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

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A portion of a chat between broadcaster Leigh Kamman and Minnesota-raised trombonist Bruce Paulson, who had stints with Buddy Rich, Bill Cunliffe,...

  • Added: Jun 28, 2020
  • Length: 05:00
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Iconic jazz broadcaster Leigh Kamman interviews Minnesota-based pianist Bobby Lyle, who has worked with George Benson, Sly Stone, Al Jarreau, Bette...

  • Added: Jun 28, 2020
  • Length: 05:00
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Iconic jazz broadcaster Leigh Kamman interviews Minnesota-born bassist Biddy Bastien, who played with Gene Krupa, Sarah Vaughan, and others.

  • Added: Jun 28, 2020
  • Length: 05:04
Caption: Paul Dice, Credit: used with permission of the artist
Covid-19 Gives Paul Dice the Opportunity to Compose but not Perform Musical Compositions

  • Added: Jun 28, 2020
  • Length: 08:00
Caption: Jazz 88 logo, Credit: Tim Nyberg (Octane Creative)
The Minnesota Bluegrass and Old-Time Music Association’s Annual August Festival was Cancelled in 2020 due to Covid -19. But the group’s executive d...

  • Added: Jun 23, 2020
  • Length: 08:00
Caption: Gao Hong, Credit: Paul Dice
Gao Hong is one of the world’s most sought after players of the Chinese Pipa. She lives in Northfield and teaches at Carleton where she leads three...

  • Added: Jun 18, 2020
  • Length: 08:00
Caption: Mac Santiago by Andrea Canter, Credit: Andrea Canter
Jazz Central Studios in Minneapolis is helping Fans and Players experience live music with a three-day streaming event. It is called Stream Fest, a...

  • Added: Jun 16, 2020
  • Length: 08:00
Caption: Bill Simenson Orchestra, Credit: Bill Simenson
The Bill Simenson orchestra has played monthly at jazz Central Studios in Minneapolis for close to a decade. But Covid-19 has stopped live shows. A...

  • Added: Jun 15, 2020
  • Length: 08:00
Caption: Jimmi and the Band of Souls, Credit: Gary Eckhart
Jimmi Langemo leads a Minneapolis blues band called Jimmi and the Band of Souls. The band performs songs that complain of everything from broken he...

Bought by Northern Community Radio - KAXE & KBXE, Minnesota


  • Added: Jun 13, 2020
  • Length: 08:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Dr Dean Alger, Credit: WWOZ Staff
Dr Dean Alger is a political scientist with five books to his credit, he has written about influential bluesman Lonnie Johnson and he sings and pla...

  • Added: Jun 09, 2020
  • Length: 08:00