Tanah Merah local Ian Maurice, who the rest of Australia knows as “the Bear”, is no stranger to the limelight.

For years he was on prime-time television and radio. He anchored some of the biggest shows on offer, from the Today Show to Wide World of Sports to Sunrise, and he was a friendly voice to many on 4BC Radio.

Although those days are well and truly over, he has enjoyed exercising his freedom on one of his many other talents of music.

“Music was a part of my life way before I started broadcasting,” he said.

And now that is on full display in a new jazz album, Live at the Emporium.

“The album has been in the making over the last year with the incredibly gifted pianist Red Lopez who I met when I was putting a band together last year,” he said.

“That band project never got off the ground, but Red and I stayed in touch because he is such a marvellous player.”

The album name gives its inspiration away – as an arrangement of their finest songs recorded live on one of their weekly shows at their favourite haunt, the Emporium Hotel in Brisbane.

“My style of music almost has a jazz flavour to it, but I try to incorporate some well-known songs that may have been on the charts a few years ago.”

He is the sort of person “who can’t stick to one thing for long” but this bond with Mr Lopez is too good to break.

“The Emporium is the only regular gig I do, and I just love it,” he said.

As for the question of whether he’ll return to TV or radio, the answer is no. But in the spirit of the true entertainer is, he cannot help teasing the thought of a comeback.

“You can never say never,” he said.

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