Las Vegas, N.M – Highlands University’s KEDP 91.1 FM listeners can tune in for top contemporary Spanish singers from around the globe, thanks to a Highlands Spanish professor’s weekly show.
Edgar Vargas Blanco, who also directs the Highlands University Language Learning Center, is the KEDP DJ every Wednesday from 2 – 3 p.m.
“There are so many talented contemporary Hispanic singers from across the world and I feature 17 to 20 artists each week,” Vargas Blanco said. “I try to bring different flavors of Hispanic music to my program, with rhythms such as salsa, merengue, vallenato and cumbia.”
While some of the international artists include well-known names like Shakira of Colombia and Enrique Iglesias of Spain, Vargas Blanco said he also likes to highlight emerging artists.
He said his listeners are sometimes surprised to learn that many top American artists from a wide variety of musical genres also record their music in Spanish.
“Jennifer Lopez, Boys II Men, Christina Aguilera, Bon Jovi, and Beyonce are just a few examples of Americans that get play time,” Vargas Blanco said.
His KEDP show is entirely in Spanish. It is also available live online at www.nmhu.edu/campus-life/kedp-radio-station/
“My Highlands students, the campus community and Las Vegas community have the chance to work on their Spanish language comprehension during my show while building their musical and cultural knowledge,” Vargas Blanco said.
Donna Martínez, KEDP and Ilfeld Auditorium manager, said the feedback to Vargas Blanco’s show has been very positive.
“We’re so fortunate to have Dr. Vargas Blanco on the air with his Spanish music show, which complements our other cultural programming on KEDP,” Martínez said. “His show is very engaging and the music is high energy. It makes you want to dance.”
Vargas Blanco also promotes Highlands University and community events on his show. For more information, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org Vargas Blanco also takes requests for artists and songs.
Vargas Blanco joined the Highlands University faculty fall semester 2016, when he started his radio show. He taught previously at the University of Houston and University of Texas at El Paso.
Vargas Blanco earned his Ph.D. in Hispanic linguistics in 2015 from the University of Houston. His primary research interests include heritage language and Spanish for the professions.
“I have a passion for foreign languages and culture,” Vargas Blanco said. “I love when my students are able to communicate in Spanish and learn to appreciate the richness of Hispanic culture and traditions.”
At Highlands, Vargas Blanco teaches courses such as Spanish for the Professions and Introduction to Hispanic Linguistics. He is also the mentor for the Hispanic Culture and Language Association at Highlands.
“In the fall, this association organized events such as Dia de los Muertos, Day of the Dead. This spring semester, we are having presentations like one about Colombian culture that will also showcase the work of famed Colombian painter Fernando Botero,” Vargas Blanco said.
Spanish is the first language for the Colombian-born Vargas Blanco. He is also fluent in English, French and Portuguese. Earlier in his academic career, he was awarded fellowships to teach in France and England.