The Sound of a Vibrant Community: KKFI Listens to You

KKFI 90.1 FM Spring 2015 Fund Drive Dear 90.1 FM Supporter:

KKFI is a two-way medium. You listen to KKFI, and KKFI listens to you. That can’t be said for many other radio stations, especially commercial radio, which assaults your ears with hundreds of ads urging you to buy, buy, buy.

At KKFI I listen to what you have to say and try hard to respond to your needs and desires. Whenever I get a chance, I ask you how we’re doing.

Let me know what’s on your mind. Please take a minute to jot down your likes and/or things that need our attention. Submit your comments online at the KKFI website.

And second, consider making a generous tax-deductible pledge of support for programming you’ll hear only on KKFI.

If you agree with me that we need to hear fresh and different voices, please take a moment to show your support. Donate On-line today at While at the website, take a look around. There’s loads of entertaining and informative content.

Once we reach our goal of $70,000, it will be back to regular programming.

While we’re not the biggest station in Kansas City, we strive to be the best. I’m listening. Let me hear from you today with your donation.

Valerie Andruss
KKFI 90.1 FM Board of Directors

Get “Local and Vocal” with KKFI — Donate through February 8‏

popup-winter-fund-drive-2015-tshirt-320x480KKFI sends a gracious “Thank You” to some of the hundreds of supporters who donated to the Winter Fund Drive, including:

Matt Diel, Jessica Piedra, Stan Williams, Ann Nelson, Larry Klingele, Andrew Sarafian, Linda VanBibber, Jeremy McClain, Elizabeth Andersen, Robert Cromwell, Allen Arias, Allen Arias, Kontroles Machete, Gina Egan, Cheryl Barnes, Trynnel Ragsdale, Sarah Lammers, Mauva Steward, Kevin Peery, Cheryl Wheeler, Wayne Williams, Jeff Murray, Janice Matthews, Roxann Kinkade, Carla Akins, Connie Mistler Davidson, Becky Lillicotch, Monica Espinosa, Patricia Goodwin, and Elaine McMilian.

KKFI is a radio station run by volunteers who have devoted themselves to bringing you the best music, arts, cultural, and public affairs radio programming. KKFI radio hosts bring voices and stories about Kansas City and our world to you.

The music aired is local and vibrant in genres you rarely hear anywhere else on the radio dial — reggae, bluegrass, hip-hop, folk, blues, and jazz.

Join with other listeners to voice your support to KKFI  by making DONATION TODAY.

We couldn’t say it any better than our listeners.

  • Matt Diel from Columbia: I like the Rockabilly show.
  • Jessica Piedra from Kansas City: Donating in honor of the hard work Judy Ancel does on Heartland Labor Forum. Great show!
  • Stan Williams from Shawnee: Who needs satellite radio when you have KKFI. Every music genre one could want with a format that provides a platform for cutting edge and new artists.
  • Ann Nelson from Overland Park: I love your radio station, it’s so important to our democracy to have a way to get this information to people, Thank you all for doing what you do!
  • Allen Arias from Kansas City: A BIG THANK YOU to Jorge, Lupita and Jessie! Un gran abrazo para Jorge, Lupita y Jessie! VIVA Breaking Thru Darkness!!!
  • Cheryl Barnes from Kansas City: I appreciate the diversity of opinions and voices on KKFI. I especially appreciate Every Woman–it seems to me that we are once again fighting for basic human rights that are unique to women, a struggle from the 1970s. This year the League of Women Voters of Kansas City will celebrate 95 years of working to make democracy work for everyone. So as we celebrate another year for KKFI, we’ll celebrate one of many nonprofit organizations working for society. Thanks for making everyone heard.
  • Sarah Lammers from Merriam: Love Diana [Diana Linn with the Tasty Brew show] – you make my Tuesday!
  • Mauva Steward from Gardner: Love my Tuesday morning drive with Diana Linn!
  • Cheryl Wheeler: Diana Linn is my fave :)
  • Janice Matthews Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada: This contribution is mainly in support of Every Woman, Morning Buzz with Mike Murphy and River Trade Radio. You have listeners around the world. For instance, I’m in Nova Scotia, Canada. As ever, thank you, Sharon, Mike & Kasey/Mikal for helping make this bumpy road of existence a bit smoother. Love you guys :)
  • Roxann Kinkade: What a treat! Very much enjoyed Mike’s Friday night show.
  • Carla Akins from Kansas City: Keep up the great work!
  • Monica Espinosa: Thanks for having awesome shows like my favorite Retro Redeye Express with DJ Sunshine! ! :-)
  • Elaine McMilian from Kansas City: I listen to Wednesday Midday Medley, Jazz In the Afternoon-Jeff Harshbarger, Artspeak, Foolkiller, Thursday Night Special, Womansong, The Tenth Voice, Signal To Noise, and various other shows. Love you!

Make your donation today by calling 888-931-0901 or donate online at

KKFI is “Local and Vocal”; Show Your Support Through Feb. 8

Image for KKFI's Winter 2015 Fund DriveDear KKFI Supporter,

Local and Vocal — two words that rhyme for a reason.

KKFI is a homegrown product, volunteer-driven and nurtured locally by donors like you who give generously to make sure our mission is adhered to. Here’s that mission statement.

KKFI is the Kansas City area’s independent, noncommercial community radio station. We seek to stimulate, educate and entertain our audience, to reflect the diversity of the local and world community, and to provide a channel for individuals and groups, issues and music that have been overlooked, suppressed or under-represented by other media.

KKFI is vocal, giving full-throated voice to news, views and issues that may run counter to the homogenous sound bites broadcast by the commercial media.

For more than a quarter century, KKFI has given hundreds of local musicians an audience, airing some of the best local talent around. KKFI gave them a shot when nobody else would.

Every year KKFI has a local-band auction in the KKFI studios where more than 100 local bands are showcased, giving exposure to new talent.

Every Thursday evening from 8-10 p.m., KKFI spotlights musicians on “Local Showcase,” two-hours devoted exclusively to up-and-comers just making their way on the local music scene, as well as seasoned groups who have already made names for themselves.  Plus you’ll hear local talent on many other shows as well.

I come to you now asking you to show your support for KKFI and its mission by making a generous tax-deductible pledge of support for programming you’ll hear only on KKFI.

Your gift today will help KKFI get that much closer to the goal of finishing the drive successfully and generating the resources required to maintain your trust in KKFI’s local and vocal public-affairs and music programming. Once we reach the goal of $70,000, it will be back to regular programming.

If you agree with me that we need to hear local and vocal radio, please take a moment to show your support.  Make a secure, on-line donation at today.

Kathy Peters
Board of Directors



Happy New Year! Thanks for Your Support in 2014

KKFI Timeline 2014

KKFI 90.1 FM staff, volunteers, and board of directors wish all our radio listeners and supporters a very Happy New Year! Without your support we could not have brought you the quality and variety of music, public affairs and cultural programming you expect from KKFI.

2014 was a good year for KKFI 90.1 because of your support. Here are a few highlights from throughout 2014.

  • On January 1 new Station Manager and long-time “Signal to Noise” show host Barry Lee starts his job at KKFI.
  • On February 28, 2014 KKFI celebrated 26 years on the air.
  • February – KKFI successfully reached its $10,000 Kickstarter campaign to purchase remote broadcast equipment to be used beam live music shows and public affairs events to radio listeners.
  • February – KKFI broadcast live performances — both for radio broadcast and YouTube video stream — from the Folk Alliance International conference held in Kansas City. The Homelessness Marathon, an annual national radio broadcast sharing the voices and stories of homeless people aired live on KKFI for six hours.
  • February – KKFI is saddened to lose long-time DJ Larry Cruse, host of Larry’s Freakout on Saturday mornings.
  • March – Two new shows are introduced to radio listeners: “River Trade Radio” with hosts Mikal Shapiro and Kasey Rausch and “The Boogie Bridge” with host Jason Vivone.
  • June – KKFI was recognized June 4 by internationally-distributed Paste Magazine on a list of the Top 10 most unique public and community radio stations.
  • July – Long-time KKFI employee Bill Clause retires as Volunteer and Special Events Coordinator; Bill Sundahl takes over the reins.
  • October – KKFI brings award-winning “American Routes” show to the schedule; KKFI hosts the Crossroads Music Fest
  • October – Today we bid farewell to the retiring Saphira Rain, and with it, Psychic Talk, an important part of our Sunday morning line-up since the station’s inception in 1988, making it the longest-running show of its type in the region.
  • December – KKFI airs Democracy Now’s coverage from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in Lima, Peru.

October 3-12 – Community Radio “By the People, For the People”‏


A Message from KKFI’s President

By the people, for the people…

That’s how Abraham Lincoln described government, and I think it rings true when we talk about community radio and KKFI in particular. About 100 volunteer DJs and program hosts give freely of their time and talents each and every week — 24/7/365 — to bring you quality radio, with you, an audience of one always top of mind.

And while it may not have been four score and seven years ago, KKFI has been airing its listener-centered programs for 26 years, all the while listening to you for guidance as to what we put on the airways. Our volunteer DJs and program hosts explore music and issues that get short shrift in commercial media.

KKFI’s unpaid on-air DJs and hosts take great pride in bringing you the best we have to offer. We take even greater care to keep expenses low, attentive to how your donation is spent to bring you the best programs for the least dollars. (We know that radio is not free. In fact, it costs about $1,000 a day to operate the station.)

Yes, KKFI truly is radio by the people, for the people.

“KKFI is the Kansas City area’s independent, noncommercial community radio station.” That’s the opening line of KKFI’s mission station that continues: “We seek to stimulate, educate and entertain our audience, to reflect the diversity of the local and world community, and to provide a channel for individuals and groups, issues and music that have been overlooked, suppressed or under-represented by other media.”

If that doesn’t define radio for the people, I don’t know what does.

I come to you now asking you to show your support for KKFI and its mission — to give a voice to the views, opinions and musical genres typically ignored by the mainstream media — by making a generous tax-deductible pledge of support for programming you’ll hear only on KKFI.

Your gift today will help KKFI get that much closer to the goal of finishing the drive successfully and generating the resources required to maintain your trust in KKFI’s public-affairs and music programming. Once we reach the goal of $70,000, it will be back to regular programming.

If you agree with me that we need to hear radio by the people, for the people, please take a moment to show your support. Donate on-line at today.  Make a one-time or monthly DONATION to KKFI, and thank you!





Kathy Peters
Board of Directors

P.S.  Consider becoming a Sustainer. You’ll help us save postage, paper and administrative costs – putting more of your contribution into the public affairs programs and music you value. Click here > BECOME A SUSTAINER.

KC Star Features “River Trade Radio” Show

August 29, 2014

River Trade Radio in the KKFI on-air studio

Kasey Rausch (left) and Mikal Shapiro co-host “River Trade Radio” on Sunday mornings at KKFI. Photo: ROY INMAN/SPECIAL TO THE STAR

They’ve been close friends for two decades, and for the past five months Kasey Rausch and Mikal Shapiro have been partners in radio.

In March, the two singer/songwriters launched “River Trade Radio” on community radio station KKFI (90.1 FM). The show runs from 9 to 11 a.m. Sundays and features live performances and recordings. Its time slot had a big influence on the programming.

“Initially, one of our ideas was this ‘Click and Clack’ thing with sound effects and an old-time radio vibe,” Rausch said, alluding to the brothers who host the National Public Radio show “Car Talk.”

“But the deciding factor to go mellow was, it’s Sunday morning, and we want to wake people up sweetly and gently and positively rather than be in their faces.”

That time slot opened in September after the unexpected death of Jeanne Jasperse, host of the “Coffeehouse Radio Show.”

Station manager Barry Lee said he had something particular in mind as he searched for Jasperse’s replacement.

“It was important to me to have a folk show that had young, creative, media-savvy hosts who would continue Jeanne’s predilection for live music but also play a great variety of other kinds of music that stretch the boundaries of folk music,” he said.

Rausch said she’d heard from people at the station that her name had been mentioned as a possible replacement.

“I started thinking about the idea for a while before I approached the issue,” she said. “Then another person approached me about it, and by then I’d given it some thought. So I contacted the station and told them I’d be interested. They encouraged me to apply. But I knew I’d need some support, partially because I travel and because it takes a lot to do a good radio show. Mikal was the first person I thought of.”

The two have known each other since 1993.

“We met through ex-boyfriends,” Rausch said. “I was 18, she was 17. We ditched the boyfriends and kept each other.”

Both have since become mainstays in the city’s singer/songwriter circles.

“Kasey gave me my first guitar and taught me my first chords,” Shapiro said.

“When Mikal signed on, I realized we had a really strong team of talented programmers who could spell each other when one of them was on the road, if necessary,” Lee said. “The chemistry between Kasey and Mikal goes back many years. They’re close friends. Their repartee on the air and their interactions with their guests create an intimacy that’s all too rare on radio these days.”

The show gets its name from the theme the two established.

“We focus on how music comes into Kansas City and how music is carried back out,” Rausch said. “Kansas City was a hub for physical trading of goods, with the river and the railroads and all the trails. We brought that in as a theme to honor those routes.”

So the show features musicians coming into town for shows. It also features local musicians, who play their own songs and music that influenced them.

“Sometimes the touring musicians coming through town contact us, sometimes we contact them,” Shapiro said. “We also ask local artists to bring in a track that influenced them and the music they play in Kansas City.”

A recent Sunday show featured live performances by Cotton Wine, a Nashville duo who had played shows in Kansas City the previous two days, and Brian Frame, who leads Kansas City band the Blessed Broke. Each got about 25 minutes to perform live and play tracks off their recordings.

In between the live performers — typically two artists perform — Rausch and Shapiro play their own selections. Sunday’s playlist included songs by Mississippi John Hurt, Frank Lee, Leonard Cohen, Dolly Parton with Porter Wagoner, Mountain Man (an Appalachian-folk trio from Vermont) and Lawrence band Drakkar Sauna, who covered the Louvin Brothers’ “Lorene.” For his influential track, Frame played the gothic-folk tune “Black Spring” by Joe Winslow.

Rausch said that musically the show has “parameters without boundaries.”

“We don’t play much crazy electric stuff,” she said. “Keeping to the Sunday morning vibe is important. It’s roots music, which can be all-encompassing: country, bluegrass, blues, jazz, acoustic rock, soul.”

Rausch and Shapiro help fulfill the show’s mission by featuring music they hear while touring.

“We’ve played music from people we’ve played with or meet along the way,” Shapiro said. “It’s a real great grass-roots way of introducing music to our listeners.”

The show featuring Cotton Wine was “River Trade Radio’s” 25th. Its hosts said they have several favorites. One was the Father’s Day show featuring Johnny Hamil, a Kansas City musician, and Quinn Deveaux, a singer/songwriter from San Francisco.

“They had never met,” Shapiro said. “They met in the studio and worked it out before they came in and pulled it off. There was so much joy on their faces, playing with a stranger live on the radio for the first time.”

Both mentioned a show featuring Havilah Bruders of the Kansas City band Cadillac Flambe.

“She came in with her mother and sister, and they sang a cappella gospel songs and old barbershop tunes,” Shapiro said. “The family harmonies were amazing.”

The show has plans for projects outside the studio. Recently it was awarded a grant to compile print and online versions of a Greater Kansas City Music Directory. They are also talking about a “River Trade Radio” festival. And the show has become a sponsor of “Here’s to the Roots,” a weekly local-music showcase Sunday afternoons at the Dubliner in the Power & Light District.

Rausch said those are all ways for two veteran musicians to help their local music scene.

“We can play our own music (on the show) if we want, but we don’t do it much,” she said. “If Mikal’s out of town, I might play one of her songs, and she might do the same.

“But that’s not why we got into this show. We have been so supported by this community. This is a great way to give back.”

To reach Timothy Finn, call 816-234-4781 or send email to [email protected] Follow the Back to Rockville blog on Twitter @kcstarrockville.

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Volunteer Opportunities at KKFI 90.1 FM

There are several opportunities for new and experienced KKFI 90.1 FM volunteers, including helping out at the KKFI booth at the Ethnic Enrichment Festival, as well as to work the front desk at KKFI offices. See below for details.

2014 Ethnic Enrichment Festival
August 15-17, 2014

See EECKC.NET for information

Responsibility: Hang out in the 90.1FM KKFI Booth and represent the station.

I will come out Friday the 15th and set up the booth in the early afternoon. The booth will have light and power provided. I will have a cooler there full of water. This is an opportunity for 2 people for each shifts:

There is only need for one person, but if we get two you can take turns and enjoy yourselves while you help KKFI.

  • Friday, August 15: 6:00 – 10:00 = 4 hours
  • Saturday, August 16: 2 Shifts – Noon – 5:00 = 5 hours; 5:00 – 10:00 = 5 hours
  • Sunday, August 17: Noon – 6:00 = 6 hours

(Sunday Folks would need to grab the banners and stickers, etc. from the booth and get them back to KKFI when possible)

Please let me know if you are able to help out and have some fun at the same time.

Bill Sundahl

Email: KKFI Contact Form

816.994.7869 direct

Weekly Front Desk Reception

Volunteers needed for various times.


  • Answer Phone, Forward Calls, Take messages, Be Polite
  • Show Guests of KKFI where to find who they are looking for.
  • Show Guests to the On Air Studio and Green Room
  • Lead people to the Public File!
  • Maybe some other random task if phone is not busy.
  • Other Duties: Have Fun!

Where: KKFI 90.1 FM offices
3901 Main Street, Suite 203
Kansas City, MO 64111

Contact: Bill Sundahl 816.994.7869