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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789 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: Pig's Eye Jass Band at the Minnesota State Fair, Credit: Nancy Hite
The Pig’s Eye Jass Band out of the Twin Cities has been around seemingly forever. Many people come to the Minneapolis Eagles Club to dance the firs...

Bought by KSRQ


  • Added: Jan 28, 2015
  • Length: 05:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: The High 48s, Credit: Daniel Corrigan
On January 31, the Minnesota Bluegrass and Old Time Music Association celebrates its 40th anniversary by creating an event to remember, Twelve in T...

Bought by KSRQ


  • Added: Jan 21, 2015
  • Length: 05:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Leigh Kamman, Credit: Photo courtesy of Minnesota Public Radio
Many of the jazz artists touched by Jazz radio host Leigh Kamman combine to celebrate Leigh’s life on January 25, 2015. The event will take place a...

Bought by KSRQ


  • Added: Jan 16, 2015
  • Length: 05:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Joan Griffith, Credit: Ann Marsden
Joan Griffith and Reuben Ristrom are two jazz guitarists who love working together to interpret music on their guitars. The piece features Joan tal...

Bought by KSRQ


  • Added: Jan 04, 2015
  • Length: 04:59
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: JT Bates at the drums in his Minneapolis studio, Credit: Phil Nusbaum
Three experienced players have formed a new organ trio that is one of the more promising groups on the scene, the JT Bates Organ Trio. In the piece...

Bought by KSRQ


  • Added: Dec 31, 2014
  • Length: 05:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Bill and Kate Isles, Credit: Jeff Isles
In the piece, Bill talks about songwriting, and about working with his young bandmates, Sarah & Derek Birkeland.

Bought by KSRQ


  • Added: Dec 24, 2014
  • Length: 05:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Patrick Harison at Home, Credit: Phil Nusbaum
Mixing it up musically is the specialty of Patty and the Buttons. And it works. At the group’s weekly Swing Brunch held 11-2 at the Aster Café in M...

Bought by Northern Community Radio - KAXE & KBXE, Minnesota and KSRQ


  • Added: Dec 17, 2014
  • Length: 05:00
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Twin Cities Jazz Sampler CD, Credit: Tim Nyberg
This Saturday night, the jazz community will be toasting itself, as the Twin Cities Jazz Sampler CD has it’s release party. The CD contains work by...

Bought by KSRQ


  • Added: Dec 11, 2014
  • Length: 05:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Dee Langley, Credit: Shelley Campbell
Dee Langley, well-known Twin Cities Accordionist has created her first vocal piece, “Good Yule.” It receives its world premiere during the Minneapo...

Bought by KSRQ


  • Added: Dec 04, 2014
  • Length: 05:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Norbert Augustine and Jahbee Bennet, Credit: Philip Nusbaum
The Tropics Steeldrum band gets Minnesotans moving Saturday Dec 6, 2014. It’ll be at the Northtown Library in Blaine from 2-3pm. The band wants eve...

  • Added: Nov 27, 2014
  • Length: 05:00