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

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20 Pieces

Joan Griffith, Twin Cities musician and educator, has conversations with prominent Minnesota jazz musicians.

  • From: KBEM
  • Updated: May 25, 2016
Caption: Joan Griffith, Credit: Ann Marsen
20 Pieces

Joan Griffith, Twin Cities guitar player and educator, interviews Minnesota jazz artists.

  • From: KBEM
  • Updated: May 27, 2016
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13 Pieces

Minneapolis Public School teachers talk with Kevin O'Connor about their accomplishments.

  • From: KBEM
  • Updated: Jul 14, 2011
Caption: Leigh Kamman, Credit: Andrea Canter
57 Pieces

During his 60-plus years in jazz broadcasting, Leigh Kamman conducted hundreds of interviews with jazz artists, including many from the Minnesota scene. These are being preserved and edited by the Leigh Kamman Legacy Project and presented as The Jazz Image: Minnesota Edition, a continuation of the The Jazz Image: Special Edition series. These projects are part of the process of preserving and sharing the massive archive of historical recordings he left when he passed away in October 2014.

  • From: KBEM
  • Updated: Jun 29, 2020
Caption: Leigh Kamman, Credit: Andrea Canter
14 Pieces

Minnesota jazz broadcasting legend Leigh Kamman conducted hundreds of interviews with jazz artists, including some of jazz's illustrious figures. Now, these treasures have been lovingly preserved and edited into a new series of broadcasts, The Jazz Image: Special Edition. These recordings preserve priceless conversation Leigh Kamman had with such luminaries as Duke Ellington, Sarah Vaughan and Stan Kenton. In his ninth decade, Kamman adds fresh commentary to round out these 5 minute broadcasts, 13 in all in this series.

  • From: KBEM
  • Updated: Jan 14, 2014
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791 Pieces

5 to 8-minute, highly produced heads-ups highlighting great musical activities in the Twin Cities broadly conceived. The pieces feature the musicians, their music, club owners, fans, in short all of those responsible for creating musical experiences.

  • From: KBEM
  • Updated: Dec 10, 2019
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0 Pieces

Viva City, Festival of the Arts, was initiated thirteen years ago as a way to showcase arts education in Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS). In this pod cast, we feature the musical portion of Viva City from the Ted Mann Concert Hall at the University of Minneapolis.

  • From: KBEM
  • Updated: May 29, 2011
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31 Pieces

Minneapolis High School Students comment on Minnesota Arts, Culture and History

  • From: KBEM
  • Updated: Aug 24, 2011

Latest Pieces

Caption: Switched at Birth, Credit: Stan Kolapailo
Switched at Birth. The group plays a seemingly an ever-increasing variety of songs on the Bluegrass instruments. They’ve had a lot of fun with this...

  • Added: Jul 11, 2017
  • Length: 07:15
Caption: Captain Gravitone CD Cover Art, Credit: Al Fack
Every once in a while you learn of a group that really is different than all others. Such is the case with Captain Gravitone and the String Theory ...

  • Added: Jul 07, 2017
  • Length: 07:21
Caption: Captain Gravitone CD cover art, Credit: Al Fack
Every once in a while you learn of a group that really is different than all others. Such is the case with Captain Gravitone and the String Theory ...

  • Added: Jul 07, 2017
  • Length: 05:00
Caption: The Elders, Credit: Andrea Canter
Patty Peterson hosts this two hour broadcast honoring the pioneers of Minnesota jazz.

  • Added: Jul 06, 2017
  • Length: 01:57:10
Caption: Paul Barry and the Ace Tones with Lila Ammons, Credit: Kent Flemmer
Paul Barry (“Berry”) is a veteran blues band leader. Among the things that he has picked up over the years is that many people like the blues. But,...

  • Added: Jun 30, 2017
  • Length: 07:46
Caption: Paul Berry and the Ace Tones with Lila Ammons, Credit: Kent Flemmer
Lila Ammons sung at a lot of great places big and small, in both the US and Europe. You might say it comes natural to her. Lila is part of an accom...

Bought by WAMC Northeast Public Radio


  • Added: Jun 29, 2017
  • Length: 08:04
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Paul Barry and the Ace Tones with Lila Ammons, Credit: Kent Flemmer
Paul Barry and the Aces with featured vocalist Lila Ammons bring their blues to Famous Dave’s at Calhoun Square in Minneapolis, Friday July 7 from...

  • Added: Jun 29, 2017
  • Length: 05:00
Caption: Joe Kopel, Credit: Joe Kopel
Joe Kopel. If there is anybody with songwriting in his DNA, it is Joe. As a kid he would write his own lyrics to existing songs. By high school, he...

  • Added: Jun 22, 2017
  • Length: 06:25
Caption: Artwork by Warren Thomas Fenzi, Credit: Warren Thomas Fenzi
Warren Thomas Fenzi. He’s a young songwriter writes from his own experiences. Warren plays with other members of a collective, and the members back...

  • Added: Jun 22, 2017
  • Length: 08:08
Caption: Artwork by Warrent Thomas Fenzi, Credit: Warren Thomas Fenzi
Friday night June 30, the Aster presents sets by two up and coming Twin Cities songwriters and bandleaders, Joe Kopel and Warren Thomas Fenzi. Phil...

  • Added: Jun 22, 2017
  • Length: 05:00