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Mike Brooks

The Classical Commute

Weekdays 5:00pm - 6:00pm

Mike's Bio

Michael Brooks (but you can call him Mike!) first came to the Pacific Northwest 20 plus years ago when he moved from the East Coast to Seattle. Thinking the forests and snow-capped mountains were things of magazine ads and Hollywood fantasy, it took no time for him to jump feet first into not only the community of outdoor lovers, but the radio world of the West Coast. Though his time in broadcasting began well before that; Mike’s first job at a classical station in his hometown of Baltimore was the start of what would become a decades-long career behind-the-scenes and the mic, earning him the 2020 Chapter Engineer of the Year Award.

Mike grew up surrounded by classical music so it’s no wonder he found his way in this world. His dad, who fancied himself something of a tuba playing Irish tenor (don’t ask!) and mom both shared a love for the music genre, decorating their home with huge stacks of classical records. When he’s not keeping Classical KING on air as our Production Director, head of Engineering, and The Classical Commute host, Mike likes to take in hikes in the Cascades, Scuba dives in the Puget Sound, and downhill runs on “Cascade concrete”… so, you know, the simple things in life!

Q&A with Mike

KING: Let’s say you have a free day to spend somewhere beautiful. Are you heading to the beach or the mountains? In the Pacific Northwest, of course, we have easy access to both.

Mike: Mountains for sure, my fave local hike: Granite Mountain. Nice rocky alpine summit with a ranger tower and view of Alpine Lakes below and, in the fall, a huckleberry field about 2/3rd of the way up!

KING: Favorite type of food?

Mike: Salmon from my BBQ, topped with butter, salt, pepper, and my secret ingredient (crushed macadamia nuts).

KING: It’s game night! Are you hoping for a board/tabletop game, a video game, or a sporting event?

Mike: Softball, playing 2nd base.

KING: Beatles or Rolling Stones? (Or Bach or Beethoven?)

Mike: Beatles or Bach.

KING: What music might people be surprised to learn you listen to — when you’re not listening to KING, that is?

Mike: Blues, Muddy Waters, BB King, Howlin’ Wolf, Clapton, Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan.

KING: If your classical music collection was entirely vinyl records, which of those records would be nearly worn-out from being played dozens of times? In other words, what music do you come back to, over and over again?

Mike: E. Power Biggs playing Bach, Rachmaninoff, Stravinsky, Faure.

KING: What pieces of music do you turn to when you need comfort, solace, or relaxation?

Mike: Erik Satie and Philip Glass.

KING: Let’s say you’re hosting a musical dinner party or cocktail party, and you can invite three composers or performers, living or dead. Whom do you invite?

Mike: J.S. Bach, George Gershwin, and Erik Satie — serve up some cold beer and let the debate begin!

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