Nov. 15 | 8PM
9012 Selborne Lane
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, a multi-instrumentalist, is a cellist and singer whose distinctive sound is impossible to replicate.
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 emigrant 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.
It is the move to New Orleans that signaled a journey of musical and cultural discovery for Leyla. “New Orleans always felt like home to me,” she recalls. “The more I learned about the history of Louisiana, its ties to Haiti and French speaking culture, the more sense of belonging I felt and continue to feel.” Most recently, Leyla has fallen in love with the late Louisiana Creole fiddlers Canray Fontenot and Bébé Carrière and has explored their fiddling styles on the cello.
A self-described military kid, Michaela Anne has moved beyond naval bases and barracks to become one of the most-recognizable alt-country singer/songwriters in, of all places, Brooklyn, NY.
A former unhappy jazz student with a passion for Patsy Cline and Otis Redding, Michaela Anne has claimed her place among singers who go their own way, looking to the timeless with little regard for passing trends and current zeitgeist.
It isn’t easy moving from place to place - switching bedrooms, finding new friends, and never having a clear answer to “Where’s home?” Yet no matter where you are, there are chords to be played and a song to be sung, and it was music that provided solace and a constant companion during Michaela’s nomadic childhood. While studying jazz she discovered her love of country music – and her true calling - at 21 when her path crossed that of bluegrass musician Michael Daves. Finding her true voice in an unexpected genre, Michaela embarked on a journey that has led her across the United States playing her original songs alone and with her band. That independent spirit has led to a woman unafraid to take her own path and share her heart –which is exactly what you get here.
Michaela Anne has been building her name on the Americana circuit playing shows throughout the country, performing at Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Merlefest, SXSW, WDVX's Blue Plate Special, Folk Alliance International, AXS Live National Television as well as sharing the stage with notable bands and artists JP Harris & the Tough Choices, Steel Magnolias, Lydia Loveless, The Woes, Kristin Andreassen (Uncle Earl, Sometymes Why), Michael Daves (Chris Thile & Michael Daves) and Chris Eldridge (Punch Brothers) to name a few. She has been recognized in numerous prestigious songwriting competitions including Kerrville Folk Festival's New Folk Contest, Telluride Troubadour two years in a row and Merlefest's Chris Austin Songwriting Contest.