All posts by Matthew Lavoie

Unreleased Cardinal Rex Jim Lawson, 1965

Posted December 29th, 2009 at 9:42 pm (UTC-4)

As this year comes to an end, I would like to take a moment to thank all of you who continue to get in touch, through email, over the phone, and by letter. All of your feedback is appreciated and very encouraging. Most of the features that I’ve published on the blog have taken weeks, […]

Posted in Nigeria

The Golden Era of Omdurman Songs

Posted December 16th, 2009 at 10:27 pm (UTC-4)

The largest city in the Sudan, Omdurman, is the country’s economic and cultural capital (as well as being home to the Sudan’s three most popular soccer clubs). For the last seven decades, this city located on the West Bank of the Nile River, has exerted a magnetic pull on the Sudan’s most talented singers, poets, […]

Posted in Sudan

Radio Sudan… Coming soon

Posted November 30th, 2009 at 4:20 pm (UTC-4)
1 comment

I am currently working on a post featuring some wonderful and unusual recordings from the Sudan ( jazz, Mambo, rock n’ roll) that were recorded by the Sudanese National Radio back in the 1960s.  In the meantime I thought I’d share some beautiful tracks by a few of the Sudan’s musical legends.  These recordings were […]

Posted in Sudan

Gifts from Listeners

Posted October 28th, 2009 at 8:35 pm (UTC-4)

After several long and time consuming posts, and while I am working on the next long one, I thought I’d squeeze in a brief post featuring some of the many wonderful recordings that our listeners have sent us over the years; this first batch includes a few of my favorites from West African listeners. The […]

Posted in Various

Jean Bikoko Aladin The King of Assiko

Posted September 16th, 2009 at 8:54 pm (UTC-4)

When I first started, twenty years ago, to explore the musics of Africa, recordings of many popular African styles, and detailed information about them, were hard to come by. Today, thanks especially to the generous efforts of dedicated African music bloggers (all of whom are more prolific than I am), there is a wealth of […]

Posted in Cameroon

Eritrea’s Guayla King, Bereket Mengisteab

Posted August 25th, 2009 at 8:06 pm (UTC-4)

Several weeks ago, I distractedly picked up my ringing phone to hear a colleague ask, ‘haven’t you been trying to get in touch with Bereket Mengisteab?’ I had, in fact, wanted to interview the Eritrean music legend for quite some time. ‘Well’, my colleague continued, ‘he has just stopped by the VOA’s Horn of Africa […]

Posted in Eritrea

Rockin’ Rouicha

Posted July 22nd, 2009 at 7:14 pm (UTC-4)

The late 1980s and early 1990s ‘World Music Boom’, when a decent selection of African music first started to appear in non-specialist shops in Europe and the United States, helped many artists reach new audiences; I can still remember the excitement of discovering Youssou N’dour’s 1990 release ‘Set’. However, despite its many successes, the ‘World […]

Posted in Morocco

Ghanaian guitars

Posted June 3rd, 2009 at 10:37 pm (UTC-4)

One of the qualities, I find, that is shared by many of the musics that most appeal to me is the ability to create and sustain juxtapositions between different, and often seemingly contradictory, moods or ‘feelings’. The mysterious ways in which, for example, the best Brazilian Bossa Nova can simultaneously express contentment and melancholy, or […]

Posted in Ghana

E.T. Mensah The King of Highlife

Posted June 1st, 2009 at 9:16 pm (UTC-4)

One of the greatest joys of an intuitively organized-read disheveled-archive is the potential for surprise discoveries. Even after ten years of poking through our stacks of reels I still find interesting recordings I have never heard. Over the last month, whenever I could find a few minutes, I have gone down to the archive and […]

Posted in Ghana

La Rumba Centrafricaine

Posted April 30th, 2009 at 12:17 am (UTC-4)

Nestled in the heart of the Continent, the Central African Republic is surrounded by some of Africa’s most fertile musical cultures, and over the last fifty years her musicians have struggled, and continue to struggle, to make themselves heard above the din of Cameroonian and Congolese rhythms that flood the region’s airwaves. Despite the many […]



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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