Gilberto Vázquez Valle, host of the Latin American folk program on KFAI, has died.
Vázquez was the host of Encuentro on KFAI, a local Twin Cities community radio station. He died on May 23 after suffering an aneurysm. According to the Star Tribune, he was 63.
Encuentro featured folk music from throughout Latin America. The weekly program also included short stories, essays, fiction and other Spanish language elements. The final episode of Encuentro aired on May 6.
Vázquez began volunteering with the station in 1999. He first began hosting Encuentro in 2007.
“Whatever it was, Gilberto studied it in depth, played the songs and explained them to his audience in Spanish and English. He had a low, expressive voice whose warmth embraced all who listened and showed his love of the music,” a statement from KFAI hosts Eve MacLeish and Carla Hagen reads.
“He was kind, funny and infinitely curious about the world around him. And we will miss him forever.”
KFAI will host a special program honoring Vázquez on Thursday from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. A memorial service will be held Saturday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Highland Park Pavilion in St. Paul.
“Gilberto was one of the kindest people I have ever met. His knowledge of Latin music and history was without equal. And that voice! A voice and delivery made for radio,” said Mike Stapp, a KFAI Volunteer, in a statement.