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Sandra Nkaké: Music's New Buffalo Soldier

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 ...


The Souls Rebels Brings NOLA Around the World

The Souls Rebels Brings NOLA Around the World

By Shannon J. Effinger It is impossible not to fall in love with the Soul Rebels: Derrick Moss (Bass Drum), Lumar LeBlanc (Snare Drum), Julian Gosin (Trumpet), Corey Peyton (Trombone), Erion Williams (Saxophone), Paul Robertson (Trombone), Edward Lee, Jr. (Sousaphone) and Marcus Hubbard (Trumpet). This talented eight-member ensemble takes the pride they have for ...


Festival International de Jazz de Port-au-Prince 2014

By Shannon J. Effinger Experiencing the rhythms of Haitian music for the first time in college was overwhelming to the senses. It was perhaps my first visceral connection to both jazz and my own Trinidadian heritage. My upbringing deprived me of the latter being culturally assimilated into the American culture. Visiting Haiti for the first time ...


Marcus Belgrave: Preserver of Jazz

Read "Marcus Belgrave: Preserver of Jazz" reviewed by Shannon J. Effinger

If you trace the careers of many of today's jazz artists, you'll discover that they all converge around one man--trumpeter Marcus Belgrave. He gave Karriem Riggins his very first drum set. Ray Parker, Jr. got his first gig thanks to him. He even took a then 15- year-old James Carter to Europe for the first time. ...


Nina Simone: High Priestess of Soul

Read "Nina Simone: High Priestess of Soul" reviewed by Shannon J. Effinger

“I insist on being not one of your clowns, but one of you," she commands of her French audience early on in her performance. When Nina Simone walks out onto the stage, the first word that comes to mind is: regal. “I am a queen," she proudly announces. Her black wrap dress is simple and minimalist. ...


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