Leyla McCalla – Vari-Colored Songs: A Tribute To Langston Hughes


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SKU: 09307402412 Categories: , , Tag:


Release Date: 2020

Label; Smithsonian Folkways Records

Track List

  1. Heart Of Gold
  2. When I Can See The Valley
  3. Mesi Bondye
  4. Girl
  5. Kamen Sa W Fe?
  6. Too Blue
  7. Manman Mwen
  8. Song For A Dark Girl
  9. As I Grew Older/Dreamer
  10. Love Again Blues
  11. Rose Marie
  12. Latibonit
  13. Search
  14. Lonely House
  15. Changing Tide



Leyla McCalla’s Vari-Colored Songs is a celebration of the complexity of Black culture and identity, and a tribute to the legacy of poet and thinker Langston Hughes. A songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, McCalla sets Hughes’ poems to her own spare yet profound compositions. She juxtaposes these with arrangements of folk songs from Haiti, the first independent Black nation and the homeland of her parents, tapping into the nuances of Black experience. McCalla’s music elegantly weaves Haitian influences together with American folk music, just as Hughes incorporated Black vernacular into his remarkable poetry, and the way the Haitian Kreyòl is a beacon for the survival of African identity through the brutal legacy of colonialism. This is music of reclamation, imbued with a quiet power that grapples with the immense weight of history.

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