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Critically Acclaimed Leyla McCalla Trio to Bring Signature Blend of Musical Fusion to the Catskill Mountain Foundation’s Doctorow Center for the Arts

September 16, 2016 Whats On No Comments Email Email

With a sound inspired by three centuries of history characterized by a signature blend of traditional Creole, Cajun, Haitian and American jazz and folk musical influences, the Leyla McCalla Trio will perform in concert at the Catskill Mountain Foundation’s Doctorow Center for the Arts on Saturday, October 8 at 8:00 pm.  This premiere performance is a part of the Catskill Mountain Foundation’s commitment to bringing diverse, world-class music, art and dance to the Northern Catskills region.


“Leyla McCalla has crafted a distinctive style with her voice and musicianship,” says Pam Weisberg, director of programming at the Catskill Mountain Foundation.  “We are thrilled to welcome the Leyla McCalla Trio to the Doctorow Center for the Arts as we continue to celebrate, share and embrace the beauty and diversity of artistic expression in all its forms.”

Described as a “musical virtuoso” by NPR Music, Leyla McCalla’s artistry is heavily influenced by her background and experiences.  Born of Haitian parents, Leyla McCalla is a singer, cellist and banjo player.  McCalla attended Smith College, transferring after a year to New York University to study cello performance and chamber music. From there, she moved to New Orleans where she performed her music on the streets. Among her strongest influences is American poet Langston Hughes, whose Haitian folk songs performed in Haitian Creole provided her with the inspiration for her album Vari-Colored Songs, a tribute to Hughes .  According to McCalla, the first song she penned for the album was Heart of Gold because it provided “a window into Hughes’ thinking”.   “Reading [Hughes’] work,” said McCalla, “made me want to be an artist.”

As a Haitian American, McCalla’s cultural identity reaches out to two worlds: Creole and French. Her recent recording, “A Day for the Hunter, A Day for the Prey,” finds her seeking ways to explore the connections between Haiti and Louisiana.  Audiences will have an opportunity to experience Leyla McCalla’s unique blend of music and cultural identity when she performs songs from her acclaimed repertoire.

The Catskill Mountain Foundation’s Doctorow Center for the Arts is located at 7971 Main Street in the Village of Hunter.  To reserve and purchase tickets, please call:  1-518-263-2063. For more information on the Catskill Mountain Foundation, please visit: www.catskillmtn.org

This concert is funded in part by the Jarvis and Constance Doctorow Family Foundation and the Greene County Legislature through the Cultural Fund administered by the Greene County Council on the Arts.

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