KUVO General Manager Carlos Lando Announces Role Transition


Kirk Surry, Rockies Public Media

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DENVER — Rocky Mountain Public Media invites all KUVO JAZZ listeners to join us in celebrating Carlos Lando’s more than 50 years of contributions to the music industry and his outstanding role in establishing KUVO JAZZ as the one of the best jazz radio stations in the world.

Lando announced that he would begin stepping down as general manager of the station to devote more time to executive producing and hosting.”The Morning Set with Carlos Landoand contributing to community jazz events throughout Colorado.

“I look forward to reconnecting one-on-one with listeners in our community. The opportunity to do this daily is an honor and it’s sacred in terms of the relationships that KUVO JAZZ has with so many people in our community,” Lando said. “We are moving beyond our second generation of listeners, generations that have grown up with us. It’s so precious, and getting back to the front lines of those community relationships is what means the most to me.

Lando’s career: 50+ years in music radio, 40 years on the air in Colorado, 35 years with KUVO JAZZ

Lando’s career spans over 50 years in the radio industry. While still in high school, he began an internship maintaining the music library of a local radio station. Lando’s first night on the air was January 13, 1968, on the Armed Forces Caribbean Network in Puerto Rico. In 1969 he was working for WABA “La Grande”, one of the main commercial AM radio stations in Puerto Rico. In 1970, Lando was the host of the week on WOUR in Utica, NY, one of the first “underground rock” FM stations in the country.

Lando returned to Puerto Rico in the mid 70’s where he produced and hosted a new show on WZAR called “Jazz Where It’s Been and Where It’s At”. During this time he met and interviewed many jazz greats, including Count Basie, Betty Carter and Dexter Gordon.

After moving to Denver in 1980, Lando spent five years as music and program director and midday host at nationally acclaimed soul music station KDKO. He worked for KBCO in Boulder for a year, before joining KUVO 89.3 FM in 1987.

“When Carlos came to us as Program Director, it was like coming home because his passion and deep knowledge of jazz is truly amazing. Carlos and his team were able to build important community relationships, reinvent our format, and run very successful fundraising events that literally saved the station,” said Flo Hernandez-Ramos, who co-founded KUVO 89.3 FM and was the president and CEO of the station for 23 years. “It’s really satisfying to see Carlos get back to what he truly loves, get back to his roots and focus on programs that support the jazz community and Colorado’s musical heritage.”

As Director of Programs, Lando helped make KUVO JAZZ one of the most respected community jazz stations in the world. In 2005 and 2006, KUVO JAZZ was named the major market “Jazz Station of the Year” by Jazz Week and twice named one of the best jazz stations in the world by The Telegraph.

According to Lando, KUVO filled a music gap in Colorado when the station’s basic format switched to jazz in 1987. Prior to that, KUVO was a Latin fusion music station.

“KUVO JAZZ is a reflection of the diversity of our community, which is evident in the music and the voices you hear on the airwaves. The music is rooted in the station’s beginnings with a Latin-centric format, emphasizing Chicano music and traditional music from the American Southwest. With our shift to a jazz format, we were able to expand into a wider range of traditional and contemporary music, including Afro-Caribbean and Brazilian influences, and build a musical journey that included discussions of Native American community issues. . We were able to bring context to the music in terms of why this music is important, understanding that this music didn’t happen on its own,” Lando explains.

Lando became President and CEO of KUVO JAZZ in 2012, and his influence has shaped the station’s culturally diverse programming with significant appeal to people from Latino and African American communities.

“The future of music is always about what happens in the present with the knowledge that nothing stays the same. People, families, communities and their music are constantly changing. KUVO JAZZ is part of this shift, bringing younger musical elements into our mix that are relevant to new generations of listeners. Because of this expansive focus, no other jazz station has the diversity of listeners that we have,” Lando added.

Next steps, community conversations and celebrations

Lando’s change of position will occur gradually over the next few months with an expected completion date of late October. Following his transition to general manager, Lando will serve for a year as a senior radio advisor to Rocky Mountain Public Media President and CEO Amanda Mountain and COO Karla Hanlon to support continuing to build the station’s legacy and its deep ties to community and culture. According to Mountain, a successor as general manager of KUVO JAZZ will be determined and announced at a later date. In the meantime, program director Max Ramirez will continue to manage the station’s day-to-day operations.

“Over the decades, Carlos has built KUVO JAZZ to be a place to belong for so many listeners, volunteers and staff, uniting community, culture and music,” Mountain said. “It is a privilege to continue to build on this solid foundation to ensure that KUVO JAZZ remains a home to many for generations to come.”

Rocky Mountain Public Media hosts an ongoing series of KUVO JAZZ Community Conversations, which provides staff and volunteers the opportunity to answer questions and share ideas about the future of public radio and KUVO JAZZ.

We invite our community to join us this summer to celebrate Lando’s contributions to the jazz community and meet the KUVO JAZZ team at the resort’s 17th annual signature event, Live at the Vineyards, on Saturday August 13th. For more details on the event, visit www.kuvo.org/events.

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