Music: KAFM Community Radio feeling blessed in Grand Junction |

Music: KAFM Community Radio feeling blessed in Grand Junction

My mom always told me to “count your blessings!”

And here at KAFM Community Radio in Grand Junction, we have many blessings to count.

First on that list are the many on-air volunteers, who are the energy behind this community-powered station. Programmers dedicate hundreds of hours annually to ensuring KAFM is on the air with a unique blend of music and community focused programming not heard anywhere else in the valley. KAFM is proud to count 103 active music programmers as current hosts of shows ranging from blues to bluegrass to funk, jazz, soul, world, indie, oldies and everything in between. Among these programmers, it’s no small boast to count at least 35 dedicated hosts who have been with the station for more than 10 years and some from the very beginning (but more about that in another column).

If you’ve listened to KAFM for any extended period of time, you know that the station prides itself on introducing our listeners to independent artists and fresh tracks that don’t fit the corporate, commercial formula. KAFM is grateful for the many independent labels, artists and promoters who keep our music shelves stocked with hundreds of CD of every genre. But it’s the behind-the-scenes work of our remarkable music director, Alicia Mitchell, and a group of tireless and talented Music Bureau volunteers who spend hours previewing, labeling, charting and recommending the best that comes to KAFM.

Among those blessings, we count Bill Mitchell and Lance Lewis, Peggy Nagel and Randy Rex, Ron Waterman and Carey Lashbrook, Joanie Leinnbach, and Miriel Collins among the dedicated crew that works weekly to ensure that KAFM’s new music rack continues to feature the best music offered.

Listeners, supporters and members truly inspire the programmers, staff and volunteers at KAFM to come in every day and provide the best programming possible; while the number of listeners is hard to pin down (approximately 10,000), KAFM is very grateful and proud to count 1,000 members whose financial support fuels the station and keeps us on the air.

A couple of years ago, KAFM introduced our sustaining-member program, and we are blessed to have more than 100 members who give monthly to sustain station operations. These folks can’t be thanked enough for their faith in the station and their financial commitment to furthering community radio in the Grand Valley and beyond.

KAFM’s “Beyond Radio” project — featuring the Radio Room, an intimate venue with great acoustics — is something KAFM is also proud to offer our community. We are grateful for the work and dedication of so many who have made this a banner year for the Radio Room, with a line-up of artists and bands that will take the local live-performance scene up a notch.

Headed up by KAFM’s events coordinator, Cash Kiser, and a crew of dedicated volunteers and sound technicians, the KAFM Radio Room has a slate of upcoming shows not to be missed.

Save the dates for the following musical offerings:

Jan. 10 — Peanut Butter Lovesicle, Bronco Country, Wave Baby: funky rock.

Jan. 18 — The Lindells, with Steve Kilcrease: Good vibrations, contemporary folk/Americana.

Jan. 21 — Tony Furtado: Always sold out, not to be missed.

Jan. 25 — The Photo Atlas: A power indie, pop-punk show to remember.

Feb. 2 — Sphynx with special guests: A dancin’ show! hailing from Austin, Texas.

Feb. 8 — Flat Top Reed with special guests: Local favorites and winners of the 2012 KAFM Battle of the Bands.

Feb. 15 — Cosy Sheridan: A superb, regional folk artist. Don’t miss this one!

March 26 — Eilen Jewell: Amazing singer/songwriter to kick off KAFM’s 15-year Anniversary Celebrations.

So count your blessings, Grand Junction, for a town that embraces and supports community radio — music and programming for the people, by the people, on KAFM 88.1.

Tedi Gillespie is the executive director at KAFM Community Radio. She often hosts local, community affairs programs and occasionally subs music variety programs.

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