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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Carolina Chocolate Drops guest artist Leyla McCalla performs at The ArtsCenter

HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. - Leyla McCalla, a cello and banjo player from New Orleans, will be performing as part of the 6th annual Celtic Concert Series on Friday, March 23, 2012, at the Carrboro ArtsCenter. McCalla will be opening for Irish group Lunasa,

Originally from New York, McCalla currently lives in New Orleans, where she plays at local venues and is often heard on the radio. McCalla is part of Music Maker Relief Foundation's "Next Generation Artists" program. Music Maker's founder Tim Duffy heard McCalla playing on the street in New Orleans and connected her to his organization in 2011, assisting with her professional development. Duffy introduced McCalla to the Carolina Chocolate Drops, with whom she is currently touring.

Duffy said of McCalla, "Her sultry vocals and rhythmically lilting cello breathe new life into the Haitian folk music of her heritage and poetry of Langston Hughes. Leyla is firmly rooted in the deep South and you can hear it in every note."

Learn more about Leyla here:

McCalla, whose parents were born in Haiti, has recently spent time exploring her roots by playing Haitian folk music, known for its use of banjos and maracas. She performed at the Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival in the fall of 2011 and is currently working on her first album. The album will include a mix of her original compositions, Haitian Creole songs and pieces composed to the poetry of Langston Hughes, one of McCalla's main sources of inspiration and influence.

Tickets for Lunasa and Leyla McCalla's March 23 show at the Carrboro ArtsCenter are available online at The cost for single admission is $22 for ArtsCenter members, $24 for non-members and $26 at the door. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m

About Music Maker Relief Foundation:

Music Maker Relief Foundation, Inc. is a tax exempt, public charity under IRS code 501(c)3. Music Maker aims to keep our Southern culture vital by directly supporting senior (over 55) American roots musicians in need, expanding their professional careers, and assisting Next Generation artists in the development of their professional careers. Since the organization's founding in 1994, Music Maker has assisted hundreds of musicians who represent the traditions of Blues, Gospel, Old-Time String Band, Jazz and more. Music Maker's programs ensure the talents of these cultural treasures are accessible so that our rich musical heritage can be shared with the world and preserved for future generations.

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