100 Colorado Creatives: Andy O'Leary

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#48: Andy O'Leary

Andy O'Leary, a Denverite since childhood, is a poet, a DJ at KUVO and a general man of the people. But music is his mistress. Ever since he was a kid in the '60s whose brain was split open by the Beatles and then picked up a bass and started to play, O'Leary has found his life revolving around listening to, revering and making music, all the while conjuring words into songs.

See also: Radio Days: Coyotes at the Crossroads

But Andy O. wouldn't make much of that. In his own mind, he's just a guy with a wide range of musical tastes, a quiet man who lets his educated ear do the talking. Both with his eclectic band, Coyote Poets of the Universe, and on the air, O'Leary spreads that gospel as often and as thoroughly as he can.

He'll be doing that with the Coyote Poets in Coyotes at the Crossroads, a Denver-centric revue with a Prairie Home Companion feel, beginning at 7 p.m. Saturday, September 7, at the Crossroads Theater in Five Points. Admission is $10 at the door; visit the Coyote Poets web page for information.

So what goes through the mind of a simple, music-lovin' man when it comes to the arts in Colorado? We wanted to know, and we got answers. Read on for Andy O's 100CC interview.

Westword: If you could collaborate with anyone in history, who would it be, and why?

Andy O'Leary: Miles Davis. The Beatles already had each other, and I grew up on their music, and Bitches Brew came along and changed me for keeps.

Who in the world is interesting to you right now, and why?

Kalyn Heffernan from Wheelchair Sports Club -- she is so awesome and talented. I am a fan.

What's one art trend you want to see die this year?

Do TV talent shows like "American Idle" (I didn't spell that wrong) count as an art trend?

Continue reading for more from Andy O. What's your day job? I spin CDs at KUVO radio and cook part-time at a long-term care facility.

A mystery patron offers you unlimited funds for life. What will you do with it?

Pay my rent for life and fund a school of the arts for people of ALL ages.

What's the one thing Denver (or Colorado) could do to help the arts?

I think Denver and Colorado do a pretty good job helping the arts once those arts are intact, developed if you will. Where the state could help the most is returning all the arts to every school in the state.

Who is your favorite Colorado Creative?

It's a tie between Aaron Abeyta and Ron Miles.

What's on your agenda for the rest of 2013 and beyond?

Two things: Getting our variety show "Coyotes at the Crossroads" going and finishing the recording of our (Coyote Poets of the Universe) sixth album. A massive two-CD set called Strange Lullaby.

Who do you think will get noticed in Denver's arts community (music, poetry, whatever) this year?

There are so many amazing talented people here in Denver, and any one of them could blow up because of the vastness of talent here. So to be diplomatic, I will say...my band! Coyote Poets. I say that because they are such talented, amazing people, and they all deserve wider recognition. I feel like I play with the best band there is. I am seriously biased, though. Tune in to Andy O'Leary on KUVO 89.3 FM for Jazz Odyssey on Tuesday nights at 10 p.m., Jazz Tales on Sunday nights at 10 p.m. and Mid-Morning Jazz on Monday and Tuesday mornings from 10 a.m. to noon.

Throughout the year, we'll be shining the spotlight on 100 superstars from Denver's rich creative community. Stay tuned to Show and Tell for more, or visit the 100 Colorado Creatives archive to catch up.

Do you have a suggestion for a future profile? Feel free to leave your picks in the comments.

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