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

Bob Dylan 1965-1966

3 hours ago

We all have the urge to peak behind the curtain...right?  Well, here's your opportunity for that rare exploration into Dylan's creative process in the studio.  Host Bill Shapiro provides a glimpse of Dylan's song-making genius from the latest release in the Bootleg series.

Track List:

"115th Dream”

“Subterranean Homesick Blues”

“If You Gotta Go Go Now”

“You Don’t Have To Do That”

“Mr. Tambourine Man”

“It Takes A Lot To Laugh It Takes A Train To Cry”

“Like A Rolling Stone”  (rehersal version)

Dion: Chapter II

Nov 7, 2015

If you were a fan of 50s doo-wap you probably remember the great music of Dion and the Belmonts.  Coming up on the week's Cyprus Avenue…it’s Dion on his own. 


"Can’t Judge A Book By Looking At The Cover”

“Ride’s Blues”

“I’m Ready To Go”

“Bronx Poem”

“Shu Bop (The lost track)”

“Book Of Dreams”

“King Of The New York Streets”

“Written On The Subway Wall”

“Drop Down Mama”

“The Thunderer”

“Terraplane Blues”

“I Let My Baby Do That”

Country Funk is an inherently defiant genre, encompassing gospel, blues, country hoedown harmony, and inner city grit.  It’s also a slow-jammin’, booty-shakin’ good time on Cyprus Avenue.

Track List:

Johnny Adams - "Georgia Morning Dew”

Tony Joe White - “Polk Salad Annie”

Bobby Darin - “Light Blue”

Lee Clayton - “Border Affair”

Tony Joe White - “Crack The Window Baby”

Wayland Jennings – “Goin’ Down Rockin’”

Link Wray - “Fire and Brimstone”

Bobby Charles – “Street People”

Bobbi Gentry – “He Made A Woman Out Of Me”

Sam Baker Is Back

Oct 24, 2015

Sam Baker is a man of few words…but when he sings every word has passion and meaning.  He’s coming to town in November, and we’ll feature Sam Baker on this week’s Cyprus Avenue...

Track List:

Sam Baker - "Say Grace”

Mary Gauthier - “Last of the Hobo Kings”

Sam Baker - “Waves”

Mary Gauthier - “O Soul”

Sam Baker - “Juarez”

Mary Gauthier – “Mercy Now”

Mary Gauthier - “Falling Out Of Love”

Sam Baker – “Ditch”

Mary Gauthier – “I Drink”

Sam Baker – “Isn’t Love Great”

Survey: The Guys

Oct 17, 2015

If you loved the Eagles…or the Blasters…or the Stones, you’re going to love this week's survey of some great new releases, on Cyprus Avenue.

Track List:

Don Henley - "Train In The Distance"

Keith Richards - "Blues In The Morning"

Don Henley - "The Cost Of Living"

Don Henley - "No Thank You"

Dave & Phil Alvin - "Feelin’ Happy"

Keith Richards - "Heart Stopper"

Don Henley - “That Old Flame"

Don Henley - "A Younger Man"

Dave & Phil Alvin - "Rattlesnakin Daddy"

Don Henley - "Prayin’ For Rain"

There's some newly released music that is worth spending your time with...and much of it comes from some amazing women.  Coming up on Cyprus Avenue, we'll sample the new work of singers Amy Helm, Shawn Colvin and the great Darlene Love, as Bill Shapiro surveys women's songs.

Track LIst:

Darlene Love - "Night Closing In"

Rani Arbo & Daisy Mayhem - "Heart Of The World"

Amy Helm - "Good News"

Darlene Love - "River Deep, Mountain High"

Shawn Colvin - "Acadian Driftwood"

Amy Helm - "Heat Lightning"

On October 11 KCUR presents Cyprus Avenue Live at the Folly Theater with singer Rhiannon Giddens…and you get a chance to  preview her amazing singing on this week's edition of Cyprus Avenue.

Track List:

Rhiannon Giddens - "Don’t Let It Trouble Your Mind"

Rhiannon Giddens - "Water Boy"

Rhiannon Giddens - "Spanish Mary"

Rhiannon Giddens - "Shake Sugaree"

Rhiannon Giddens - "Hidee Hidee Ho"

Rhiannon Giddens - "Black Is The Color Of My True Love’s Hair"

Rhiannon Giddens - “Up Above My Head"

Rhiannon Giddens - "Lost On The River"

The musical genius of Van Morrison has been amplified by a newly remastered re-release of an old album…It’s guaranteed to be worthy of your ear on this week's edition of Cyprus Avenue.

Track List:

Van Morrison   - "Gloria"

- "Brown-Eyed Girl"

- "Astral Weeks"

- "Crazy Love"

- "Moondance"

- "And It Stoned Me"

– “Tupelo Honey"

- "Caravan"

- "Jackie Wilson Said"

- "Domino"

– “Cleaning Windows”

- "Into The Mystic"

There’s something magnetic about great a cappella singing that draws you in…Remember the Persuasions?  We’ll hear their music, plus some other sweet soul music on this edition of Cyprus Avenue.

Track List:

Jerry Lawson - "Peace Like A River"

Persuasions - "Johnny Porter"

Jerry Lawson - "I’m Just A Mortal Man"

The McCrary Sisters - "Train"

Jerry Lawson - "Wine"

Persuasions - "Women & Drinkin’"

Jerry Lawson – Never Been To Memphis"

Persuasions - "It’s Gonna Rain"

Can Bill Shapiro Dance?

Aug 29, 2015

You're not likely to see Cyprus Avenue host Bill Shapiro waltzing across the Folly Theater stage, or even break dancing for that matter...but he will take the stage with the Wylliams Henry Contemporary Dance Company to perform a "Cyprus Avenue Concert" on September 19.    Bill has picked his “best of the best” music for an exciting evening of music and dance, and it's previewed on this week's show.

Track List:

Marvin Gaye - "What's Going On"

Chuck Berry - "Johnny B. Goode"

Elvis Presley - "Mystery Train"

The Eternal Nina Simone

Aug 22, 2015

Described as a musical griot, singer Nina Simone has captured the imagination of many with her passion and amazing voice.  Nina Simone’s the featured artist on this week's Cyprus Avenue.

Track List:

Nina Simone - “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood”

Nina Simone - “Trouble In Mind”

Nina Simone - “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out”

Nina Simone - “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues”

Nina Simone - “Mr Bojangles”

Nina Simone - “I Want A Little Sugar In My Bowl”

Nina Simone - “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free”


Aug 15, 2015

Inspire Cyprus Avenue host Bill Shapiro and there's a long shot you could get an hour of radio focused on your music.  The legendary Prince certainly beat odds following a TV appearance on The Arcenio Hall Show.  So you will receive the reward as Prince takes to the Cyprus Avenue stage to perform some of his greatest hits, as well as some nuggets you may not have heard before.

Tracks List:

"Gotta Broken Heart Again”


“Little Red Corvette”

“Let’s Go Crazy”

“When Doves Cry”


“The Future”

Where can you hear the music Michael Franti, Greg Allman, Ashley Monroe and Tom Waits all in one place?  Maybe your smart phone…but most definitely right here on Cyprus Avenue…

Track List:

Michael Franti - “Once A Day”

Kasey Chambers - “Is God Real”

Greg Allman - “These Days”

Ashley Monroe - “Winning Streaks”

Leon Bridges - “Twistin’ & Groovin’”

Greg Allman - “Love Like Kerosene”

Chris Stapleton - “Might As Well Got Stoned”

Steeldrivers - “Six Feet Away”

Ashley Monroe – “Dixie”

Another Side Of Country

Aug 1, 2015

If you listen closely to today’s country you’re likely to conclude that it’s not your mom and dad’s country.  If you want to give it a try listen to this week’s Cyprus Avenue for another side of country, featuring two of the more progressive artists, Chris Stapleton and Sturgill Simpson.

Track List:

Steeldrivers - “Blue Side Of The Mountain”

Chris Stapleton - “Tennessee Whiskey”

Sturgill Simpson - “Some Days”

Chris Stapleton - “Parachute”

Steeldrivers - “Heaven Sent”

Sturgill Simpson - “Life Of Sin”

Dylan: Disc By Disc

Jul 25, 2015

Dylan- Disc By Disc is a new book that takes a critical look at each of the iconic artist’s 36 albums through the eyes of some leading music experts, including our own Bill Shapiro.  Hear the music and more about the book, plus the album he reviewed on this week's show.

Track List:

Bob Dylan - “Thunder On The Mountain”

Bob Dylan - “Spirit On The Water”

Bob Dylan - “Rollin’ And Tumblin’”

Bob Dylan - “Beyond The Horizon”

Bob Dylan - “Nettie Moore”

Bob Dylan - “The Levee’s Gonna Break”

Bob Dylan - “Ain’t Talkin’”

You’re probably familiar with Jimi Hendrix’s iconic tunes like Foxy Lady, or Purple Haze…but check our this week’s Cyprus Avenue for some of his more obscure works.

Track List:

Jimi Hendrix - “Somewhere”

Jimi Hendrix - “Earth Blues”

Jimi Hendrix - “Here My Train A Comin’”

Jimi Hendrix - “Bleeding Heart”

Jimi Hendrix - “Crash Landing”

Jimi Hendrix - “Mojo Man”

Jimi Hendrix - “Easy Blues”

Jimi Hendrix - “Hey Gypsy Boy”

Jimi Hendrix – “Let Me Move You”

Jimi Hendrix – “Villanova Junction Blues”

Looking for some new music? Could your summer playlist use a lift? Bill Shapiro has an app for that…well not really, but check out some great new sounds on this week's Cyprus Avenue.

Track List:

Richard Thompson - “Beatnik Walking”

Eilen Jewell - “Down The Road”

Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams - “Bad Luck Charm”

Willie & Merle - “It’s All Going To Pot”

Richard Thompson - “She Never Could Resist A Winding Road”

Eilen Jewell - “Ro Grande”

Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams - “Did You Love Me At All”

The "King" Bounces Back

Jul 4, 2015

In late 1968 Elvis Presley’s career was in decline after years of corny movies and a departure from his rock and roll roots.  But a brilliantly-conceived TV special hit the airwaves and put the iconic singer back on the map.  Experience the music from that special event on this week's edition of Cyprus Avenue.

Track List:

Trouble/Guitar Man

That’s Alright

Heartbreak Hotel

Hound Dog

All Shook Up

Can’t Help Falling In Love with You

Let Yourself Go

Baby What You Want Me to Do

Real Country Today

Jun 27, 2015

Remember when country music was more authentic, and not so pop-infused?  Coming up on Cyprus Avenue, Bill Shapiro takes you back to that old school country feel with some new music. 

Track List:

Chris Stapleton - “Parachute”

Kacey Musgraves - “High Time”

Chris Stapleton - “Traveler”

Kacey Musgraves - “This Town”

Chris Stapleton - “Tennessee Whiskey”

Kacey Musgraves - “Love In Vain”

Chris Stapleton - “Was It 26”

Kacey Musgraves - “Cup Of Tea”

Chris Stapleton – “More Of You”

Sticky Fingers Is Back!

Jun 20, 2015

The Rolling Stones, arguably the greatest rock ‘n roll band of all time, will rock Kansas City next week…but this week Cyprus Avenue rocks a redux of The Stones’ 1971 release Stick Fingers...

Track List:

Rolling Stones - “Brown Sugar”

Rolling Stones - “Wild Horses”

Rolling Stones - “Bitch”

Rolling Stones - “Dead Flowers”

Rolling Stones - “Stray Cat Blues”

Rolling Stones - “Love In Vain”

Rolling Stones - “Midnight Rambler”

Rolling Stones - “Honky Tonk Woman”

Leonard Cohen- 2015

Jun 14, 2015

At 80 years old, singer Leonard Cohen isn’t slowing down…he just released a second live album in the past year…it’s titled, Can’t Forget: A Souvenir of the Grand Tour, and you can hear it on this edition of Cyprus Avenue.

Track List:

Leonard Cohen - “I Can’t Forget”

Leonard Cohen - “Almost Like The Blues”

Leonard Cohen - “La Manic”

Leonard Cohen - “Joan of Arc”

Leonard Cohen - “My Oh My”

Leonard Cohen - “Light As The Breeze”

Leonard Cohen - “Slow”

Leonard Cohen - “Never Gave Nobody Trouble”

Easy Shanking In Boston

Jun 6, 2015

Reggae icon Bob Marley turned 70 earlier this year, prompting huge tributes in Jamaica and elsewhere.  Now it’s your turn to celebrate the great Bob Marley with his legendary performance in Boston.

Track List:

Marley - “Slave Driver”

Marley - “Burnin’ & Lootin’”

Marley - “The Heathen”

Marley - “I Shot The Sheriff”

Marley - “No Woman No Cry”

Marley - “Jamming”

Marley - “War/No More Trouble”

Marley - “Get Up Stand Up”

Marley - “Exodus”

Did you miss last weekend’s Dylan concert…or just couldn’t get enough?  Well you’re in luck…Bob Dylan’s bringing it all back home on this week on 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”

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”