DC Highlife Stars headline for Takoma Radio

IMAGE: DC Highlife Stars. 

BY DIANA KOHN

Put on your dancing shoes and support Takoma Radio this Saturday night, May 7. DC Highlife Stars bring a rocking new collaboration between local bandleaders Eme Awa (Eme & Heteru) and Michael Shereikis (Chopteeth Afrofunk Big Band) to Allyworld on Westmoreland Avenue as part of an ongoing concert series to benefit WOWD-FM, Takoma’s soon-to-be-on-the-air community radio station.

Mid-July is the target date for WOWD’s first broadcast.

The view of Old Takoma from the radio antenna. Volunteers set up streaming in the Takoma Radio’s new studio. Photos by Marika Partridge.

Several years back, the Federal Communications Commission expanded airwave access by carving out new low power FM broadcast areas. At the behest of a dedicated group of local enthusiasts, Historic Takoma applied for one of the few licenses available in urban areas. On January 24, 2015, a license was granted for Takoma Radio. According to Marika Partridge, who heads up the group, the vision “is to give voice to our local community reflecting the diversity of its stories and concerns and passions. We also see this as opportunity to discover new ways to use all media, including radio, to connect the diverse segments of our community.”

With the help of an $11,000 capital funding grant from the City of Takoma Park, a cadre of volunteers purchased and installed the antenna and transmitter, outfitted the broadcast studio at Allyworld, started training local residents to serve as producers and on-air hosts, and laying the groundwork for a programming committee to oversee what is broadcast.

Takoma Radio is currently experimenting with streaming content via the website before testing the signal itself which is expected to have a 3-to-5 mile range. Residents can follow this progress n Facebook.com/tkpkradio.

Takoma Radio’s broadcast studio shares space with a new 50-seat performance venue recently opened at Allyworld, 7014 Westmoreland Avenue. Both are part of the expanded Airshow sound production complex under the helm of Charlie Pilzer.

Saturday night’s concert, just steps away from the broadcast studio, features beer hall Africa, highlife and rumba, bikutsi, a little zouglou, some West African reggae and funky points in between.


Tickets for this event (limit of 50 seats) are $30 in advance and $35 at the door. Doors open at 7 pm. Performance begins at 7:30 pm. Online ticket sales: http://bpt.me/2537108 or visit takomaradio.org.

About the Author

Diana Kohn
Diana Kohn is president of Historic Takoma, Inc., which is dedicated to preserving and celebrating the heritage of both Takoma Park MD and DC. Diana is co-author of Images of America: Takoma Park, a photo history of the town.