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: Dave Graf (l) and Doug Haining (r), Credit: Phil Nusbaum
Merle Knudson was a saxophonist with a distinctive sound who also acted to help young jazz players get going. Phil Nusbaum talks to Doug Haining an...

  • Added: Oct 15, 2015
  • Length: 05:00
Caption: Brian miller and Randy Gosa, Credit: Natalie Champa-Jennings
Brian Miller is a Northern Minnesota guy who plays Irish Music, and specializes in the songs created by Irish lumberjacks in the old north woods. T...

  • Added: Oct 11, 2015
  • Length: 08:26
Caption: Jeremy Walker, Credit: Andrea Canter Achilles
Jeremy Walker is a man of many musical perspectives. He enjoys creating jazz tunes, but then also in creating works much grander in scope than any ...

  • Added: Oct 11, 2015
  • Length: 08:33
Caption: Sarah Porwoll-Lee, Credit: Ellie Peterson
To Sarah Porwoll-Lee, it isn’t only that she plays new music on the clarinet. When she talked with Phil Nusbaum, she revealed that she gets excited...

  • Added: Oct 09, 2015
  • Length: 07:57
Caption: Todd Harper, Credit: Carl Allen
Todd Harper turned his life around when he decided to play jazz piano full time. He talked to Phil Nusbaum about his life in jazz, and about his mu...

  • Added: Oct 09, 2015
  • Length: 08:39
Caption: Jeremy Walker, Credit: Andrea Canter Achilles
Jeremy Walker has found a home at Vieux Carré in downtown Saint Paul. He plays there frequently on Friday evenings, and it’s a mix of original musi...

  • Added: Oct 09, 2015
  • Length: 05:00
Caption: Brian Miller and Randy Gosa, Credit: Natalie Champa-Jennings
Lumber occupies a big part of the history of Minnesota and the entire Great lakes region. In the lumber industry a hundred and more years ago, many...

  • Added: Sep 25, 2015
  • Length: 05:00
Caption: Sarah Porwoll-Lee, Credit: Ellie Peterson
Sarah Porwoll-Lee plays the clarinet. Her concert Saturday night October 3 features not only her and two bandmates, but premieres of newly commissi...

  • Added: Sep 24, 2015
  • Length: 05:00
Caption: Todd Harper, Credit: Carl Allen
A few years ago, Todd Harper quit his teaching job to devote full time to the piano. He got himself a steady playing gig which attracted a followin...

Bought by KSRQ


  • Added: Sep 18, 2015
  • Length: 05:00
  • Purchases: 1
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