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

Piece image
Daniel, a student at Harrison High School in Minneapolis writes about his regret when a gift to him broke.

Bought by KSRQ


  • Added: Jan 13, 2014
  • Length: 01:50
  • Purchases: 1
From: KBEM
Piece image
Patrice, a student at Harrison High School in Minneapolis, writes and reads a powerfully descriptive poem about a first love, told from her point o...

  • Added: Jan 13, 2014
  • Length: 05:40
Caption: Butch Thompson at the piano, Credit: Patrick O'Loughlin
Butch Thompson’s Jazz Originals Holiday Concert features an exciting repertoire of New Orleans music ranging from 1920s style classics to blues to ...

Bought by WDSE, WDCB, WNMU-FM, Northern Community Radio - KAXE & KBXE, Minnesota, WDSE and more


  • Added: Dec 23, 2013
  • Length: 58:03
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: Willie Murphy at the piano, Credit: Phil Nusbaum
It starts at 8 PM and continues till goodness knows when as Willie and the Angel Headed Hipsters hold forth from the stage. Willie and the band pla...

Bought by KSRQ


  • Added: Dec 21, 2013
  • Length: 05:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Jennifer Grimm, Credit: Jeffrey Fortson
We talk to Jennifer about her musical background and the fun she has at here weekly Sunday show at Manitou Station in White Bear lake with her brot...

Bought by KSRQ


  • Added: Dec 16, 2013
  • Length: 05:00
  • Purchases: 1

  • Added: Dec 16, 2013
  • Length: 05:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Jazz At MPS with Josh Jones and the Dynamics
Join Robert Hayles on Jazz At MPS with the Pip Jazz Youth All Stars!

Bought by KSRQ


  • Added: Dec 02, 2013
  • Length: 01:03:06
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Monroe Crissing , Credit: Jamey Guy
We meet Mark and Lisa from Monroe Crossing and talk about the season and some of the group's songs.

Bought by KSRQ


  • Added: Nov 28, 2013
  • Length: 05:00
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Alma Andina, Credit: Hugh Garrido
Alma Andina (Andes folk music) shares the bill with Malamaya (playing a variety of Cuban forms) at the Cedar Cultural Center, Dec 6, 2013.

  • Added: Nov 27, 2013
  • Length: 05:00
Caption: Jazz At MPS with Josh Jones and the Dynamics
Join Robert Hayles on Jazz at MPS with music from Minneapolis Southwest High School.

Bought by KSRQ


  • Added: Nov 26, 2013
  • Length: 01:00:11
  • Purchases: 1