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The Jalapeño

conversations with spirited leaders - artists, business owners, athletes and more

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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The best episodes ranked using user listens.

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David McCullough - Strength of Character Matters Most

David McCullough is a champion of history, humanity, and the human spirit.  He has written 12 nonfiction works including "John Adams", "Truman", and most recently "The Pioneers", which hit shelves in the spring of 2019. The desire and capacity to improve the world through one's contribution, to stand up in the face of struggle, to saddle up, commit, and come out the other side having learned and represented something of importance - something bigger than you... This undercurrent - that of the human spirit overcoming challenge for the betterment of the whole - pervades all of his writing. From stories of U.S. Presidents, to the American Revolution, to the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Panama Canal, and the invention of human flight, one idea is always there: Our potential is boundless should we, in the name of worthy ideals, summon the courage to try and the fortitude to keep going. I hope you enjoy David's wisdom (and singing) on this episode -- thank you for tuning in. 

1hr 15mins

5 Feb 2020

Rank #1

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Mind Expansion - Nat Lawson

The hypnotizing, memorizing, muscle-reading, mind-voyaging showman, Nat Lawson, has been a student of human potential since he was a kid. As a live performer and the youngest ever certified consulting hypnotist, Nat has dazzled clients and audiences all over the world. At age 8 he became hooked on magic - mesmerizing family, friends, and teachers with his acute focus, sleight of hand, and command of the unseen. In high school he sought the main stage, showcasing his talents for thousands of spellbound onlookers. After graduating early, at 16 he spent a year in Argentina honing his muscle-reading and mentalism crafts in a second language. Today, as a freshman at the University of Texas - Austin, Nat continues to expand his mind and his repertoire, venturing forth as an entertainer, teacher, and advocate for the power of the human mind and the importance of digging in to nudge it awake and unshackle its force.

1hr 26mins

12 Jul 2018

Rank #2

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Staying Fluid w. Chris Gentile (Pilgrim Surf + Supply)

Chris Gentile is the creator and owner of Pilgrim Surf + Supply, a surf and apparel shop in Brooklyn. Chris is a visual artist, a surfing enthusiast, and a filmmaker who has combined his creative interests and love of the ocean to craft a unique lifestyle for himself, which we discuss on this episode. Some topics covered: Creative intuition Authenticity Curiosity Adaptability


14 Jun 2018

Rank #3

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Joe Falcone - Rockaway's Humble Rider

The board-shaping, straight-shooting, wave-riding craftsman mr. Joe Falcone on the program today. Joe tells us about his upbringing, his experience during and after Hurricane Sandy, the personal adjustments he’s made to stay on top of his growing business, and the importance of honesty and openness in relationships. Thanks Joe, thanks listeners, woo! Enjoy! Checkout Joe's site: http://www.falconesurfboards.com/


23 Jan 2019

Rank #4

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Tony Messina (Coach) - How can I help?

For 36 years, Coach Tony Messina has set a spectacular example for his teams and community by teaching and representing the importance of commitment, work ethic, and personal accountability for the good of the whole.  From the outset he has promoted and upheld a culture of teamwork -- encouraging his players, no matter the scenario, to ask: how can I help? Now in its 85th season, the Hingham High School Hockey program thrives on a storied tradition of success and community contribution. Thank you Tony - and thanks all for tuning in!


24 Feb 2020

Rank #5

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Adam Elsesser (CEO of Penumbra) - Make Sure it Matters

Adam was a successful real estate lawyer with two kids and a house in San Francisco.  After dinner with a physician friend, his life took a turn toward a new and unexpected endeavor: co-founding a health care device organization.  After starting and selling that first company, Adam and the same friend founded Penumbra, where Adam has served as CEO since 2004, leading the charge to develop innovative therapeutic products for neurological and vascular conditions.  https://www.penumbrainc.com/


25 Oct 2019

Rank #6

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Claire George - A Sound Decision

Claire George - singer, songwriter, producer - tells us about her leap into music, landing a record deal, and the adventures ahead. Go see a show (tour dates below)! Claire's Tour Dates: JAN 23 WED - Atlanta, GA -- Aisle 5 JAN 24 THU - Gasa Gasa -- New Orleans, LA JAN 25 FRI - White Oak Music Hall -- Houston, TX JAN 26 SAT - Mohawk Austin -- Austin, TX JAN 27 SUN - Three Links Deep Ellum -- Dallas TX JAN 30 WED - Club Congress -- Tucson, AZ JAN 31 THU - Valley Bar -- Phoenix, AZ FEB 1 FRI - Constellation Room -- Santa Ana, CA FEB 2 SAT - The Casbah -- San Diego, CA FEB 6 WED - The Echo -- Los Angeles, CA FEB 7 THU - Rickshaw Stop -- San Francisco, CA FEB 8 FRI - Barboza -- Seattle, WA FEB 9 SAT - Wonder Ballroom -- Portland, OR FEB 10 SUN - Biltmore Cabaret -- Vancouver, Canada

1hr 10mins

10 Jan 2019

Rank #7

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Bene Coopersmith - Music Magic in Red Hook

Running a dynamic record shop in Red Hook, Brooklyn, Bene Coopersmith is a subtle and humble crusader for the importance of open-minded community and the magic of music as a connective force. His store offers what every neighborhood could benefit from -- an understated and welcoming cultural refuge providing value beyond what's for sale. Maybe you'll listen tonight on the way home. And maybe when you get home you'll queue up some special music and soak it all in.


6 Feb 2019

Rank #8

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Tony Farfalla - Madre Mezcal

Tony Farfalla is an adventurer, artist, and entrepreneur. In 2013, Tony stumbled upon the Morales family in San Dionisio and was entranced by their generational history of mezcal creation and the culture surrounding it. After sharing the drink in small batches with his friends and family, word spread and demand for the spirit grew in the States. Six years later Tony now runs Madre Mezcal, which continues to evolve and expand as a business built around the Morales family's tradition, expertise, and persistence. From the Madre site:  "MADRE COMES FROM THE GARCIA MORALES RANCH, SET IN THE ROLLING HILLS OF THE OAXACAN SIERRA. WATCHING OVER THE LAND FOR CENTURIES, THE FAMILY STARTED DISTILLING THE SPIRIT OF MEZCAL FOR THE INTENT OF PERSONAL GUIDANCE AND CELEBRATION. THEY WOULD LIKE TO SHARE THAT SPIRIT WITH RESPECT AND GRATITUDE." Tony shares his experience and learnings on this episode.  Madre is now in CA, NY, CO, with plans to expand to TX and UK soon.  Thanks Tony and thanks listeners. Cheers! Notes: Madre site Madre Journal Madre instagram LAND Oaxaca Brujería San Dionisio Ocotepec María Sabina Agave Zapotec Anthropology


30 Jul 2019

Rank #9

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Ed Connors - Keep Moving

Ed Connors has spent his life immersed in physical movement as an athlete, coach, teacher, and trainer.  Now in his 80s, Ed's curiosity and passion for athletics continue to propel his learning.  He credits hard work, consistency, and proper rest as keys to staying sharp and making continued progress.  In this episode we discuss: 1. What Ed has learned from sports as a player and and as a coach 2. Ed's time spent in Russia learning about weight training and physical conditioning during the early 1980s 3. Guidance for how to stay strong and healthy for the long haul Thank you Ed, thank you listeners!

1hr 2mins

8 Oct 2019

Rank #10

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Patrick McDermott (aka North Americans) - Going Steady

On this episode come meet a masterful contributor to the music world, Patrick McDermott. As an artist Patrick is North Americans. Fresh off a beautiful acoustic album called “Going Steady” , he also runs a label called Driftless Recordings and a label/record shop called Ghost Ramp in Los Angeles. His diversified experience and skills - if not direct results of his dynamic curiosity - are certainly worthy complements to it. Here's to ye, Patrick!

1hr 9mins

25 Mar 2019

Rank #11

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Jay Papasan - Choose Your Goal, Limit Distraction, and Go

In a techy world in which scatterbrain is the norm, Jay Papasan -- co-author of The One Thing -- is here to show you how to create the life you want by defining and focusing on what matters most to you. check out the1thing.com for more info on what Jay is working on the one thing book


23 Sep 2019

Rank #12

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Jack Murgatroyd - Documentary Filmmaking

Jack is a filmmaker (Dirty Old Wedge, Part of Water) and co-founder of production company Hunt House Pictures.  He's been making movies since he was a kid - through college and up today.  Jack joins us now on The Jalapeno to discuss his latest film, Part of Water, which tells the story of fallen lifeguard Ben Carlson and the selfless values Ben and ocean lifeguards around the world stand for.  Thanks for tuning in! 


8 Apr 2020

Rank #13

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Joby Norton - The Fishmonger

Joby Norton is the owner of Mullaney's Fish Market in Scituate (and Cohasset), Massachusetts. On this episode Joby tells us about his experiences in the fishing industry and culture, along with lessons learned from running his business. http://www.mullaneysfish.com/


11 Apr 2019

Rank #14

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Kelly Brush - Persistence

Kelly Brush -- mother, nurse practitioner, and founder of The Kelly Brush Foundation -- tells us about the injury that sparked her mission to "inspire and empower people with spinal cord injuries to lead active and engaged lives." kellybrushfoundation.org Kelly's TED talk: https://kellybrushfoundation.org/i-did-tedx/


9 May 2019

Rank #15

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Keith Krach - DocuSign CEO - Leadership Simplified

"People support what they help create" Keith Krach is a visionary who makes big things happen. The scope of his impact on global business, education, and philanthropy is profound -- time and again he has created and built dynamic teams and organizations, most recently as chairman and CEO of DocuSign. On this episode we discuss Keith's roots, lessons learned working in his father's machine shop, and the importance of initiative, perseverance, and mentorship for leadership development and lifelong learning. Thank you Keith and thank you listeners!

1hr 16mins

19 Feb 2019

Rank #16

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Carl Scott (The Players' Tribune) - Storytelling

Carl Scott is the supervising audio producer for The Players' Tribune, a media company founded and ran by Derek Jeter.  Initially inspired by This American Life, Carl began his career at StoryCorps, and has more recently taken his talents to podcast production at the helm of two programs for The Players' Tribune - Knuckleheads and The Players' Tribune Podcast (which he also hosts).  On this episode Carl shares his experience getting into radio, his thoughts on the potential of audio as a medium for sharing ideas, some ideas for what makes up a moving story.  Links: The Players' Tribune  Patrick O'Sullivan story Tommie Harris story The Players' Tribune Podcast (on Luminary) Knuckleheads

1hr 3mins

20 Nov 2019

Rank #17

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Katie Shepherd - Writing + Storytelling + Work

Katie Shepherd is a writer and audio producer. She recently graduated from Columbia's MFA (creative nonfiction) program, which she navigated while working full-time in NYC.  With a wide array of work experience and creative contribution, Katie shares her thoughts here on writing, storytelling, and sustained effort -- the importance of showing up and consistently drawing inspiration from daily life.  Thank you Katie and thank you listeners for tuning in 

1hr 12mins

19 May 2020

Rank #18

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Taylor Patterson (Fox Fodder Farm) - Flowers

Taylor Patterson is the founder of Fox Fodder Farm - a floral design operation out of NYC.  On this episode we discuss how FFF came to be, the flower culture in New York, and what Taylor has learned along the way.  Thanks for listening and thank you Taylor for being on the show!  Notes: foxfodderfarm.com


4 Dec 2019

Rank #19

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Paulie Gee & Justin Bazdarich - Bantering with Pizza Kings

Two local NY food legends -- Paulie Gee (Paulie Gee's) and Justin Bazdarich (Oxomoco, Speedy Romeo) -- grace us in this episode with their wisdom and experience in the restaurant world. They've both created beloved and acclaimed food institutions with loyal clans of customers who flock again and again to the delicious food and the distinct, genuine atmospheres at each of Paulie and Justin's restaurants.  Even if you don't listen to this episode, please go to Paulie Gee's, Speedy Romeo, and Oxomoco to set your taste buds free. You'll be happy you did! 


4 Jun 2019

Rank #20