Happy birthday, KUVO

KUVO, Colorado’s only all-jazz radio station plans to celebrate its 25th anniversary with great food, wine, and of course, music.

On Aug. 14, The Vineyards will host a party for music fans from all around. There will be three specialty wines that premier during the evening, amazing dishes from at least 10 local restaurants, and music by the Ken Walker sextet and vocalist René Marie.

This fundraising tradition was started five years ago, and has continued to be an event the station enjoys. Last year, there were about 500 people at the celebration, and Tina Cartagena hopes for the same numbers this year. 300 people are already signed up to attend.

“People come for the food, the wine, and the music. It’s a really good combination,” Cartagena said.

The events to celebrate do not end on Aug. 14. There is a VIP party Aug. 29 to honor the founder of the station, Flo Hernandez-Ramos, and the successes over the years. There will be live music, food, drinks, and special tributes.

KUVO, which serves Denver, Vail and Breckenridge, has been the only all-jazz radio station in Colorado since the beginning and now is maybe 10 such stations across the nation, said Arturo Gomez, music director at the station. It hasn’t always been easy, he said, and some changes that had to be made along the way.

“We opted to become a jazz station with an emphasis on the Latin community. We have a diverse listening audience, with night programs are focused on a younger crowd and special programming on Saturday evenings. We have changed with the changes of Denver,” Gomez says.

The economic changes have affected the radio station, and the fundraiser is one of the best ways to increase listeners and donations. “Ninety-five percent of our budget comes from listeners sending in money. We are hoping the celebration will generate an income for this month, and be a boost in the right direction that we need,” he says.

Tickets are $55 to attend the 25th anniversary at Balistreri Vineyards. The public can get into the VIP party by making a $100 donation on the KUVO website.

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