Community, Culture, MUSIC

A Year Unlike Any Other

Over the past year, our teams have worked from our homes statewide, Zoom rooms, and our new studios at the Buell Public Media Center in Denver. We have delivered music, stories, critical information, conversations and safe experiences that aim to honor the trust our listeners and supporters place in us. Throughout, we shared more voices, and explored more ways to connect.  Here’s a look at some bright spots we’ve achieved together as a KUVO family!

We Created Trusted Connections

Colorado is full of art and music lovers, and within two months of quarantine, we were already hearing from listeners who missed opportunities for live, in-person performances and gatherings. We ended up producing virtual events and broadcast specials to fill the need and create safe spaces of connection – on topics that included arts and culture to health and current events– reaching people near and far.

  • Five Points Jazz Festival – 400,000 people came together in May 2020 for a virtual version of one of Denver’s favorites, Five Points Jazz Festival, hosted by KUVO JAZZ and THE DROP. 
  • THE SHOP – KUVO JAZZ and THE DROP joined together to create THE SHOP (think: Barber Shop/Beauty Shop) a new show that gives voice to pressing community concerns and provides trusted information. THE SHOP has addressed topics such as voting issues during the 2020 election and vaccination access and uptake in vulnerable communities. 
  • The Black Church – In February, KUVO JAZZ and THE DROP collaborated to simulcast a special hour of programming centered on The Black Church. The program was a mix of discussion, historical exploration of musical roots of Gospel, Jazz, Blues, Rhythm & Blues and Hip-Hop to tell the story of The Black Church in Colorado and across the country. 

Our Partnerships Expanded

KUVO has played unique music, cultivated community, educated and created content this year that inspired, kept your toes tappin’ and relayed critical information to those who need it the most. These efforts were able to reach even further thanks to uniting in purpose with our nonprofit, governmental, educational and local partners! 

  • Truly Texas Mexican – KUVO Jazz, along with partners Su Teatro, Mexican Culture Center, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and XicanIndie Film Fest, presented a virtual event to celebrate the contributions of Native American women and the roots of Mexican food with a special virtual cooking session and conversation with Chef and Food Writer, Adán Medrano.
  • Doris Duke Foundation and the Jazz Media Lab Cohort The Jazz Media Lab invites select stations to participate in a program aimed at bolstering their individual strength and collective resilience as essential players in the jazz ecosystem. KUVO is honored to be one of 5 community jazz stations participating.

We aired and shared meaningful music and stories

Music is the great unifier and throughout this past year nothing could be more evident. Our hosts continued to curate meaningful playlists and shared stories that broke barriers in such an isolating time. There were unique on-air festivals and specialty shows that focused on the vibrant and diverse musicianship that make up our airwaves. Most importantly we strove to connect with you, our listeners and our members, through this meaningful content.

  • Chicano Music Festival – For a spirit-filled weekend in July 2020, KUVO presented the Chicano Music Festival on-air. Some of KUVO’s favorite weekend shows including Latin Soul Party and Canción Mexicana honored the music, history and roots of Su Teatro’s Chicano Music Festival!
  • KUVO’s Commitment To Great Music KUVO’s weekday on-air hosts and hosts to its 19 specialty weekend shows kept the airwaves grooving over the course of an incredibly challenging year despite in-studio social distancing requirements and creating shows remotely. Our very own Pocho Joe of La Raza Rocks was even named Westword’s Best Radio Host of 2021, which is proof of our hosts commitment to bringing you great music.
  • Women in Jazz on KUVO Throughout the month of March 2021, the KUVO on-air archive program “On Stage” celebrated women artists, as they were recorded in the Phyllis A. Greer Performance Studio. Host Susan Gatschet featured artists from Julie Monley, Helen Sung, Wendy Fopeano, Mimi Fox to Venus Cruz.

Your support makes public media possible

During a year unlike any other, your continued support for Rocky Mountain Public Media’s (KUVO Jazz, Rocky Mountain PBS and THE DROP) vision is inspiring. Community support affirms that music and  public media matters. With gratitude, we are pleased to recognize the continued support from individuals, underwriters, foundations and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting who all value independent, local public media.