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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62 Pieces

Minneapolis High School Students, with the help of a team of educators and poets, were encouraged to write poetry. The poems created by the students are in some cases hard-hitting, and in others, cute.

  • From: KBEM
  • Updated: Jan 13, 2014
Caption: Susan Spongberg, Credit: Frank T. Heffelfinger III
9 Pieces

Minnesota Creates is curious about how creativity occurs, so Susan Spongberg asked an assortment of Minnesota artists how do you choreography a dance? Where do your novel’s characters come from? How do you decide what to paint?

  • From: KBEM
  • Updated: Jan 14, 2014
Caption: Minnesota Jazz Legends: The Elders, Credit: Jim Davis
7 Pieces

Minnesota has many wonderful jazz musicians, still playing well into their 80's. Minnesota Jazz Legends: The Elders, features live and in studio performances and interviews, talking about their careers in the Twin Cities from early on to present.

  • From: KBEM
  • Updated: Nov 11, 2021
Caption: Jazz 88 FM, Credit: http://www.jazz88fm.com
15 Pieces

Minnesota Music Moment is a weekly feature of KBEM FM 88.5, each week highlighting a different Minnesota musician.

  • From: KBEM
  • Updated: Feb 25, 2011
Caption: KBEM logo, Credit: Tim Nyberg (Octane Creative)
423 Pieces

Each item in the series tells how a musicians is inspired, how s/he works, their goals and intents for their work; in general, how each gets motivation and follows through with a creative project.

  • From: KBEM
  • Updated: Oct 09, 2015
Caption: Arne Fogel, Credit: John Whiting
65 Pieces

Minnesota Voices-Certain Standards Minnesota Vocalists perform new renditions of the Great American Songbook. Arne Fogel-Host

  • From: KBEM
  • Updated: Oct 31, 2012
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2 Pieces

In a world and time of differences, music has the power to bring us together, to unite us through a shared experience. Music knows no boundaries. It transcends that which keeps us apart. Join Jazz88 for an evening of discovery with Music Without Borders.

  • From: KBEM
  • Updated: Sep 04, 2019
Caption: Bobb Fantauzzo performing with Lyz Jaakola, Credit: Andrea Canter
18 Pieces

Native flute player Bobb Fantauzzo illuminates the contributions made by jazz musicians with Native American heritage.

  • From: KBEM
  • Updated: Apr 19, 2016
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4 Pieces

Butch Thompson's Piano Bench Show looks at the piano stylings of the early performers of jazz.

  • From: KBEM
  • Updated: Jul 14, 2011
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0 Pieces

Perspectives relating to Minnesota culture, history and the arts contributed by Minneapolis high school students.

  • From: KBEM
  • Updated: Apr 04, 2010

Latest Pieces

Caption: Gerry Swanberg, Credit: Jan Swanberg
Next Sunday there’s a free festival where everybody can enjoy performances by six of our area’s finest big bands. It’s the 25th annual Festival of ...

  • Added: May 15, 2016
  • Length: 05:00
Caption: Charmin Michelle, Credit: JuliAnne Jonker
The key to a long-running big band dance is consistency and attention to details. That’s always been true of the Jerry O’Hagen Orchestra. Vocalist ...

  • Added: May 14, 2016
  • Length: 05:00
Caption: Jennifer Grimm, Credit: Nathan Nelson
Jennifer Grimm playing with players who know her, because the greater the experience, the more fun they have. And the more fun they have challengin...

  • Added: May 09, 2016
  • Length: 07:16
Caption: Jennifer Grimm, Credit: Nathan Nelson
Kick back and expect the unexpected: That’s Sunday evenings at the Station in White Bear, as Jennifer Grimm and band host an evening of audience re...

  • Added: May 08, 2016
  • Length: 05:00
Caption: Kari Tauring, Credit: Eli Solheim
Kari Tauring is a leading researcher and performer of ancient Norse traditions, but she uses them in healing sessions. Hers is a point of view that...

  • Added: May 04, 2016
  • Length: 09:22
Caption: Kari Tauring, Credit: Eli Solheim
Kari Tauring performs really old music in a really modernistic way. It’s a combination you wouldn’t expect, but is completely natural to someone li...

  • Added: May 04, 2016
  • Length: 05:00
Caption: Charmin Michelle, Credit: JuliAnne Jonker
There’s a lot to be said for working with the same musicians over the years. That’s the case with Charmin Michelle and Joel Shapira. Joel Shapira t...

  • Added: May 01, 2016
  • Length: 05:00
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It’s a challenge to be a full-time jazz musician. But challenging or not, that’s what Joel Shapira does. He does it by becoming expert at many phas...

  • Added: May 01, 2016
  • Length: 08:01
Caption: Pee Wee Russell, Credit: William P. Gottlieb
Pee Wee Russell, who asserted a part-Cherokee background, stands as one of most innovative clarinet players in jazz.

Bought by WTJU, WDSE, WTJU, and WDSE


  • Added: Apr 27, 2016
  • Length: 05:00
  • Purchases: 4
Caption: Max Roach, Credit: Albert Kok
Best known as a bebop player, Max Roach (of Tuscarora ancestry) was named a National Endowment of the Arts Jazz Master in 1984.

Bought by WTJU, WDSE, and WTJU


  • Added: Apr 27, 2016
  • Length: 05:00
  • Purchases: 3