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Airwaves, a listener publication from Colorado Public Radio.

MONDAY, JULY 9, 2012

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With more than 300 bands performing over the course of four days, the Denver Post Underground Music Showcase is the perfect venue for OpenAir’s first-ever on-site live broadcast, which will simulcast on CPR's news service at 6 p.m. on July 22. The show features Ian Cooke, Paper Bird and others performing from the festival's main stage.

OpenAir's live coverage from UMS will also include daily reports, interviews and updates on where to see your favorite bands play.

"This is a big deal for OpenAir, as well as for Denver," stresses OpenAir Program Director Mike Flanagan. "The Denver Post UMS is adding a radio component to this year's festival, and we are so excited to have the opportunity to bring a new Denver tradition to the air. It will be hectic, it will be hot, but it will be great to solidify OpenAir's commitment to Colorado music."

The lineup for UMS features Colorado favorites A. Tom Collins, Gauntlet Hair and Snake Rattle Rattle Snake playing alongside national acts, including Black Moth, Super Rainbow, Dressy Bessy and Atlas Sound. Stay tuned in the weeks leading up to the festival for in-studio performances from many of this year’s bands and your chance to win tickets to the festival.

Find details about the 2012 Denver Post Underground Music Showcase at

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On August 4 at 6 p.m., CPR broadcasts live for the first time from the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival. Join host Charley Samson for 4x4 - A Two Piano Extravaganza with musicians Alessio Bax, Anne-Marie McDermott, Pedja Muzijevic and Stephen Prutsman.

Then on August 19 at 4 p.m., Monika Vischer will host the final live broadcast of the "SummerFest" season at the Aspen Music Festival, featuring Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 conducted by Music Director Robert Spano. 

Experience why Colorado is renowned for its summer classical music festivals during CPR’s annual celebration of “SummerFest” with interviews, ticket giveaways and live broadcasts throughout the summer. 

View the complete schedule of “SummerFest” programs at 

Photo: Music resounds in Colorado’s high country at The Aspen Music Festival. Photo credit: Aspen Music Festival and School. 

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For many people, waking up at 4:45 a.m. to go to work would be a burden, but for OpenAir Morning Show Host and Assistant Music Director Alisha Sweeney, it’s a job perk. “I love being in the studio in the mornings,” says Alisha. “It’s so quiet and cozy; it really feels like home. And I also love being a part of the a.m. crew here with Richard Ray on the classical service and Bob Lafley or Mike Lamp over in studio 3B with the day’s news.” 

Alisha is no stranger to the new-music community. Before hosting the morning show on OpenAir, she spent more than a decade working at contemporary radio stations in Colorado, New York and London. “For me, the great thing about OpenAir is that I’ve been able to reconnect with a lot of artists I’ve known for years,” notes Alisha. “Even though I’ve worked with some of these people before, OpenAir gives us an opportunity to have a new experience, which is really exciting.”   

Alisha is also forging new relationships with bands as more musicians visit CPR to produce in-studio recordings for OpenAir. Last month, she interviewed Jeff Tweedy of Wilco. "We spent about 15 minutes chatting, which honestly went by in the blink of an eye," says Alisha. She also interviewed the husband-and-wife duo Tennis for the first time back in Februrary and recently met up with them to chat about their summer tour

Follow Alisha on Twitter at OpenAirAlisha to find out about her latest interviews and see what’s happening behind the scenes of OpenAir.

Photo: OpenAir host Alisha Sweeney with Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley of Tennis.

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It’s a practice that began six years ago with Governor Bill Owens’ exit interview and has continued regularly throughout the administrations of Governor Bill Ritter and current Governor John Hickenlooper. Once a month, “Colorado Matters” host Ryan Warner sits down with the governor of Colorado to discuss key issues impacting the state.

“What’s surprising about these interviews is that the issues facing each governor haven’t changed much over the last six years,” comments Ryan. General Assignment Reporter Megan Verlee produces each monthly interview and adds, “The long-standing nature of these conversations makes them particularly valuable. We can see how each administration has dealt with big-picture issues—the state budget, education, immigration, natural resource management—and we can report on the different approaches each governor has taken. The breadth of coverage also provides great insight into the lasting political change of each administration.”

Questions posed during the governor’s interview come from a variety of sources, including weekly meetings with CPR’s news team, Megan’s legislative reports from the Capitol and listeners who follow CPR News on Facebook and Twitter. Ryan notes, “The news cycle dictates a good portion of what we discuss, but having the ability to gather questions from listeners on social media is important because we can reach out to both supporters and critics of the governor.” Using social media for the governor’s interview also adds depth to the conversation. "Giving the governor a chance to respond to opinion-driven questions from listeners ensures that we’re not just providing a soapbox for him to speak from,” asserts Ryan. 

Listen to this month’s conversation with Governor Hickenlooper.

Photo: Governor John Hickenlooper speaks to “Colorado Matters” host Ryan Warner during a recent interview at the state Capitol.

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