Leyla McCalla, Live from New Orleans
Join cellist, banjoist, singer, and guitarist Leyla McCalla at home for music from her new Jazz Village/PAS album, The Capitalist Blues, followed by a moderated conversation with Christiansburg's Shawanda Marie, a proud New Orleans-born Creole culture-bearer. A former member of Carolina Chocolate Drops, McCalla embraces American roots music at its most fundamental, with a deep personal connection to the cultural legacy built by the immigrants who settled here over the generations. Influenced by traditional Creole, Cajun, and Haitian music, as well as by American jazz and folk, her music is earthy, elegant, soulful, and witty. McCalla rose to fame during her two years as cellist for Carolina Chocolate Drops, the Grammy award-winning African-American string band, before leaving the group in 2013 to pursue her solo career. McCalla's debut album, Vari-Colored Songs: A Tribute to Langston Hughes, was named 2013's Album of the Year by the London Sunday Times and Songlines for its haunting mixture of music and message. McCalla was born in New York to Haitian parents and spent several formative teenage years in Africa, before returning to the states and eventually settling in New Orleans, where she found a renewed connection to her Haitian heritage.