Leyla McCalla has had a brilliant career of late. In 2011 she was playing Bach on Royal St in New Orleans, the next year she was touring the world with the Carolina Chocolate Drops; she toured with the Drops for two years, and played in front of over a million people. Her solo debut in France has been hugely applauded by the press and audiences; she has toured there twice so far and has more tours of the continent confirmed. Her new recording is getting rave reviews in the states, including write-ups in the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, and an interview on NPR.
Her music on this debut release explores the artistry of poet Langston Hughes. She develops the inherent musicality of his verse further, setting his words to her own melodies. Her sound harkens back to the early Creole styles, her voice accompanied by her inventive cello strumming and tenor banjo.She also explores her Haitian ancestry, and her version of “Latit Bonit” is spell binding; the track is unadorned, Leyla swings and rocks this beautiful tune, bringing the listened into an exotic world, where they have never been.
She is also a devoted student of Haitian folk music and performs songs she has collected while visiting her extended family in Haiti.
Enjoy, and check out her album here!