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: Leigh Kamman, Credit: Andrea Canter
When Jon Hendricks landed in New York City, he was told that Leigh Kamman was the man to meet.

Bought by KSRQ


  • Added: May 14, 2014
  • Length: 05:01
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Courageous Endeavors, Credit: Bryan Belcher
It's the first Courageous Endeavors CD, and they're showcasing songs from the CD at the Ice House in Minneapolis, Friday night May 9 at 11 PM

Bought by KSRQ


  • Added: May 01, 2014
  • Length: 05:00
  • Purchases: 1
Piece image
South High's Singer's Showcase is an opportunity to let the vocalists shine. Students also get to work with professional singers to learn their cra...

  • Added: May 01, 2014
  • Length: 58:07
Caption: Tim Schweitzer
Found object artist Tim Schweitzer has been making art of out dumpster dive treasures since he was a kid. He’s also a renowned club DJ and has bee...

Bought by KSRQ


  • Added: May 01, 2014
  • Length: 03:30
  • Purchases: 1
Piece image
Leigh talks with Tony Bennett early in his career when he was opening at the famed Copacabana. Who introduced Tony to his signature song? Listen an...

Bought by KSRQ


  • Added: May 01, 2014
  • Length: 04:56
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Joko Suttrisno at home, Credit: Phil Nusbaum
We talk to Joko Sutrisno, leader of the Sumunar Gamelan and Dance Ensemble since 1995. He tells us a little about gamelan music, getting us ready f...

  • Added: Apr 23, 2014
  • Length: 05:00
Caption: Louise Woehrle
Documentary film maker Louise Woehrle has produced and directed films on such diverse subjects as civil war in West Africa, the effects of post-tra...

Bought by KSRQ


  • Added: Apr 21, 2014
  • Length: 03:30
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Leigh Kamman, Credit: Andrea Canter
As a young high school student, Leigh interviewed Duke Ellington for his school newspaper. Later, as a professional broadcaster, Leigh asks the Duk...

Bought by WDSE and KSRQ


  • Added: Apr 21, 2014
  • Length: 05:12
  • Purchases: 2
Piece image
Tim Martin directs this band from Washburn High School in Minneapolis. Featuring Alma on bass, Michael on piano, Sam on flute, Clay on trumpet, and...

  • Added: Apr 21, 2014
  • Length: 57:34
Caption: Matt Sciple
Director, actor and playwright Matt Sciple has been a regular on Minnesota stages since arriving in the Twin Cities from Louisiana in 1990. In 2007...

Bought by KSRQ


  • Added: Apr 18, 2014
  • Length: 03:30
  • Purchases: 1