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: Jazz At MPS with Josh Jones and the Dynamics
Join Ester Swanson on Jazz at MPS with music from Minneapolis Southwest High School.

Bought by KSRQ


  • Added: Oct 15, 2013
  • Length: 59:24
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Dakota Dave Hull
Piece for broadcast Oct 14-17. Dave talks about the inspirations for a few of the tunes on his new, all-original CD.

Bought by KSRQ


  • Added: Oct 08, 2013
  • Length: 05:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: The New Standards, Credit: Travis Anderson
Program for Oct 7-11, 2013, The New Standards re-imagines great songs of the past 40 years. We talk about how the trio got started, how the member...

Bought by KSRQ


  • Added: Oct 05, 2013
  • Length: 05:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: la Familia Torres-Pena, Credit: Phil Nusbaum
The group, la Familia Torres-Pena has been prominent in Twin Cities Mexican music for decades. The couple's two children figure in this group. In t...

Bought by KSRQ


  • Added: Sep 22, 2013
  • Length: 05:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Gary Schulte, Credit: promotional photo
Piece centers on a swing dance hosted by the Park Grove Library in Cottage Grove, MN. We hear from Gary Schulte, the swing violinist leading the tr...

  • Added: Sep 18, 2013
  • Length: 05:00
Piece image
Join Ester Swanson on Jazz at MPS with music from Minneapolis Southwest High School.

Bought by KSRQ


  • Added: Sep 16, 2013
  • Length: 57:35
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: SteamHeat, Credit: Brad Tutch
SteamHeat has a show on Sept 20, 2013. Band members tell of how much fun it is to play big band music.

Bought by KSRQ


  • Added: Sep 13, 2013
  • Length: 04:59
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Lady J Griot, Credit: KFAI publicity shot
The Selby Avenue Jazz Fest: a local institution with great local acts and a national one, community activities, and a location for teaching about A...

Bought by KSRQ


  • Added: Sep 08, 2013
  • Length: 04:59
  • Purchases: 1
Piece image
Join Ester Swanson on Jazz at MPS with music from Minneapolis Southwest High School.

Bought by KSRQ


  • Added: Sep 05, 2013
  • Length: 58:20
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: The Middle Spunk Creek Boys, Credit: Ron Colby
The Middle Spunk Creek Boys bluegrass group has been around since 1968, The group created the Laughing Waters Bluegrass Festival in Minneapolis' Mi...

  • Added: Aug 17, 2013
  • Length: 05:00