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
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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: Peter Moore and Jane Froiland, Credit: Patrick O'Laughlin
For those who long for "the grand old days" of radio, Jazz88 KBEM presents the second installment of Jazz Noir, an original radio drama series, com...

  • Added: Jul 01, 2014
  • Length: 01:01:02
Caption: Butch Thompson and Russ Hall, Credit: Marjie O'Laughlin
Butch Thompson and friends perform live at The Cedar Cultural Center. It was a celebration of the well-remembered Hall Brothers Jazz Band, and its ...

  • Added: Jun 27, 2014
  • Length: 58:40
Caption: Steve Heckler in the Jazz Festival office, Credit: Phil Nusbaum
The Twin Cities Jazz Festival is a great showcase for Jazz, including the great variety of local acts.

Bought by KSRQ


  • Added: Jun 26, 2014
  • Length: 05:00
  • Purchases: 1
Piece image
Music and conversations from the 20th annual Viva City celebration of fine arts in the Minneapolis Public Schools. Listen to the 800-strong all-cit...

  • Added: Jun 26, 2014
  • Length: 57:55
Caption: PRX default Piece image
Towards the start of the show, we present some bluegrass love songs. These are not those depicting exit points of relationships, but ones that refl...

Bought by KSJD, WNTI.ORG-Internet Radio from Centenary University, WOUB, KEOS, KRZA and more


  • Added: Jun 25, 2014
  • Length: 59:00
  • Purchases: 12
Piece image
Sarah Vaughan is a coy subject. Leigh has some fun interviewing her.

Bought by KSRQ


  • Added: Jun 25, 2014
  • Length: 05:04
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Lorna Landvik
Lorna Landvik – The author of nine novels, Lorna Landvik also wears the hats of actor, stand-up comic, playwright and improviser. Her writing is c...

Bought by KSRQ


  • Added: Jun 25, 2014
  • Length: 03:30
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Mark Martin, Credit: Dawn Peterson-Cobb
One-man band Mark Martin tells us how his one man band got started and how he does it.

Bought by KSRQ


  • Added: Jun 24, 2014
  • Length: 05:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Jon Pemberton, Credit: Lana Pemberton
Jon's group plays the Loring Pasta Bar in Minneapolis on June 21. The group plays there every couple of months. Jon has a solo piano show at Sunfis...

Bought by KSRQ


  • Added: Jun 11, 2014
  • Length: 05:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Shai Hayo, Credit: Phil Nusbaum
It's a 9-piece salsa band and is playing on Friday the 13 at the Crooked Pint in Minneapolis. And don't forget their monthly shows at Santorini's i...

Bought by KSRQ


  • Added: Jun 06, 2014
  • Length: 05:00
  • Purchases: 1