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Jeff Parets, creator and host of radio program 'The Acoustic Storm,' dies at 67

Jeff Parets, creator and host of the long-running radio show “The Acoustic Storm,” has died.

Parets, who lived in Apache Junction with his wife, Audrey, died of cancer, she said. He was 67.

He had not disclosed his illness to his listeners on the more than 80 stations nationwide that air “The Acoustic Storm,” according to Michele Robins, a KJZZ-FM (90.5) host and longtime friend of Parets.

Parets died on Nov. 7 — “Joni Mitchell’s birthday,” said Robins, who called Parets a mentor. “I say that because she was his favorite artist, so he waited till her birthday to die. It was just like Jeff Parets. The music was everything.”

After graduating from the University of Virginia, Parets, a native of Tenafly, New York, moved to Arizona and began working in radio. After several jobs, including an award-winning stint as a reporter at KJZZ, Parets created “The Acoustic Storm,” airing Sunday mornings on KSLX-FM (100.7). The show was syndicated in 2003; it still airs locally on KSLX, now on Saturdays from 6 to 9 a.m.

Parets' smooth voice and calm on-air demeanor were perfect for the format, which consists of acoustic versions — some from albums, some rare or little-known alternate versions — of rock songs; the overall vibe is best described as “chill.”

He had an intensity, his wife, Audrey, said, but the person we heard on the radio reflected the person he really was — driven, but also very private. "His creativity came out of that intensity."

Robins agreed. “That’s how he was,” she said. “He lived and breathed that show. He worked on it 24/7. It was his legacy, his baby. That’s how he was about music, but also life and his friends and his family.”

This is not to say that Parets always lived his life in an acoustic mode.

“He had a nice little competitive streak that you never saw unless you had to play tennis with him,” Robins said, “or compete in some way. He was a competitor.”

So much so that David Moore, the program director at KSLX, said the show was the No. 1 show in the market on Saturday mornings.

“The program is hugely successful for us,” Moore said.

He wasn't sure about the show when he became program director, Moore said.

“Then I started looking at the ratings.”

Moore, who learned of Parets' death Friday, said he did not know what the station would do in “The Acoustic Storm” time slot going forward. Audrey Parets said she hoped to continue the program.

JEFF WAS MY MENTOR A FRIEND AND AN INCREDIBLE TALENT 

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