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Jon Bream Selected for 2017 Award for Excellence

SJMC Alumni Society Board selects the Minneapolis arts critic for the distinguished award.
February 28, 2017

The University of Minnesota School of Journalism and Mass Communication Alumni Society Board has selected Jon Bream (BA ’74) as the recipient of the 2017 Award for Excellence. The award will be presented on Tuesday, April 18, 2017 as part of the school’s annual Spring Showcase event.

Jon Bream is recognized for his long-time work in arts criticism at the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Having been at the newspaper since 1975, Bream has the longest tenure of any current daily newspaper full-time pop-music critic in the country.

“I’m honored to be singled out for this award, especially since so many people with whom I worked at the Minnesota Daily have had distinguished careers in media, law and other fields,” Bream said. “But only one other person from my era at the Daily has received this award.”

Bream’s work has appeared everywhere from the Boston Globe and the Los Angeles Times to Rolling Stone and TV Guide. He is a longtime voter for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the author of the best-selling biographies Prince: Inside the Purple Reign (1984) and Whole Lotta Led Zeppelin: The Illustrated History of the Heaviest Band of All Time (2008, second edition 2015, now published in seven languages).

Considered an expert on Prince, Bob Dylan and other pop culture topics, Bream has been interviewed by media from around the world including the BBC, CNN, CBS, the CBC, NPR, Sirius XM, WNYC, USA Today and Switzerland’s Le Temps.  

In 2016, Bream sold his 25,000-piece vinyl collection to start the Jon Bream Scholarship for Arts Criticism at the University of Minnesota. He mentors each scholarship recipient.

“I believe in giving back to the University of Minnesota’s SJMC because my experiences there opened so many doors for me,” he said. “Moreover, working with future journalists has been a longtime passion for me. Learning is a life-long process and a two-way street—I learn from interacting with students and hopefully they learn from me.”

Want to come celebrate Bream, scholarship recipients and SJMC graduates? Buy tickets here to attend the 2017 Spring Showcase