Showing Archived Posts

Bado’s modern Taarab from Coastal Kenya

Posted December 15th, 2015 at 12:21 pm (UTC-4)

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

Kenya’s Jabali Africa Performs “Percussion Discussion” and More – Studio 4

Posted August 25th, 2014 at 8:28 pm (UTC-4)

Before I left for Central Africa in May and June, I had the opportunity to invite a local, Washington- area Kenyan band for a music interview here at VOA headquarters. They are called Jabali Africa or The Rock of Africa. Check out this great interview and music, including an amazing instrumental piece aptly titled “Percussion […]

Posted in Kenya

1Beat Brings New African Music to Washington

Posted October 22nd, 2012 at 2:56 pm (UTC-4)
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A trio of musicians from different regions of Africa joined me in VOA’s Studio 4 here in Washington for some good conversation and music. The artists (from left to right) are Nigerian Kayode Kuti on bass and vocals, Kenyan Kato Change (pronounced CHAN-GAY) on guitar, and Mozambican Helio Vanimal on vocals and body percussion. They […]

The Kawere Boys

Posted November 12th, 2008 at 3:53 pm (UTC-4)

Over the last two years- through the thousands of emails, phone calls and letters I have received from listeners throughout Africa- I have gained some insight into the many ways in which the presidential campaign of Senator Barack Obama inspired the continent. This enthusiasm blossomed into collective euphoria when, one week ago, Senator Obama was […]

Posted in Kenya



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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