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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786 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: 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
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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
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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
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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
Caption: Leigh Kamman, Credit: Andrea Canter
Leigh catches up with Lionel Hampton at the Apollo Theater, and asks him about some of the younger players in his band, including a young horn play...

Bought by KSRQ


  • Added: Apr 18, 2014
  • Length: 04:57
  • Purchases: 1