KBEM

StationAccount image
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

Caption: Acme Big Band
1 Piece

This progam features Minnesota Big Bands, including the Nova Big Band, the Acme Big Band and the University of Minnesota. Twenty-five Big Bands in Minnesota have recorded CDs. Interviews with local Big Band personalities are presented occasionally.

  • From: KBEM
  • Updated: Mar 23, 2010
Caption: PRX default Series image
3 Pieces

Minneapolis high school students script and read 60-second pieces based on research into important figures in African American history.

  • From: KBEM
  • Updated: Feb 11, 2010
Caption: PRX default Series image
4 Pieces

"Classic Jazz MN" is a series exploring Minnesota's classic jazz roots. The series includes shows on Doc Evans, Doc Evans at the Walker Art Center, Preservation Hall Era and the Emporium of Jazz. Written and produced by Butch Thompson. Co-produced by Todd Melby.

  • From: KBEM
  • Updated: Nov 23, 2011
Caption: Jazz At MPS with Josh Jones and the Dynamics
24 Pieces

Jazz music from students in the Minneapolis Public Schools.

  • From: KBEM
  • Updated: Jul 24, 2013
Caption: South High School Jazz Band-director/Scott Carter with guest Irvin Mayfield
6 Pieces

Jazz at South High features music from past and present South High Jazz Ensembles and brand new recordings by the South High Jazz Combo. Each week's show will feature never before heard performances of the South High Jazz Combo that are recorded at South High.

  • From: KBEM
  • Updated: Jan 03, 2013
Caption: KBEM Jazz 88 FM, Credit: http://www.jazz88fm.com
4 Pieces

The Twin Cities Jazz Society annually presents a series of concerts by local artists. Jazz 88 chose six of these concerts to record for broadcast.

  • From: KBEM
  • Updated: Apr 12, 2010
Caption: Butch at the Steinway, Credit: Ross Ayoka
4 Pieces

Butch Thompson hosts this program that features original jazz recordings and the occasional live performance.

  • From: KBEM
  • Updated: Apr 24, 2011
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12 Pieces

Long-form interviews and performances by Minnesota musicians

  • From: KBEM
  • Updated: Nov 14, 2018
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12 Pieces

Junctions & Sidetracks, the story behind the creation of Empire Builder a musical about a time traveling train. Conversations about family, history, race and forgiveness. Music by George Mauer. Libretto by Ann Bertram. Funded by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

  • From: KBEM
  • Updated: Mar 28, 2019
Series image
31 Pieces

From humble beginnings in 1970, KBEM-FM has become the most powerful and longest-lasting radio station owned by a Minnesota school district, and one of the nation’s leading broadcast voices for jazz. Explore the people, places and events that have shaped KBEM’s first 50 years in this audio series.

  • From: KBEM
  • Updated: May 02, 2022

Latest Pieces

Caption: the Sawtooth Bros, Credit: Scott Ward
The guys in the Sawtooth Brothers are twenty-somethings, but they’ve been at their music for over a decade. If you listen, you can tell the group’s...

  • Added: Jan 27, 2016
  • Length: 06:11
Caption: The Sawtooth Bros, Credit: Scott Ward
The Sawtooth Brothers started out as a teenaged bluegrass band playing traditional songs and tunes. But as the years rolled by, band members develo...

  • Added: Jan 27, 2016
  • Length: 05:00
Caption: Century Jazz Ensemble, Credit: Don Jackson
The Century jazz Ensemble is a group of community members who just can’t enough of big band playing, and as a result the whole community benefits. ...

  • Added: Jan 20, 2016
  • Length: 07:34
Caption: Century Jazz Ensemble, Credit: Don Jackson
The Century Jazz Ensemble is excited to play its biggest bash of the year this weekend. They’ll be playing the highlights from its repertoire, and ...

  • Added: Jan 20, 2016
  • Length: 05:00
Caption: Tim Sparks, Credit: Ali Hasbach
Tim Sparks is something of a legend in the Twin Cities music scene. It dates back to his days with Rio Nido, where his bandmates could count on Tim...

  • Added: Jan 18, 2016
  • Length: 07:26
Caption: Ann Iijiima, Credit: Tim Vick
Jedfest is a fund-raiser for the Minnesota Bluegrass and Old Time Music Festival. On January 23, members of the public pay $10 at the door, and the...

  • Added: Jan 16, 2016
  • Length: 05:00
Caption: The High 48s, Credit: Greg Johnson
The High 48s. The group definitely plays towards the tastes of its audience. But when you talk to the guys in the group, you can tell they love wha...

  • Added: Jan 08, 2016
  • Length: 07:40
Caption: The High 48s, Credit: Photo: Greg Johnson
Fresh from a busy Christmas season, the Minneapolis-based High 48s heats up January and February at the Aster Café in Minneapolis. It’s Aster brunc...

  • Added: Jan 08, 2016
  • Length: 05:00
Caption: Solomon Parham, Credit: Andrea Canter
Playing music is more than a technical skill. It is often a spiritual experience for those who play it. But while performing can be a personal thin...

  • Added: Jan 03, 2016
  • Length: 06:39
Caption: Solomon Parham, Credit: Andrea Canter
Word is spreading about Solomon Sessions. The group is headed by Solomon Parham and a talented core of musicians, plus musical friends. The group p...

  • Added: Jan 03, 2016
  • Length: 05:00