Fusion Flavours with Steve QuirkOn air: 11AM Sunday
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ProgrammeSmooth jazz meets smooth soul with a few musical surprises too
BioFusion Flavours is not just a radio show...it is a brand that has endured over 22 years, through changing radio formats and changing tastes. It is a labour of love for its creator Steve Quirk who first introduced the concept on Manchester’s then soul music station Sunset FM in 1990. He had started out there as the stations staff librarian but within a year had been promoted to Musical Director. Because it was Easter many of the regular DJ’s were having time off so his boss and long time mentor Mike Shaft gave Steve the chance to go on air. Fusion Flavours was born, with the first ever record played on the show being Bob James ‘Westchester Lady’.
Perhaps it is not a coincidence that it was in Manchester where this all became possible. The city was and is synonymous with the phenomena of northern soul, that special brand of rare and atmospheric grooves much adored by a following always on the lookout for something different. For them the journey from soul, through fusion to smooth jazz seemed a natural progression and Steve Quirk, who proudly names the Isley Brothers ‘That Lady’ as the first single he ever bought, was there to cultivate their musical taste buds.
With the demise of Sunset, Steve transitioned Fusion Flavours to Jazz FM for eight years, a golden age that found smooth jazz really connecting with its growing United Kingdom audience. The culmination of this was Steve’s appointment as the stations Musical Director in 1999. His brief was to make Jazz FM into a genuine smooth jazz station. Putting on 10 instrumentals from day one, including Fourplay’s ‘101 Eastbound’, he began to create the template for what was to follow, a strategy that led to a significant increase in the listenership and Jazz FM’s promotion of live smooth jazz events. These concerts brought top-notch artists to England for the first time and regularly sold out venues such as the 3000 seat Hammersmith Apollo. On one memorable occasion, the first visit of the Guitars and Saxes show to London, demand to see Dave Koz, Steve Cole, Marc Antoine and Peter White proved to be so great that a second, midnight, show was scheduled which in turn sold out all over again.
During this time Steve Quirk was also actively compiling a series of smooth jazz sampler compilation CD’s that were released on the Jazz FM label. These were much more than the usual eight to ten track US radio station samplers, they were expansive musical showcases, double CD thirty track projects, that each sold between 5 and 20,000 copies. These collections stand as testimony to the high quality of Steve’s taste in music, a flare that he has demonstrated not only with his radio shows but also when putting together perhaps the best smooth jazz compilation of all time, the 1996 ‘Jazz Fusions 4’ on Beechwood...which was his first compilation CD.
With a change in ownership and a corresponding change in format smooth jazz began to slip from the Jazz FM radar screen. After achieving a five-fold increase in listener figures Steve moved on in 2002 taking Fusion Flavours to BBC Radio Manchester. But, as is the way in radio, what goes around tends to come around. Another format change saw Jazz FM morph into Smooth FM and it is here in 2004 that Fusion Flavours continued Sunday midnight and Steve also hosted the “smooth jazz through the night” Monday to Friday midnight till 6.00am shows...which are still remembered fondly today.
Steve’s passion for the music took his “Fusion Flavours” across the pond to host a weekly syndicated show in the USA, ‘Fusion Flavours – Smooth Jazz From Around The World’ on WNUA 95.5 Chicago and on LOVE 94 in Miami. This was a great way for Steve and “Fusion Flavours” to reach a whole new audience early in 2006/07
Back in October 2008 saw the start of the fresh new Jazz FM on DAB welcoming listeners old and new. Steve hosted “Smooth jazz in the afternoon” which went on to be “Fusion Flavours” an afternoon show of two hours of the coolest soul and jazz with a few musical surprises too.” I loved the show...going back to Jazz FM after being away from it for six years was like going back to my “spiritual home”
It’s now February 2013 and four wonderful years at JazzFM are behind him...new and exciting things are around the corner. Look out for “fusionflavours.com” and more shows around the world wide web.”These are scary and exciting times in equal measure...I love what I do and the passion is stronger today than yesterday...I am looking forward to challenges ahead”
Recalling something that Nathan East once said to him he says, “Enjoy what you do and you never work a day for the rest of your life”. Steve is passionate about what he does, putting in many hours behind the scenes that people don’t even get to see. As he says, “I love what I do so I guess I haven’t been working for the last 22 years!”
Smooth jazz saxophonist, Euge Groove, chats to Colourful's Steve Quirk
24/07/2016 10AM | More
GoosefestGreat to catch you at Goosefest. You have been one of the greatest influences of the music we listen to. You just won two new listeners to Colourful. All the best Steve and Sheila Steve
Steve | 05/10/2018
Easy like Sunday morningSteve, loved todays show especially the breeze. Going to really miss it for the next month, have a great break in Canada. Regards Iain IAIN GRIFFIN
IAIN GRIFFIN | 29/07/2018
email@example.comThank you so much for the mention on your programme today. Wendy heard it and was overjoyed. I'm grateful to you for your help, love your show have a good week. Till next Sunday. Kind regards Iain
Ian Griffin | 25/03/2018
Catching up on your podcastJust found you again after a few years. Also catching up on your podcast. Great to hear you again and god I miss the show especially the breeze. Kind regards Iain Iain
Iain | 21/01/2018
Missed you.You have been instrumental in the finding of fantastic smooth jazz tracks. I have missed you on jazzfm where you introduced me to Jeanne newhall and numerous others. WELCOME BACK Mark Willcox
Mark Willcox | 02/09/2017
My favourite smoothHi Steve found you at last.My favourite smooth jazz dj, Love Janice Janice
Janice | 29/01/2017
Great show SteveBrilliant show Steve, been tuned in for a while now!! 'SJAS' is in the house ;-) ♫ ♪ David Snashfold
David Snashfold | 16/10/2016
tunesAs good as ever, spreading the news of how to find and listen to you, Brighton is listening in!! Great to know that all is going well for you, fab opening tune today x and yes for sure over doing the chocs even though serious pacing is being enforced. love K xx karen
karen | 06/04/2015
Best of 2014 listHi Steve, A belated happy new year to you. Thank you for a wonderful 2014 of new tunes on Fusion Flavours. Could you kindly send me your best of 2014 list. Kind Regards Fizul Fizul
Fizul | 06/02/2015
WinterIts cold outside. Coal fire roaring in here red wine..LISTENING TO. steve quirk.. BETTER THAN WINNING THE LOTTERY... FACT... Wayne Adams
Wayne Adams | 18/11/2014