Derek

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How does one go from being born deaf, to having a radio show on air?  I’m not sure, but I pinch myself every day in disbelief that I get to do this wonderful job!

When I was around 10, I was old enough to have a procedure that restored my hearing, but I still had a horrible speech impediment.  Luckily my parents saw theater, music, and the performing arts as a way to overcome years of hindered communication abilities.  In fact, I always had an affinity to music, even while deaf, I could feel the vibrations of bass notes, and appreciated the visceral aspects of music.

Funny story: I remember crawling in the bottom of an old upright piano my parents had, and feeling the vibrations of the notes as they were played…I was hooked.

From theater, movie and commercial credits, to performing music in bands including Gravity Kills, Filter, and worldwide tours with the likes of Marilynn Manson and Nine Inch Nails, my career has been exciting and ever changing.  I have been lucky enough to record with members of Janes Addiction, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Smashing Pumpkins, on various musical projects at my recording studio, and love working on soundtracks and film scores like True Blood. 

With band involvement, I became a regular guest at various radio stations in the Chicago area during the 90’s, which turned into guest –on air- positions with MANCOW and other syndicated radio shows.  I also spent several years producing live television broadcast segments for Fox and Friends in Chicago.

There are also some other vaguely interesting projects over the years, including multiple overseas deployments, getting my pilots license, and designing a few restaurants and bars, but what brought me back to my creative passion of engaging with the public was a call 10 years ago to visit Traverse City with an offer to guest judge a ‘battle of the bands’ event at a few casinos in the Traverse City area.  

…I immediately fell in love with Northern Michigan 

A few years after arriving, I was one of three principle producers that kick started and founded the South Side Festival Grounds (a 7,000 person outdoor concert venue here in the area) producing and coordinating acts like Buck Cherry, Kenny Wayne Sheppard, and many other rock festivals/ concerts for the years the festival grounds were active. 

During that time, I worked with the amazing talent here at KLT for promoting the concerts, and loved the atmosphere and professionalism of the KLT family.  Luckily, there was an on-air slot that became available at KLT…and the rest is history.

This ‘Studio Sasquatch’ had an opportunity to join the KLT team, and let me tell ya, the ‘Squatch LOVES being on the air and playing music for the best listeners in the world…which just happen to be right here in beautiful Northern Michigan!