Hello this is my 4th Installment of Blues News & Views and this month I would like to talk about a Detroit artist & musician, my brother Steve Glazer. Not only is Steve producing some incredible art but he is a bass player.

Howard Glazer: Blues, Views & News from Detroit #4

He played on 2 tracks of “Live In Detroit” by Emanuel Young w/ Howard Glazer & the EL 34s, has played live many times with Emanuel Young, Harmonica Shah and with me, he also plays in Karanji‘s Soulwater . Steve is also the person that turned me on to guitar, rock n’ roll and the blues. So that being said I owe a lot to him musically and artistically.
My brothers and I grew up immersed in music and art, both of our parents were musicians our mother taught music in the Detroit Public Schools and our father was a professional musician working in a big band (Don Pablo & his Orchestra) and also taught lessons privately. A love of all arts, but especially music was ingrained in all of us.

Steve has stated that his favorite things to do on a regular basis are teaching art, making his art and playing music. If asked to pick only one, it would be really hard…

HG: What first got you interested in music?
SG : My interest started when seeing the brother of a girl I had a Jr. High crush on, perform with his band at a school dance. Watching live Rock and Roll being performed, even if I didn‘t know what they were playing, was a live changing moment. I think I pretty much forgot about the young lady, as I was bitten by the rock and roll bug.

HG: What were your first musical influences?
SG: The first songs I listened to were pretty standard pop radio. The first record I purchased was „Snoopy Vs. The Red Baron“ by The Royal Guardsman, but soon after I was listening to Motown and early psychedelia, such as „I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night“ by The Electric Prunes. Within a year or so, I heard „Kick Out The Jams“ by one of my first, and lasting, musical hero‘s, Detroit‘s MC5.

HG: When did you discover the blues?
SG: At about the same time I discovered the Detroit rock n roll scene, I discovered the blues. I used to take a city bus downtown on Saturdays and walk amongst the tall buildings, and often came across a blind gentleman, sitting at the edge of an alley, alongside the old Hudson‘s store, playing acoustic guitar, and singing the blues. I never learned who it was, but the music struck a chord in my soul that has lasting a lifetime.

HG: I remember that very clearly myself because I used to tag along with you and take the bus downtown. My favorite things downtown were record stores and the bluesman by Hudson’s. I’ve told the same story many times! What are you doing now musically?
SG: While I play with, and have committed a lot of personal time, to an original music, R&B/hip hop project, Karanji‘s Soulwater, that I really believe in and love the music we make together, I get a special high whenever I get to perform with the likes of Emanuel Young, Harmonica Shah, or even the lesser known of Detroit‘s legendary blues statesmen. These guys are legends, and being able to play behind them, and support their art, is such an incredible experience that I can‘t translate it into words.

HG: What brought you to ceramics?
SG: My love for clay began when I saw a student teacher throw a pot on a potter’s wheel during my senior year at Milford High School. From that moment on, I was hooked. I went on to pursue a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree with a concentration in ceramics along with K-12 teaching certification in Art from Eastern Michigan University and a Masters of Arts with a concentration in ceramics from Central Michigan University. A chance meeting with Dick Hay led me to Indiana State University (where Hay taught for 40 years) for the next three years. After receiving my MFA degree from Indiana State University, my teaching career began and quickly became another passion. As I have done throughout my career, I continue to pursue my own work in the bit of time I find around and between teaching and other school related responsibilities.

Steve’s recent show at the River’s Edge Gallery in Wyandotte, MI (http://artattheedge.com/steve-glazer/) entitled “the Motor City Griot Society Series.” Is a group of clay masks that draws their inspiration from the Griot from west African culture. The Griot was charged with maintaining the oral history of their culture/tribe but also had other roles such as entertainer/ musician, healer, spiritual or personal advice and a social leader, the Griot has powers and visions that go beyond the norm.

These same opposing forces are informed by the experience of living in Detroit, a city that is as maligned now, as it was once celebrated. The masks reflect the people of Detroit, their spirit and their bodies, as well as the engine of industry that made her the mechanistic core of America. Like the masks, Detroit is full of color, in its people and its culture, but weathered from difficult changes in the industry she was instrumental in creating. Ultimately, the human form of the Motor City Griot Society points the way forward for Detroit, moving with the hearts and minds of its people.”

Steve’s work is available worldwide at http://artattheedge.com go to „Shop Detroit Art“, pull up „By Artist“, pull up „A-J“, click on „Steve Glazer“