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

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
19 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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13 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

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In this snapshot of KBEM's history, we hear from long time staff member Kevin Barnes about his important contribution to the stations growth. Made ...

  • Added: May 02, 2022
  • Length: 04:38
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In this snapshot of KBEM's history, we hear from Brad Bellows about his work highlighting the legacy of legendary broadcaster Leigh Kamman and his ...

  • Added: May 02, 2022
  • Length: 05:32
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In this snapshot of KBEM's history, we give a shout out to show producer and contributor John Fenn. Made possible by the Minnesota Arts and Cultura...

  • Added: May 02, 2022
  • Length: 01:23
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In this snapshot of KBEM's history, we hear from Phil Nusbaum about his long tenure at the station and his carrying the torch for Bluegrass music o...

  • Added: May 02, 2022
  • Length: 05:54
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In 1989 KBEM partnered with the Minnesota Department of Transportation. Hear a supercut of PSAs about road safety that aired in 1995! Made possible...

  • Added: May 02, 2022
  • Length: 02:34
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In this snapshot of KBEM's history, we hear from Minneapolis Public School alumni Thomas Koelfgen about his time on the air as a student broadcaste...

  • Added: May 02, 2022
  • Length: 02:55
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In this snapshot of KBEM circa 1981, we hear audio pulled from old reels highlighting students in the radio program. Made possible by the Minnesota...

  • Added: May 02, 2022
  • Length: 03:02
Caption: Kendra Glenn, Credit: Roosevelt Mansfield
As a kid in Chicago, Kendra developed the chops to do what she does today: When she gets a song, she molds it and makes it her own. In a recent int...

  • Added: Apr 30, 2022
  • Length: 08:00
Caption: Kendra Glenn, Credit: Roosevelt Mansfield
Kendra Glenn plays KJ’s Hideaway in Saint Paul This Friday at 6:30. As a kid in Chicago, Kendra developed the chops to do what she does today: When...

  • Added: Apr 30, 2022
  • Length: 08:00
Caption: Kenne Thomas, Credit: Diane Thomas
Kenne Thomas is a Twin Cities drummer with broad experiences and a bent towards arranging. When Kenne spoke with Phil Nusbaum, the talk turned to t...

  • Added: Apr 29, 2022
  • Length: 08:00