Sandra Nkaké: Music's New Buffalo Soldier

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By Shannon J. Effinger

There are few female artists today who balance grace and femininity with strength and conviction, while baring their souls during live performances. Miriam Makeba was one. Nina Simone was another. Susana Baca, most definitely. Very soon, Sandra Nkaké will join the illustrious company of these dynamic performers.

This artist has already traversed the globe, including tours in Brazil, her native Africa (Nkaké was born in Cameroon's political capital of Yaoundé) and most recently at this year's International Jazz Festival of Port-au-Prince.

With two albums already under her belt, including 2012's Nothing for Granted (Jazz Village/Harmonia Mundi) and upcoming performances this summer at Canada's premier jazz festivals in Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec, Nkaké, along with her stellar group, are primed to invade and conquer the United States.

From her bold, self-penned lyrics on social injustice to her boundless energetic spirit for days during a live performance, Sandra Nkaké is simply the resuscitation our waning music scene needs right now.

Here is my exclusive one-on-one with the Parisian-based artist, including clips from her electrifying set, at this year's International Jazz Festival of Port-au-Prince in Haiti.

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