Leyla McCalla

A wide-ranging and powerful meditation on family, democracy, and free speech

Leyla McCalla Cello, Banjo, Guitar, VocalsNahum Zdybel GuitarPeter Olynciw BassShawn Myers Drum Kit, Percussion
Deeply influenced by Creole music as well as American jazz and folk, Leyla McCalla's music is at once earthy, elegant, soulful and witty. Her music vibrates with three centuries of history, yet feels strikingly fresh and unique. Leyla McCalla draws inspiration from her past and present, whether it's her Haitian heritage or her adopted home of New Orleans. The bilingual multi-instrumentalist and former member of the Grammy-winning African-American string band, the Carolina Chocolate Drops, has developed a distinctive sound that reflects her roots and her experiences.

Her latest album, "Breaking the Thermometer to Hide the Fever," explores the legacy of Radio Haiti, the first private Creole-language radio station in Haiti, as well as the journalists who risked and lost their lives to be on the air for nearly 50 years. The result is simultaneously a work of radical performance art, historical scholarship, and personal memoir, a sweeping and powerful meditation on family, democracy, and free expression that could not have come at a better time.

This concert recording was made with the support of Migros Culture Percentage.

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