Leyla McCalla

Leyla McCalla is a Haitian-American multi-instrumentalist based in New Orleans. Her music vibrates with three centuries of history, sonically blending New Orleans influences and Haitian rhythms on cello, banjo & guitar, with lyrics sung in English, French and Haitian Kreyol. In addition to her solo work, McCalla is a co-founder of Our Native Daughters (with Rhiannon Giddens, Amythyst Kiah and Allison Russell), and was the cellist for Grammy-award-winning string band, The Carolina Chocolate Drops. Leyla’s new release Breaking the Thermometer (ANTI Records), is the album companion to a multidisciplinary music, dance and theatre work which follows Leyla’s personal journey as she uncovers the history of Radio Haiti, the first radio station in Haiti to report news in Haitian Kreyol. Breaking the Thermometer was named one of the Best Albums of 2022 by many outlets including The Guardian, Variety, and NPR Music, and her song “Dodinin” made Barack Obama’s short list of 2022 favorites.