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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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789 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: Jazz 88 logo, Credit: Tim Nyberg (Octane Creative)
It’ll be familiar Christmas songs, but not the same old way as Cedric Fuller leads Global Sound into the Black Dog in Saint Paul. Cedric told Phil ...

  • Added: Dec 14, 2016
  • Length: 05:00
Caption: Lori Dokken, Credit: Jennifer Bong
The Lori Dokken Story is one of constant growth. She started out playing and singing, but now she also arranges music and directs ensembles. She sp...

  • Added: Dec 05, 2016
  • Length: 09:19
Caption: PRX default Piece image
Sonny Knight. He’s Mississippi born, but has lived in Minnesota since childhood. He talked with Phil Nusbaum about music in general, and about his ...

  • Added: Dec 04, 2016
  • Length: 05:00
Caption: Kate Lynch, Credit: Drew Shonka
Kate Lynch and Her Most Excellent Fellows started out almost by accident. But Kate fell in love with old jazz, took off with it and met some top-n...

  • Added: Dec 03, 2016
  • Length: 04:59
Caption: Cafe Accordion, Credit: Jim Dryden
Dan Newton is a Twin-Cities based accordionist who does it all on the accordion. Yes, he plays polkas and waltzes, but all kinds of pop music, too....

  • Added: Nov 27, 2016
  • Length: 09:10
Caption: Dakota Dave Hull, Credit: Dale B. Hanson
Dakota Dave Hull has been recording and performing for decades. But as time has moved forward, the output has increased. And it all seems original,...

  • Added: Nov 21, 2016
  • Length: 06:49
Caption: Dan Newton w/Cafe Accordion, Credit: Jim Dryden
Dan Newton is playing seemingly all the time and seemingly every musical genre. It all adds up to entertaining accordion-based shows with a great c...

  • Added: Nov 21, 2016
  • Length: 05:00
Caption: Patty and the Buttons, Credit: Elizabeth WIndsperger
For variety, you can’t top vaudeville. Carrying the torch for this venerable concept is Patty and the Buttons who lead a troupe of seasoned pros in...

  • Added: Nov 15, 2016
  • Length: 05:00
Caption: Dakota Dave Hull, Credit: Dale B. Hanson
Dakota Dave Hull plays many musical forms, all with understanding and sensitivity. Plus, his commentaries on music contain a lot of the fun factor....

  • Added: Nov 11, 2016
  • Length: 05:00
Caption: Bob Bovee, Credit: Bill Patterson
Bob Bovee is a committed singer of old folk songs, playing concert halls, living rooms and everything in between. He does it with good humor and ha...

  • Added: Nov 09, 2016
  • Length: 07:13