Ron Jones | KCUR

Ron Jones

Director of Community Engagement

Ron Jones returned to KCUR in September, 2013 as Director of Community Engagement.  He leads a team that will focus on the arts, entrepreneurship, neighborhoods and community diversity. Its goal is to coordinate community conversations about important issues on-air, online and in person.

Before returning to KCUR, Jones was Program Director at WDET in Detroit, where he oversaw all programming content.  Jones worked closely with news/talk and music programming to provide an administrative structure for programming, quality control and program development.  He also managed production, on-air fundraising, promotion and broadcast operations.  WDET has received national recognition for its work with community engagement, and crowdsourcing for both content and fundraising.

Prior to his position in Detroit, Jones served as Vice President of Programming at Chicago Public Radio, where he oversaw all station programming activities, including news, music, engineering and other initiatives for WBEZ, Chicago, WBEQ, Chesterton, Indiana and WBEW, Morris, Illinois.  Under his leadership Chicago Public radio received numerous national and regional awards for programming and journalistic excellence.  In addition he provided management oversight of WLUW, an independent community station licensed to Loyola University and managed by Chicago Public Radio. 

Prior to his work with Chicago Public Radio, Jones served as Program Director at WGBH-FM in Boston.  His responsibilities included oversight of on-air staff, promotion, audience research and fundraising activities.  In addition, he has served as General Manager of WERS-FM in Boston, and Program Director at KCUR-FM in Kansas City, Missouri and KANU-FM in Lawrence, Kansas. 

Jones served on the board of the Public Radio Program Director’s Association and The World Vision Report.  He holds a B.S. degree in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Kansas.

Ways to Connect

Did you miss the recent Dylan concert here in KC…or just couldn’t get enough?  Well you’re in luck…Bob Dylan’s bringing it all back home on this week's Cyprus Avenue...

Track List:

Dylan - “Subterranean Blues”

Dylan - “She Belongs To Me”

Dylan - “Maggie’s Farm”

Dylan - “Love Minus Zero/No Limit”

Dylan - “Outlaw Blues”

Dylan - “On The Road Again”

Dylan - “Bob Dylan’s 115 Dream”

Dylan - “Mr. Tambourine Man”

Dylan - “Coates Of England”

Dylan – “It’s All Right Ma”

To A Pair Of Kings

May 23, 2015

Memorial Day weekend is a time to remember loved ones who’ve passed on.  Coming up on Cyprus Avenue, a tribute to two musical icons who left us recently…BB King and Ben E. King.

Track List:

B,B, King - “Everyday I Have The Blues”

B,B, King - “Sweet Little Angel”

Ben E. King – “Stand By Me”

Ben E. King - “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow”

Ben E. King - “Spanish Harlem”

Ben E. King - “Young Boy Blues”

B,B, King - “Why I Sing The Blues”

Ben E. King - “Save The Last Dance For Me”

Shelby's Return

May 4, 2015

Shelby Lynne’s a great singer who’s coming to Kansas City later this month when KCUR presents Cyprus Avenue Live at the Folly Theater…and we get a preview of her talent on this week’s Cyprus Avenue.

Track List:

Shelby Lynne - “Where I’m From”

Shelby Lynne - “Just A Little Lovin’”

Shelby Lynne - “Breakfast In Bed”

Shelby Lynne - “Willie and Laura Mae Jones”

Shelby Lynne - “Revelation Road”

Shelby Lynne - “I’ll Hold Your Hand”

Shelby Lynne - “Call Me Up”

Shelby Lynne - “I Can’t Imagine”

If you think Van Morrison's new release Van Morrison Duets is some veiled attempt to make some quick cash off of previously released hits...think again.  Van's much too talented to settle for that.  So he enlisted the help of super producers Don Was and Bob Rock. Together they mined Morrison's repetoire from mostly overlooked albums to resurrect some gems, performed by some amazing singers, both old and relatively new.  What they did together with Van Morrison is worth spending your Saturday listening to this week's Cyprus Avenue.


"Pops" Last Stand

Apr 21, 2015

The iconic Robuck “Pops” Staples was responsible for some of the most essential music of the last 50 years.  He and his family carved out distinct spaces in both the gospel and R&B genres, while creating a soundtrack for the Civil Rights Movement with songs like “I’ll Take You There,” and “Respect Yourself.”  Just days short of his 86th birthday, as he laid on his dying bed, Pops handed daughter Mavis Staples a recording of some of his final tracks, with the instruction, “Mavis, don’t lose this here.” Ten years later “this here” has been released, and it’s the subject of this edition of

The “art of the song” can never be perfected, but singer/songwriter Dave Alvin has a good sense of what it takes to get there, as you’ll hear on this week’s Cyprus Avenue…

Track List:

Dave Alvin - “Help You Dream”

Dave Alvin - “Boss Of The Blues”

Dave Alvin - “Downey Girl”

Dave Alvin - “These Times We’re Living In”

Dave Alvin - “Don’t Make Promises”

Dave Alvin  - “Haley’s Comet”

Dave Alvin - “Shenandoah”

Dave Alvin - “East Virginia Blues”

Dave Alvin - “Fourth Of July”

2006 Redux

Mar 28, 2015

2006 was a very good year for music…Next up on Cyprus Avenue, host Bill Shapiro brings back some great music from the year that was 2006. 

Track List:

Bob Dylan - “Thunder On The Mountain”

M. Ward - “Eyes On The Prize / Magic Trick”

Jerry Lee Lewis - “Before the Night Is Over”

Bruce Springsteen - “Oh Mary, Don’t You Weep”

Dayna Kurtz - “Venezuela”

Teddy Thompson - “The Future”

Dave Alvin - “Here In California”

Maria Muldair - “Buckets Of Rain”

Leonard Cohen - “Tower Of Song”

2006 Redux

Mar 28, 2015

2006 was a very good year for music…Next up on Cyprus Avenue, host Bill Shapiro brings back some great music from the year that was 2006. 

Track List:

Bob Dylan - “Thunder On The Mountain”

M. Ward - “Eyes On The Prize / Magic Trick”

Jerry Lee Lewis - “Before the Night Is Over”

Bruce Springsteen - “Oh Mary, Don’t You Weep”

Dayna Kurtz - “Venezuela”

Teddy Thompson - “The Future”

Dave Alvin - “Here In California”

Maria Muldair - “Buckets Of Rain”

Leonard Cohen - “Tower Of Song”

The gospel music that came out of the little known Memphis-based label Designer Records has been described as “soul without the sex…and if you listen to this week’s Cyprus Avenue, you’ll swear you’ve heard the tunes before, just with different lyrics.

Track List:

The Melody Kings - “I Know It’s Jesus”

George Shields & His Gospel Singers-  “God ‘s Word Will Never Pass Away”

The Mighty Blitheville Aires- “It May Be Your Last”

O’Neil and the Dean Brothers-  “The ABCs”

Sister Carrie Daniels- “This Joy I Have”

McMurtry And Earle

Mar 14, 2015

Singer-songwriters James McMurtry and Steve Earle are known for songs with strong narratives that blend country and blues.  Both have new albums that are featured on this week’s Cyprus Avenue.

Track List:

James McMurtry - “She Loves Me”

Steve Earl - “Baby, Baby, Baby, (Baby)”

James McMurtry - “Painting By Numbers”

Steve Earl  - “Guitar Town”

Steve Earl - “Tennessee Kid”

James McMurtry - “How’n I Gonna Find You Now”

Steve Earl - “Copperhead Road”

James McMurtry - “Out Here In The Middle”

Marty Stuart Returns

Mar 7, 2015

Singer-songwriter Marty Stuart’s coming to Kansas City on Friday, March 20th, as part of the KCUR presents Cyprus Avenue Live at The Folly Theater series. Coming up on this edition of Cyprus Avenue…the music of Marty Stuart.

Track List:

"Crying, Waiting, Hoping” (with Steve Earle)

“Doin’ My Time” (with Johnny Cash)

“Here I Am”

“The Gospel Story of Noah’s Ark”

“No Hard Times Blues”

“The Weight” (with The Staple Singers)

“It’s Time to Go Home”

“Farmer’s Blues” (with Merle Haggard)

New Singers New Songs

Feb 28, 2015

How’s your winter music stash holding up?  Is it getting stale?  Need some freshening?  Bill Shapiro’s got some great new music for you to check out on this week’s Cyprus Avenue.

Track List:

Rhiannon Giddens - “Last Kind Word”

F.J. Misty - “Love You Honeybear”

Diana Krall - “California Dreamin’”

St. Paul & The Broken Bones - “Don’t Mean A Thing”

Rhiannon Giddens - “Water Boy”

F.J. Misty - “Strange Encounter”

St. Paul & The Broken Bones - “I’M Torn Up”

Diana Krall - “Yeh Yeh”

Zooey Deschanel and "M" Ward

Have you noticed the growing trend of your favorite artists covering classic songs?  Bill Shapiro has and he presents "something new and something old" as a Valentine’s Day gift to you, on this week’s Cyprus Avenue.

Track List:

Willie Nelson & Sister Bobbie - “Alexander’s Ragtime Band”

Bette Midler - “Baby It’s You”

She & Him - “It’s Not For Me To Say”

Willie Nelson & Sister Bobbie  - “What’ll I Do”

She & Him - “Stay A While”

Willie Nelson & Sister Bobbie - “Sad Songs And Waltzed”

MattysFlicks / Flickr--CC

It’s the season for romance.  If you are lucky, finding your soul mate can be simple, but more often than not it can be awkward, and downright tedious. 

Stop and think for a minute … how many hoops have you jumped through in an attempt to land your special Valentine?  In the digital age online dating and matchmaking sites have encouraged us to scrutinize profiles and backgrounds to find our ideal match. They are designed to make finding romance easier, but can algorithms really lead to finding meaningful relationships or nightmarish breakups?

If you missed Kelley Hunt last month on Cyprus Avenue you’ve got a couple more chances to hear the talented Kansas City singer…one on this week’s edition of the show… followed by next week's Cyprus Avenue Live at the Folly Theater...

Track list:

Kelley Hunt - “Talk To Me”

Kelley Hunt - “Crawl Through Kansas”

Kelley Hunt - “Emerald City”

Kelley Hunt  - “Music Was The Thread”

Kelley Hunt - “The Land Of Milk And Honey”

Kelley Hunt - “In The End”

Kelley Hunt - “When Love Is At The Wheel”

If you were a fan of Woodstock you probably remember the riveting performance by Joe Cocker.  That appearance catapulted him into the consciousness of mainstream rock & roll fans in America and abroad. On  this edition of Cyprus Avenue, a tribute to the iconic singer who passed away last December...

Track List:

Joe Cocker - "With A Little Help From My Friends”

Joe Cocker - “She Came In Through The Bathroom Window”

Joe Cocker - “Honky Tonk Woman”

Joe Cocker - “Feelin’ Alright”

Joe Cocker - “Girl From The North Country”

They called him “Mr. Pitiful,” but singer Otis Redding’s moniker doesn’t fit the impact he had on popular music in the 60’s and beyond.  It’s the music of Otis Redding on this edition of Cyprus Avenue.

Track List:

Otis Redding- "These Arms of Mine”

Otis Redding- “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long”

Otis Redding- “My Girl”

Etta James- “I Got The Will”

Otis Redding- “Try A Little Tenderness”

Percy Sledge- “I’ve Got Dreams To Remember”

Otis Redding- “Mr. Pitiful”

Elvis Lives

Jan 17, 2015

The “King of Rock & Roll” continues to live in the minds of many of us…including Cyprus Avenue host Bill Shapiro…who presents some Elvis music you may not have heard before…

Track List:

Elvis - “Reconsider Baby”

Elvis - “Hi-Heel Sneakers”

Elvis - “Cindy Cindy”

Elvis - “So Glad You’re Mine”

Elvis - “You Asked Me To”

Elvis - “Memphis Tennessee”

Elvis - “Little Sister”

Elvis - “If I Were You”

Elvis - “I Washed My Hands In Muddy Waters”

Elvis - “Good Time Charlie’s Got The Blues”

In his 36 years of hosting Cyprus Avenue, Bill Shapiro has never featured a Kansas City artist…but that’s about to change.  The talented Kelley Hunt breaks the streak, on this edition of Cyprus Avenue.

Track List:

Kelley Hunt - “Talk To Me”

Kelley Hunt - “Crawl Through Kansas”

Kelley Hunt - “Emerald City”

Kelley Hunt  - “Music Was The Thread”

Kelley Hunt - “The Land Of Milk And Honey”

Kelley Hunt - “In The End”

Kelley Hunt - “When Love Is At The Wheel”

Kelley Hunt - “Let It Rain”

Kelley Hunt - “Gates Of Eden”

2014 Favorites

Jan 3, 2015

As we look forward to what 2015 will bring, we’ll take one last listen to Cyprus Avenue’s music of 2014 with Bill Shapiro’s favorites.

Track List:

Rosanne Cash- “ A Feather’s Not A Bird”

Jerry Lee Lewis- “Johnny B. Goode/Carol”

Jerry Lee Lewis - “Rock & Roll Time”

Billie Joe and Nora Jones- “Roving Gambler”

Nicole Atkins- “Dancing In The Dark”

Leonard Cohen- “Slow”

Bob Dylan- “Things We Said Today”

Willie Nelson- “Hard To Be An Outlaw”

Sly & The Family Stone- “Family Affair”

Start the New Year celebration early with Cyprus Avenue!  Bill Shapiro brings you his annual party of live concert recordings. James Brown, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Marley and more. 

Track List:

Jerry Lee Lewis- “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On”

Otis Redding - “Can’t Turn You Loose”

James Brown - “Brother Rapp / Ain’t It Funky Now”

Jimi Hendrix - “Like a Rolling Stone”

Bob Dylan - “Highway 61 Revisited”

Bruce Springsteen - “Cadillac Ranch”

Neil Young - “Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black)”

A Cyprus Avenue Christmas

Dec 20, 2014

Ring in the holidays with Cyprus Avenue!  Bill Shapiro brings you his annual “The Sounds of Christmas” show… with Elvis Presley, Al Green, Darlene Love and more...

Track List:

Clyde McPhatter and The Drifters- “White Christmas”

Bob B. Soxx and The Blue Jeans- “The Bells of St. Mary’s”

Elvis Presley- “Merry Christmas, Baby”  

Wilson Pickett- “Silver Bells”  

Lowell Fulson- “I Wanna Spend Christmas with You”

The Blind Boys of Alabama, featuring Mavis Staples- “Born in Bethlehem”  

2014's Odds And Ends

Dec 6, 2014

20-14 is winding down but the great music keeps right on coming… John Mellencamp, U2, Jackson Brown and The New Basement Tapes are all featured on this week’s Cyprus Avenue...

Track List:

The New Basement Tapes (Jim James)- “Kansas City”

John Mellencamp- “The Isolation Of Mister”

U2- “Volcano”

The New Basement Tapes (Rhianon Giddens)- “Duncan & Jimmy”

Jackson Brown- “The Long Way Around”

U2- “The Crystal Ballroom”

The New Basement Tapes (Rhianon Giddens & Elvis Costello- “Hidee Hidee Ho”

The Art of McCartney

Nov 29, 2014

Writing some of the world’s best-known songs takes talent and great deal of know-how.  You’ll experience the music of one of the best when Cyprus Avenue presents the Art of McCartney…

Track List:

Billy Joel- “Maybe I’m Amazed”

Heart- “Band On The Run”

Bob Dylan- “Things We Said Today”

Sammy Hagar- “Birthday”

Barry Gibb- “When I’m 64”

Dion- “Drive My Car”

Willie Nelson- “Yesterday”

Paul Rodgers- “Let Me Roll It”

Def Leppard- “Helen Wheels”

Chrissie Hynde- “Let It Be”

Bob Dylan’s newest release The Basement Tapes Complete is 138 tracks on six CDs.  You won’t hear all of it this week but you’ll get a great sampling…

Track List

My Bucket’s Got A Hole In It

I Forgot To Remember To Forget

You Win Again

Big River

Folsom Prison Blues

Cool Water

Johnny Todd


Tiny Montgomery

I’m Your Teenage Prayer

Rock Salt And Nails

A Fool Such As I

People Get Ready

I Don’t Hurt Anymore

Don’t You Try

Four Formidable Females

Nov 15, 2014

Valerie June is an amazingly talented young singer, who has captured host Bill Shapiro's ear.  June is featured, along with three other talented women, in this edition of Cyprus Avenue.

Track List:

Macy Gray- “Stoned”

Valerie June- “Somebody To Live”

Marcia Ball- “Lazy Blues”

Hurray For The Riff Raff- “Good Time Blues”

Macy Gray- “Need You Now”

Marcia Ball- “Can’t Blame Nobody

Valerie June- “Shotgun”

Valerie June- “Wanna Be On Your Mind”

Hurray For The Riff Raff- “The New San Francisco Bay Blues”

Singer Jerry Lee Lewis says talent used to separate the men from the boys, but technology has now changed all that.  So he’s released a new CD of his early session work that clearly displays his amazing artistry.


"Bad, Bad Leroy Brown"

"Ragged But Right"

"Room Full Of Roses"

"Johnny B. Goode/Carol "

"That Kind Of Fool"

"Harbor Lights"

"Pass Me Not Oh Gentle Savior"

"Music Music Music/Canadian Sunset"

"Lovin’ Cajun Style"

"Beautiful Dreamer"

Rosanne Returns

Nov 1, 2014

Singer Rosanne Cash has established herself as a major artist who's not limited to a single musical genre. The range and depth of her amazing talents are on display in this edition of Cyprus Avenue.

Track List:

Rosanne Cash - "A Feather’s Not A Bird"

Rosanne Cash - " Black Cadillac "

Rosanne Cash - "50,000 Watts"

Rosanne Cash - "Radio Operator "

Rosanne Cash - "Real Woman"

Rosanne Cash - "World Of Strange Design"

Rosanne Cash - "Western Wall"

Rosanne Cash - "Dreams Are Not My Home"

It’s hard to believe that Bruce Springsteen’s Born To Run album is 30 years old?  Well,"the Boss" is back and Cyprus Avenue host Bill Shapiro pays tribute to his iconic recording, and you’re invited to the birthday party.

Track List:

Bruce Springsteen - "Born In The USA"

Dead Man’s Town - " Born In The USA "

Bruce Springsteen - "Cover Me"

Dead Man’s Town - " Cover Me "

Dead Man’s Town - "I’m On Fire"

Bruce Springsteen - " I’m On Fire "

Bruce Springsteen - "No Surrender"

Leonard Cohen Lives On

Oct 18, 2014

Leonard Cohen’s new release Popular Problems is described as a smoky, late night concoction…and it has all the ingredients for another great edition of Cyprus Avenue…

Track List:


"Almost Like The Blues"

"Everybody Knows"

"My Oh My"

"I’m Your Man"

"Samson In New Orleans"


"You Got Me"