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

Caption: Peter K Grivna Quartet, Credit: assemblage by David Graf
Drummer Peter Kogan features a different group every third Thursday of the month at the Metronome Brewery in Saint Paul. This Thursday at 7, it’s t...

  • Added: Dec 15, 2023
  • Length: 08:00
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In 1968 trumpeter/composer Steve Wright graduated from the University of Iowa. He then began his professional career with the US Air Force Jazz Ass...

  • Added: Dec 14, 2023
  • Length: 06:42
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Pianist and composer Mary Louise Knutson was drawn to the piano at a very young age and began taking Classical piano lessons at the age of 4. Mary ...

  • Added: Dec 14, 2023
  • Length: 06:21
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Vocalist Linda Peterson is an international recording artist. She is a song writer, pianist and vocalist, and the daughter of the legendary pianist...

  • Added: Dec 14, 2023
  • Length: 06:36
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In this archival interview Minnesotan saxophonist Dave Sletten spoke with broadcaster Leigh Kamman about his effort in writing a book that covered ...

  • Added: Dec 14, 2023
  • Length: 06:16
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In this archival interview Leigh Kamman spoke with legendary drummer Dave King. Dave, a master percussionist based in Minneapolis, has appeared in ...

  • Added: Dec 14, 2023
  • Length: 06:06
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In this interview from March 2005 versatile trombonist Dave Graf sat down with Leigh Kamman to discuss the release of his Mulligan Stew CD. In th...

  • Added: Dec 07, 2023
  • Length: 06:10
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In this interview from 1990 Leigh Kamman talks with Cornetist Charlie DeVore. Charlie was cornetist for the Hall Brothers New Orleans Jazz Band an...

  • Added: Dec 07, 2023
  • Length: 06:24
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In this archival interview Leigh Kamman interviews guitarist, band leader, composer, author and educator Bill Banfield. In 1997 Banfield was a musi...

  • Added: Dec 07, 2023
  • Length: 05:51
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In this interview in 2003, Leigh Kamman interviews trombonist Andre Stephani. Andre Stephani was raised in Indiana where his father worked as a pro...

  • Added: Dec 07, 2023
  • Length: 05:51