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
22 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
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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: Pat Donohue with guitar, Credit: Phil Nusbaum
Pat Donohue is back in town. The former Prairie Home Companion musician is a master of varied American roots styles, and brings his songs and tunes...

  • Added: Sep 11, 2015
  • Length: 05:00
Caption: Jazz 88, Credit: Tim Nyberg (Octane Creative)
Powderhorn Park always does it with flair, and this 4th of July, it hosts musician Greg Herriges and troupes of puppeteers and dancers. Phil Nusbau...

Bought by KSRQ


  • Added: Jun 28, 2015
  • Length: 05:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Butch Thompson and Sarah LaRose Holland, Credit: Patrick O'Laughlin
A collaboration of music, dance and photography, this radio program was recorded live at The Lab Theater in Minneapolis.

  • Added: Jun 22, 2015
  • Length: 59:03
Caption: Local Shaped Note Singers hold Copies of Shenandoah Harmony, Credit: Nathan Berry
Singing shaped notes is a long American tradition of singing, mostly based on Christian scriptures. As a folk tradition, it evolves with reference ...

Bought by KSRQ and KFAI Minneapolis


  • Added: Jun 21, 2015
  • Length: 05:00
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Ray Barnard, Credit: Phil Nusbaum
Ray Barnard writes and performs songs based on old-school soul. Over the years he has developed a unique songwriting voice, and he tells Phil Nusba...

Bought by KSRQ


  • Added: Jun 13, 2015
  • Length: 05:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Roseville Big Band in Acapulco, 1989 , Credit: Glen Newton
The Roseville Big Band has been playing for dances in airplane hangars for a really long time. The next one will be in Fleming Field's Hangar #3 in...

Bought by KSRQ


  • Added: May 30, 2015
  • Length: 05:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Daithi Sproule
Irish music is great, seemingly everywhere, including Our Town. This Friday through Sunday, the Center for irish Music presents Minnesota irish Fai...

Bought by KSRQ


  • Added: May 27, 2015
  • Length: 05:00
  • Purchases: 1
Piece image
Minneapolis South High School sings Jazz classics for an hour.

  • Added: May 26, 2015
  • Length: 58:31
Caption: Brian Miller and Randy Gosa, Credit: Darin Black
In the old days of the northern Minnesota and Wisconsin lumber camps, many of the shanty boys had emigrated from Ireland. Of course, they brought t...

Bought by KSRQ


  • Added: May 22, 2015
  • Length: 05:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Pop Wagner, Credit: Dale Hanson
Pop Wagner has been part of the folk scene in Minneapolis since he arrived in town over 40 years ago. And his shows are still fresh and varied, lik...

Bought by KSRQ


  • Added: May 15, 2015
  • Length: 05:00
  • Purchases: 1