Meet April Miranda, A DJ With A Sparkle In Her Eyes
Written by Steve Baker on March 11, 2020
There’s a special sparkle in KVMR 89.5 FM volunteer broadcaster April Miranda’s eyes when she gets animated talking about her love of music, radio, or her family and grandchildren.
“One of my favorite things to do is to promote musicians, bringing them out of their living rooms, onto the stage and into the spotlight,” she says. “There’s so much talent in this little town!”
Years ago, her daughter Allyse turned her on to broadcasting, and April’s Mountain Beat Music became a weekly show on a local internet radio station. After a couple of seasons, Mountain Beat Music moved onto NCTV local television, where it aired live for, count ’em, 58 consecutive Friday nights.
“Our crew of ten had a blast showcasing local musicians or musicians who were passing thru town playing at local venues,” recalls April.
After much encouragement from friends and broadcasters at KVMR, she took the broadcaster training class and launched a KVMR version of, ta da, Mountain Beat Music every other week 4 a.m. to 7 a.m. While “it was a trick getting musicians to come on the air at 6:30 in the morning,” she actually got takers.
“It helps knowing every musician in town,” April notes with a smile.
Her show aired for six years on KVMR until she began working full-time at Briarpatch Coop when she realized she couldn’t do both. She soon became Tuesday Morning Show host Paul Emery’s “go to” broadcaster when he needs a substitute. That often happens once a month or so.
HOSTS WOMEN’S SHOW
She’s also an active member of the KVMR Women’s Collective, and shares the station’s 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday night Women’s Show rotation with other Collective members.
In fact, April will do the Monday, March 23rd Women’s Show, grab some sleep, and return Tuesday, March 24 to cover Paul’s 7a.m. to 10 a.m. Tuesday Morning Show (89.5 FM, 105.1 FM Truckee, kvmr.org streaming).
You see, It seems Emery will be busy that week with the tenth anniversary of “A Thousand Kisses Deep: The Songs Of Leonard Cohen” March 28 at the new Center For The Arts in Grass Valley, where it all started a decade ago.
“It’s a back-to-back, yes, but now that I’m not working full-time, it’s easier to do,” she said with a little more of that sparkle.
Last month, April retired from BriarPatch Coop after seven years there. Before that, the South Bay native had worked as a legal secretary for 30 years; 20 in San Francisco and 10 here at the Nevada County Counsel’s Office.
And if that wasn’t enough, for six years, April produced Femme de la Creme at The Nevada Theatre, an evening filled with a variety of female talent, featuring singer-songwriters, dancers, poets, spoken word artists and other performers.
Oh, and when she can pull her band together, The Redbud Ramblers perform at various benefits and concerts.
And talk about inspiring and encouraging musicians to play out? Years ago, she brought together a handful of local women who play music and soon The Rosebud Ramblers band was formed.
THE KVMR GIRLS
Now she’s singing and playing music with The Rosehips (aka The KVMR Girls) with fellow KVMR broadcasters Diane McIntire, Connie Coale and Susan Schreiber.
“Now I have time to have more fun,” she smiled. “I’m looking forward to working with The Center For The Arts, KVMR and other non-profits in town.”
Still, it’s music that plays to her soul.
When her daughter and son-in-law came down from Homer, Alaska, to visit recently, April got to take her 5-year-old grandson Juneau Hawk (quite the cowboy, you know) to see Riders In The Sky (quite the cowboys, indeed).
There might have been an overdose of grandmotherly glittering that special night.
Overall, April makes it pretty clear. “I love KVMR and I love my community.”
That one had sparkle, too.
(On The Air is a weekly irreverent look at Nevada City’s volunteer driven, eclectic community radio station at 89.5 FM and streaming at kvmr.org An easy-to-use archive of past shows is at archive.kvmr.org The station’s second signal — 105.7 FM — airs NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered, plus Pacifica’s Democracy Now! at 9 a.m. weekdays. Indie pop, experimental and strange music is always at kvmrx.org.)