Overtly political, Sosa has befriended all kinds of pro-human rights musicians. She was not here a few weeks ago to receive her second Latin Grammy Award in the best folk album category, but she'll be in Miami now to croon sides from the acclaimed Acustico. During her 40-year-plus recording history, Sosa has been disciplined and incredibly strong. Her voice is unique and so are her interpretations, but sometimes her body has to remind her to take it easy. She has overcome heart problems and last December caught a bad cold in Mexico, which kept her from performing for the next four months. As soon as she felt stronger, she flew to Turkey to sing there for the first time. Suffocated by Turkey's more than 100-degree temperatures, she was exposing herself to the Argentine winter a few days later. "I'm fine; I thank God for that," she says over the phone. "I got scared in Italy, I couldn't sing in Milano, but I'm fully recovered now."
She first performed in Miami in 1967, appearing most recently in 1995. Some radicals protested outside her show in 1992, disturbed by the idea of Sosa embracing Cuban artists like Pablo Milanes and Silvio Rodriguez. She prefers to note that no one demonstrated during her last visit, and that she will always think of artists as such, without paying attention to where they come from. "What's really important is their artistic value," Sosa says, in the same sentence referring to Milanes, Rodriguez, and the late Celia Cruz as "extraordinary."
What really comes as a surprise about Sosa is that someone of such stature, who has sung with a long list of celebrities, can still be a fan. "I met Santana three years ago when I went to the first Latin Grammy Awards in L.A. and every time he was close to me, I grabbed his hand, over and over," she laughs. "I think that if he ever asks me to sing with him, I'd faint right there."