Selected Alumni Bios

Leyla McCalla

Leyla McCalla (B.M., Cello Performance, 2009) lives in New Orleans, where her cello playing can be heard in clubs, on Royal Street, and on the radio. She also works as a teaching artist at the New Orleans Strings Project, an organization devoted to enriching the lives of inner-city children through stringed instrument instruction.

A native of New York City, Leyla works with numerous bands and musicians in both New York and New Orleans including the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Morgan O'Kane, and Sarah Quintana. Recent performance dates have included the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Carnegie Hall, opening for the Dave Matthews Band, and tours of Europe and Haiti. She recently recorded her first solo record, Vari-Colored Songs: A Tribute to Langston Hughes, for which she set the poetry of Langston Hughes to song and created original arrangements of Haitian folk songs.