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: KBEM logo, Credit: Tim Nyberg (Octane Creative)
AJ Srubas is a young country musician from Minneapolis. But “Country” does not quite tell the story of AJ’s expertise, as different types of countr...

  • Added: Jun 16, 2017
  • Length: 07:40
Caption: Jazz 88 logo, Credit: Tim Nyberg (Octane Creative)
The country music of a generation ago is now called Classic Country. Wherever you go, bands are popping up to play it for growing audiences of fans...

  • Added: Jun 16, 2017
  • Length: 05:00
Caption: Bobb Fantauzzo, Credit: Andrea Canter
Bobb Fantauzzo, playing Native style flute, leads a stellar group in the third “A Weaving of Traditions” concert recorded in front of a live audien...

Bought by WNMU-FM and WNMU-FM


  • Added: Jun 12, 2017
  • Length: 58:35
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Jazz 88 logo, Credit: Tim Nyberg (Octane Creative)
Regina Marie Williams. When she sings a song, it is a combination of honoring the great singers that came before her, and advancing her own style o...

  • Added: Jun 10, 2017
  • Length: 07:48
Caption: Jazz 88 logo, Credit: Tim Nyberg (Octane Creative)
When Regina Williams sings her songs, she is putting her spin on great renditions that she’s experienced. Regina covers a big swath of the Great Am...

  • Added: Jun 09, 2017
  • Length: 05:00
Caption: Charlie Parr, Credit: Peter Lee
The Loring Park Music Festival started out as a neighborhood thing but it’s grown a bit. It still has an acoustic orientation, but it now embraces ...

  • Added: May 31, 2017
  • Length: 05:00
Caption: Monroe Crossing, Credit: Jamey Guy
Our area’s first outdoor bluegrass festival is is coming this weekend. Matt Johnson helped organize the Spring Kickoff, and he tells Phil Nusbaum a...

  • Added: May 25, 2017
  • Length: 05:00
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Join Minneapolis South high school for an evening of Jazz. Featuring Jazz 1 under the direction of Eric Sayre and Jazz 2 under the direction of Sar...

  • Added: May 25, 2017
  • Length: 56:06
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This episode of Jazz At MPS features the best tunes from Minneapolis South High School. All the songs were chosen from the last two years and featu...

  • Added: May 25, 2017
  • Length: 54:36
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This episode of Jazz At MPS features Minneapolis South High School's first Jazz swing dance. The jazz band is lead by South's band director Eric Sa...

  • Added: May 25, 2017
  • Length: 58:55