Heather Maxwell
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 Heather Maxwell

Music Post-Ebola: Artist Amaze says Hipco Songs Made Tremendous Impact

Posted September 20th, 2016 at 2:21 pm (UTC-4)
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Music had a big role to play both during and in the aftermath of the West Africa Ebola epidemic. I found that out when I visited Monrovia in August. A lot of artists wrote songs about the personal experiences people had facing the disease. Henry Amazin’ Toe, a.k.a Amaze, is a well-established hipco artist who composed and […]

Posted in Liberia

Monrovia Music: Introducing Liberia’s Hipco Star Teddy Ride

Posted September 16th, 2016 at 12:28 pm (UTC-4)
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On August 9th, 2016 I visited Liberia, about eight months after it was declared Ebola Free. My VOA colleague Jackson Mvunganyi and I went as a team to learn the role music played during and after the epidemic that ravaged that country in 2014-2015. We held a Town Hall meeting and over six days met with […]

Posted in Liberia

Debo Band Revisited

Posted June 15th, 2016 at 12:48 pm (UTC-4)
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On Friday, May 20th the Debo Band performed at Tropicalia in Washington DC. I caught up with the bandleader and saxophonist Danny Mekonnen just before soundcheck. I’d met most of the band four years earlier when they came to DC to promote their debut album Debo Band. I was excited to hear them again. The […]

Mokoomba

Posted May 6th, 2016 at 4:38 pm (UTC-4)
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Mookomba in Studio 4 April 6, 2016. Studio 4 at the Voice of America in Washington DC. In 2012 I discovered Mokoomba through by way of the common internet surf. The young Tongan group from northern Zimbabwe were making a smashing impression on the international music scene. They had just released their 2nd album Rising […]

Posted in Zimbabwe

Go Get ’em Edem

Posted April 5th, 2016 at 2:42 pm (UTC-4)
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One of West Africa’s most exciting recording artists came to visit me at VOA headquarters. His name is Denning Edem Hotor. This 29-year old, dread-headed rapper from Ghana goes by the stage name Edem. He has a couple of slogans too: “Go get ’em Edem!” and “Special Delivery”.   Edem is a force in Ghana […]

Posted in Ghana

AfroJazz Vocalist Loide Jorge

Posted January 29th, 2016 at 1:21 pm (UTC-4)
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Loide Jorge is a true daughter of the Diaspora. She was born in France to parents from Mozambique and Guinea-Bissau, and then raised most of her life in the US.  Ms. Jorge’s music and vocal style is an organic confluence of her diverse experiences and influences. Her sound and spirit are unique. Enjoy this 30 […]

Bado’s modern Taarab from Coastal Kenya

Posted December 15th, 2015 at 12:21 pm (UTC-4)
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Taarab is a Swahili style of traditional music generally associated with Tanzania and Zanzibar.  Coastal Kenya is rocking it today, though. Back in September when I was in Nairobi I had the pleasure of meeting Bado. His real name is Mohammed Said Ngana and he’s from Kilifi County, Malindi District, in the central part of […]

Posted in Kenya

An Evening with Msafiri Zawose and the Sauti Band

Posted November 25th, 2015 at 11:04 am (UTC-4)
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In September 2015, I spent five days in Nairobi, Kenya. Our East African music collection needed refreshing so I spent my time hunting down the hotspots for CD outlets and music production and live performance. The most memorable live performance was by Tanzanian Msafiri Zawose, master of the zeze a 10-string, harp lute. He’s leader […]

Posted in Tanzania

Eight Days in Cameroon: Part 2

Posted July 28th, 2015 at 11:22 am (UTC-4)
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As promised, this post comes as a follow-up to Post 1 chronicling my musical encounters in Cameroon in June of 2014. Part 2 features more musicians I met in Yaounde and also in Buea – the capital of the Southwest Region – nestled at the foothills of the breathtaking Mount Cameroon. It also peeks into […]

Posted in Cameroon

Eight Days of Music in Cameroon: Part 1

Posted July 10th, 2015 at 5:06 pm (UTC-4)
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Last June I visited Cameroon for the first time.  My eight-day mission was twofold: Introduce new audiences to Music Time in Africa and other VOA African music programs, and share my brand of American vocal jazz with Cameroonians. Highlights of my performances and workshops were well documented by the Cultural Affairs Office of the U.S. […]

Posted in Cameroon

About

About

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 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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