Africa News & Features

05 November 2009 

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Music Time in Africa

Music Time in Africa: The A Team
Matthew Lavoie
Leo Sarkisian

African Music Treasures Blog

Music Time in Africa has become the world’s number one forum in recognition of Africa’s great contribution to the cultural arts of mankind. The full 60 minute show airs Saturdays and Sundays.  

The program, broadcast by VOA’s Africa Service, and Voice of America’s longest-running music program, was created 40 years ago by Leo Sarkisian, veteran writer and broadcaster affectionately known by millions as VOA’s Musicman for Africa. For the past four decades, Leo’s deep and extensive knowledge of African music has cultivated a vast audience in Africa and around the world. Although beamed primarily to Africa, Music Time in Africa is heard around the world in English: fan letters come from Poland, Scandinavia, India, Japan, Australia and European countries.

Now in his eighties, Leo’s own choice for a successor was Matthew Lavoie, an ethnomusicologist he met several years ago at the University of Michigan. Matthew joined VOA’s Africa Service in June 2004, and as the new Musicman for Africa, he now writes and produces the weekly music program. The “TEAM” continues to be commended by its millions of fans for its deep dedication in keeping the bonds between America and other countries strong with its portrayal of the true Africa and the most authentic traditional sounds of music.

Start to finish, Music Time in Africa is not anything too fancy or technical, but simply just down-to-earth information about music, traditions and customs, rhythm styles, musical instruments and all about the musicmakers, the old and the new, including those in the African diaspora with the exciting sounds of music by the various peoples from all over the continent.

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