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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770 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: Filthy Animals, Credit: Ben Mielke
The Filthy Animals. Well, there’s a band name that’ll grab your ear. But so does their music. The group has been playing for a number of years, it’...

  • Added: Jul 30, 2016
  • Length: 07:26
Caption: Sarah Mae and the Birkeland Boys, Credit: Wendy Birkeland
It’s gotten to be quite a tradition: The City of Roseville hosts the Mosquito Bluegrass jam, this Sunday afternoon at the Frank Rog (rhymes with bo...

  • Added: Jul 28, 2016
  • Length: 05:00
Caption: jazz 88 logo, Credit: Tim Nyberg (Octane Creative)
What a showcase for local music is Nershfest. It presents 10 varied acts in 10 hours on 2 stages in an accessible spot in Saint Paul. Festival orga...

  • Added: Jul 22, 2016
  • Length: 05:00
Caption: Patty and the Buttons, Credit: Elizabeth Windsperger
They play pre-world war II jazz, but featuring the accordion gives their offerings a whole new twist. Plus, they have fun entertaining. The basis o...

  • Added: Jul 18, 2016
  • Length: 07:19
Caption: Patty and the Buttons, Credit: Elizabeth Windsperger
Pre-World War II Jazz is unforgettable for many musicians and members of the public. That’s what drives the Sunday Swing brunch with Patty and the ...

  • Added: Jul 18, 2016
  • Length: 05:00
Caption: Sherry Minnick, Credit: Kate MacKenzie
Old Traditional folk songs. Without any promotion from the commercial world, the songs last for centuries. Sherry Minnick of St Paul sings old song...

  • Added: Jul 10, 2016
  • Length: 10:46
Caption: 651Jazz, Credit: Dave Miller
651Jazz. It’s a group of Rosemount, MN-area people who started playing jazz in high school, but saw no reason to quit at graduation. They sought ea...

  • Added: Jul 10, 2016
  • Length: 06:53
Caption: Debbie Duncan, Credit: Nathan Youngerberg
When Debbie Duncan sings and lets her imagination run on a song melody, you are in the presence of someone who is a master of her craft. Debbie’s i...

  • Added: Jul 10, 2016
  • Length: 07:58
Caption: Judi Vinar w/Wolverines Quartet, Credit: Paul Nixdorf.
Judi Vinar, the former Judy Donaghy has been at the forefront of Minnesota music for Decades. She wears many musical hats. She sat down with interv...

  • Added: Jul 09, 2016
  • Length: 09:46
Caption: Wolverines quartet with Judi Vinar, Credit: Paul Nixdorf.
Judi has stood in the forefront of Midwest vocalists for decades. She’s teamed up with the Wolverines Swing Band for 20-plus years, and they’ve bee...

  • Added: Jul 09, 2016
  • Length: 05:00