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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778 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: 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