Saturday | November 16 | 7:30pm
Page Theatre | 700 Terrace Heights
Leyla McCalla finds inspiration from a variety of sources, whether it is her Haitian heritage, living in New Orleans or dancing at Cajun Mardi Gras. Leyla’s music reflects her eclectic and diverse life experiences, projecting a respect for eloquent simplicity that is rarely achieved. Born in New York City to Haitian immigrant parents, Leyla was raised in suburban New Jersey. As a teenager, she relocated to Accra, Ghana for two years. Upon her return, she attended Smith College for a year before transferring to New York University where she studied cello performance and chamber music. Armed with Bach’s Cello Suites, Leyla moved to New Orleans to play cello on the streets of the French Quarter.
After touring with the Carolina Chocolate Drops, McCalla began to concentrate on a solo career. Her debut album, Vari-Colored Songs, a tribute to Langston Hughes, was named album of the year by both the London Times and Songlines magazine. The title of her sophomore effort, A Day for the Hunter, A Day for the Prey, was ultimately derived from a Haitian proverb. It featured songs in English, French, and Haitian Creole, with appearances by Marc Ribot, Rhiannon Giddens, Louis Michot of the Lost Bayou Ramblers, and New Orleans singer/songwriter Sarah Quintana. Her recently released third album, The Capitalist Blues, reflects the influence of New Orleans on her music, as well as the “pressure cooker” effects of today’s society.
The Performance Center at Saint Mary’s University is a member of the River Arts Alliance. To learn more about the benefits of membership, please visit: riverartsalliance.org/JOIN.