Longtime KUVO JAZZ audiences will soon hear a familiar voice on the airwaves this fall when Tree King returns to the station on November 15, hosting the mid-morning show, weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon.
King began her radio career in 1987 during KUVO JAZZ’s formative years, hired by Carlos Lando, who had recently joined the station as program director.
After graduating from the Ron Bailie School of Broadcasting in the late 80s, King remembers her mentors said she wouldn’t have much luck landing her first radio job in a major market like Denver, but her passion for making a difference in her hometown kept her motivated.
“I didn’t hear a lot of women on the radio at that time and I wanted to be that one that stood out. People said I have a powerful voice, so I knew I had to get out there and use it. That gave me the drive to keep trying,” she recalls. “As a fifth-generation Coloradan, I just didn’t feel compelled to leave, and Carlos gave me my first local on-air experience outside of school.”
King’s impressive radio journey in Denver includes KDKO-AM, KEZW-AM, KIMN-FM “Mix 100,” KALC-FM “Alice 106” (105.9), hosting “A Nite Thing with Tree King,” and KOSI-101.1 FM, hosting the “Copacabana” show. King also covered news about people of color in the music and movie industries as the voice of Blackflix.com, featuring new artists on a podcast called “New Avenue.”
After a hiatus on the local radio scene, King met KUVO JAZZ Program Director Max Ramirez when she auditioned for the station’s signature voice in promotion spots, now airing 24/7 on KUVO JAZZ. “We recognized Tree’s voice, personality, and jazz community relationships as a perfect fit for our program lineup, so we offered her an opportunity to bring her career full circle by returning to KUVO’s airwaves” says Ramirez.
King follows in her great-uncle Paul Motley’s footsteps in local radio. Motley was an on-air host at KFSC-AM, Denver’s first Latino radio station. She adds that her family’s diverse musical background inspires King’s appreciation for a wide range of music genres.
“I guess you could say music runs in my blood,” says King. “My great-grandmother, Irene McWilliams, was a choir director and taught piano lessons for 40 years in Denver. My father, Larry “Bimp” played guitar in multiple bands across the Metro area for over sixty years, and my son, Myles King, named after Miles Davis, also plays piano.”
King says she looks forward to choosing from KUVO JAZZ’s massive music library of over 130,000 tracks, and listeners can expect the unexpected during her eclectic sets. “I love to find information about artists that no one else is looking at,” she says. “I like to keep listeners engaged with the music I select. That’s part of my style. You never know what artists will inspire me that day. That’s how I deal with life, what jumps out at me, and that’s exactly how I pick my music.”
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