Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Africa calls, America answers

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I hope this email finds you in good spirits.

My name is Matthew Lavoie. I am a music broadcaster and producer for
the Africa service of the Voice of America in Washington DC. We
broadcast throughout Africa (on shortwave, mediumwave, and fm) in
English, French, Portuguese, Amharic, Tigrigna, Oromo, Hausa, Swahili,
Ndebele, Shona, Kinyarwanda, Kirundi and Somali.

Over the last year I have been a regular 'Matsuli' visitor. I've always
enjoyed the music you featured, in particular the great series of
'African serenades' you posted. I discovered a lot of tracks I hadn't
heard before.

Your efforts to promote good music and enthusiasm have inspired me to
share some of the recordings in our VOA African music collection. We
have a collection of over 10,000 audioreels, several thousand lps and
45s, and thousands of cassettes and cds. Our collection includes music
from every country on the continent. Many of our recordings were made
exclusively for use on VOA music programs (for e.g. we have unreleased
reels of the Cuban Marimba band, unreleased reels of Fela & the Koola
Lobitos, Cardinal Rex Lawson,Geraldo Pino and more). Our radio programs
are, however,broadcast exclusively in Africa and your blog has helped
convince me that there are many other potentially interested African
music lovers who would enjoy some of our recordings.

I am just getting this blog up and rolling. I will be adding new
entries weekly. Here is the link

Thanks again for all of the great music you've been spotlighting at
Matsuli. I can't wait to hear the new Orchestre Baobab disc (it still
hasn't reached the US). Many years ago Rudy Gomis was my Wolof teacher
and I used to hang around his house listening to his band rehearse and
imagine what a reformed Baobab would sound like. The clip of the new
Amazones also sounds very good.

Matthew Lavoie
The Voice of America

1 comment:

Muddy said...

Your blog is off to a great start. In Walked Bud is one of my favorite tunes. It's neat to be able to hear a familiar tune played in a strange way.

I like all of it, and can't wait for the next edition.