Showing Archived Posts

Malian Music Prevails in Troubled Times: Rap/Hip Hop Music and Festivals Rally to Rebuild the Nation

Posted August 30th, 2012 at 5:47 pm (UTC-5)

Mali Without Music? The African nation of Mali is often described as one of the most culturally diverse, tolerant, and musical places on the continent. Since the coup d’etat on 22 March 2012, however, when a faction of the military seized power from the government, it sent the country into a tailspin of unanticipated consequences. […]

Posted in Mali

An Interview with the Debo Band

Posted August 10th, 2012 at 6:17 pm (UTC-5)

On July 14th I had the chance to meet the American-Ethiopian Debo Band. The drove to our VOA studios in Washington, DC, directly from New York to squeeze in an interview before their next concert in the District at the U Street Music Hall. The two pieces that the bare-boned quartet performed in the studio, […]

Sipho’s Newest Big Hit

Posted August 6th, 2012 at 6:34 pm (UTC-5)

A few days ago I caught wind of some music news in South Africa. The legendary musician Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse just “dropped” a new hit; but the “hit” wasn’t music, and the verb wasn’t “drop”–it was “pass”. At age 61, Sipho had just passed the matric, the equivalent to the US high school diploma. Sipho […]

Posted in South Africa



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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