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Ramona Collins: Grateful Guest DJ On 89.1 Jazz Morning

Patrick Campion
Ramona Collins at Rush Night Club in Ann Arbor

It is the season of gratitude.  WEMU thanks you for your support – especially for your generous support for jazz on 89.1 for 40 years.  WEMU also thanks the musicians of Southeastern Michigan and Northwest Ohio for their gifts of talent and time performing for WEMU over the years.  Today we said thanks to the leading lady of jazz in Toledo, Ohio – Ramona Collins.  She was today’s Guest DJ in our 40 Years of Jazz Celebration. 

When Sean Dobbins’ was a guest DJ, he observed – it’s all one scene – Lansing, Detroit, Ann Arbor, Toledo…it’s all one great jazz scene.  If anyone represents this wide jazz territory, it is Ramona Collins.  She was born in Lansing, Michigan.  Her mother was a beloved jazz pianist and professional entertainer.  Ramona’s marriage led her to Toledo where she raised her family, but she stayed in touch with all of her musical friends in Michigan, including WEMU in Ypsilanti.  Over the years, she has performed at many WEMU shows such as 5:01 Jazz and our Heritage Festival Jazz Showcases.  Ramona found her 2000 recording of her Ypsilanti Heritage Festival Jazz Show, which both opens and closes this special hour.

Get ready to relax and reminisce with Ramona and me.  Her career has spanned nearly 50 years and included singing in wedding and pop bands.  Today Ramona focuses solely on jazz with a good dose of the blues.  Ramona described the joy of performing with legendary jazz musicians Greg Bandy, Mark Kieswetter, Larry Fuller, Claude Black, Clifford Murphy, George Davidson, Randy Gilespie, David Stearns in long-gone locales such as Rusty’s Jazz Café and The Bird Of Paradise.  Get ready for her sensitive selections from Dianne Reeves, Carmen McRae and Mary Stallings and the life wisdom of Ramona Collins.  Get ready for her return in February 2018 when she is lined up for WEMU’s 5:01 Jazz Show!

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Linda Yohn simply cannot remember a day in her life that was not filled with music. Her early life was full of changes as the daughter of a well-respected cancer research scientist who moved his family about, but one thing was constant: the love of music instilled by her mother. So, when it seemed life was too hard to bear, young Linda would listen to her radio, play her guitar, dance her heart out and sing at the top of her lungs. So, it isn’t so strange that “older” Linda still does all those things!