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Grounded in eclecticism, Gene Knific debuts at Fontana Summer Festival

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Gene Knific comes by his mixed pedigree of classical and jazz influences honestly.

The son of violinist Renata Knific ( professor, Western Michigan University) and bassist Tom Knific (professor, chair of Jazz Studies, Western Michigan University), this eclectic young composer and pianist, with his trio, were invited to perform for the Fontana Summer Festival this weekend.

Gene talks to Cara Lieurance about his Kalamazoo upbringing, and the teachers who started him down his musical path. A student of the University of Miami, he's focused on composing and arranging for his trio, which includes Evan Hyde on drums and Geoff Saunders on bass.

Cara Lieurance covers local music with live morning interviews, and produces WMUK's Let's Hear It weekday mornings at 10 am Mon-Fri, showcasing local interviews and performances. She also produces The Pure Drop, an hour of Celtic music, with musician Dave Marlatt.
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