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Influential Public Radio And Podcast Host Jad Abumrad To Visit Boise

Jad Abumrad Radiolab
Flickr Creative Commons


RadioLab explores big ideas every week on WNYC. The nationally-distributed public radio show disrupted both the public radio and podcast space and has inspired many producers in the world of audio storytelling. The show airs on Boise State Public Radio News at noon on Saturdays. 


Host Jad Abumrad has spent years perfecting his craft, and will share some of his experience in storytelling with an audience in Boise. He joined Idaho Matters ahead of his talk as featured speaker at The Cabin on Saturday, Feb. 1. 


“I got into radio because I was interested in the sounds and the noises and the music of it all," he said in his interview with Idaho Matters. "But I also loved telling stories.”


RadioLab started as a three-hour radio show in 2002, and Abumrad still describes it as ever-evolving.


“I guess it’s a show that tries to delightfully, deeply, investigatively, musically dive into the complexities of the world and find things we didn’t know existed," he said.


"[W]e all are searching for visions of America that are unifying visions..." - Jad Abumrad

Jad’s most recent project is a podcast called “Dolly Parton’s America,” highlighting an icon who seems to defy trends of polarization and disunity in the country today.


“I feel like we all are searching for visions of America that are unifying visions where we can remind ourselves that we actually do live in a country where we can all agree on something.”


The project started around the time when Donald Trump’s presidential campaign seemed to be splitting the country in two. 


At the same moment, Dolly Parton was on the largest-ever tour of the U.S. The stories Abumrad heard from her shows was the exact unifying vision he had been searching for. 

“There were people of faith standing next to men in drag, standing next to guys in trucker hats, standing next to little girls with sparkly shoes,” he says. “And everybody’s standing shoulder to shoulder and singing the same songs.”


Listen above to the full interview Jad gave with Idaho Matters


Have a question or comment for the show? Tweet @KBSX915 using #IdahoMatters



Frankie Barnhill is the Senior Producer of Idaho Matters, Boise State Public Radio's daily show and podcast. She's always interested in hearing surprising and enlightening stories about life in the West. Have an idea for Idaho Matters? Drop her a line!