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 after an opening developed. 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 the NPR affiliate, where she hosted jazz and world music shows (the latter being one of the longest running in public radio), served as music director and produced and anchored national broadcasts of the city’s jazz, blues and Latin music festivals.

Chris is also a freelance writer whose work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Utne, Global Rhythm, Dirty Linen and Option.

Here at KMUW, Chris produces and hosts Global Village, a nationally-distributed world music show; the nightly jazz show Night Train; Crossroads, KMUW’s twice-weekly blues and R&B show.

Ways to Connect

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  1. Omar Sosa & NDR Bigband – Es:Sensual (Ota)
  1. Gladiators – Full Time (Omnivore/Nighthawk)
  1. Boubacar Traore – Dounia Tabolo (LusAfrica)
  1. The Expanders – Old Time Something Come Back Again Vol. 2 (Easy Star)
  1. Julio Pereira – Praco do Comercio (Tradisom)
  1. Orchestre Les Mangelepa – Last Band Standing (Strut)
  1. Various Artists – The Original Sound of Burkina Faso (Mr. Bongo)
  1. Eoin Dillon – Pondelorum (Buda Musique)
  1. Che Sudaka – Almas Rebeldes (Cavernicola)
  1. La Misa Negra – La Misa Negra (NAM Entertainment)

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  1. Various Artists – Strange Angels (Sylvan Songs)


  1. Wee Willie Walker & the Andy Paule Soul Orchestra – After a While (Blue Dot)
  1. Kim Wilson – Blues & Boogie Vol. 1 (Severn)
  1. Duke Robillard - …and His Dames of Rhythm (M.C. Records)
  1. Albert Castiglia – Up All Night (Ruf)
  1. Various Artists – Hard Core Harp (Electro Fi)
  1. Tinsley Ellis – Winning Hand (Alligator)
  1. Billy Thompson – BT (Billy Thompson Music)
  1. Curtis Salgado & Alan hager – Rough Cut (Alligator)
  1. Various Artists – Something Got A Hold on Me: The Ru-Jac Records Story Vol. One 1963-64; Get Right: The Ru-Jac Records Story Vol. Two 1964-66 (Omnivore/Ru-Jac)

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  1. Pat Martino – Formidable (High Note)


  1. Cecile McLorin Salvant – Dreams and Daggers (Mack Avenue)
  1. Houston Person – Rain or Shine (Hight Note)
  1. Delfeayo Marsalis – Kalamazoo (Troubadour Jass)
  1. Steve Hobbs – Tribute to Bobby (Challenge)
  1. Stephane Wrembel – The Django Experiment III (Water Is Life)
  1. Dr. Lonnie Smith – All in My Mind (Blue Note)
  1. Vincent Herring – Hard Times (Smoke Sessions)
  1. Organissimo – Live at the SpeakEZ (Big O)
  1. Roswell Rudd – Embrace (Rare Noise)

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February 2/4

It’s “New Month/New Music” time as Crossroads teams up with Global Village and Strange Currency at the beginning of every month to feature the best in new blues releases.

Among the highlights this time:

Music for the February duos feature from a new album from Mick Kolassa called Double Standards that features him doing duets with a who’s who of contemporary blues artists

The return of  British retro soul band, the James Hunter Six

Volume three in the reissue series from R&B and soul label, Ru-Jac Records

Muddy Gurdy, an album featuring French hurdy gurdy meeting North Mississippi Hill Country blues

And the latest from Bernard Allison, contemporary blues master and son of blues legend  Luther Allison.

Monday 1.29.18

Night Train kicks off the final week of the January Best of 2017 feature and an Awards Week series of shows with music from the year’s jazz award winners, nominees and honorees, including newly announced recordings being inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, and a performance in hour two of the show from Grammy and NAACP Image Award nominee, singer Cecile McLorin Salvant in performance at the Savannah Music Festival.

Tuesday 1.30.18

Each year the National Endowment for the Arts picks a group of living jazz artists to honor as NEA Jazz Masters. The honorees for 2017 were singer Dee Dee Bridgewater, bassist Dave Holland, pianist Dick Hyman, and organist Dr. Lonnie Smith. In a special edition of Night Train tonight as part of our Awards Week to wrap up the January Best of 2017 feature, the show is devoted to music from all four 2017 honorees – along with selections from past NEA Jazz Masters including Chick Corea, Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, Gary Burton, George Coleman, and Benny Golson.

Wednesday 1.31.18

As part of Night Train’s Awards Week to wrap up the January Best of 2017 feature, a special program tonight devoted to women NEA Jazz Masters. Since 1982 when the NEA program began, over 150 artists have been honored – of them less than two dozen have been women. We’ll highlight music from those honorees –including Ella Fitzgerald (the first woman NEA Jazz Master) and singers Betty Carter, Carmen McRae, Abbey Lincoln, Sarah Vaughan, and Dee Dee Bridgewater; trombonist Melba Liston (one of the first female instrumentalists named an NEA Jazz Master); pianists Carla Bley, Marian McPartland, and 2018 honoree Joanne Brackeen.

Thursday 2.1.18

Night Train wraps Awards Week with a special program featuring the 2018 NEA Jazz Masters. Each year since 1982, the National Endowment for the Arts has selected a group of living jazz artists and advocates to honor. They are announced in the summer before and then celebrated with a special tribute concert and more during their fellowship year. The 2018 Masters are guitarist Pat Metheny, singer Dianne Reeves, pianist and composer Joanne Brackeen, and record and concert producer Todd Barkan. Tonight’s Night Train features classic albums, guest appearances, productions and more from all four.

Monday, January 29

Monday in the Global Village we kick off Global Village at the Savannah Music Festival, a special new monthly concert series featuring world music artists in performance at the acclaimed Savannah Music Festival. In conjunction with our January Best of 2017 feature, we begin the series with Vicente Amigo, widely regarded as the finest flamenco guitarist performing today. He is a master of traditional forms, yet also a fearless innovator, and his work has won numerous awards, including a Latin Grammy and a Grammy nomination for his 2017 album, Memoria de los Sentidos.

Tuesday, January 30

Global Village pays tribute to South African legend Hugh Masekela and Steve Nisbett, drummer and cofounder of the influential British reggae band Steel Pulse who passed away in January, along with Earl Lindo of the Wailers, reggae star Frankie Paul, and Latin jazz flutist Dave Valentin who died in 2017. Plus more favorites from 2017 – from Ozomatli and Tamikrest – and Grammy reggae nominee Morgan Heritage.

Wednesday, January 31

Global Village wraps up the January Best of 2017 feature with a look back at the show’s Top Ten favorite albums of the past year. Selections include some different sounds from Spain, music from the Middle East, and an impressive and varied array of African releases. The full list of show favorites is on our website at

Thursday, February 1

Global Village kicks off the February duos feature with music from Ballake Sissoko & Vincent Segal (who will be featured in this month’s Global Village at the Savannah Music Festival special at the end of the month), and 2017 favorites Amine & Hamza, and Matthieu Saglio & Jose ‘El Piru.’ We also continue this week’s tribute to legendary South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela and drummer and Steel Pulse cofounder Steve Nisbett.

Friday, February 2

It’s New Month/New Music time in the Global Village. Each month, Global Village devotes an entire show to the best of recently released and forthcoming world music albums.  Among the highlights this time:

Accordion supergroup, Samurai Accordion

Tango meets the Balkans in the latest from Otros Aires

A beautiful new project from contemporary Cuban jazz artist Alfredo Rodriguez

Indian jazz from Sameer Gupta

Boogaloo from Spanglish Fly

North African inspired music from Gabacho Maroc

The latest from indigenous activist, singer and songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie

And contemporary UK folk band Stick in the Wheel

Monday 1.22.18

Night Train continues with more Best of 2017 for the January feature, previews jazz concerts for the coming week, and marks birthdays of trombone great J.J. Johnson, bassist Eberhard Weber, singer Lizz Wright, saxophonist Tony Campise, and pianist Addison Frei.

Tuesday 1.23.18

Night Train joins in with Global Village tonight to mark the birthday of gypsy jazz guitar great Django Reinhardt. Plus more of the Best of 2017, and birthdays as well of vibes player Gary Burton and saxophonist Benny Waters, who continued to perform and record into his 90s. We’ll hear more from and about Benny Waters in hour two of the show in a Jazz Profiles special.

Wednesday 1.24.18

As part of the January feature looking back at jazz in 2017, Night Train devotes this program to a remembrance of jazz artists who passed away in the last year, including trombonist Roswell Rudd, singers Kevin Mahogany and Jon Hendricks, guitarists Larry Coryell and John Abercrombie, saxophonist Arthur Blythe, and in hour two a special devoted to singer Keely Smith.

Thursday 1.25.18

Night Train joins in with Global Village tonight to mark the birthday of pianist, composer and bossa nova giant Antonio Carlos Jobim. Plus more of the Best of 2017, and birthday salutes as well for singer Etta James, and for saxophonist, arranger, composer and bandleader Benny Golson. We’ll hear from Benny Golson from Jazz Stories and ArtWorks interviews in hour two of the show.

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January 26/28

Crossroads celebrates the centennial birthday of blues slide guitar great Elmore James with classic recordings, covers of his songs (from the Allman Brothers, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Stevie Ray Vaughan and more), and a special in hour two of the show.

We’ll also mark birthdays of soul singers Bobby Blue Bland and also of Bettye LaVette, including a preview of her new album of Dylan covers and a track she did for the new Elmore James centennial compilation, Strange Angels.

And we’ll get to a few more Crossroads favorites of 2017, including Savoy Brown, Wee Willie Walker, and Robert Cray & Hi Rhythm.

If your music reading interests extend beyond the bounds of standard rock bios, the past year provided a rich array of choices. Here are 2017 books that explored the creation and meaning of music, and the lives and work of musicians outside the pop and rock mainstream.


Frankie and Johnny: Race, Gender, and the Work of African American Folklore in 1930s America

Stacy I. Morgan (University of Texas Press)

The song “Frankie and Johnny,” which appears to have its roots in an actual 1899 murder case, would have a life well beyond those of its protagonists, becoming one of the best known popular songs in America. Morgan’s book explores several iterations of the song in the 1930s: extended studies of Leadbelly’s iconic recording; Thomas Hart Benton’s Missouri State Capital mural; filmmaker John Huston’s theatrical adaptation; Mae West’s theater and film versions of the story; and a harrowing reworking of the tale in a poem from Harlem Renaissance writer Sterling Brown – along with briefer looks at a New Deal ballet by Ruth Page and Bentley Stone, and Ethel Waters recording (one of the only examples of the song done by an African-American woman at the time). The 1930s saw profound changes in America. The Harlem Renaissance and the Jazz Age had already begun to challenge views of race and gender, and the social and economic cauldron of the Depression, combined with a new interest in folk culture, music and lore, would give the song a prominent new place in popular culture, reflecting meanings of race and gender then, and shedding light on how we understand both now.

Monday, January 22

As part of the January Best of 2017 feature, Global Village highlights award winners, honorees and nominees of the past year – from the Grammys, the Latin Grammys, the Grammy Hall of Fame for recordings, France’s Les Victoires de la Musique awards, the NAACP Image Awards, and the fROOTS Magazine Critics Poll (in which Global Village participated). Among the artists featured are Hugh Masekela, Café Tacvba, Lila Downs, Jorge Drexler, Oumou Sangare, Somi, Michel Camilo with Tomatito, Trio da Kali with Kronos Quartet, and the artist who will kick off a new monthly concert series, Global Village at the Savannah Music Festival, next week – Latin Grammy winning and Grammy nominated flamenco guitarist Vicente Amigo.  

Tuesday, January 23

Global Village celebrates the birthday of gypsy jazz guitar great Django Reinhardt with music from the master himself and from his Hot Club of France partner – violinist Stephane Grappelli. We’ll also hear from some of the many contemporary artists and groups inspired by his music to offer both traditional and contemporary forms of his trademark ‘gypsy jazz’ sound, including Tchavolo Schmitt, Bireli Lagrene, Pearl Django,  the Hot Club of San Francisco, the Hot Club of Detroit, and Hot Club Sandwich.

Wednesday, January 24

Global Village devotes this show to the depth and breadth of music from  Haiti - from the nation’s ‘second national anthem,’ “Haiti Cheri,” through pioneers of modern Haitian music, to key international compilations that brought the music to the attention of a wider international audience, the bold “roots” bands, and some current hitmakers. Among the artists featured Nemours Jean-Baptiste, Tabou Combo, Les Vikings, Boukman Eksperyans, and Dat 7.

Thursday, January 25

Global Village marks the birthday of pianist, composer and bossa nova pioneer Antonio Carlos Jobim with performances from the legendary Brazilian artists and covers of some of his many classics from Stan Getz, Charlie Byrd, Sting, Quarteto Jobim Morelenbaum, and from 2017 releases from the Grammy-winning Jobim Orchestra, classical guitarist Berta Rojas, and John Pizzarelli’s celebration of the 50th anniversary of a classic album from Frank Sinatra with Jobim.

Friday, January 26

Global Village celebrates Australia Day with music from a wide array of artists from Down Under, including rock bands Mental as Anything, Midnight Oil, and Coloured Stone; indigenous artists Archie Roach and Gurrumjul; some didgeridoo sounds from Outback and Baraka Moon; and some Melbourne Latin from Quarter Street and San Lazaro.