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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.


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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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778 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: Mississippi Hot Club, Credit: Matt Lien
Great dance bands are often great concert bands. But you approach the different types of venues with slightly different strategies. Members of the ...

  • Added: Jan 21, 2017
  • Length: 05:00
Caption: Tom Loftus, Credit: Chris McDuffie
The Cedar Commissions presents two nights of new music this weekend. Over two nights, six composers will present works never played previously. The...

  • Added: Jan 16, 2017
  • Length: 05:00
Caption: Stanley Kipper, Credit: Miles Kipper
When you see the New Primitives, you’re seeing a band that is a master at creating and maintaining a great vibe. Stanley Kipper helped start the ba...

  • Added: Jan 14, 2017
  • Length: 08:29
Caption: Stanley Kipper, Credit: Miles Kipper
The New Primitives. The group is a 4-time winner of the Minnesota Music Academy award winners for best reggae and world band. And the group perform...

  • Added: Jan 13, 2017
  • Length: 05:01
Caption: Nick Jordan, Credit: Moriah Ziman
Nick Jordan is a contemporary rhythm and blues and pop artist who has a handle on all phases of his act, including songwriting, singing, and dancin...

  • Added: Jan 09, 2017
  • Length: 07:06
Caption: Oudyano, Credit: Margie O'Loughlin
Who would have thought that an Arabic music based oud player and an American pianist schooled in jazz and roots traditions could interact musically...

  • Added: Jan 07, 2017
  • Length: 06:01
Caption: Oudyano, Credit: Margie O'Loughlin
We live in an era where most people have multiple music styles available to them. On top of that, there is so much travel, that players representin...

  • Added: Jan 06, 2017
  • Length: 04:59
Caption: Poster for Blackout, Credit: Frank Cage
The Cedar Cultural Center hosts Blackout, a concert featuring local artists. The intents are to entertain, but also to serve to get people together...

  • Added: Dec 29, 2016
  • Length: 05:00
Caption: Kate Lynch, Credit: Drew Shonka
Everybody loves the pop music of 1920-1955, but it takes commitment to research and present it. But that’s the mission of Kate Lynch and Her Most E...

  • Added: Dec 23, 2016
  • Length: 06:58
Caption: Jazz 88 logo, Credit: Tim Nyberg (Octane Creative)
Cedric Fuller and Global Sound. It’s a group from the Twin Cities that picks up from the combinations of soul, rhythm and blues,l funk and jazz th...

  • Added: Dec 17, 2016
  • Length: 06:02