Dr. Heather Maxwell
Dr. Heather Maxwell produces and hosts the award winning radio program "Music Time in Africa" and is the African Music Editor for the Voice of America. Heather is an ethnomusicologist with a Ph.D. from Indiana University specializing in African Music. She is also an accomplished jazz and Afrojazz/Afrosoul vocalist and has been working, researching, and performing in Africa and the U.S. since 1987.

All posts by Dr. Heather Maxwell

Music Time in Rwanda – Nyundo and Rubavu

Posted July 11th, 2014 at 3:08 pm (UTC+0)
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  When I first arrived in Rwanda it was already dark. Ben and Mugabo from the U.S. embassy met me at the gate and swiftly checked me into a hotel. After the 16-hour flight from Washington, D.C. it didn’t take long before I was fast asleep. The next morning at dawn’s first light, I re-packed […]

Posted in Rwanda

Pantaleon Playing Mvet – Direct from Yaounde

Posted June 25th, 2014 at 7:18 pm (UTC+0)
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I recently returned from an exciting music tour in Rwanda and Cameroon. I brought back fantastic music cds and audiovisual field recordings of time spent performing and work-shopping with local artists, students, and broadcast journalists. This short clip features a traditional poet musician from the Eton-speaking region of Cameroon. His name is Pantaleon and he […]

Posted in Cameroon

A Concert for Willis

Posted May 22nd, 2014 at 2:44 pm (UTC+0)
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On Tuesday April 29th, the sounds of live jazz rang out in the Voice of America auditorium.  A concert was held to celebrate a studio dedication in honor of our own legendary Jazz producer and broadcaster Willis Conover. Two groups were featured, the U.S. Navy Band Commodores and yours truly, Heather Maxwell and my trio. The […]

Posted in Uncategorized

An interview with “The White Zulu”

Posted April 14th, 2014 at 6:28 pm (UTC+0)
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Johnny Clegg and son Jesse, who is his opening act, are touring North America for three months of non-stop shows from New York to California. My next question was, “What can I ask this icon that the world over doesn’t know already?” When I told a West African friend of mine that Clegg was coming […]

Posted in South Africa

Mali’s Trail Blazers of Traditional Music

Posted March 19th, 2014 at 5:37 pm (UTC+0)
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Today’s post takes an exciting departure from my typical in-studio interview sessions at Voice of America headquarters. This time, I brought Voice of America with me to the University of Maryland to record an African music event entitled “Music, Mali, and Citizen Diplomacy“. I also sat on the panel of this unique performance and discussion […]

Posted in Mali

Mali’s Mamadou Kelly Sticks to Classic Sahelian Sound

Posted February 14th, 2014 at 8:40 pm (UTC+0)
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Mamadou Kelly was a name I hadn’t heard of before, but his new CD was compelling. The music in Adibar, released in 2013 by Clermont Music, made me stop everything I was doing at the time and just listen. There are no bells and whistles to this music; no novelty, no modern twist. Kelly’s sound […]

Posted in Mali, Uncategorized

Two Big Cissoko Releases

Posted January 7th, 2014 at 6:47 pm (UTC+0)
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Sousou Cissoko and her husband Maher Cissoko are a musical couple who definitely drum, or more appropriately strum to their own beat. In 2011 I saw them perform in Mali and admired the way they captured their audiences. Their music was tight and original too, but we didn’t meet back then so I was excited […]

Posted in Senegal

A Soulful Session with Tosin

Posted December 16th, 2013 at 5:51 pm (UTC+0)
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Washington D.C. is an exciting city in many ways. It experiences a steady flow of high-stake dramas — the 2013 government shutdown, the bumpy roll-out of the Affordable Care Act; the world’s first exhibition of yogic art, the naming of baby panda Bao Bao; fierce  lunchtime food trucks, local hip-hop music known as go-go, and […]

Posted in Nigeria

Noura Mint Seymali Makes Mauritanian Music International

Posted November 19th, 2013 at 4:24 pm (UTC+0)
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On September 29th 2013, Noura Mint Seymali — a leading female vocalist and ardine player from Mauritania — came to VOA to record a session with me on Music Time in Africa.  Noura was on tour in the U.S. promoting her latest CD Azawan II, a cutting edge, traditional electro-fusion style of Mauritanian music.   […]

Tartit’s Tuareg Women: Strong and Independent

Posted October 31st, 2013 at 2:28 pm (UTC+0)
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As part of the 2013 Caravan for Peace Tour, Tartit was the second Malian group to come through Washington D.C. on July 29th. This post features my interview with them in French — with English subtitles. It was a thrill to see Disco again (Fadimata Walet Omar) after ten years. If you haven’t learned about […]

Posted in Mali

About

About

Heather Maxwell produces and hosts the award-winning radio program “Music Time in Africa” and is the Africa Music Director for the Voice of America. Heather is an ethnomusicologist with Doctorate and Master’s degrees from Indiana University specializing in African Music. She is also an accomplished jazz and Afrojazz/Afrosoul vocalist and has been working, researching, and performing in Africa and the U.S. since 1987.

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