About Jazz88

Recognized as the Twin Cities’ public radio voice for jazz, roots music and education, Jazz88 is a program of the Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS). MPS students 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.

A Brief History

The broadcasting education program that spawned KBEM was established at Minneapolis Vocational High School in the mid-1960s. The station signed on in 1970, carrying a widely varied checkerboard of programming. In 1983, it moved to new facilities in North High School as part of the District’s desegregation initiative and it continues to reside there today.  Jazz music became the main programming focus in the mid-1980s and the station started to build a loyal and sizeable audience. 

Today, Jazz88 is financially self-sufficient through listener donations, grants, partnerships, and business support, taking no cash subsidy from the school district.  The Radio curriculum now teaches general professional and academic skills and media literacy through project-based work on and off the air.  The majority of students involved with the Radio curriculum and school-year Jazz With Class program attend North High School, but students from all around the city participate as reporters for the School News segment, and as summer employees through the Step-Up program.

Mission, Vision and Values

Mission:  KBEM is Minneapolis Public Schools’ voice for education and jazz.

Vision: Expand our educational program while inspiring the support and participation of our listening audience.

Values:

  • Leadership: Anticipating important issues and developing sound solutions.
  • Innovation: Applying creative solutions to address important issues.
  • Excellence: Ensuring quality and customer satisfaction in all that we do.
  • Collaboration: Developing partnerships that add to our effectiveness, resources and perspective.
  • Inclusiveness: Valuing the diversity of all whom we serve.
  • Professionalism: Hiring, developing, retaining and recognizing an exceptional staff.
  • Stewardship: Earning and sustaining the trust of our members and partners through the effective management of our resources.
  • Continuous Learning: Embracing a culture of individual development, coaching and mentoring to create a powerful learning environment.

Coverage

Jazz88 broadcasts at 2,900 watts from 479 feet above average terrain, from a tower in Falcon Heights solidly serving the Twin Cities metropolitan area. View our coverage map. Out to the light blue circle, acceptable reception is possible on high-quality car radios and home stereos with outdoor antennas. Inside the red circle, most radios will receive us in most situations. Reception is highly dependent on the location and quality of the radio being used, local interference and terrain, building construction, and atmospheric conditions. Better results can generally be achieved by relocating the radio, reorienting its power cord, attaching an inexpensive wire dipole antenna, or connecting to an outdoor antenna (purpose-built or already in place for TV reception).

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