Nona Gandelman worked with creatives like B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Phish, Ani DiFranco and Jane Goodall to put Boulder’s art scene on the map

Ginger Perry, a longtime KGNU DJ and contributor, speaks with Nona Gandelman. Gandelman, who started out as a booking agent, has worked as one of Boulder’s most legendary music concert promoters. Eventually forming Maven Productions,  Gandelman brought acts like B.B. King, Phish, Buddy Guy, Joan Baez, Roseanne Barr, and Ani DiFranco to stages in Boulder.

Gandelman also served as Vice President of Communications and Marketing at the Jane Goodall Institute. Gandelman often traveled with Dr. Jane Goodall, including a trip to Africa, where Goodall shot her first film with Animal Planet: Return to Gombe. Gandelman is now Dr. Goodall’s book agent.


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    Nona Gandelman worked with creatives like B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Phish, Ani DiFranco and Jane Goodall to put Boulder’s art scene on the map Alexis Kenyon

Interview Transcript:

Ginger Perry: Good morning. This is Ginger Perry here with Nona Gandelman of Maven Productions. She’s been in the music business since the 70s, starting out as a local booking agent and moving on to national and international groups. She has done more than we can imagine. She’ll tell you about a number of her shows and her unusual shows.

She was also the general manager of the Boulder Theater in 1990 and 1991. She’s gone on to do some really interesting things. And she’s here in the studio with me now. Nona Gandelman’s company is Maven Productions. Good morning, Maven! Good morning, Maven Productions! (Laughter)

Nona Gandelman: That’s Right! I’m the Maven, all right. I’m the music Maven. Good morning, Ginger. It’s great to be here.

Ginger Perry: Good morning. We’re going to have a really good time.

Nona Gandelman: Yeah.

Ginger Perry: Now you started out, you talk about a change in career. You started out as a tennis person.

Nona Gandelman: Yes. Well, I’ve had many careers, but right at the beginning, when I first came to Colorado, I was coming off of being a full-time tennis pro in Connecticut. I came here and was offered the pro-ship at the Flatirons Country Club, which put in one or two courts. Now it’s a full-time golf club.

So I think I was there two summers, two seasons. And then my life changed.

But I actually had planned to be a teacher. I have a master’s in education, but as you know, my life took some twists and turns and led me in a different direction.

Ginger Perry: Yeah, I was just talking with my book club last night about what, how you changed your life story along the way, and you certainly did. Bam! So tell us how you went from tennis to music production.

Nona Gandelman: I had some friends here, and one of my really dear friends, surprisingly, told me she was going to be part of a rock and roll band, an all-female rock and roll band, which was unique in those days.

Ginger Perry: Raw honey, right?

Nona Gandelman: Raw honey. And the way we came up with the name, by the way, we were all sitting around at lunch and ‘What are we going to call the band? What are we going to call it? ‘

And we all looked down at this honey bottle, and it said, ‘raw honey,’ and it was like, that’s it. Perfect.

And so I was just friends with them. And then they got a gig at one of the hotels here in Boulder for terrible money. And I said to them, ‘Jeez, you guys should be making more money. You want me to talk to them?’

I didn’t know what I was doing. I went in. I talked to the guy, and I don’t know, I got twice the amount of money. And before I knew it, two months later, I was their manager. I mean, you know, they were desperate, and I didn’t mind switching gears and you know, the entertainment thing was very seductive.

Ginger Perry: And you created a whole job of becoming a booking agent, right?

Nona Gandelman: After that, there’s another whole story. That happened. Yeah.

After, I don’t know, some time traveling with them and getting convincing booking agents to book them, I found myself going down to this agency in Denver, which was the biggest one down there. And Alan, who was the owner of it, there were two other agents, Kathy and Kent. And I would go down there because I’m pitching my group, Raw Honey. And I would be sitting in the hallway eavesdropping on how they were selling the artists. So I was hearing them work as booking agents.

Ginger Perry: Talk about self-taught!

Nona Gandelman: Yeah, no, I totally was. Everything I’ve done has been sort of streetwise.

Yeah. And I listened, you know, this goes on for long periods of time. I go down there a lot. And then the next thing I know, Kent comes to me and says, you know, I’ve got some money, let’s start our own booking agency.

Ginger Perry: And then he dropped out, right?

Nona Gandelman: Yeah, so we started out, like, house on fire booking. We had a little office, I think. And, within months he tells me he’s going to drop out, and now I owe him the money that he used to start the agency. I had no choice if I wanted to keep doing it. So I came up with the money and became my own booking agent, and it was sink or swim.

Ginger Perry: And then you started to learn about venues and even create venues, right? Tell us all about that.

Nona Gandelman: After some time, I think I called myself Peak Productions. Very original name. And I was the only booking agent in Boulder.

So, a lot of the local bands were coming, and I was booking everybody from, you know, the Mother Folkers to Dusty Drapes, you name it.

All the locals to Rob from Rob’s Music had a band. I booked him a lot. Hot Rize. But later on I booked Hot Rize at another level, a national level. But at any rate, then this guy comes along, once again, these guys changed my life.
Hot Rize

Ginger Perry: These people just drop in your lap!

Nona Gandelman: I know! he comes along. He says, ‘You know, I’ve got all this money. I’m gonna start this big company at the Market Center in Denver, a brand new building. ‘I’d like to have a management company and a booking agency. How would you like to run the booking agency?’

I said, ‘Okay.’ And so became Panther Presentations and Leonine Productions.

Ginger Perry: Get the animals in there.

Nona Gandelman: Yeah. We were both Leos. So, and you know, as Leos, we wanted to tout our Leoism. And our company was hot. And it happened right at the beginning of the urban cowboy fad, which was huge. All the clubs in Colorado wanted country.

Yeah. We were both Leos. So, and you know, as Leos we wanted to tout our Leoism. And our company was hot. And it happened right at the beginning of the urban cowboy fad, which was huge. All the clubs in Colorado wanted country.

Ginger Perry: When was that about? Do you remember?

Nona Gandelman: Gosh. Early 80s? Whenever the movie came out. Yeah. Right. I have to look it up. 70s maybe.

Ginger Perry: Yeah.

Nona Gandelman: And we captured all these country groups coming in and out of town, you know, cover bands, not necessarily recording artists. And I was booking, at one point, I think, eight or nine clubs a week.

Ginger Perry: Oh my gosh.

Nona Gandelman: No, yeah, in Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins, and all over Colorado. I was at the Hotel Colorado in Glenwood. I booked things up in Aspen. I booked things in Denver.

You name a club, I would go out and find them and they would work with me. And at one point we were so strong we were written up in Pollstar.

You name a club, I would go out and find them and they would work with me. And at one point we were so strong we were written up in Pollstar.

Ginger Perry: Wow.

Nona Gandelman: And I think, I don’t know. Immediately, somebody came and offered to buy our company, but we didn’t sell it.

Ginger Perry: And then you went into national acts from there.

Nona Gandelman: Well, that was by accident. That was…

Ginger Perry: Everything seems by accident!

Nona Gandelman: Okay, yeah! Here I am, I’m going to be a teacher. So far, I’m miles away from teaching, which was my love. Now my partner, Peter, comes to me and says, ‘Nona, I have a friend from high school. She’s a folk singer. She’s coming to Colorado. I guess she’s good. She’s recorded. And can you get a gig for her?’

So I go, I figure, okay. I find out her name. And I said, ‘That name’s very familiar,’ and I realized who she was, and I’ll spring that on you in a minute.

But I went to Tulagi’s, and I said to them, ‘You know, here’s this great singer-songwriter. You ought to book her.’

And they said, ‘We don’t know who she is. We’re not interested.’

So I said, ‘Would you give me a Monday night and let me do a show?’ And you charge me rent if you want?’

And they said ‘Yes.’

Well, the artist was Cris Williamson.

Ginger Perry: Oh.

Nona Gandelman: She was the co-founder of Olivia Records and had a huge career. Still does.

Ginger Perry: Women’s music.

Nona Gandelman: ‘Women’s music,’ they called it. She came to town, and we put the show on sale. We had a line from Tulagi’s door all the way up College Street and around the block. And I think we added a show. I think we added a late show.

Ginger Perry: You had no idea how popular she was.

Nona Gandelman: I knew she would do well, but not that well.

And the owners, they couldn’t believe it. They said, ‘Who is she? Who is she?’

I said, ‘Well, I, you know, well, if I explained it to you, I still don’t know if you’d understand who she is, but…”And, of course, she went on to sell lots of tickets all over the country, including here.

Ginger Perry: And did you continue to produce her?

Nona Gandelman: Oh, yeah, for years. Oh, yeah, years and years. 20,25 years. It started me on a course of doing all of the “women’s music” quote-unquote performers, and I used to be able to do shows with them at Macky.

I mean, it was a huge cultural event for women who were hungry to hear their music.

Ginger Perry: Really creating a community.

Nona Gandelman: Right. Gay or straight, it didn’t matter; they would come. It was oriented towards women, and many talents were popping up. Comedians like Kate Clinton and Marga Gomez, Lucie Blue Tremblay. I mean, I did everything, Holly Near.

Ginger Perry: all of it, Teresa Trull,

Nona Gandelman: Barbara Higbie, and Barb, of course, is Windham Hill. It was huge for years and years.

Ginger Perry: You created a niche.

Nona Gandelman: That’s right.

Ginger Perry: And tell us about how you got in a little trouble and the boycott happened.

Nona Gandelman: Oh, the boycott.

Ginger Perry: The boycott.

Nona Gandelman: The boycott. That was a dark moment.

I got a call from Redwood Records, Holly Near’s label, Jo-Lynne Worley, and Joni Shoemaker. They called me and said, ‘Nona, we’re getting reports that people are unhappy with you.’

And I said, ‘Well, why? The shows are doing great.’

Well, it was because some women felt that the shows should be restricted, which would mean women only. And that really put me through something. I had to think about that really long and hard because I understood the thinking and the desire to have a safe space, quote-unquote, or a space where everybody could be themselves and be very comfortable.

But as a promoter, I also felt my job was to develop the artists, and the music was certainly good enough and wonderful enough to appeal to everybody.

And so I wouldn’t; I said I wasn’t going to do that. I didn’t think a lot of men would want to be there with 2, 000 women anyway, hogging the men’s room and the women’s room.

Ginger Perry: How many would be there?

Nona Gandelman: Well, we would get some, you know, maybe if there were 2,000, there might be 20 guys. It increased as time went on. The audience was very mixed.

It was like with Ani DiFranco; used to be all women, and now it’s just everybody. Everybody’s coming. And so I was boycotted. A lot of people wouldn’t come to my shows for a while, and they even picketed, I think, outside the shows.

Ginger Perry: Oh, yeah. Yeah. Well.

Nona Gandelman: But it really developed into major concert work and huge audiences. And I have to say thanks to a lot of the media people, the local media people, and I’ve gotta, I always give them a shout out because honestly, without their support, I don’t know if my. My little company, which now is, you know, Maven Productions, would have advanced so quickly, you know, Gil Asakawa, Leland Rucker, David Kirby, Justin Middleton, G. Brown.

You know, when I had more rock shows, they all were so supportive, you know.

Ginger Perry: That was print media.

Nona Gandelman: Print media, and they would, like, I would get a Friday mag, I would get a Westward cover, not a cover, but I would get a big article. They were just incredibly helpful to me. And, of course, KGNU was the bedrock of my promotions team, and KBCO, yeah, KUNM, KUNC.

Ginger Perry: Yeah, well, you were offering them something too, so it’s kind of a two-way street.

But yeah, you really are great for when you’re in the business and those people help you out. You can’t do it without that.

Nona Gandelman: And that’s how these artists developed. And that was my goal. That’s what I wanted for them.

Ginger Perry: Yeah. I wanted to back up and talk about venues. You told me that you create, you sort of created The Olympic.

Nona Gandelman: Oh yeah, I don’t, yeah. We’re going way back now to when Boulder was a very rich music environment.

We had The Blue Note. We had Freddi and Henchi’s venue. We had the Walrus. I mean, I don’t even remember some of the names, but there was so much live music. Boulders Coast opened on Baseline, I believe.

And there was a bowling alley in Boulder. It was called the Olympic Bowling Alley. And my partner then, from Denver, Peter and I, went up there. They had a little lounge.

Ginger Perry: Where was it?

Nona Gandelman: It was where  Best Buy is now on 30th Street.

Oh. Best Buy is where the Olympic was.

Ginger Perry: Okay.

Nona Gandelman: And also the Hi-Lo, right, of course. Hi-Lo. Let’s not forget that. And I spoke to Mick, who was the owner of the Olympic. And to make a long story short, over time we convinced him to expand the lounge to 400 seats and make it a music venue, and that actually launched, my career as a promoter, a producer of events, rather than, you know, a booking agent.

And I started to book national acts in there.

Ginger Perry: And you started with Blues?

Nona Gandelman: No, I did everything. Everything. And also the Hi-Lo came to me, and he wanted me to book his club, so I had two Boulder venues I was booking all the time. It was really fun.

Ginger Perry: Amazing. So, then, but you did start doing the blues at one point? You even did like blues festivals and.

Nona Gandelman: Well, blues was very popular then.

It was really, and it was mainly the black blues artists, some of whom have gone. But I did everyone from Etta Jka

Etta James to B.B. King to Albert Collins to Buddy Guy to… I’m gonna throw in a couple of white blues artists, Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks.

Robert Cray, who’s gonna be at Chautauqua. They just announced it. I think I did his first show here in Boulder at the Olympic.


Ginger Perry: You’ve got a couple of funny stories you tell me. Tell us about, was it the Buddy Guy one?

Nona Gandelman: Oh, and Mose Allison, who kept calling me and asking me out long after the… I was totally mystified by that. I have absolutely no idea, but he really persisted to ask me out months after I did a show with him.

And Albert too, Albert.

Ginger Perry: Come on, baby. Come on, baby. Hey, baby.

Nona Gandelman: Hey, baby. I’m going to be a little late,”

I’m going, ‘Albert! The show started 30 minutes ago. Where are you?’

‘Oh, baby. I’m on my way. Don’t worry. I’m coming. I won’t let you down. I won’t let you down, Nona. I won’t.’

Ginger Perry: I’m sure you had some unusual situations.

Nona Gandelman: Buddy Guy was really the one that really. I’ve done many shows with him, but the one at Boulder’s Coast was the one when Buddy was completely drunk, stoned, whatever, could hardly move, could hardly talk. And the show was going to start. He was going to go on stage, you know, any minute. And, of course, it was packed.

So I just said, ‘Buddy, we’ll do it the hard way. Stand up.,’ and he stood up, and I put his arm around me. I was taller than by two inches.

So, I just sort of dragged him up on stage. The guitar was in the stand, And I stood him next to the mic. I said, ‘Hold on to this,’ and he’s holding on to the mic stand and I got his guitar and just put it on him.

I said, ‘Ladies and gentlemen, Buddy Guy!’ And I guess the screaming and the clapping, he just sort of came to life and started playing. I don’t know how he did it.

I’ve done many shows with him, but the one at the Boulder’s Coast when Buddy was completely drunk, stoned, whatever, could hardly move. Could hardly talk. And the show was gonna start. He was gonna go on stage, you know, any minute. And, of course, it was packed.

So I just said, ‘Buddy, we’re going to do it the hard way. Stand up.’ and he stood up, and I put his arm around me. I was taller than by two inches.

So, I just sort of dragged him up on stage. The guitar was in the stand, you know, And I stood him next to the mic. I said, ‘Hold on to this,’ and he’s holding on to the mic stand and I got his guitar and just put it on him.

I said, ‘Ladies and gentlemen, Buddy Guy!’ And I guess the screaming and the clapping, he just sort of came to life and started playing. I don’t know how he did it.

Ginger Perry: Well, you know, those performers. And then you had a cute one about B.B. King.

Nona Gandelman: Oh gosh. Yeah, I felt really grateful to get that show at the Boulder Theater.

Yeah, and because B.B. King didn’t do small venues, I think he had the date and such a beautiful venue. It still is an incredible venue.

And, so, of course, he’s elite. He’s an elite performer. One of the tops in the blues world. And he does his show packed to the gills. And it was very high security.

So, actually, at the time, I was managing the Boulder Theater.

I was just sort of patrolling around the stage area after the show, a little before all the people left. And some little boy, about 10, came up to me. And he said, ‘Please, can I see BB? Please, can I see BB?’ And he had, you know, a little paper, and he had a record or something he wanted autographed.

And I said, ‘Well, he really doesn’t want to see anyone. He’s really tired,’ and the little boy was so sad, and he was so excited.

So, I went down to the dressing room, and B.B. was just sitting there with Lucille, playing the guitar and resting. And I said, ‘There’s a little boy out here. I know you don’t want to see anyone, but would you let him in? Just this little one.’

And he said, ‘Okay.’

And you should have seen the look on the boy’s face when he walked into the dressing room. It was so precious. Oh, and BB was very sweet with him and gave him an autograph.

Ginger Perry: Humanizing him. Well, you also did a lot of international shows. You took a lot of chances. I mean your whole career, and you presented some people that nobody had heard of. Some were great successes, and I’m sure some were flops. But do you mind telling me about the Throat Singers? What was that?

Nona Gandelman: Oh, well, yes, I think what happened is after a while, after I tried Rock and roll and metal and things that I really couldn’t relate to personally.

Ginger Perry: Phish.

Nona Gandelman: Well, no Phish was really good. That was a little different story, but it did turn out that, I did bring, I was, I think, the first promoter to bring Phish into the market thanks to Don Strasberg, who was at CU at the time. He was a student.

And I don’t remember. Oh, he called me and he started talking, “You should do this. You should do that.” and I had the wisdom to listen to the young at that point. And I just, I researched it and I took a chance.

And, of course, Phish, Widespread Panic, and Blues Traveler. You know, Don’s an excellent producer and promoter, of course, but he was just a student. But I listened to him and I had great success with these.

I decided I really wanted to bring artists who were meaningful to me and who I thought would expand the community and enrich it culturally.

There were several groups that nobody had ever heard of. One of them was the Throat Singers of Tuva. I don’t remember where I saw the name, but I must have seen them coming in on tour because they’re Mongolian cowboys.

And they actually are Mongolian cowboys. They ride horses on the range in Mongolia. And they hear the sounds of nature, from water, to birds, to the horses, to other animals, to the wind.

And they learned how to sing in what they call double voice which is very hard to do and actually I think it dates back to way back to Days of Jesus, I think people were singing in double voice.

But at any rate, I decided I wanted to bring them to Boulder. So I did and nobody knew who they were, but the promotion was so extraordinary.

Ginger Perry: Again, the media helping you.

Nona Gandelman: Yeah, the media. All those people we mentioned got on board. It was so fascinating.

Ginger Perry: Where’d you bring them?

Nona Gandelman: To the Boulder Theater.

Ginger Perry: And how’d they do?

Nona Gandelman: They sold out.

Ginger Perry: Oh my gosh.

Nona Gandelman: And when they came out dressed in their garb, you know, people were just sort of, you know, and they said something, and then they started to sing. It was total silence in the theater and the look on people’s faces. It’s so extraordinary to hear it.

Ginger Perry: Yeah, that’s amazing. You said there were a couple of times when the Boulder Theater felt like church to you.

Nona Gandelman: This was one of those times. when it was so still. And people realized they were hearing something, you know, sacred. And actually, it is. It goes back to days of, you know, sacred practices.

Ginger Perry: And Joan Baez, one time, she even told you that it was like being in church.

Nona Gandelman: Yeah, of course. I had the good fortune of producing events with people I grew up with and loved. Joan was one of them, and Etta James was another.

And, you know, I was thrilled when I got my first show with Joan. I did many shows with her, but she only wanted to play the Paramount Theater, Macky, or 2000- and up-sized seat venues.

But I got to be, you know, developed a good relationship with her manager, who trusted me, and I finally convinced him to do one show at the Boulder Theater.

Ginger Perry: Oh, wow. And what’s the seating at the Boulder Theater?

Nona Gandelman: It was 840. Small for her.

Well, she came in either before or after an election. And this is, of course, Baez, and she’s, you know, who she is, and political.

Needless to say, it sold out in about a minute.

And she did the show, and throughout the whole show, I was so struck. Honest to God, it felt like, a church. The audience was, there was such reverence, attention, and presence during her show that when I went downstairs, I had already done a show with her at the Paramount, so it was not like my first show.

But I went downstairs to see how she was doing, and she said, ‘Nona, come in here.’ She said, ‘I haven’t felt that in, I don’t know how long.’

That was really special.

Ginger Perry: Oh, that’s so great.

Nona Gandelman: And I said, I told the manager, bolder audiences are fabulous.

Ginger Perry: Yeah. So, how many concerts and people do you think you did over all these years? Like decades, five, how many decades?

Nona Gandelman: Well, I started in the 70s and sort of started winding down around 2010ish.

I’ve done about 250 individual events, but many of those I’ve done many times. So I’ve done a lot of shows and events.

Ginger Perry: And now you’ve diversified. You also did comedy. Also, you did women’s self-help authors and all kinds of different things.

Nona Gandelman: Well, I started to diversify, especially when I was booking the Olympic all the time. I wanted to do some special things, and I created a comedy night in Boulder, which Boulder didn’t have, I don’t think, up to that point. And that’s when I met Roseanne Barr.

We did many Monday night comedy nights with her. She also did a headline for a women’s festival I produced for the Hilton Harvest House on a Friday. What was it called? A FAC? Yeah, FAC. And I brought in Judy Tenuta, Sarah Bernhardt, Emo Phillips, and Louis Johnson.

So, I did a lot of comedy and started working with best-selling authors. At first, my colleague Jo-Lynne Worley asked me if I would do something for her, and she wrote a best-selling book, “The Dance of Anger.” So I brought her in. She was very successful, and then I just kept doing that.

Ginger Perry: Yeah, so then it actually led you to work with Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, who you still represent.

Nona Gandelman: Well, that came from Tammy Simon at Sounds True and my friend Andrea Davis, a singer-songwriter in Boulder. She was working at Sounds True and she said, ‘You know, there’s a cassette that Tammy has recorded that’s huge. You ought to check out this woman in Denver. Her name is Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes.’

Tammy introduced me, and I persisted for months and months. Finally, Dr. Estes gave me a chance to do a couple of events for her, one in Birmingham, Alabama, and one in Boston. The rest is history. She’s been my client for 30 years.

Ginger Perry: Wow. And you’ve still produced her?

Nona Gandelman: Well, now I produce trainings for her in Loveland at Sunrise Ranch. But I did go on the road with her. We were in Canada, all over the United States, early on in the 90s when “Women Who Run With the Wolves” came out and was a huge success. She had absolutely no help. Luckily for me, the timing was perfect, and with my broad skill set, I was able to step in and really help her out.

Ginger Perry: And somebody else you kind of created was Ani DeFranco, who, of course, is huge and now is on Broadway in Hadestown.

Nona Gandelman: Yeah, that’s a great story. I’ll tell it really quickly. As you can tell, I have a million stories. I know we could be here forever, but we have limited time. But it is sort of a funny story.

When I finally got a chance to produce Ani, the first show I did with her was at September School in the Art Building. There, she stood in front of about a hundred people, all seated on the floor at her feet.

She did two sets of music, and from there, she stuck with me all these years. She was, what, 19 or 20 years old? It’s very unusual for a successful performer to stick with a small independent promoter.

Ginger Perry: And then she sold out Red Rocks?

Nona Gandelman: I’ve done two shows with her at Red Rocks, all over New Mexico and Colorado, and two with Meow Wolf.

I mean, you name a venue, and she is still occasionally calling me to do something for her, and she’s what, 52, with two kids?

Ginger Perry: That’s great.

Nona Gandelman: And she’s on Broadway in Hadestown, and I’m gonna see that in May.

Ginger Perry: Oh, so terrific. Well, we’re kinda winding up, I wanted you to talk about your, recent work with the incredible Jane Goodall. You worked with her for 10 years, you were still working with her, you just celebrated her 90th birthday with 11 other people and had lunch with her alone, and obviously, you’re best of friends. Tell us a little bit about

Nona Gandelman: Oh, I don’t know the best of friends! I’m one of her one thousand best!

Ginger Perry: Yeah, right?

Nona Gandelman: But yeah, there are a lot of stories about that, and honestly, I know we don’t have time.

But I was lucky enough to produce a tour for her and co-produce it in, I guess, about 1997 or 8. And went on to get a job at the institute in the DC area and worked very closely with Jane for many years. I would like to be on the road with her and have many experiences traveling with her and getting to know her. When I left the institute, she enlisted me to continue working with her as her literary agent.

So that’s my job for her now. Thank goodness I’m still connected. And yes, I just saw her for one of her many celebrations of her 90th birthday. It’s still going on. I just heard Clint Eastwood showed up at one of her birthday celebrations.

And I did have lunch with her, and I could look at her face and remember… She asked me, ‘How long has it been?’ and I said, ‘I’ve been working with you for over 20 years.’

Ginger Perry: Well, you’ve had a long, illustrious career and contributed a lot to this area’s culture and beyond that. And so what now? I mean, you’re winding down your music business. You still have these other interests. What do you see ahead of you? A little retirement?

Nona Gandelman: Yeah. Well, I feel semi-retired, Ginger, because I only work, you know, 5 days a week, not 24/ 7, which I did for years and years.

I feel a lot of freedom, and I love that I still work with Dr. Clarissa Pincola Estes Reyes, Jane Goodall, and Ani when she needs me. Occasionally, I do other projects. So, you know, I feel very blessed and love the Boulder community. It was joyful and thrilling work, and I’m happy I had an opportunity to dedicate part of my life to that.

Ginger Perry: Yeah. We’re thankful, too. This is Nona Gandelman. She had a company called Maven Productions for a long time and branched out into a lot of different areas, and what a life. I mean, the people she’s met, the stories she could tell—we could go on and on. And this is Ginger Perry. Thank you for listening, and thank you to Nona for being here with me today.


Alexis Kenyon

Alexis Kenyon

Alexis Kenyon is an experienced radio reporter with more than 15 years of experience creating compelling, sound-rich radio stories for news outlets across the country. Kenyon has master's degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, Graduate School of Journalism in radio broadcast and photojournalism. She has worked in KGNU's news department since 2021 as a reporter, editor, and daily news producer. In all her work, she strives to produce thought-provoking, trustworthy journalism that makes other people's stories feel personal. In addition to audio production, Kenyon runs KGNU's news internship program and oversees the department's digital engagement.

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This May 1st and 2nd, we’re encouraging you to give and to publicly express what KGNU personally means to you.

We join other public and local stations across the country for this second annual event. It’s your forum to support and champion how KGNU connects with your values.


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