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Leyla McCalla

Born in New York City to Haitian emigrants and activists, Leyla McCalla finds inspiration from her past and present– her music vibrates with three centuries of history and influences from around the globe. McCalla possesses a stunning mastery of the cello, tenor banjo and guitar and, as a multilingual singer and songwriter, has risen to produce a distinctive sound that reflects the union of her roots and experience. In addition to her solo work, McCalla is a founding member of Our Native Daughters (with Rhiannon Giddens, Amythyst Kiah and Allison Russell) and alumna of Grammy award-winning Black string band The Carolina Chocolate Drops. 
McCalla’s new album and fifth studio recording, Sun Without the Heat, is playful and full of joy while holding the pain and tension of transformation. Throughout Sun Without the Heat’s ten tracks, McCalla achieves a balance of heaviness and light with melodies and rhythms derived from various forms of Afro-diasporic music including Afrobeat, Ethiopian modalities, Brazilian Tropicalismo, and American folk and blues.