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: 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
10 Pieces

During his 60 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 12, 2018
Caption: Leigh Kamman, Credit: Andrea Canter
13 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
Caption: PRX default Series image
400 Pieces

5-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: Aug 07, 2013
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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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Live performance of the 2011 edition of pianist Butch Thompson's "Yulestride" show at MacPhail Center for Music in Minneapolis.

Bought by KOJB 90.1 FM The eagle, KUMD, KQAL, KUMD, KSRQ and more


  • Added: Dec 21, 2011
  • Length: 58:57
  • Purchases: 6
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In this final episode of "Classic Jazz MN," Butch Thompson provides the inside story on the Emporium of Jazz in Mendota, Minnesota — just across th...

Bought by KUMD, KUMD, KSRQ, and WTIP


  • Added: Nov 23, 2011
  • Length: 58:00
  • Purchases: 4
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In this episode of "Classic Jazz MN," Butch Thompson looks at some extraordinary events of the early 1960s. The main focus is a pair of concerts at...

Bought by KPIP-LP, KUMD, KUMD, KSRQ, and WTIP


  • Added: Nov 23, 2011
  • Length: 58:00
  • Purchases: 5
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In 1952, jazz cornetist Doc Evans returned to the Twin Cities after a five-year stay in Chicago — the only time he ever lived outside of Minnesota....

Bought by KUMD, KUMD, KSRQ, and WTIP


  • Added: Nov 23, 2011
  • Length: 58:00
  • Purchases: 4
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Jazz cornetist Paul "Doc" Evans, born in Spring Valley, Minnesota in 1907, heard his first real jazz recordings (on 78 rpm discs) shortly after enr...

Bought by KUMD, KSRQ, and WTIP


  • Added: Nov 23, 2011
  • Length: 58:00
  • Purchases: 3
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After going through foster care, this Minneapolis High School kids wonders about the good accomplished by foster care.

  • Added: Aug 24, 2011
  • Length: 01:00
Caption: Darshon Moore, Credit: Philip Nusbaum
Darshon Moore speaks from experience of having parents representing differing cultural backgrounds

  • Added: Aug 24, 2011
  • Length: 01:00
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Evan McHenry, a student at Susan B Anthony middle School in Minneapolis seriously compares pancakes and waffles. He prefers waffles because they ar...

  • Added: May 14, 2011
  • Length: 01:00
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Tenzin Wongmo, a student at Susan B Anthony middle School in Minneapolis thinks that there is too much talking behind peoples' backs. She proposes ...

  • Added: May 14, 2011
  • Length: 01:00
Caption: Danee Voss, Credit: Philip Nusbaum
Danee Voss, a student at Susan B Anthony middle School in Minneapolis talked to her mother about the function of music at different ages. The resul...

  • Added: May 14, 2011
  • Length: 01:00