Showing Archived Posts

Music Time in Africa Turns 50

Posted May 29th, 2015 at 1:08 pm (UTC-4)

Music Time in Africa: A Narrative Timeline of 50 Years on Air The music radio program “Music Time in Africa” from the English to Africa Service of VOA celebrates its 50th Anniversary of broadcasting African music to Africa this month. A Golden Anniversary of practically any kind is  generally a good reason for celebration. But […]

A Concert for Willis

Posted May 22nd, 2014 at 2:44 pm (UTC-4)

On Tuesday April 29th, the sounds of live jazz rang out in the Voice of America auditorium.  A concert was held to celebrate a studio dedication in honor of our own legendary Jazz producer and broadcaster Willis Conover. Two groups were featured, the U.S. Navy Band Commodores and yours truly, Heather Maxwell and my trio. The […]

Posted in Uncategorized

Mali’s Mamadou Kelly Sticks to Classic Sahelian Sound

Posted February 14th, 2014 at 8:40 pm (UTC-4)
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Mamadou Kelly was a name I hadn’t heard of before, but his new CD was compelling. The music in Adibar, released in 2013 by Clermont Music, made me stop everything I was doing at the time and just listen. There are no bells and whistles to this music; no novelty, no modern twist. Kelly’s sound […]

Posted in Mali, Uncategorized

In Pursuit of African Music CDs & Vinyl

Posted July 26th, 2012 at 5:02 pm (UTC-4)

The music business is really different today than a decade ago. CDs and cassettes and vinyl discs are all but relics of the past. Downloads from iTunes,,,, and a host of other music sites are the natural way that American youth and young adults acquire their music. Most statistics on illegal downloading […]

Northern Mali Comes to Washington, D.C.

Posted June 14th, 2012 at 5:12 pm (UTC-4)

Tinariwen, the phenomenal guitar-based Tuareg group, will play for us here at the Howard Theater in downtown DC.  The group won a Grammy Award in February 2012 for Best World Music Album. Get ready for an exciting report on the show coming up early next week. In the meantime, here is a video segment of […]

Posted in Ghana, Mali, Uncategorized

Welcome to the New African Music Treasures

Posted June 11th, 2012 at 4:08 pm (UTC-4)

In case you haven’t noticed, the VOA radio show, Music Time in Africa, and this companion blog has a new face; and it’s me!  So let me begin this new chapter in the history of VOA’s longest running show to introduce myself. I’m Heather Maxwell and am delighted to be taking up the reigns from […]

Papa Ntita Albert, Mbuji Mayi, 2011

Posted April 14th, 2011 at 11:31 pm (UTC-4)

I have just returned from a month in the Democratic Republic of the Congo that confirmed my long held conviction that the DRC is the most musical country on the planet. Often called the beating heart of Central Africa, Kinshasa―despite the city’s many problems―remains obsessed with music. From thousands of churches, from the bars of […]



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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