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Local Jazz Musician Paul Keller Talks About Radio Relationships And Connection To Community

Paul Keller
Paul Keller
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Every relationship has a story, including your relationship with WEMU. Lisa Barry talks with composer and bassist Paul Keller of Saline about how they connected through music and the radio station and why supporting WEMU is important to strengthen similar relationships for everyone.

TRANSCRIPTION:

Lisa Barry I'm talking to Ann Arbor area, actually, from Saline, jazz musician, composer, performer Paul Keller, big fan of yours here on WEMU. And you and I kind of have a relationship that comes from WEMU. I love jazz and of course, I've heard of you, but we didn't really connect until this pandemic. And I feel like we have a WEMU story to share.

Paul Keller: We do on my Facebook page, I've clicked in a relationship and I am a very happily married to my wonderful wife of 33 years. But I'm in a new relationship with Lisa Barry from WEMU. We just met about a year and a half ago. And it's been a lot of fun, hasn't it, Lisa? Oh, my.

Lisa Barry: Gosh. Paul Keller, I got to attend one of your events at your barn in Saline during the pandemic when we are all starved for live music and we connected instantly when you said, I'm now going to play a song from my favorite composer, and then you said...

Paul Keller: Me!

Lisa Barry: I thought that was so funny. And I thought, not only is he an immensely talented composer and performer, but he's funny. And I knew that we all need that. We still need that.

Paul Keller: Oh, yeah. Well, no fool, no fun. And besides, you know what? The comedy makes the music sound just that much better. 

Lisa Barry: Right. Absolutely. So that's how we connected. But right now we're talking about supporting WEMU, another fundraiser. And what can you say to possibly encourage people listening why they should support WEMU?

Paul Keller: Oh, that's super easy. Just think about the silence that would be there if WEMU was not there. We all, including me, we all take WEMU for granted. Just think about if it wasn't there. And I've seen it. We've all seen it. If you've ever been outside of our little bubble here, we've seen public radio stations come and go. We've seen them change their format because of necessity. And even WEMU has to maneuver to work within their means. It really behooves all of us to contribute. We get out of WEMU what we put into it and then that staff, that marvelous, wonderful staff, they take what we give to WEMU and they multiply at times.

Lisa Barry: Ten to me, life is about relationships and connections, and we've been able, because of WEMU, to develop this relationship and connection. And with again, with so many amazing jazz performers in our community that I am honored to connect with and share their information. But I appreciate you, Paul Keller, for understanding that and sharing the encouragement to offer some financial support to WEMU, especially now.

Paul Keller: Well, indeed, as a performer, we like to connect. We need to reach out to each other. We covet these wonderful human relationships. We love the music. But a lot of it doesn't happen without the proper financial support. Right. It just goes away. We still love it at that point, though. We miss it. I would urge you right now to give whatever you can or get on some kind of plan, a five dollar, a ten, twenty dollars a month plan, whatever. I'm not the expert on that. But I think that's an easy way to continue to show your love for WEMU do that now, will you, please? It's important WEMU is important to our community. It's important to our mental health. It's important to our cultural health. Give now, if you can, please, to WEMU.

Lisa Barry: Again, Paul Keller, always great to connect with you and thanks for all you do for our community as well.

Paul Keller: You're welcome. I appreciate you as well. Thank you, Lisa.

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— Lisa Barry is the host of All Things Considered on WEMU. You can contact Lisa at 734.487.3363, on Twitter @LisaWEMU, or email her at lbarryma@emich.edu

Lisa Barry was a reporter, and host of All Things Considered on 89.1 WEMU.
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