This week The Show On The Road features a conversation with Leyla McCalla, a talented, multi-lingual cellist, banjoist, and singer/songwriter.
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Born in New York, raised in New Jersey, and McCalla is now based in New Orleans, where she raises three kids (she often tours with them in tow). McCalla often honors her Haitian heritage, bringing listeners into a vibrant world of Creole rhythms and forgotten African string-band traditions by introducing them to a new audience with her own powerful creative vision.
You may know McCalla as an integral part of two different roots supergroups: the Carolina Chocolate Drops and Our Native Daughters. But for much of the last decade, she has put out heady, ever-surprising solo projects. The latest, The Capitalist Blues, harnesses the brassy, percussive sounds of New Orleans; her previous record, A Day for the Hunter, A Day for the Prey, was also a standout, putting her gorgeous cello-work center stage while also examining powerful Haitian proverbs and Haiti’s often-overlooked, tragic history.