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VOA Debuts African Music Blog


Features music and music commentary, audio clips, bios, and chats

Washington, D.C., January 8, 2008 – The Voice of America (VOA) has launched African Music Treasures, its first weblog ("blog") designed especially for African music fans around the world.

Matthew Lavoie, host of VOA's popular Music Time in Africa music show, will moderate the blog featuring music from VOA's extensive and rare African music collection, music commentary, audio clips, bios of interesting musicians, and chats with online participants.

"Our archive is overflowing with rare music from every country in Africa," said Lavoie. "I'm excited to share it with my fellow enthusiasts," he added.

One of the featured artists on the new blog is Rwandan musician Bizimungu Dieudonne. Dieudonne became a well-known performer throughout Kigali in the late 1980s and early 1990s and was later killed in the 1994 Rwanda genocide. Audio clips of Dieudonne favorites, including "Tabara Ryangombe," a song depicting the struggles of Rwandan youth, are available on the blog.

VOA's African music archive houses more than 10,000 music titles, including the Leo Sarkisian Library of African Music. Sarkisian, an internationally known musician and ethnomusicologist, amassed the collection during nearly 50 years of traveling in and broadcasting to Africa.

VOA's English to Africa Service provides a wide variety of text, audio and video reports on its website, and provides a stream of audio programming 24 hours a day, 7 days a week over the Internet. English to Africa also broadcasts to Africa through shortwave and medium wave radio, through a growing partnership with more than 40 FM radio affiliates, as well as through two dedicated VOA 24-hour FM radio stations in Accra, Ghana and Nairobi, Kenya.

Join African Music Treasures by logging on to www.VOAafrica.com and clicking on the African Music Blog link.

The Voice of America, which first went on the air in 1942, is a multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. government through the Broadcasting Board of Governors. VOA broadcasts more than 1,000 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural Programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of more than 115 million people. Programs are produced in 45 languages.

For more information, call the Office of Public Affairs at (202) 203-4959, or e-mail publicaffairs@voa.gov.

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