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Pocho Joe, KUVO “La Raza Rocks” Celebrate 10 years of Chicano Music

Weekly Show Presents "Roots and Branches" of Chicano Rock

By Joe Contreras, Photos by Mike Ornelas, LatinLifeDenver.com
Portions of this article provided by KUVO.

Rick's Tavern at 67th & Lowell Blvd. in Denver was rockin with a standing room only crowd as KUVO/KVJZ radio celebrated the 10th anniversary of "La Raza Rocks," the station's Latino rock program hosted by Pocho Joe. The show airs every Sunday afternoon from 1 till 2pm.

Pocho Joe is the creator of La Raza Rocks and has been host for more than ten years. On any given Sunday Pocho Joe  plays music from Sunny & the Sunliners, Santana, Los Lobos, the Iguanas, Los Lonely Boys, and Dr. Loco and the Rockin' Jalapeno Band just to mention a few. The program is the place on the Denver radio dial to hear the progressive music and messages of Ozomatli, Quetzal, Alejandro Escovedo, the Blazers, and many more groups. The show proudly presents the "roots and branches" of Chicano rock-based music.

"This music has been lost, forgotten and buried by commercial radio Pocho Joe told LatinLifeDenver.com. "Our music, Chicano music, has never been recognized as part of the mainstream of the canon of American culture. La Raza Rocks showcases the music that we grew up with, that we listened to at weddings, parties and other events. You might hear Santana on a commercial radio station every now and then but the rest of our music is pretty much ignored.

That was the premise, the concept behind La Raza Rocks when we started it more than 10 years ago.   Thank God Santana broke that ceiling for Latinos many years ago but Latino music goes so much deeper than just Santana and commercial radio still refuses play Latino/Chicano music where public radio  is willing to do that. We have a venue with KUVO that  provides that music to people who enjoy it," he said.

As for what's next for Pocho Joe. "I am just going to keep on keepin on he said. It's not just me doing something because I like it.  It's doing something because the community enjoys it, because the listeners like it and it is something that hearkens back to our youth and everyday lives". He concluded saying he was happy for everyone who came to Rick's Tavern. He said the overwhelming response showed not just support for the music but pride for this important part of our cultural heritage.

Former KUVO General Manager and founder Flo Hernandez-Ramos said Pocho Joe was her first choice when the idea of La Raza Rocks first came up. "He was the person we needed to have and I remember almost begging him to do the show. He finally agreed and everyone has been able to enjoy the fruits of that decision every Sunday for the past 10 years".   

About KUVO/KVJZ Denver Educational Broadcasting:

KUVO/Denver Educational Broadcasting, Inc. is a Colorado non-profit broadcasting Jazz, Blues, Latin Jazz and news since its inception in 1985. The station is one of just a handful of non-commercial Jazz radio stations in the U.S. today. KUVO has an international reputation for its commitment to Jazz, Blues and Latin Jazz. The station is an affiliate of National Public Radio and Public Radio International. KUVO's offices and studios are at 2900 Welton Street in the historic Five Points District of Denver.

Photos by Mike Ornelas,pornelas8@msn.com, 720-442-2349, LatinLifeDenver.com. Click on any image below to enlarge. Use arrow keys to scroll through gallery...

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