Chris Heim

Music Producer

Chicago native Chris Heim began a lifelong love affair with radio after wandering into the campus station at the University of Chicago and being unexpectedly offered a music show. She got her first job in radio at one of the area’s last “free-form” stations, worked at Chicago’s only progressive rock station and then joined Chicago’s NPR affiliate. It was here where she hosted a jazz show and a world music show (the latter being one of the longest running world music shows in public radio). She has also served as a Music Director and produced and anchored national broadcasts of the city’s jazz, blues, and Latin music festivals, as well as a long-running series done in partnership with Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theater.


At KMUW, Chris produces and hosts Global Village, a nationally and internationally distributed world music show heard in more than 40 states and nearly 40 countries; the nightly jazz show Night Train, and Crossroads, KMUW’s twice-weekly blues and R&B show. In 2020, Chris received first place in Special Program from the Kansas Association of Broadcasters for Global Village at the Savannah Music Festival, as well as first place in DJ Personality Air Check for Night Train.

Chris received a Master of Arts in communication from Wichita State University. Chris is also a freelance writer whose work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune (where she had a weekly column), Utne, Global Rhythm, Dirty Linen, and Option, among others. She serves as a participating critic in several Best of the Year polls, including DownBeat, NPR Jazz, Transglobal World Music Chart and fRoots.

Ways to Connect

Monday, December 28

The final Monday of every month, we present Global Village at the Savannah Music Festival, our award-winning monthly concert series (First Place in the 2020 Kansas Association of Broadcasters Annual Awards in the Special Program category) showcasing top world music artists and groups who have appeared at the prestigious annual festival that takes place each spring in Savannah, Georgia.

Throughout December Global Village has been featuring Portugal’s distinctive fado music. One of the major contemporary stars in the style, known for her dramatic performances and one of the artists who brought the music to international audiences, is the singer Mariza. We’ll hear her riveting performance in this edition of Global Village at the Savannah Music Festival.

Tuesday, December 29

Today is International Cello Day, celebrated in honor of the birthday of acclaimed cellist Pablo Casals. In this special edition of Global Village, we’ll highlight world cello music in a wide array of styles from musicians as leaders and as part of string ensembles. Among the artists featured are Matthieu Saglio, Jean-Guihen Queyras, Redi Haza, Las Hermanas Caronni, Leyla McCalla, Kronos Quartet (with Trio da Kali), Vincent Segal (with Ballake Sissoko), and more.

Wednesday, December 30

It’s Tea for Two this time in the Global Village in a show devoted to duos – twosomes from both the same musical traditions, and from different cultures who create an intriguing new blend of sounds. We’ll hear guitarists Ali Farka Toure and Ry Cooder, Talking Head David Byrne with Brazilian legend Caetano Veloso, kora player Ballake Sissoko with cellist Vincent Segal, cellist Matthieu Saglio with flamenco guitarist Jose ‘El Piru,’ singers June Tabor and Maddy Prior, the father and son duo of Toumani and Sidiki Diabate, and more.

Thursday, December 31

Global Village celebrates the birthday of June Tabor, one of the great voices of English folk and art music. We’ll hear releases she did under her own name, along with work she did with Maddy Prior and the Oyster Band. There’s new music as well – from Korean psychedelic folk band Coreyah, Algerian rock band Sidi Bemol, elegant guitar Duo Coincidencia, and Belgian world jazz chamber trio 3’Ain.

Friday, January 1

Global Village kicks off the new year and the January Best of 2020 feature with a special show devoted to our Top Ten favorite releases of the past year. We’ll hear music from Bantu, Kubix, Gaudi, Nohe & Sus Santos, Los Rurales, Trio Tekke, Khusugtun, Manhu, Gonzalo Rubalcaba with Aymee Nuviola, and Matthiew Saglio. Then join us throughout the month as we highlight other favorites, significant titles, tributes to artists who passed in 2020, and more musical reflections of the past year.

Monday, December 28

Night Train marks birthdays of Lonnie Liston Smith, Ed Thigpen, Earl Hines, and Michel Petrucciani; highlights new music from Bill Warfield and Ryan Cohen; and continues with December featured artists Clark Terry (with the Oscar Peterson Trio) and Dave Brubeck (featured in a Jazz Profiles special in hour two of the show).

Tuesday, December 29

Night Train marks International Cello Day with music from Oscar Pettiford, Dave Brubeck (with cellist son Matthew), and the Chico Hamilton Quintet (with groundbreaking jazz cellist Fred Katz). We also mark birthdays of pianists Danilo Perez and Sullivan Fortner (with 2020 Genius Grant recipient Cecile McLorin Salvant), and saxophonist Joe Lovano (including a special in hour two highlighting contemporary saxophonists inspired by Charlie Parker), and feature new music from Latin jazz trombonist Noah Bless, and saxophonist Ian Hendrickson-Smith.

Wednesday, December 30

Night Train marks birthdays of drummers Lewis Nash and Jerry Granelli, and guitarists Ron Affif and Frank Vignola (featured in a concert special in hour two of the show). Plus music from December featured artists Clark Terry and Dave Brubeck, and recent releases from Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers, Artemis and the Uptown Jazz Tentet.

Thursday, December 31

Night Train celebrates birthdays of Odetta, John Kirby and Jule Styne (including a special featuring his music in hour two of the show). There’s also new music from New Orleans High Society and the John Santos Sextet, some final selections from December featured artists Dave Brubeck and Clark Terry, and a few little musical gems especially for New Year’s Eve.

Friday, December 25, and Sunday, December 27

Crossroads steps aside for Blues American and R&B Christmas specials.

Monday, December 21

Night Train marks the first day of winter with a wide array of original and favorite songs of the season. Highlights include music from Cyrille Aimee, Sting, Al DiMeola, Frank Kimbrough and Dave Stryker in hour one; and Cyrus Chestnut, Pee Wee Ellis (of the James Brown Horns), the Yellowjackets, the Ted Rosenthal Trio, and Kurt Elling in hour two of the show.

Tuesday, December 22

Night Train continues a week-long holiday celebration with a show featuring new holiday titles. We’ll heaar selections from bassist Brian Bromberg, the British band Ill Considered, vibes player Warren Wolf, singer Lauren Henderson, the 3D Jazz Trio, the Eric Felten Jazz Orchestra (revisitng Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite), and Ernesto Cervini’s Turboprop. We’ll also revisits some old holiday favorites from December featured artist Dave Brubeck, Freddy Cole, Vince Guaraldi, Eric Reed, the Bill Cunliffe Trio, Rene Marie, and the Hollywood Tuba 12.

Wednesday, December 23

Night Train steps aside for holiday specials from Blue Dimensions featuring recent and classic holiday jazz selections from Les McCann, Freddie Cole, Dave Stryker, Jazz and Lincoln Center with vocalist Catherine Russell, and more.

Thursday, December 24

Night Train steps aside for a Dee Alexander Christmas Memories special in hour one, and Christmas Grooves in hour two.

Monday, December 21

Global Village marks the first day of winter with a show devoted to songs of the season. Artists featured include Leonard Cohen, Gil Scott-Heron, Boys of the Lough, Bebel Gilberto, ErsatzMusika, Loreena McKennitt, Esquivel and more.

Tuesday, December 22

As part of a week of holiday specials, this edition of Global Village is devoted to some of this year’s new holiday titles. Among the new musical presents showcased here are selections from an Ill Considered Christmas, reggae saxophonist Dean Fraser, female mariachi band Flor de Toloache, Eric Felten’s take on Ellington’s Nutcracker, a Caribbean flavored medley of seasonal songs from bassist Brian Bromberg, and a holiday song reimagined by Pedrito Martinez, Sofia Rea & Brian Skonberg.

Wednesday, December 23

It’s a Global Village holiday extravaganza, featuring seasonal favorites done world music style and holiday songs from various corners of the globe. Highlights include the salsa Christmas classic Asalto Navideño, a favorite from Louis Armstrong, a tiny Nutcracker from the Modern Mandolin Quartet, a holiday favorite done punk-polka style by Brave Combo, and songs of the season from the Caribbean and New Orleans.

Thursday, December 24

It’s a Global Village holiday extravaganza, featuring seasonal favorites done world music style and holiday songs from various corners of the globe. Highlights include some ‘favorite things’ of Grant Green’s, a trenchant holiday original from Pumpkin Head Ted, Bela Fleck & the Flecktones with Tuvan throat singers on an inventive version of a holiday favorite, a gypsy jazz celebration from the Gypsy Hombres, some Caribbean seasonal favorites, and a South African reinterpretation of a holiday classic.

Friday, December 25

Not a silent night, but a quiet one as Global Village celebrates the holiday season with some traditional, folk, and generally more gentle seasonal songs from around the globe - including some holiday Hawaiian slack key and flamenco guitar, along with performances from the Westminster Concert Bell Choir, Loreena McKennitt, Anuna, Chaise Lounge, Boys of the Lough, and the Modern Mandolin Quartet.

Friday, December 18 and Sunday, December 20

Crossroads highlights music from December featured artist Odetta, including holiday music she recorded, and a special in hour two from a memorial event that took place after Odetta passed away. Also, new and classic blues, and birthday salutes to Lonnie Brooks, Pee Wee Crayton, Rod Piazza, Eddie ‘Cleanhead’ Vinson, and Keith Richards.

Monday, December 14

Night Train marks the centennial birthday of featured artist Clark Terry in a special edition of the show. We’ll hear music from Terry in hour one, ranging from his early work with Ellington, to his debut album, and onto guest appearances he made with Ray Brown, Oscar Peterson, Dianne Reeves, Dinah Washington and more. Then a special in hour two surveys the life and career of the master trumpeter, mentor and pioneering jazz educator.

Tuesday, Decmeber 15

Night Train marks birthdays of trombonist Curtis Fuller (with John Coltrane), pianist Barry Harris, and Latin jazz piano master Eddie Palmieri (featured in a Piano Showdown Special in hour two of the show). We also continue with music from December featured artists Dave Brubeck (from the classic Time Out album) and Clark Terry (with saxophone great Coleman Hawkins), and highlight new releases from Cuban pianist Harold Lopez-Nussa and drummer Joe Farnsworth.

Wednesday, December 16

Night Train marks birthdays of multi-instrumentalist Joe Farrell, guitarist John Abercrombie, organist Johnny “Hammond” Smith, and songwriter Andy Razaf (featured in a special in hour two showcasing the classic songs he wrote with stride piano great Fats Waller). There’s more music from Dave Brubeck and Clark Terry (featured throughout the month for their centennial birthdays) and new releases from Cosmic Vibrations, Steve Cardenas, and 3 More Sounds.

Thursday, December 17

Tonight on the Night Train we highlight classic jazz quartets, including those led by John Coltrane, Benny Goodman and December featured artist Dave Brubeck, along with the World Saxophone Quartet, the Modern Jazz Quartet, Charlie Haden’s Quartet West, and the Classical Jazz Quartet.

Monday, December 14

Global Village devotes the entire show Latin soul boogaloo. We’ll hear classics and rarities from the all-too-brief period of the music’s heyday from the likes of Joe Cuba, Joe Bataan, the Fania All Stars, the Latinaires, Willie Bobo, Mongo Santamaria, and Ray Barretto.

Tuesday, December 15

Global Village highlights music from the Middle East and North Africa, including selections from NEA Heritage Fellow Rahim Alhaj, Rai modernizer Sofiane Saidi, Moroccan rockers Gabacho Maroc, a classic reissue from Nubian star Ali Hassan Kuban, oud master Rabih Abou-Khalil, Golan Heights brothers Tootard, and Palestinian brothers Le Trio Joubran.

Wednesday, December 16

In conjunction with the December Fado feature, Global Village marks the birthday of one of the biggest stars of the contemporary fado scene, the singer Mariza. We’ll hear music from her debut album, some of her signature songs, and some of the ways she has expanded the sound of fado to incorporate new elements and influences. Mariza will also be the featured artist for the December Global Village at the Savannah Music Festival show, airing later in the month. We’ll also hear the latest from Irish multi-instrumentalist John Doyle, the Mavericks first album En Español, and another contemporary fado singer – Carla Pires, and we’ll sneak in a little holiday cheer from guitarist Luis Villegas.

Thursday, December 17

Global Village highlights music from Crescent City legend Art Neville, Brazilian guitarist Carlos Barbosa-Lima, Wailers’ drummer Carlton Barrett, and harp man Paul Butterfield – all born on this date. We’ll also explore some music from Ethiopia, including the latest from the contemporary band Qwanqwa, and check out some of the latest from Nation Beat and Nohe & Sus Santos.

Friday, December 18

Global Village offers a little break from the cares of the day with a Global Village Dance Party. We’ll hear some lively sounds from Sugar Pie DeSanto with Etta James, the Skatalites, Tito Puente, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Nation Beat, Brave Combo’s Group Dance Epidemic, and more. So clear the floor, put on your dancing shoes and join us for some non-stop fun this time in the Global Village.

It pretty much goes without saying that if Shemekia Copeland has an album out, it will be on Best of the Year lists, though credit too to Will Kimbrough who co-wrote most of the songs, played guitar, and produced her latest album. We also couldn’t stop playing the 2020 release from soul blues veteran Frank Bey.

There were lots of fine classic and Chicago blues releases in 2020, including sets from Alex Dixon (Willie’s grandson), John Primer & Bob Corritore, Kim Wilson, and, happily back again, Nora Jean Wallace (Brusco).

Another great soul singer, Sonny Green, got his first full album after a decades-long career, while Maceo Parker returned with his first new release, a set of fun and funky favorites, in eight years.

Local favorites Dustin Arbuckle & the Damnations, and Mike Finnigan (with the Phantom Blues Band) did the town proud with their 2020 releases, while Quad Cities favorites, and 2020 International Blues Challenge Semi-Finalists, the Avey Grouws Band showed great promise with their debut release.

Among the acoustic blues offerings of the year were fine sets from Rory Block and Blind Lemon Pledge (who we would include if only for the name). Peter Parcek continues to prove he is among the most inventive of the blues guitarists on the scene today.

Speaking of inventive guitarists, Cindy Cashdollar — who has worked with Asleep at the Wheel, Paul Butterfield, Bob Dylan, Sonny Landreth, Marcia Ball and scores more —released a star-studded set of her own, not strictly blues, but too good not to include.

The cigar box guitar and earth-shaking vocals of Gina Coleman made the Misty Blues Band release a stand out. Solid stuff too this year from veterans Robert Cray, Ronnie Earl, Sugar Ray, and Lloyd Jones. And Savoy Brown, around now for 55 years (!) just keeps on keepin’ on – no surprises, but it’s hard not to like their trademark British blues rock sound.

Here are the Crossroads Top 25 Favorites of 2020 in alphabetical order:

1. Dustin Arbuckle & the Damnations – My Getaway (Dustin Arbuckle)
2. Avey Grouws Band – Devil May Care (Avey Grouws)
3. Frank Bey – All My Dues Are Paid (NOLA Blue)
4. Blind Lemon Pledge – Goin’ Home (Blind Lemon Pledge)
5. Rory Block – Prove It On Me (Stony Plain)
6. Cindy Cashdollar – Waltz for Abilene (Silver Shot)
7. Chickenbone Slim – Sleeper (Lo Fi Mob)
8. Shemekia Copeland – Uncivil War (Alligator)
9. Robert Cray – That’s What I Heard (Nozzle)
10. Alex Dixon – The Real McCoy (Dixon Landing)
11. Ronnie Earl & the Broadcasters – Rise Up (Stony Plain)
12. Sonny Green – Found! One Soul Singer (Little Village Foundation)
13. Jimmy Johnson – Every Day of Your Life (Delmark)
14. Lloyd Jones – Tennessee Run (Vizztone)
15. Lisa Mills – The Triangle (BMG)
16. Misty Blues Band – Weed ‘Em & Reap (Misty Blues)
17. New Moon Jelly Roll Freedom Rockers – Vol. 1 (Stony Plain)
18. Peter Parcek – Mississippi Suitcase (Lightnin’)
19. Maceo Parker – Soul Food: Cooking with Maceo (The Funk Garage)
20. Phantom Blues Band – Still Cookin’ (Vizztone)
21. John Primer & Bob Corritore – The Gypsy Woman Told Me (Vizztone)
22. Savoy Brown – Ain’t Done Yet (Quarto Valley)
23. Sugar Ray and the Bluetones – Too Far from the Bar (Severn)
24. Nora Jean Wallace – Blues Woman (Severn)
25. Kim Wilson – Take Me Back (M.C. Records)

Despite a global pandemic, there continued to be a steady stream of global sounds throughout 2020. And if we couldn’t travel literally, perhaps more of us will be inclined to do so musically and discover some of the great work that musicians from all around the world have to offer.

This year you could travel the Silk Road from one end — with the Chinese band Manhu and Mongolian ensemble Khusugtun — to the other — with Turkish oud player Mehmet Polat — or explore the whole route with 3,14 (whose 2020 release takes its title from the scientific name for the silk worm.)

It’s hard to resist almost any Afrobeat, and there were quite a number of choices this year, but especially so if you go to the source (Nigeria’s Bantu) or one of its more unlikely outposts (Lithuania’s Ojibo Afrobeat).

As usual, there were so many great and different sounds and styles of Latin music to choose from; from the salsa jazz of master pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba with electric vocalist Aymee Nuviola (easy to see why she was chosen to play Celia Cruz in a Colombian telenovela), to the rock influenced approaches to Mexican marimba music (Son Rompe Pera) and cumbia (Santa Fe’s Nohe y Sus Santos), to classic son (Buena Vista guitarist Eliades Ochoa), and lively yet elegant Brazilian choro (Aquarela).

Reggae fans could savor the Ernest Ranglin-like reggae-jazz of guitarist Kubix, or the offbeat yet entrancing meeting of reggae and theremin from Italian artist Gaudi.

Speaking of music from unusual places, the Mexican brass band Los Rurales combined Oaxacan and Balkan music. Nation Beat seamlessly fused Brazilian and Crescent City sounds. Morocco’s Majid Bekkas served up inventive North African psychedelic jazz. And the always fascinating cellist Matthieu Saglio brought together an international cast of musicians for his own evocative world jazz fusion.

And old sounds got new treatments. Some of the finest township sounds to be released internationally since the heyday of Graceland appeared this year thanks to the great Vusi Mahlasela. Trio Tekke continued its fascinating exploration and re-invention of Greek rembetiko music. And Solas co-founder Seamus Egan stepped out on his own for a new and expressive take on traditional Irish music.

Those and many more fascinating musical excursions were available in 2020.

Here are the Global Village Top 25 Favorites of the year in alphabetical order:

1. 3,14 – Bombyx Mori (Worlds Within Worlds)
2. Alhousseini Anivolla & Girum Mezmur – Afropentatonism (Piranha)
3. Aquarela – A Bela Vida (Buda Musique)
4. Bab L’Bluz – Nayda! (Real World)
5. Bantu – Everybody Get Agenda (Soledad)
6. Majid Bekkas – Magic Spirit Quartet (ACT)
7. Xabier Diaz & Adufeiras de Salitre – The Silenced Cathedrals (Musicas de Salitre Spain)
8. Seamus Egan – Early Bright (THL)
9. Gaudi – 100 Years of Theremin (Dubmission)
10. Amir John Hadad – Andalucia (Galileo)
11. Khusugtun – Jangar (Buda Musique)
12. KUBIX – Guitar Chant (Attik)
13. Jaakko Laitinen & Vaara Raha – Borek (Playground)
14. Vusi Mahlasela – Shebeen Queen (ATO)
15. Manhu — Voices of the Sani (Riverboat)
16. Nation Beat – The Royal Chase (Nation Beat Music)
17. Nohe & Sus Santos – Tempestad (Avokado)
18. Eliades Ochoa — Vamos a Bailar un Son (Eliades Ochoa)
19. Ojibo Afrobeat – Ojiboland (Ojibo Afrobeat)
20. Mehmet Polat – The Promise (Aftab)
21. Gonzalo Rubalcaba & Aymee Nuviola – Viento y Tiempo (Top Stop)
22. Los Rurales – Ocotita (Classicos Latinos/Cugate)
23. Matthieu Saglio – El Camino de los Vientos (ACT)
24. Son Rompe Pera – Batuco (Aya)
25. Trio Tekke – Strovilos (Riverboat)