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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791 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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Kim Hotchkiss teaches band at Field School. The band won 3rd place in a jazz band competition in Eau Claire.

  • Added: Jun 01, 2010
  • Length: 12:29
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Stephanie Morseth is the recipient of the 2010 Teacher of the Year award from the Minnesota Counsel for Exceptional Children.

  • Added: May 18, 2010
  • Length: 24:34
Caption: Adam Linz, Credit: Satori Innovations, LLC
Minnesota Music Moment featuring bassist Adam Linz

Bought by KSRQ and KMSU


  • Added: May 10, 2010
  • Length: 03:31
  • Purchases: 2
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Minnesota Music Moment featuring Davina Sowers and her band, The Vagabonds

Bought by Northern Community Radio - KAXE & KBXE, Minnesota, KFAI Minneapolis, and KMSU


  • Added: May 10, 2010
  • Length: 03:33
  • Purchases: 3
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Minnesota Music Moment featuring the Atlantis Quartet

Bought by KMSU


  • Added: May 10, 2010
  • Length: 03:29
  • Purchases: 1
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Minnesota Music Moment featuring Jeanne Arland Peterson.

Bought by KMSU


  • Added: May 10, 2010
  • Length: 03:30
  • Purchases: 1
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KBEM radio features a teacher each week in an interview.

  • Added: May 03, 2010
  • Length: 14:41
Caption: KBEM Jazz 88 FM, Credit: http://www.jazz88fm.com
Former Count Basie drummer, Butch Miles, and the St. Croix Jazz Orchestra with guest vocalist Judi Donaghy.

Bought by KMSU


  • Added: May 02, 2010
  • Length: 58:31
  • Purchases: 1
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Recorded live at McNally Smith College of Music, on April 1st, Butch Thompson takes us on a fun and foolish romp with the pioneers of jazz music.

Bought by WRGY, Radio Catskill, WRST-FM Oshkosh, KMSU, and WTIP


  • Added: Apr 26, 2010
  • Length: 58:24
  • Purchases: 5
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Paul Palmer is the head of the International Baccalaureate Program for the Minneapolis Public School System.PaulaP

  • Added: Apr 23, 2010
  • Length: 16:09