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)
424 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: 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
Caption: Oscar Pettiford, Credit: William P. Gottlieb
Oscar Pettiford (whose mother was full-blooded Choctaw and father, half Cherokee) was one of the top bassists during the 1940's and 50's.

Bought by WDSE, WTJU, and WTJU


  • Added: Apr 27, 2016
  • Length: 05:00
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: Jim Pepper
The son of a Creek mother and Kaw father, saxophonist Jim Pepper grew up surrounded by the songs and dances of inter-tribal powwows. Pepper was a ...

Bought by WTJU, WDSE, and WTJU


  • Added: Apr 27, 2016
  • Length: 05:00
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: Charlie Parker, Credit: William P. Gottlieb
A leading figure in the development of bebop, Charlie Parker (of Choctaw ancestry), is regarded as the greatest saxophonist of all time.

Bought by WTJU, WDSE, and WTJU


  • Added: Apr 27, 2016
  • Length: 05:00
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: Thelonius Monk, Credit: William P. Gottlieb
Of Tuscarora ancestry, Thelonious Monk was one of the most inventive pianists of any musical genre. Dubbed the “High Priest of Bebop”, Monk introd...

Bought by WTJU, WDSE, WDNA, and WTJU


  • Added: Apr 27, 2016
  • Length: 05:00
  • Purchases: 4
Caption: Charles Lloyd, Credit: Dorothy Darr
Program notes for the 2015 National Endowment of the Arts Jazz Master Awards Ceremony describe Charles Lloyd as “one of the key figures in the expa...

Bought by WDSE and WTJU


  • Added: Apr 27, 2016
  • Length: 05:00
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: John Lewis, Credit: Bert Verhoeff
John Lewis was of Cherokee and Comanche lineage and is best known as the musical director and leader of the Modern Jazz Quartet.

Bought by WDSE and WTJU


  • Added: Apr 27, 2016
  • Length: 05:00
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Illinois Jacquet, Credit: William Paul Gottlieb
Jean Baptiste Jacquet is better known by his nickname, Illinois, which was given to him by his Sioux mother and comes from the Indian word “Illiniw...

Bought by WTJU, WDSE, and WTJU


  • Added: Apr 27, 2016
  • Length: 05:00
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: Dizzy Gillespie, Credit: Roland Godefroy
Dizzy Gillespie (of Cheraw descent), was one of the most influential players in the history of jazz. He was named a National Endowment of the Arts ...

Bought by WTJU, KAZU Seaside, Calif., WDSE, and WTJU


  • Added: Apr 27, 2016
  • Length: 05:00
  • Purchases: 4