Southfield (CW50) – There are hundreds of music artists that have found a name for themselves after starting their careers right here in Detroit. Tino Gross made a name for himself as the man who musicians around the country would want to play with when they stopped in Detroit.

Community Connect Host Jackie Paige, with Detroit Music Legend Tino Gross, President of Funky D Records

Tino Gross joins Jackie Paige on Community Connect to talk about his life inside the world of Detroit music, as well as his ventures in record producing.

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One of Tino’s most memorable moments when it comes to playing with music legends was playing with Bob Dylan. After backing up John Lee Hooker on drums when he was a teenager, Tino Gross’s name spread through the Blues community, leading to gigs with even more musicians. Gross became good friends with Tony Garnier, bassist for Bob Dylan. When Bob Dylan’s band was in town Garnier would come to Tino to take them around to the best places across the city. His name carried through the band and onto Dylan, eventually leading Dylan to offer Tino a last second spot sitting in on guitar for him at the Fox Theatre in Detroit.

Legendary Detroit Musician, Tino Gross, on stage (Courtesy of Tino Gross)

Tino Gross has a love and passion for playing music, but he also found a drive to help other Detroiters get their music out to the world. Alongside his wife, Linda Lexy, Tino started Funky D Records. He started his producing career in Mississippi, eventually opening up his own label in the city of Detroit.

Tino discussed the names he’s had record in his studio, which he calls the Funk Bunker.

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“We’ve had Don Was, The Vandellas, Barrett Strong, Robert Bradley… We’re getting ready to release [a record] by Johnny Bee, the legendary drummer who played on the Alice Cooper record.”

His love for Detroit and its musicians is evident in the way he speaks about the artists that exist in the city.

“You could shoot a cannon into the MotorCity and you’re going to hit a musical genius… There’s so much talent here. It’s in the soil, it’s in the water, it’s in the air.”

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