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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790 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: Maud Hixson, Credit: Olivia Wilcox
Maud Hixson. You’ll catch her singing in front of big and small bands. But the common thread in all her performances is that she really cares about...

Bought by WHQR


  • Added: Sep 22, 2016
  • Length: 08:04
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Maud Hixson, Credit: Olivia Wilcox
Judy Garland, the 20th century show-biz icon from Minnesota is one of Maud Hixson’s great inspirations as a singer. Maud has rounded up a group of ...

  • Added: Sep 22, 2016
  • Length: 05:01
Caption: Roseville Big Band Trip to Acapulco 1989, Credit: Glen Newton
When you see a Roseville Big Band show, you get a complete package: Great arrangements, a polished vocal quartet, old songs that everybody loves, a...

  • Added: Sep 21, 2016
  • Length: 07:59
Caption: Roseville Big Band Trip to Acapulco 1989, Credit: Glen Newton
The Roseville Big Band brings its special arrangements to an Edina concert on Oct 2. Band director Glenn Newton tells Phil Nusbaum about it.

  • Added: Sep 21, 2016
  • Length: 05:00
Caption: Patty Peterson, Credit: Jennifer Bong
Patty Peterson is one of the bright lights on the Peterson jazz family tree. Her family inspired her to get involved in music. And what they taught...

  • Added: Sep 15, 2016
  • Length: 09:37
Caption: Patty Peterson, Credit: Jennifer Bong
Is the Jazz scene some kind of men’s club? No, and especially not in this day and age. So why not get some of the women long-time luminaries of the...

  • Added: Sep 14, 2016
  • Length: 05:00
Caption: Pat Donohue, Credit: Phil Nusbaum
Starting with their association on the Prairie Home Companion radio show, former members of Guy’s old Shoe Band have continued playing as Pat Donoh...

  • Added: Sep 08, 2016
  • Length: 05:00
Caption: Zeitgeist New Music Ensemble, Credit: Andrea Canter
Zeitgeist New Music Ensemble is a long-running St Paul group that tours the state with its sometimes serious, sometimes funny offerings. Next weeke...

  • Added: Aug 31, 2016
  • Length: 05:00
Caption: Alan Jesperson, Credit: Craig Evans
To many, the Laughing Waters Bluegrass Festival at Minnehaha Falls in Minneapolis serves as the exclamation point at the end of a Twin Cities summe...

  • Added: Aug 17, 2016
  • Length: 05:00
Caption: Swamp Kings, Credit: Sarah Harkness
The first thing you need to know about the Swamp Kings is that being geographically challenged has not proved an impediment. The group has been pum...

  • Added: Aug 13, 2016
  • Length: 07:56