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 kkfi.org 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 tfinn@kcstar.com. Follow the Back to Rockville blog on Twitter @kcstarrockville.

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/entertainment/ent-columns-blogs/back-to-rockville/article1318708.html

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



KKFI Recognized Among Public and Community Radio Stations

homepage-paste-2014KKFI was recognized June 4 by internationally-distributed Paste Magazine on a list of the Top 10 most unique public and community radio stations. The recognition cited KKFI “…for variety,” adding that “Kansas City is known for its wide range of musical preferences, and has become a hub for concert tours in the Midwest. Fittingly, this station has offered a wide variety of programs, based around anything from rap to psychedelic, since 1988. Also involved in local and national goings-on, the station offers podcasts on environmental issues, women’s concerns, and local arts.”

KKFI 90.1 FM has been on air for over 26 years and the credit by the highly acclaimed magazine was deeply appreciated, especially because of the heavyweight stations included on the list, notably LA-based NPR station KCRW, Seattle-based arts innovator KEXP 90.3 FM,  and The Current in Minneapolis, among others.

View KKFI’s “Pete Seeger Memorial Birthday” Concert Videotaped Live on May 2, 2014

KKFI presented a Pete Seeger Memorial Birthday in honor of the late Pete Seeger’s 95th birthday with song and spoken word. Recorded live at Unity Temple on the Plaza, 707 West 47th Street, Kansas City, Missouri on May 2, 2014.

KC’s virtuoso fiddle player, Betse Ellis, was emcee for the event and introduced performers including: Danny Cox, Old Sound, Tony Ladesich, Rosy’s Bar & Grill, Madisen Ward & Mama Bear, Mikal Shapiro, Kasey Rausch, Howard Iceberg & Emily Tummons, Bob & Diana Suckiel, Street Corner Choir, The Accidentals, and Barry Lee with Ron Roberts & Jim Sander. Speakers included: Mark Manning, Maria-Vasquez Boyd, Bill Hilburn, Frank Higgins, and Mike Murphy.

Thanks to videographer Rick Groom for catching these wonderful music performances.

Click here to view the YouTube Playlist:

Listen Live on KKFI 90.1 FM radio
Live audio stream – http://www.kkfi.org/player/

View KKFI’s “Sneak Peek” Jam Session Live on YouTube

In an effort to bring KKFI listeners quality music and media innovation, KKFI will be live video-streaming the Band Auction’s “Sneek Peak” Jam Session on April 3, 2014 from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. The performances will air on the radio, as well as on a separate video stream on the station’s YouTube Live Channel.

KKFI 90.1 FM will broadcast two hours of music performances live on April 3 from the KKFI broadcast studio in Kansas City, Missouri. The broadcast includes performances by host band Cross-Eyed Cat Band, as well as All-Star jammers including Jason Vivone & the Billy Bats, Crosseyed Cat, 3 Bricks Shy, Last Free Exit, and many more!

Click here to view the YouTube Live Event, starting at 8:00 pm, April 3, 2014:

Listen or view these performances

Join a “Sneak Peek” of KKFI’s Band Auction, the Free-Range Music Fest

Sneak Peek for the 2014 KKFI Band Auction


KKFI 90.1 FM invites all listeners and supporters to the



This live music event will be held two nights, March 27 and April 3, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. in the KKFI Party Room, 3901 Main Street (39th Street and Main). Refreshments will be available at the event. See below for directions.

The “sneak peek” is an opportunity for you to enjoy live music and pre-bid on a band as part of KKFI’s annual Band Auction. Auction winners can select the place and date for a live music performance from the band they bid on.

  • MARCH 27 – host band Jason Vivone and the Billy Bats
  • APRIL 3 – host band Cross-eyed Cat Band

Featuring All-Star jammers from area bands including Jason Vivone & the Billy Bats, Crosseyed Cat, 3 Bricks Shy, Last Free Exit, and many more!

This is your chance to PRE-BID on your favorite band!

LISTEN LIVE on-air or in person at the KKFI Partv Room!
Music Fans: $10 Cover for Party Room – Jammers: FREE

This is KKFI Event Manager Bill Clause’s last band auction before his retirement. Let’s make this the BIGGEST BAND AUCTION EVER!

Time and Date:

March 27, 7:00-9:00 p.m.

April 3, 7:00-9:00 pm


KKFI 90.1 FM Party Room
3901 Main Street
Kansas City, Missouri 64111


KKFI is on the southeast corner of 39th and Main Street in Kansas City, Missouri. You can park behind and enter from the Great American bank lobby doors at the back of the building. Ring the buzzer for KKFI and someone will unlock the door and greet you. The KKFI Party Room is on the second floor down the hall to the left.

For More Information:

Bill Clause, KKFI Special Events and Volunteer Coordinator

KKFI Launches Two New Radio Shows

KKFI is proud to announce two new programs on the weekly schedule. Kasey Rausch and Mikal Shapiro are hosts of “River Trade Radio” taking over the Sunday morning 9:00-11:00 am timeslot for Jeanne Jasperse, who passed away in 2013. Jason Vivone, the leader of Kansas City’s award winning band the Billy Bats, hosts a new Thursday afternoon blues show, “The Boogie Bridge,” beginning Thursday, March 6, at 4 pm.

All three radio programmers are nationally known performers and long-time KKFI supporters.

The Boogie Bridge

Jason VivoneBeginning Thursday, March 6, former IBC winner and long-time KC bluesman Jason Vivone begins hosting the regular blues slot from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.  His show will be called The Boogie Bridge.

Originally from Cape Girardeau, Missouri, Vivone had family in Kansas City that indulged his fever for blues and blues based music. “They would take me to record stores or whatever club they could sneak me into when I would visit. I’m proud to feature some of those same old records on the new program,” Vivone said.

As a musician, Vivone has toured primarily in the Midwest and the South. As a recording artist, his music has been downloaded and played all over the world.

“Just using the phrase ‘oh, I’m from Kansas City’  gives you clout in blues and roots circles. We have a great legacy of not only musicians but scholars, die hard fans and radio folk.”

River Trade Radio

An update about this show from “image for River Trade Radio showRiver Trade Radio” programmers Kasey Rausch and Mikal Shapiro. The first show aired Sunday, March 2.

As community activists and music makers in the Kansas City scene for over 20 years, we have always been great supporters of KKFI Community Radio. We are so excited to be a part of the programming and look forward to growing with KKFI as we carry forward the mission to provide hand-picked, independent music from our collections. We love KKFI because it provides a platform for Real! Live! Touring and local musicians to perform in-studio as well as an opportunity to share talented songwriters under-represented by Corporate Radio. You can’t get that on Pandora!

As co-hosts, we come from different musical backgrounds but both of us have found common ground in the Folk, Bluegrass and Americana genres. Kasey grew up in a family of bluegrass and country pickers and Mikal grew up in a family of jazz drummers and barber shop singers. In 1993, Kasey lent Mikal her first guitar and taught her the chords to House of the Rising Sun. Shortly after, the two of us began playing out as a duo in coffee shops and bookstores. We continue to collaborate and tour together with our different projects. We also co-host the Mama Ra House Concert Series which showcases local and national musicians in the comfort of our living rooms.

River Trade Radio is our newest, and most extensive collaboration to date. As a community-supported radio show, we highly encourage feedback, stories and suggestions as we move along down the current. Let us know what music has moved you! Who and what would you like to hear on River Trade Radio? We hope you’ll join us Sunday mornings. All Aboard!

Catch the next show when guests Victor & Penny and Betse Ellis play live in the studio and talk about their experiences at last month’s Folk Alliance International conference, held right here in Kansas City.

Program Notes

Amy Bell is a new co-host and board engineer on Every Woman, which airs Saturdays at 3:00 pm. Philip Hooser recently joined the team of hosts and producers on The Tenth Voice, heard Saturdays at 1:00 pm. And Alverne Bush is a new producer/host on Jaws of Justice Radio on Mondays at 9:00 am.