KGNU Celebrates Thirty-five Years of Celtic Music with a St. Patrick’s Day Special

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FORT COLLINS (March 6, 2018) – On Saturday night, March 17th , the Colorado airwaves will blaze green and orange as radio station KGNU celebrates thirty-five years of Celtic music programming with an extended St. Patrick’s Night On-Air Hooley from 6:00-9:00 p.m.

The station now features a weekly Celtic music program called Seolta Gael, meaning the Celtic Dispatch, which began as a single St. Patrick’s Day special in 1983. Six deejays now host a diverse show, which brings music from Ireland, Scotland, Brittany, Wales and even Celtic Spain to listeners along Colorado’s Front Range, with a webcast available worldwide.

It started on a sloppy, snowy day in 1983. Karl Kumli had relocated to Boulder eighteen months earlier. With a background in commercial radio and a love of Celtic music learned at home, Kumli became the first “Celtic deejay” at KGNU. Aside from annual daytime shows on St. Patrick’s Day, the program was initially relegated to a Sunday late night time slot. Over the years the show moved into a more mainstream program, as one of KGNU’s world music shows. About ten years ago the Celtic genre was able to stand on its own, and became a weekly 7:00- 8:00PM show.

“You might hear a thousand year old Irish lullaby in Gaelic, followed by soundtrack from Game of Thrones,” Kumli said, when asked to describe the show. “We have great expertise in our Celtic Air Force, with writers, musicians and ethnomusicologists offering their own takes on all the diversity in the Celtic music tradition. We also try to let people know where and how to connect with the live music and Celtic cultural scene, as well.”

The show has benefitted immensely from the growth and vibrancy of the Celtic community in Colorado. Pat McCullough, founder of the Celtic Connection newspaper, and an impresario through Celtic Events and Entertainment, was the match which lit the fireworks in the Celtic community starting about thirty years ago.

“Pat is really man who brought Celtic culture out of the shadows in Colorado,” Kumli stated. “We have been so fortunate to have been able to access his knowledge and expertise, both at KGNU and in the broader Celtic community, as well. He knows all the performers personally, and his knowledge is boundless.”

As for the upcoming special, Kumli vows that it can be a soundtrack to your St. Patrick’s celebrations at home. “We will have reports from the field, with reporters braving St. Patrick’s celebrations at the bars. We will have plenty “reel ‘n’ roll” for dancing, songs for the sing-along minded, and a bit of craic (Irish for fun, laughter or action) along the way. You might learn a bit of Irish history. You might even learn a new toast or two,” Kumli said.

The 35th Anniversary show will air on KGNU from 6:00PM to 9:00PM MST. The station is
found at 88.5FM Boulder, 1390AM Denver, 98.7FM Fort Collins, 93.7FM Nederland and
around the world at

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