Jake Brownell

Programming & News Producer

A native of the Twin Cities, Jake landed in Colorado Springs by way of a philosophy degree at Colorado College. During his time at CC, he pursued an interest in radio as a DJ and then as manager at the school's student radio station, The SOCC.  After graduating in the Spring of 2012, Jake went on to intern with KRCC's The Big Something, where he began to hone his skills as an editor, interviewer, researcher and writer--skills which he put to use first as a producer of KRCC's Off Topic, and more recently as co-producer and host of The Big Something Radio Show and the award-winning documentary series, Wish We Were Here. Jake now oversees production of our music program, Air Check, our community-driven reporting series, Peak Curiosityand reports on local issues and stories for the KRCC News Department. 

Jake is a firm believer that public radio is an oasis of journalistic and  intellectual integrity in today's hyper saturated media landscape, and he hopes to be a part of it for a long time to come. 

Ways to Connect

CLARISSA VILLONDO / BRIGHTESTYOUNGTHINGS.COM

Tomás Pagán Motta has been a favorite artist of 91.5 KRCC DJs since he released his impressive self-titled debut album in 2015. Now, the Maryland native has a new album, Living A Lie, and is embarking on a national tour in support. His first stop will be here in Colorado Springs for a special 91.5 KRCC concert with in/PLANES at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center on Friday, August 11.

In advance of that (sold out) show, Pagán Motta spoke with Vicky Gregor about his new album, his approach to songwriting, and how his song "My My (Living a Lie)" found its way into an episode of the Netflix comedy, Flaked.

Jeff DeWitt / Courtesy of Woodshed Red

On this episode of Air Check, members of the band Woodshed Red serve up a bluegrass take on Pink Floyd and discuss their eclectic influences in the studio at 91.5 KRCC; Cold Heart Revival performs a few songs from their debut LP, Over The Water; representatives from Flux Capacitor and Pikes Peak Library District explain how a beloved DIY space found a new home in the local library; Tomás Pagán Motta shares his thoughts on songwriting, touring, and hearing his own music on the Netflix TV show, Flaked; and we share our favorite songs from the past month.

Carol M. Highsmith / Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, photograph by Carol M. Highsmith [LC-DIG-highsm-11937]

Efforts to manage and preserve the Colorado River are getting a boost from the Walton Family Foundation, which has pledged $20 million over the next two years to fund projects aimed at water conservation and restoring river ecosystems.

Steven De La Roche

Nina de Freitas is no stranger to the music business. Her father, Carlinhos Brown, is a popular Brazilian recording artist with several Latin Grammies and an Oscar nomination to his name. Her mother is a musician as well. Born in Brazil, de Freitas moved with her mom to the US at age 3, and has spent much of her life in Colorado. 

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

Members of the Colorado Springs arts and music community are celebrating a new partnership between the Pikes Peak Library District and local DIY arts groups. Among them is Flux Capacitor, a popular local warehouse music venue, which was shuttered in December due to fire code violations.

Through the partnership, Flux Capacitor, or "The Flux,” and others will be able to host concerts and events in the Knights of Columbus Hall, a historic building owned by PPLD, located west of the downtown library at 25 W Kiowa St. The building has been largely unused for years. 

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

Several months prior to the Waldo Canyon Fire, Myrna Candreia had a premonition.  "Something inside me told me, 'You need to prepare for a fire,'" she recalls.  "I had developed this feeling inside that things weren't good. Maybe it was because of the drought we were having?"

One week before the fire, she went to Staples, bought boxes and set them up, but didn't fill them.  "I could have been fully prepared and a lot more prepared.  I wasn't.  I got a few things out," she says.

Courtesy of the City of Colorado Springs

Randy Royal remembers exactly where he was when he first spotted smoke rising from the Waldo Canyon Fire. It was Saturday, June 23rd, 2012. 

"I got called out around 10 or so in the morning for a rollover accident on Bijou and I-25," recalls Royal, who was a battalion chief with the Colorado Springs Fire Department at the time. "I cleared that, went to a high-angle at Garden of the Gods, and as I was driving down Highway 24, I looked up and the column [of smoke] was right in front of me."

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

Parkside resident Mike Finkbiner was a roofing contractor during the original construction of the Colorado Springs subdivision, and says Mountain Shadows as a whole was "pretty well planned" when it was built in the 1980s.  It wasn't until 2002 that he moved into the community, and then to a different home in Parkside in 2005.

Charlie Chambers / CR Photography

The Colorado Office of Film, Television, and Media estimates that film production has generated more than $150 million in economic impact statewide since 2012. The Teller County Film Commission, a newly formed non-profit, says it wants to bring more of that money to the county.

Courtesy of Eddie Hurt

Eddie Hurt has been president of the Mountain Shadows Community Association since shortly after the Waldo Canyon Fire. In that role, he's played an active part in the effort to rebuild Mountain Shadows, the neighborhood that he and his family have called home for 12 years. Unlike some of his neighbors, Hurt didn't lose his home in the fire, but that's not to say he wasn't affected.

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

Retired electrical engineer Barry Timmons and his wife relocated to Colorado to be closer to family, and lived in the Parkside neighborhood of Colorado Springs for three years before the Waldo Canyon Fire claimed his home.

"It's just a nice area, it was a nice little home," Timmons says.  "It was very conducive to us being a retired couple."

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

Carla Albers and her family moved into their Mountain Shadows home in 1990.  They'd always loved the westside and figured it would be a starter home, but ended up loving the neighborhood and the area.  

"It just ended up being up one of those neighborhoods where a lot of younger couples moved in with a lot of kids," she recalls.  "It was just a really great place to raise a family."

Their house was among the nearly 350 homes lost in 2012's Waldo Canyon Fire.

Steven De La Roche

July is America’s birthday month, and on this episode of Air Check we get a hint of Vicky’s playlist for 4th of July celebrations; Jake talks with Roberto Houston of Black Pegasus about his rapping career; local musician Nina de Freitas joins us for an in-studio performance and interview; we look ahead to the 11th Annual Blues Under the Bridge festival on July 29th, 2017; and we share our favorite new releases from the past month.

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

Cindy and Mark Maluschka moved into their home in Mountain Shadows in 2010. 

"We looked at a lot of houses before we found that house," says Cindy, "when we walked in we knew it was the house."

"It fit us really well," adds Mark. "It was a beautiful house."

During the Waldo Canyon Fire, hundreds of first responders took part in the effort to fight the fire and evacuate neighborhoods threatened by the blaze. It was a massive undertaking, requiring coordination among numerous local, state, and federal agencies.

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

When the Waldo Canyon Fire broke out five years ago, Nick Gledich found himself in two roles. On the one hand, he's the superintendent of District 11.  A number of schools were threatened by the blaze; another served as a staging area for firefighters and first responders.  On the other hand, Gledich was also among the Mountain Shadows evacuees.

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

Polly Dunn moved to the Mountain Shadows neighborhood of Colorado Springs after retiring from her job as a teacher in District 11. She lived there for several years before the Waldo Canyon Fire took her home in 2012. 

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

Allan Creely and his wife Sally moved to the Mountain Shadows neighborhood of Colorado Springs in 1998. Both Allan and Sally had retired from the military, and they saw Mountain Shadows as the perfect place to settle.

Christian Murdock / The Gazette via AP, Pool

Vice President Mike Pence spoke Friday to a crowd of roughly 1,650 people at the headquarters of Focus on the Family, an influential evangelical Christian ministry based in Colorado Springs. 

Courtesy of Senga Nengudi

Colorado Springs-based artist Senga Nengudi is currently showing her work at one of the art world's most influential international exhibitions, the Venice Biennale. It's the latest in a recent string of high-profile showings for Nengudi, who's been living and working in Colorado Springs for nearly 30 years. As curators will tell you, the recognition has been a long time in the making.

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

If you’ve spent any time in the Broadmoor neighborhood of Colorado Springs, you’ve probably heard a chorus of musical chimes float down Cheyenne Mountain to the valley below.

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

Emergency officials in Colorado Springs are calling on folks living in the city’s wildland urban interface to be prepared for wildfire. 

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

On this episode of Air Check, three more favorite songs from Jeff, Jake and Vicky, a talk with the Denver-based band the Flobots about their musical mission, we have a listen to the swan songs of I Sank Molly Brown during their last live performance as a band at Right Heel Studios, Jake and Jeff investigate the musical history of the Will Rogers Shrine on the side of Cheyenne Mountain, and three must-see concert events of the summer/fall music season. 

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

CDOT will need ten times the $1.88 billion dollars awarded this legislative session for infrastructure projects around the state, says executive director Shailen Bhatt. That money was approved by lawmakers in a last minute deal after a sweeping transportation bill failed at the statehouse last month

John Nowak / CNN

Comedian W. Kamau Bell uses humor to probe the dark corners of American culture. As host of the CNN show, "United Shades of America," he’s interviewed everyone from inmates in San Quentin prison to members of the Ku Klux Klan, exploring the racial, political, and socioeconomic forces that shape life in America. He also has a new book out, "The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell," hosts three podcasts, and is on a national stand-up comedy tour.

https://www.seracahoone.com/

This month on Air Check, Sub Pop alumna Sera Cahoone hangs out with Vicky and performs a couple of songs, John Bueno from Pueblo’s Pulp magazine chats with The Brightest Quasar over a cup of coffee, local producer Bill Douglass talks about working with Smashing Pumpkins front man Billy Corgan, and Hannah Fleming explores the many stages of a rock and roll career with Chuck Snow and the Youthful Nothings. 

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

Handbells have been around for centuries. Originally invented for church bell tower players to practice their songs, they took on a life of their own in handbell ensembles, where groups of musicians play carefully choreographed arrangements on the tuned bells. For this story from the latest episode of Air Check, 91.5 KRCC’s Vicky Gregor and Jake Brownell visited a local handbell group to learn more about the music.

Andrea Chalfin / 91.5 KRCC

Left-of-center candidates made out well in this month's Colorado Springs City Council election. Progressive favorites Richard Skorman, Yolanda Avila, and Jill Gaebler beat their more conservative challengers, and left-leaning David Geislinger was elected following an unopposed campaign. Together, along with at-large representative Bill Murray, these four could comprise a new, more liberal majority on Colorado Springs City Council. 

Jake Brownell / 91.5 KRCC

Congressman Doug Lamborn, Republican representative for Colorado’s 5th District, took questions from constituents at a heated town hall forum in Colorado Springs Wednesday. Half-an-hour before the meeting was scheduled to start, police were already turning away attendees at the Stetson Hills police substation, saying that the 110-person capacity had been met in the community room where the forum was to be held.

Brian Turner / Flickr / Creative Commons

Colorado’s 4th Judicial District is being recognized for the work of its Veterans Trauma Court. The court serves vets in El Paso and Teller Counties, and has been selected as one of four “mentor” courts around the country.

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