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
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

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Since he was a young man in the 1950's, until his death in 2020, Gary Berg was a mainstay on the local jazz scene. Over the course of his career Ga...

  • Added: Dec 16, 2022
  • Length: 07:00
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Jazz musician, vocalist and actor, Dennis Spears is well know for his work as an actor at Penumbra Theater and also for his work in the late 80's a...

  • Added: Dec 16, 2022
  • Length: 05:56
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Chris Bates has been very active in the Twin Cities since the 1990's. He is a founding member of many local jazz groups including The Motion Poets...

  • Added: Dec 16, 2022
  • Length: 07:31
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Born in Birmingham, Alabama, vocalist Charmin Michelle moved to Minnesota while still a child. Based in Minneapolis, Charmin is no stranger to lif...

  • Added: Dec 16, 2022
  • Length: 05:21
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Vocalist Bruce Henry is a storyteller, historian, composer and performer extraordinaire. Mr. Henry has an impressive 3 and a half octave range wh...

  • Added: Dec 15, 2022
  • Length: 08:46
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Pianist Bobby Peterson grew up in a music family first starting clarinet and eventually switching to piano, which became his primary instrument. B...

  • Added: Dec 15, 2022
  • Length: 07:16
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While visiting Minnesota in 1993, pianist Bill Carrothers spoke with broadcaster Leigh Kamman.

  • Added: Dec 14, 2022
  • Length: 05:28
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The show by the Minnesota Jazz Chamber Orchestra at the Chart House in Lakeville has been rescheduled for Tuesday December 27 at 7pm. The performan...

  • Added: Dec 14, 2022
  • Length: 08:00
Caption: Daniel Volovets, Credit: Adrian Volovets
Daniel Volovets is a local guitarist who composes and also re-imagines the work of others. When Daniel talked to Phil Nusbaum, Daniel first address...

  • Added: Dec 11, 2022
  • Length: 08:00
Caption: Daniel Volovets, Credit: Adrian Volovets
Daniel Volovets is a local guitarist who composes and also re-imagines the work of others. You can catch him at the Metronome Brewery in Saint Paul...

  • Added: Dec 11, 2022
  • Length: 08:00