KBEM

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Recognized as the Twin Cities’ public radio voice for jazz and education, KBEM is a program of the Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) Approximately 150 students annually participate in KBEM’s hands-on educational program, which focuses on all aspects of broadcasting and production. Students who develop their skills and select broadcasting experience can gain significant on-air time. The station is on-air 24/7 with 35 hours of student programming each week, with live professional announcers and pre-recorded, syndicated programming filling out the rest of the schedule. KBEM is the only station in the Twin Cities market which offers a jazz format and officially provides MN-DOT traffic reports.

KBEM was initially established at Minneapolis Vocational High School in the 1960s. The station was moved to North High School in 1983 as a part of the District’s desegregation initiative and it continues to reside there today. The vast majority of KBEM students attend North High School.

Series

Caption: Acme Big Band
1 Piece

This progam features Minnesota Big Bands, including the Nova Big Band, the Acme Big Band and the University of Minnesota. Twenty-five Big Bands in Minnesota have recorded CDs. Interviews with local Big Band personalities are presented occasionally.

  • From: KBEM
  • Updated: Mar 23, 2010
Caption: PRX default Series image
3 Pieces

Minneapolis high school students script and read 60-second pieces based on research into important figures in African American history.

  • From: KBEM
  • Updated: Feb 11, 2010
Caption: PRX default Series image
4 Pieces

"Classic Jazz MN" is a series exploring Minnesota's classic jazz roots. The series includes shows on Doc Evans, Doc Evans at the Walker Art Center, Preservation Hall Era and the Emporium of Jazz. Written and produced by Butch Thompson. Co-produced by Todd Melby.

  • From: KBEM
  • Updated: Nov 23, 2011
Caption: Jazz At MPS with Josh Jones and the Dynamics
19 Pieces

Jazz music from students in the Minneapolis Public Schools.

  • From: KBEM
  • Updated: Jul 24, 2013
Caption: South High School Jazz Band-director/Scott Carter with guest Irvin Mayfield
6 Pieces

Jazz at South High features music from past and present South High Jazz Ensembles and brand new recordings by the South High Jazz Combo. Each week's show will feature never before heard performances of the South High Jazz Combo that are recorded at South High.

  • From: KBEM
  • Updated: Jan 03, 2013
Caption: KBEM Jazz 88 FM, Credit: http://www.jazz88fm.com
4 Pieces

The Twin Cities Jazz Society annually presents a series of concerts by local artists. Jazz 88 chose six of these concerts to record for broadcast.

  • From: KBEM
  • Updated: Apr 12, 2010
Caption: Butch at the Steinway, Credit: Ross Ayoka
4 Pieces

Butch Thompson hosts this program that features original jazz recordings and the occasional live performance.

  • From: KBEM
  • Updated: Apr 24, 2011
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12 Pieces

Long-form interviews and performances by Minnesota musicians

  • From: KBEM
  • Updated: Nov 14, 2018
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12 Pieces

Junctions & Sidetracks, the story behind the creation of Empire Builder a musical about a time traveling train. Conversations about family, history, race and forgiveness. Music by George Mauer. Libretto by Ann Bertram. Funded by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

  • From: KBEM
  • Updated: Mar 28, 2019
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62 Pieces

Minneapolis High School Students, with the help of a team of educators and poets, were encouraged to write poetry. The poems created by the students are in some cases hard-hitting, and in others, cute.

  • From: KBEM
  • Updated: Jan 13, 2014

Latest Pieces

Caption: John Penny, Credit: Andrea Canter
John Penny performs with his Jazz trio and in groups led by others. The combination of recent crises has caused John to take new musical directions...

  • Added: Jul 08, 2020
  • Length: 08:00
Caption: Jazz 88 logo, Credit: Tim Nyberg (Octane Creative)
The Hook and Ladder performance space helps local artists find audiences and serves the broader community. When Chris Mozena of the Hook met with P...

  • Added: Jul 06, 2020
  • Length: 08:00
Caption: Laura Caviani by Ann Marsden, Credit: Ann Marsden
Many know Laura Caviani as jazz piano player who leads performing groups. She also teaches at Carlton College in Northfield. But there are no class...

  • Added: Jul 03, 2020
  • Length: 07:59
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Born in Germany, Herb Pilhofer was gigging on piano in the Twin Cities by the mid-'50s and became the Guthrie Theater's musical director in 1963. ...

  • Added: Jun 29, 2020
  • Length: 05:04
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Saxophonist-educator Donald Washington moved from Detroit to the Twin Cities in 1987, bringing with him wife/vocalist Faye, and their son Kevin, no...

  • Added: Jun 29, 2020
  • Length: 05:04
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Sometimes called the Twin Cities' First Lady of Song, Debbie Duncan has been based in Minneapolis since 1984 after growing up in Detroit and studyi...

  • Added: Jun 29, 2020
  • Length: 05:03
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A Philly native, drummer Eric Kamau Gravatt has played with McCoy Tyner, Joe Henderson, & Weather Report. A resident of the Twin Cities for decade...

  • Added: Jun 29, 2020
  • Length: 05:04
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Trumpeter Steve Kenny has worked prominently with the Illicit Sextet, and books a long-running series of Saturday night shows in St. Paul. Here he...

  • Added: Jun 29, 2020
  • Length: 05:04
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Woodwinds, didgeridoos, percussion, and instrument building are some of the musical outlets for Douglas Ewart who has been part of the Twin Cities ...

  • Added: Jun 29, 2020
  • Length: 05:04
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Leigh Kamman's visit with trumpeter-songwriter Gene Adams.

  • Added: Jun 29, 2020
  • Length: 05:04