The new Roots at the Garfield concert series continues March 18th at 8pm with a performance by the Leyla McCalla Trio. A Haitian-American who sings in French, Haitian Creole and English, Leyla McCalla plays cello, tenor banjo and guitar. Deeply influenced by traditional Creole, Cajun and Haitian music, as well as by American jazz and folk, her music is at once earthy, elegant, soulful and witty — it vibrates with three centuries of history, yet also feels strikingly fresh, distinctive and contemporary.
Born in New York City to Haitian immigrant parents, and raised in suburban New Jersey, Leyla experienced a renewed sense of connection with her Haitian heritage after moving to New Orleans in 2010. “I feel very at home here,” she says. “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.”
The relocation led to her appearance on the Carolina Chocolate Drops’ GRAMMY-nominated 2012 album Leaving Eden, as well as extensive concert dates as a touring member of the group. It also deeply enriched Leyla’s own music and sharpened her sense of purpose, setting her on the path that ultimately resulted in the making of her album, “Vari-Colored Songs”.
This concert is the second in the five-part Roots at the Garfield series, sponsored by Andy and Leslie Price, which brings early blues, bluegrass, folk, r&b and rock music to Chestertown. Remaining concerts include The Steel Wheels on June 9th, David Stone: The Johnny Cash Experience on July 22nd and Hannah Gill and the Hours on September 9th. Tickets are $30 general admission and $20 for students. Subscriptions to the entire series and tickets to individual concerts are available by calling 410-810-2060, online at www.GarfieldCenter.org or at the box office. The Garfield Center for the Arts is located at 210 High Street in Chestertown.