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: Debbie Duncan, Credit: Nathan Youngerberg
Debbie Duncan is a vocalist who needs little introduction in the Twin Cities. With over 30 years locally, Debbie is one of the defining figures in ...

  • Added: Jul 03, 2016
  • Length: 05:00
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The Feel Good Revolution is a night of healing through comedy, jazz, spoken word, and hip hop. The Feel Good Revolution was back one final time b...

  • Added: Jun 30, 2016
  • Length: 02:06:12
Caption: Edmunt Catlin on the drums with the group Hoaxer, Credit: Lee Tran
Edmund Catlin is a young Twin Cities drummer who, while still in college, plays in a variety of jazz bands. To Edmund, playing jazz requires a comb...

  • Added: Jun 29, 2016
  • Length: 06:53
Caption: Charlie Lincoln, Credit: Andrea Canter
How do you become a jazz musician? The key just may be persistence. You can take lessons and school courses, but if you really want to play jazz…we...

  • Added: Jun 29, 2016
  • Length: 05:21
Caption: Hoaxer, Credit: Lee Tran
What do student jazz players do? They work had during the school year, and when summer comes, they work even harder playing in bands with their fri...

  • Added: Jun 27, 2016
  • Length: 05:00
Caption: The Bend in the River Big Band, Credit: Paul Rippe
The Bend in the Big River Big Band is named for 2 Mississippi River bends. One is in Saint Peter, where the group was formed. And the other bend is...

  • Added: Jun 24, 2016
  • Length: 08:44
Caption: Joe Cruz, Credit: Emily Jane Davis
Joe Cruz. He’s got his feet planted in traditional styles. Perhaps that is why when he plays, it all seems so right, even though he does a lot of m...

  • Added: Jun 19, 2016
  • Length: 08:58
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Joan Griffith interviews local guitarist Zacc Harris, joining him on several pieces of music as they also discuss how to teach jazz, the process of...

  • Added: Jun 01, 2016
  • Length: 58:26
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Violinist Gary Schulte tells us about the time he had creme brulee that was so good, it inspired him to write a song...and then performs it with gu...

  • Added: Jun 01, 2016
  • Length: 04:54
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After highlighting the backstory behind the name of this original piece by guiartist Ben Abrahamson, Ben is joined by Joan Griffith as he plays "No...

  • Added: Jun 01, 2016
  • Length: 04:52