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 Programme  and the award winning documentary series, Wish We Were Here. Jake now oversees production of our music program, Air Check, and 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

Jake Brownell

Air Check is a brand new show from KRCC highlighting great music from the Pikes Peak region and beyond. 

If you’ve ever been to KRCC and seen the 20,000 CDs in our filing cabinets, and the 20,000 records in our vinyl vault, then you know that we are serious about music. Think of Air Check as a showcase for all the incredible music that lives at KRCC. We’ll introduce you to things you may have missed, take a closer look at genres and artists we think you’ll love, and invite local and touring musicians into the studio for exclusive interviews and in-studio performances. 

Courtesy of Dan Crossey

Most people think of Pikes Peak as a tourist destination – the Fourteener with a highway and a donut shop on top. But for many local mountaineers, climbers and skiers, Pikes Peak is also a wilderness playground. For backcountry skiers Dan Crossey, Mike Houston, Bill Blair, and Nate Porter Pikes Peak was like their backyard. But on April 25, 1995, what should’ve been a routine day of Spring skiing on Pikes Peak quickly turned into a nightmare.

On this episode of The Big Something: local comic book artist Langdon Foss discusses his recent 4-short comic The Surface; retired Navy seal and author of the book Navy Seal Shooting, Chris Sajnog, discusses his thoughts on what it means to be a responsible gun owner; Big Something intern Charlie Neaves tells the story of Mission Wolf, an off-the-grid wolf sanctuary in the mountains west of Pueblo; and Jake Brownell sits down with KRCC Music Director Vicky Gregor to look back at the life and work of the late David Bowie. All that today on The Big Something.

If you’ve ever been curious about how the KRCC Radio Show and Podcast Wish We Were Here is produced, where we get our ideas, and what our plans for the future of the show might be, please join us at the Innovation Institute next Thursday, January 21st.

We’ll be sharing clips, talking about the process of putting together a show, and taking questions from  4 p.m. to 5:30 in the Morreale Carriage House.

The event is free and open to the public. Join us at 4 p.m just behind the Morreale House at 1130 North Cascade.

Noel Black

With a national debate raging about the 2nd Amendment, we went to meet a man who epitomizes the right to bear arms: Dragonman. Born Mel Bernstein in Brooklyn, NY in 1945, Dragonman claims to be the most armed citizen in the state of Colorado. Among the five businesses he operates on his 240 acre property at the eastern edge of Colorado Springs, Dragonman is perhaps best known for his gunshop and the shooting range where he hosts an annual machine gun shoot. But there's more to Dragonman than guns and bluster.

With 2015 coming to an end, we thought it was time to invite KRCC Program Director Jeff Bieri and Music Director Vicky Gregor into the studio to discuss their favorite music from 2015. In this special episode of The Big Something, Jeff and Vicky count down their top ten albums/songs of the year. 

On this episode of The Big Something: In-depth Conversation on Culture and Ideas in the Pikes Peak region, we speak with outgoing Museum Director at the Colorado Springs Fine Art Center, Blake Milteer, and his soon-to-be successor, Joy Armstrong; Author Jonathan Marcantoni talks about his new book and the mentorship program that he created for aspiring writers; Author Jeffrey Hobbs speaks with fellow writer Helen Thorpe about his bestselling book, “The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace,”; and Big Something intern Madi Howard brings us the story of a new publication devoted to amplifying the voices of the homeless in Colorado Springs.

 

 

Tuesday at 7pm, Colorado College will host a conversation between authors Helen Thorpe and Jeff Hobbs. Helen Thorpe’s writing has appeared in the New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Slate, and elsewhere, and her books—Soldier Girls, and Just Like Us—have been widely praised by critics. Jeff Hobbs is the author of The Tourists: A Novel, and more recently, the New York Times bestseller, The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace. In advance of their upcoming talk, Thorpe interviewed Hobbs for KRCC about his book, which explores issues of race, class, and social inequality, through the life and untimely death of Hobbs’ good friend and college roommate.

For more information on the event, which is free to the public and will take place in Gaylord Hall on the Colorado College campus, click HERE.

For many years in the 1990s and 2000s, Colorado Springs was so synonymous with conservative evangelical Christianity that it earned the nickname "The Evangelical Vatican." But in late-2006, Pastor Ted Haggard of New Life Church--then one of the most prominent and influential evangelical churches in the country--was exposed for buying crystal meth and soliciting the services of a male prostitute. The small empire that Haggard and other evangelical leaders, like Focus on the Family's James Dobson, had built in the shadow of Pikes Peak almost immediately crumbled. But the churches, people, and culture that was established during those boom years remained.  Set adrift, this evangelical community was suddenly forced to look inward for direction after a decades-long pursuit of cultural and political power that had come to a screeching halt.

On this episode of Wish We Were Here, we speak to pastors, historians, ex-evangelicals, post-evangelicals, Christ-followers and more in an effort to understand where the Colorado Springs evangelical community has been, and where it's going.

Screenshot from a shared video of the proceedings

The alleged gunman in Friday’s shooting at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood appeared in court for the first time today. KRCC’s Jake Brownell attended the hearing at the El Paso County Criminal Justice Center, and has this report:

 

    

As reporters and cameramen awaited the first advisement hearing of Robert Lewis Dear, a line of squad cars formed across the street, in front of the El Paso County Coroner's office.

Noel Black

44-year-old Officer Garrett Swasey has been identified as the police officer killed in today's incident. Swasey was a six-year veteran of the UCCS Police Department, and was responding in support of the Colorado Springs Police Department.

UPDATE: 7:00 PM MST:  Colorado Springs police are confirming three fatalities, two civilians and one police officer from UCCS.

Four other civilians and five officers are in the hospital in "good condition."

On this episode of The Big Something, author Brett McCracken discusses his book Hipster Chrisitianity, When Church and Cool Collide ; Daniel James Brown shares the incredible story of how a young team of working class American rowers beat the odds--and the Nazis--at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin; Rock Climber Alex Honnold talks about his career climbing some of the most iconic rock walls in the world, with no rope; and we bring you an episode of the show HumaNature from Wyoming Public Radio about a search and rescue mission in the Rocky Mountains.

PPLD Digital Photo Archive, image 001-5305

When you hear the name Ivywild these days, you likely think of the old school turned brewery and market just south of I-25 in Colorado Springs. But Ivywild, a whole neighborhood at the foot of the Broadmoor, was once a small suburb of Colorado Springs with a history as rich and colorful as any city in Colorado. Authors Molly Merry and Linda Johnson recently revived some of that history in a small book titled "Ivywild: A Treasure Filled Neighborhood History".

Colorado Springs Public Market

Local rancher and owner of Ranch Foods Direct, Mike Callicrate, describes the role of a public market in a city as that of the kitchen in a home. It's a place where people congregate and create community around food. For Callicrate and other board members of the Colorado Springs Public Market project, Colorado Springs is a city sorely in need of such a place.

On this episode of The Big Something: filmmaker Nathan Ward discusses The Rider and the Wolf, his new documentary about the disappearance of Colorado Mountain Bike pioneer, Mike Rust; Representatives of the Colorado Springs Public Market talk about the past, present, and future of the Public Market project; Local author Molly Merry recounts colorful stories from Colorado Springs’ Ivywild Neighborhood; and we revisit an interview with Senga Nengudi in advance of her upcoming appearance at the Gallery of Contemporary Art.
 

On this episode of Wish We Were Here, we bring you three stories from three current or former Colorado springs residents, completely unknown to one another. All three of these stories are  tied together by one man: Lorne Greene.

Tom Ross

Colorado Springs musician Tom Ross has dedicated much of his life to studying the music of different cultures around the globe and integrating those global influences into his own work as a composer. Ross was raised in Colorado Springs, where he trained with the legendary jazz guitarist Johnny Smith as a young man. He eventually made his way to Wesleyan University in Connecticut, where he earned a PhD in Ethnomusicology.

Local reporter and restaurant critic Bryce Crawford has a new gig.

 

On this episode of The Big Something Radio Programme, sociologist and author Kathy Giuffre discusses her first novel, The Drunken Spelunker’s Guide to Plato; food writer and reporter Bryce Crawford talks dining in the Pikes Peak region; and local musician Tom Ross takes us on a tour of his global musical influences. 

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On Episode 7 of The Big Something Radio Programme we hear from the soon-to-be newest member of the Colorado state Supreme Court, Richard Gabriel; we bring you an interview with Artist Rodney wood, about Artocade: Trinidad’s Art Car Parade; Eliot Gray Fisher of Austin Based ARCOS dance discusses The Warriors: A Love Story, a multimedia performance coming to colorado springs; And lastly, we check in with members of

On this episode of Wish We Were Here, we bring you the story of Ron Stallworth. In the 1970s, he became the first black detective ever to serve in the Colorado Springs Police Department. He's also the author of Black Klansman, a memoir about one of his most memorable investigations, which you'll hear about in this episode.

Music in this episode is mostly from the amazing Free Music Archive. You'll hear pieces by Lee Rosevere, Sarin, Podington Bear, Deadly Combo, Chris Zabriski, Kevin McLeod, Antony Raijekov, and All Shall Be Well. You'll also hear music by the Budos Band.

StoryCorps

In this segment from The Big Something Radio Programme, we bring you a conversation recorded by StoryCorps in Colorado Springs, featuring Greg Wickherst and Jason Belcher. Greg Wickherst is a single father of a three-year-old daughter named Izzy. While working as an admissions rep at IntelliTec college in Pueblo, he began taking cosmetology classes to learn how to do his daughter’s hair, and posted pictures of the hairstyles he was learning on Facebook.

In this episode of The Big Something we talk to a Greg Lutze, a Manitou Springs native who co-founded a digital photography company that aspires to be the Kodak of the 21st century; Legendary poet and environmental activist Gary Snyder speaks with us about his long and storied career; Writer Mia Alvarado takes us on a field trip to Stoner's Laundry, a laundromat that’s been a gathering place for a small neighborhood at the edge of downtown Colorado Springs for decades; And fathers Jason Belcher and Greg Wickherst discuss their relationships with their daughters in a conversation recorded b

Born in Amherst, Massachusetts in 1830, Emily Dickinson and Helen Hunt Jackson attended the same primary school, and received similar educational instruction in Philosophy, History, Botany and Latin. Later in life, Jackson, residing in Colorado Springs, would begin a correspondence with Dickinson after being introduced to her work by Atlantic Monthly Editor Thomas Wentworth Higginson. In this correspondence, Jackson would implore the reclusive Dickinson to share her work. With the exception of getting one poem of Dickinson's published anonymously, Jackson was largely unsuccessful.

Daisy McGowan is the Director and Curator at the UCCS Galleries of Contemporary Art in Colorado Springs. For GOCA's second biennial exhibition Bright Young Things, McGowan aims to reflect the diverse background of emerging artists working in the Colorado Front Range Corridor. The show will run from July 10th until August 29th, and feature collaborative performance, ceramics, photography, painting and work in other media from 8 artists.

On any summer weekend, a visit to one of the Pikes Peak region's many open spaces proves just how popular and valuable Colorado Springs' natural recourses are. In last week's episode of The Big Something, Susan Davies, Executive Director of the Trails and Open Space Coalition, and "Hiking" Bob Falcone, President of the Friends of Cheyenne Canyon sat down with Noel Black to discuss trail work, future projects, and what makes Colorado Springs' access to the outdoors so special. 

On Episode #6 of The Big Something, Susan Davies and Bob Falcone and open space coalition discuss trails and open space in Colorado Springs; Poet Robin Izer tells us about the fateful correspondence between Emily Dickinson and Colorado Springs transplant Helen Hunt Jackson; GOCA Director Daisy McGowen talks front range art in honor of the 2nd biennial Bright Young Things Exhibit; And Deepa Daya tells her amazing story of gaining physical sight at the age of 30.

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On the evening of June 17th, a young white man opened fire on a group of black churchgoers after bible study at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC, killing nine people.

In this segment from last week's episode of the Big Something, Noel Black brings you a profile of beloved Manitou artist Charles Rockey. He just released a book of fables and illuminations--Love Songs of Middle Time--that he’s been working on for the past 15 years. You can buy copies of the book at the Manitou Art Center, the Manitou Heritage Center, and Miramont Castle in Manitou.

During the Cold War, the Army began making land acquisitions to develop a training site where mountain post soldiers could prepare for war in an environment similar to potential areas for deployment. The result was the establishment of the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site, an over 200,000 acre training area in Southeastern Colorado. More than 20 years later, in 2006, the Army sought to expand the site. Instead, they met a local organized resistance, and were unable to extend their training ground.  

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