KBEM Radio in Minneapolis is proud to announce St. Paul Live!, a radio program featuring musicians recorded live in venues in and around downtown Saint Paul. The program returns to the KBEM broadcast schedule in January.
The series will air each Monday from 9 to 10 p.m. beginning Monday, Jan. 7, 2013, on KBEM, 88.5FM and on-line at www.jazz88fm.com. It will then be repeated for a total of 26 weeks, and made available to out-state radio stations in the AMPERS network. Each episode will feature two different artists.
Thanks to major support from the Saint Paul Cultural STAR Program, KBEM was able to record a total of over 50 musicians in 15musical groups performing in six different venues plus a neighborhood music festival.
Larry Englund, producer of the series, noted “There’s a lot more music, especially jazz, being presented in Saint Paul, than is generally recognized. We’re pleased that the Cultural STAR program recognized this unique opportunity.”
Ten of the featured groups play jazz of one sort or another and include vocalists, a spoken word ensemble, free improvisers, and modern jazz groups, while the rest encompass Latin, roots, and blues. Some of the featured artists include Eric Kamau Gravatt, Butch Thompson and Pat Donahue, the Cory Wong Quartet, Chris Lomheim, Mary Louise Knutson, Nikki & the Rue-Mates, and from Miami, Araya Orta. Each of the thirteen episodes will feature at least two different artists, though many of the artists will appear on more than one episode.
The live recordings took place at the Artists’ Quarter, The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Studio Z, the Amsterdam Bar & Hall, and the Twin Cities Jazz Festival.
Students from the Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Arts and Minneapolis’ North High School will serve as hosts for the series.
Michele Jansen, KBEM Station Manager, said “We’re excited once again for this opportunity to showcase artists and venues in Saint Paul by partnering with the city, its venues, and organizations like the Conservatory. We’re happy to produce a second year of shows, to allow even more artists to be part of St. Paul Live!”
Oak Grove Capital, a national mortgage lender based in Saint Paul, provided additional support for the series. Oak Grove Capitalspecializes in affordable housing, market rate multifamily housing, seniors’ housing and healthcare.“St. Paul Live! combines a number of the most important things to me, meaning, kids, education, jazz, and Saint Paul. This is a great opportunity for kids to get a direct connection to live music, make a positive impact on the community and give them a sense of accomplishment” said Oak Grove Capital President Kevin Filter. “These are all good things.”
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.