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James Barrs

Community Engagement Producer

James was born in St. Louis, Missouri. He attended Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois where he studied Music and English Literature. James started his radio career as a DJ on WNUR 89.3 FM, Northwestern’s student run radio station. Four years later he became the General Manager for WNUR, producing events such as WNUR Transference Festival and Sonic Celluloid.

James moved out to Aspen in 2022 to join the team at Aspen Public Radio as Community Engagement Producer. James manages the Sonic ID Initiative, a project started in 2022 to document and archive the diverse sound heritage of the mountain communities.

  • Explore our new interactive map where you can explore Aspen Public Radio's Sonic ID Library, and learn how to submit your own!
  • The sound of wind in the aspen trees, recorded in the White River National Forest.
  • The sound of Perham Creek, recorded on the Perham Creek Trail in Carbondale.
  • Hear the sounds of the California Zephyr arriving in Glenwood Springs, CO on a hot August day.
  • Hear the sounds of local kids rehearsing on traditional Mariachi instruments at the second-ever Aspen Music Fest Mariachi Workshop at Basalt High School.
  • Tibetan Buddhist Monks from the historic Gaden Shartse Monastery sing a chant in front of the Red Brick Building. It is the mission of Aspen Tibet to support mind training for all to live in a state of inner peace and wisdom along the path to enlightenment through educational and cultural experiences incorporating Buddhist philosophy and knowledge.
  • Fulford Cave is about 15 miles southeast of Eagle. It is one of more than 600 caves in Colorado, and it is currently designated as the eighth largest. Listen to sounds recorded inside of the cave on a Spring spelunking trip.
  • Wintersköl! Aspen’s annual “toast to winter" was first celebrated in January 1951, with on-mountain activities, snow sculptures, a torchlight descent down Aspen Mountain, fireworks, and more. Relive the magic from the 2023 celebration by listening to this annual event, captured as part of our Sonic ID initiative.
  • Started by Carbondale’s Environmental Board, Dandelion Day is a celebration of spring, sustainability, and community. From its modest roots as a neighborhood event, this annual festival is proudly green and waste free, bringing Sopris Park and our community buzzing to life.
  • Sounds from Aspen Choral Society’s spring 2023 production, titled Illuminare. The program of choral and orchestral music honors the universal human conditions of despair and hope, and the title is meant to convey an emergence from darkness into light.