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
30 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
13 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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636 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

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Minnesota Music Moment is a weekly feature of KBEM FM 88.5. This week's feature is pianist, Chris Lomheim.

Bought by KSRQ


  • Added: Jan 11, 2011
  • Length: 03:32
  • Purchases: 1
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Minnesota Music Moment on KBEM FM 88.5 features Bryan Nichols, pianist.

Bought by KSRQ


  • Added: Jan 11, 2011
  • Length: 03:32
  • Purchases: 1
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Minnesota Music Moment on KBEM FM 88.5 features bassist, Brian Roessler

Bought by KSRQ and KFAI Minneapolis


  • Added: Jan 11, 2011
  • Length: 03:33
  • Purchases: 2
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Minnesota Music Moment from KBEM radio, features pianist Ben Siems.

Bought by KSRQ and WTIP


  • Added: Jan 11, 2011
  • Length: 03:32
  • Purchases: 2
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Butch Thompson's Piano Bench Show features the piano stylings of Willie the Lion Smith, as played by Butch Thompson.

  • Added: Jan 06, 2011
  • Length: 04:59
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Butch Thompson's Piano Bench show looks at the piano styling of Jelly Role Morton

  • Added: Jan 06, 2011
  • Length: 05:04
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Butch Thompson's Piano Bench Show features the piano stylings of Bix Beiderbecke. The featured song is "In The Dark".

  • Added: Jan 06, 2011
  • Length: 04:55
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Butch Thompson's Piano Bench Show looks at the blues piano styling of Jimmy Yancey, pianist from Chicago at the turn of the 20th century.

  • Added: Jan 06, 2011
  • Length: 05:04
Caption: Dan McGuire
Each week, KBEM features a teacher from the Minneapolis Public School System. This week's teacher feature is Dan Mcguire.

  • Added: Jul 10, 2010
  • Length: 11:47
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Charlita Williamson is an award winning coach from Thomas Edison High School.

  • Added: Jul 08, 2010
  • Length: 13:32