artist in the past sold 500,000 copies of an album, now the sales are down to 25,000. So, I’m pretty happy in a sense to have at least kept pace with my previous sales.”

Nevertheless, the stage show is still the primary source of income for artists and as Groove points out, it is vital to give fans what they want or they won’t come out to the shows.

“I think some artists may get bored playing the same things over and over and try to change the sound of songs, but the danger is that you might tick off your fans because they came to hear their favorite song played the exact same way they remember it,” he said. “It’s the little things that make a difference.”

As for new product, Groove is enjoying the fruits of “Born2Groove,” and may look to create a continuation of the feel of that particular album.

“There’s always a theme behind my albums and for the next one I like to think I have a new theme in mind, but I have to say that I loved the process of the last album that I am thinking the next one will be a continuation of the spiritual feel of ‘Born2Groove,’ he said.



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