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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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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)
405 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: Captain Gravitone CD Cover, Credit: Al Fack
The group’s leader plays the banjo but this is no bluegrass band. It’s part acoustic group, part theatrical troupe and 100% fun. And it’s available...

  • Added: Dec 08, 2015
  • Length: 05:00
Caption: The Capri Big Band, Credit: Brianna Johnson
Big Band music has persisted over the generations. Why? It might be because big band music is a big part of formal learning for horn players in hig...

  • Added: Nov 28, 2015
  • Length: 06:09
Caption: Capri Big Band, Credit: Brianna Johnson
The Big Band is part of the American cultural heritage. The Capri Big Band of Minneapolis is rehearsing hard right now for two Shows in December. T...

  • Added: Nov 28, 2015
  • Length: 05:00
Caption: Rio Nido, Credit: Dennis Widstrand and Matt Spector
A generation, a young trio known as Rio Nido was delighting audiences through its renditions of old vocal jazz. But in music, so it seems, all good...

  • Added: Nov 24, 2015
  • Length: 05:00
Caption: Gao Hong w/pipa, Credit: Photo Provided by World Music Professionals
Gao Hong came from China to America in 1994. Already established as a world-class player of the Chinese pipa, she has gotten interested in the west...

  • Added: Nov 23, 2015
  • Length: 06:40
Caption: Charmin Michele and Sam Militich, Credit: JuliAnne Jonker (Charmin) and John Connelly (Sam)
Sam Miltich, Grand Rapids guitar icon is coming to South Saint Paul the Saturday right after Thanksgiving. And he’ll be fronting a 5- piece band th...

  • Added: Nov 20, 2015
  • Length: 05:00
Caption: Curtis and Loretta , Credit: Jennifer Bong
They sing many types of traditional songs, they play many instruments, they write songs and their repertoire is a mile wide. But to folksinging due...

  • Added: Nov 11, 2015
  • Length: 08:25
Caption: Curtis and Loretta, Credit: Jennifer Bong
It’s the most inspirational CD to come along in a long time. Curtis and Loretta talked to many Minnesotans and created songs out of their accounts ...

  • Added: Nov 11, 2015
  • Length: 05:00
Caption: KBEM logo, Credit: Tim Nyberg (Octane Creative)
Zeitgeist is a New Music group in Minneapolis-Saint Paul that does it all: In performing New Music, it stands at the intersection of the audience, ...

  • Added: Nov 06, 2015
  • Length: 10:33
Caption: PRX default Piece image
The New music community draws adventurous particpants from many music styles. Over the course of three November days, the Zeitgeist Music Cabaret p...

  • Added: Nov 05, 2015
  • Length: 05:00