Showing Archived Posts

“Chill and Jam” at The Nomads Festival

Posted August 23rd, 2017 at 12:01 pm (UTC-4)
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Every year in mid-March, the International Nomads Festival brings people from around the world to the desert town of M’hamid el Ghizlane. They gather to celebrate nomadic life of the Sahara desert. For three days and nights, the town is abuzz with activities ranging from 4×4 Sahara tours to the Great Dunes of Erg Chigaga to late night, desert-rock concerts. In 2017, […]

Sounds from Southern Morocco: Festival Taragalte

Posted February 27th, 2015 at 2:54 pm (UTC-4)

In late January, I traveled to the edge of the Sahara Desert in Morocco to participate in an African music festival called Festival Taragalte. It took place in the dunes just outside the dusty oasis town of M’Hamid El Ghizlane or “Town of the Gazelles.” It was the Door of the Sahara or “Porte du Sahara” […]

Posted in Mali, Morocco

Khadija al Bidawiya: Queen of Al-Aita Marsawiya

Posted February 24th, 2011 at 9:27 pm (UTC-4)

Hello again!  I am happy to announce that, after a brief hiatus, African Music Treasures is back with a new design—let me know what you think—and more musical gems to share with you.  First up: the long promised Khadija el Bidawiya feature. Khadija el Bidawiya was born in 1953, in Ben Msik Sbata, the densely […]

Posted in Morocco

Khadija al Bidaouia Teaser

Posted June 1st, 2010 at 8:34 pm (UTC-4)

I first heard the music of Khadija al Bidaouia back in the mid 1990s and I soon became obsessed with her strident voice and the rhythmic punch of her music. Fifteen years later my love for her music has not diminished. I have just returned from a trip to Morocco, and am pleased to report […]

Posted in Morocco

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

Sufi Sounds

Posted September 16th, 2008 at 7:05 pm (UTC-4)

Over the last forty years there has been a growing interest among European and American scholars and seekers in Sufism, the mystical dimension of Islam. In particular, many musicians and music-lovers have drawn inspiration from the musical rituals that serve as roadmaps for the many Sufi paths to enlightment. Today, for example, recordings by artists […]

Posted in Morocco



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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