Karen Impola

Studio One and Classical Music Host

Karen Impola is the host of Iowa Public Radio's The Folk Tree and University Concert. Karen began working at KUNI in 1990.  Before that, she hosted Folk and progressive music shows at WXPN in Philadelphia, and was a production assistant at NPR’s “Fresh Air with Terry Gross.”

Karen spent much of her childhood and adolescence holed up in her room with a record player.  She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology & Anthropology from Swarthmore College, where she also did her first radio show, at 6:00 a.m. on a ten-watt station, to an audience which numbered in the single digits.  In her spare time she chauffeurs teenagers and cans tomatoes.

Ways To Connect

Join us for our annual post-Thanksgiving show, featuring songs of food and gratitude.  Hear live recordings of Crooked Still and John McCutcheon, plus songs by Robin and Linda Williams, Roy Book Binder, Tim Grimm and more.

This week's show features exclusive Iowa Public Radio live recordings of Lou and Peter Berryman and The Iowa Opera House Project. We'll also hear from our  CD of the month,  Sing the Delta by Iris Dement, plus music by Dave Moore, The Pentangle, Mississippi John Hurt and Todd Burge, among others.

This week's show features exclusive Iowa Public Radio live recordings of Chris Pureka and Finnders and Youngberg, plus music by The Stray Birds, Gina Forsyth, The Old Crow Medicine Show, and Heidi Talbot.

It's our annual pre-Halloween show, full of songs about witches, ghosts, goblins, and the supernatural!  We'll hear from Tim O'Brien, Susan McKeown, and Sarah Jarosz, among others, plus exclusive IPR live recordings of The Chapin Sisters and Calle Sur.

This week's show features exclusive Iowa Public Radio live recordings of Iowa-based singer-songwriters Ben Schmidt and Mary McAdams. We'll also hear from our  CD of the month,  Sheinn by Nova Scotia musicians Mary Jane Lamond and Wendy MacIsaac, plus music by Hat Check Girl, Dan Hicks and his Hot Licks, Doug & Telisha Williams, and Old Blind Dogs.

This week's show features exclusive Iowa Public Radio live recordings of Genticorum and The Pines. We'll also hear from our  CD of the month,  Sheinn by Nova Scotia musicians Mary Jane Lamond and Wendy MacIsaac, plus music by John Hartford, Annalivia, David Wilcox, Kathy Mattea, and more.

This week's show features exclusive Iowa Public Radio live recordings of The Blackberry Bushes Stringband and The Nadas. We'll also hear music by Altan, Carol Montag, The New Lost City Ramblers, The Sons of the Never Wrong, and more.

This week's show features exclusive Iowa Public Radio live recordings of Los Llaneros and Greg Brown and Bo Ramsey. We'll also hear from our  CD of the month, Robin and Linda Williams' new release, These Old Dark Hills, plus music by The Awful Purdies, Jean Redpath, Dave Nachmanoff, The Nashville Bluegrass Band, and more.

This week's show features exclusive Iowa Public Radio live recordings of Sarah Jarosz and Radoslav Lorkovic. We'll also hear from our  CD of the month, Robin and Linda Williams' new release, These Old Dark Hills, plus music by the Irish band Danu, The Foghorn Stringband, and Greg Brown.

This week's show features exclusive Iowa Public Radio live recordings of Peter Mayer and Ruth King. We'll also hear from our  CD of the month, Robin and Linda Williams' new release, These Old Dark Hills, plus music by Cheryl Wheeler, Railroad Earth, Heidi Talbot, and Elixir.

This week's show features exclusive Iowa Public Radio live recordings of J. T. Nero and Allison Russell and The Mike and Amy Finders Band. We'll also hear from our  CD of the month, The Honey Dewdrops' new release, Silver Lining, plus music by Robin and Linda Williams, Joel Mabus, John Renbourn, and The Blind Boys of Alabama.

This week's show features exclusive Iowa Public Radio live recordings of John McCutcheon and Crooked Still. We'll also hear from our  CD of the month, The Honey Dewdrops' new release, Silver Lining, plus music by Corb Lund, Larry Long, Rory Block, and The Beggarmen.

This week's show features exclusive Iowa Public Radio live recordings of Beppe Gambetta and The Refugees. We'll also hear from our  CD of the month, The Honey Dewdrops' new release, Silver Lining, plus music by Joan Baez, Crooked Still, Alan Stivell, and Ruthie Foster.

This week's show features exclusive Iowa Public Radio live recordings of Calle Sur and The Hot Club of Davenport. We'll also hear from our  CD of the month, The Honey Dewdrops' new release, Silver Lining, plus music by Chris Thile, Swallowtail, Dar Williams and Flaco Jimenez.

The Folk Tree will not be heard this week; instead, Iowa Public Radio's Studio One stream will be airing NPR's live coverage of the Newport Folk Festival on Sunday, July 29, beginning at 1:00 p.m.

This week's show features exclusive Iowa Public Radio live recordings of Teddy Thompson and Finnders & Youngberg. We'll also hear from our CD of the month, Catfish Keith's new release, Put On a Buzz, plus music by Tim Grimm. Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys, Ray Bonneville, and Karan Casey.

This week's show features exclusive Iowa Public Radio live recordings of The Chapin Sisters and Jeffrey Foucault. We'll also hear from our CD of the month, Catfish Keith's new release, Put On a Buzz, plus music by Andrew McKnight, Tara Nevins, Jim Malcolm, and Leftover Salmon.

This week's show features exclusive Iowa Public Radio live recordings of Lou and Peter Berryman and The Blackberry Bushes Stringband. We'll also hear from our CD of the month, Raldo Schneider's new release. Big Flood, plus music by Bucky Halker, The Honey Dewdrops, Bonnie Koloc, Colcannon, and more.

Happy Father's Day!  This week's edition of The Folk Tree features exclusive IPR live recordings of Sarah Sample and Darrell Scott, songs about fathers and fatherhood by Susan Werner, Pierce Pettis, and Doc Watson, plus a couple of tracks from our CD of the month for June, Raldo Schneider's Big Flood.

This week's show features exclusive Iowa Public Radio live recordings of the French-Canadian band Genticorum and Iowa singer-songwriter Ben Schmidt. We'll also hear from our CD of the month, Raldo Schneider's new release. Big Flood, plus music by Emma's Revolution, Steve Earle, Susan McKeown, and The Wrongler with Jimmie Dale Gilmore, among others.

This week's show features exclusive Iowa Public Radio live recordings of Greg Brown with Bo Ramsey and Sarah Jarosz. We'll also hear from our CD of the month, Raldo Schneider's new release. Big Flood, plus music by Doc Watson, Paul Geremia, Erick Hovey, Cara Dillon, and more.

On Saturday, March 10, Susan Werner performed at the Oster Regent Theatre in Cedar Falls, with sidewomen Trina Hamlin and Natalia Zukerman.  IPR was there to record that show.  We'll be broadcasting the concert in its entirety on this week's edition of The Folk Tree, beginning in the 2:00 hour.

This week's show features exclusive Iowa Public Radio live recordings of Iowa-based celtic band The Beggarmen and Jason Walsmith and Mike Butterworth, frontmen of The Nadas. We'll also hear from our CD of the month, Some Bright Morning by Rani Arbo and Daisy Mayhem, and music in honor of Mother's Day from Jez Lowe, The Sweetback Sisters, Coty Hogue, and more.

This week's show includes a live performance at 2:00 p.m. by singer-songwriter Peter Mayer.  Please join us in the studio audience!  We'll be in Studio One, on the third floor of the Communication Arts Center on the UNI campus in Cedar Falls.  (Campus map here - parking is free on the UNI campus on weekends.)

This week's show features a phone interview with Judy Collins, who performs at Hoyt Sherman Place in Des Moines on Sunday evening.  Also, exclusive Iowa Public Radio live recordings of the Celtic band Cara and Iowa City's Dustin Busch; a couple of tracks from our CD of the month, Lay Down  Lay Low by The Steel Wheels; plus music by Emma's Revolution, Bill Evans, Martin Carthy, and more.

This week's show features exclusive Iowa Public Radio live recordings of Dana and Susan Robinson and Teddy Thompson. We'll also hear from our CD of the month, Lay Down  Lay Low by The Steel Wheels, plus music by Laurie Lewis, Peter Mayer, Lou and Peter Berryman, and more.

This week's show features exclusive Iowa Public Radio live recordings of French-Canadian band Genticorum and bluegrass from The Mike and Amy Finders Band. We'll also hear from our CD of the month, Lay Down  Lay Low by The Steel Wheels, plus music by Nanci Griffith, The Infamous Stringdusters, and Karan Casey and John Doyle.

This week's show features exclusive Iowa Public Radio live recordings of Des Moines-based singer-songwriter Mary McAdams and Olympia, Washington's  Blackberry Bushes String Band. We'll also hear from our CD of the month, Lay Down  Lay Low by The Steel Wheels, plus music by Peter Mulvey, The Decembrists, and Mariel Vandersteel.

This week's show features exclusive Iowa Public Radio live recordings of Lou and Peter Berryman and Jim Lauderdale. We'll also hear from our CD of the month, The Poison Glen by Altan, plus music by Mary Chapin Carpenter, The Steel Wheels, and Tim Grimm.

A special day-after-St.-Patricks's-Day celebration!  We'll be airing a concert by the band Danu, recorded live in Ames earlier this month, plus other music on Irish and Irish-American themes.  Danu's concert will be broadcast in its entirety beginning at about 2:00 p.m.

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