Leyla McCalla Host, Kanaval: Haitian Rhythms and the Music of New Orleans
Leyla McCalla
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Leyla McCalla

Leyla McCalla

Leyla McCalla

Leyla McCalla is a founding member of Our Native Daughters and alumna of the GRAMMY award-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops. Leyla's work unearthing history and musical tradition, combined with her knowledge of cultural hybridization and her own identity as a Haitian American have given her a unique voice and perspective. Her music reflects her eclectic and diverse life experiences, projecting respect for eloquent simplicity that is rarely achieved.

Leyla has three solo albums to her credits. Vari-Colored Songs is a celebration of the complexity of Black culture and identity, and a tribute to the legacy of poet and thinker Langston Hughes. On it, McCalla sets Hughes' poems to her own compositions, juxtaposing them with arrangements of folk songs from Haiti.

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Kanaval: Haitian Rhythms & the Music of New Orleans was produced by WXPN WXPN hide caption

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Kanaval: Haitian Rhythms & the Music of New Orleans: Intro

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A sketch map of Saint-Domingue, a French colony in the Caribbean from 1659-1890. Following a revolution by enslaved Africans, the territory was declared the Republic of Haiti. Archive Photos/Getty Images hide caption

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Archive Photos/Getty Images

Kanaval: Haitian Rhythms & the Music of New Orleans: Episode 1

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Circa 1795: Lithograph of Haitian general Francois Dominique Toussaint L'Ouverture, whose heroic stand against French rule thwarted Napoleon's ambition for a North American empire. MPI/Getty Images hide caption

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Kanaval: Haitian Rhythms & the Music of New Orleans: Episode 2

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Dancers take part in the 2020 Krewe du Kanaval parade in New Orleans. Courtesy of Erika Goldring hide caption

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Courtesy of Erika Goldring

Kanaval: Haitian Rhythms & the Music of New Orleans: Episode 3

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The 2020 Krewe du Kanaval celebration in New Orleans: Paul Beaubrun (left), Preservation Hall Jazz Band (top right), members of the Haitian collective Lakou Mizik. Courtesy of Erika Goldring hide caption

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Courtesy of Erika Goldring

Kanaval: Haitian Rhythms & the Music of New Orleans: Episode 4

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