Two Cellos: Leyla McCalla and Helen Gillet

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Event Information:

Notes: Sets at 8 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
Admission: Free
Location: The George and Joyce Wein Jazz & Heritage Center
1225 N. Rampart Street
New Orleans, Louisiana 70116
Phone: (504) 558-6100

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Leyla McCalla and Helen Gillet will perform together for the first time at our show on Dec. 9.

Leyla McCalla and Helen Gillet will perform together for the first time at our show on Dec. 9.

Two Cellos: Leyla McCalla and Helen Gillet
Saturday, Dec. 9
Shows at 8 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
Free Admission

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation proudly presents a unique concert featuring the cellists Leyla McCalla and Helen Gillet on Saturday, Dec. 9, with shows at 8 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., at the Jazz & Heritage Center (1225 N. Rampart Street).

Admission is free. No tickets or advance registration are required. There is no reserved seating.

As the daughter of Haitian immigrants, Leyla McCalla feels a deep connection with the Caribbean influences on her adopted hometown of New Orleans. She was born in New York City and raised in New Jersey, then spent a couple of teenage years in Accra, Ghana,  before attending Smith College. At New York University she studied cello performance and chamber music, but in 2010 she ended up busking on the streets of New Orleans, performing Bach for passers-by. It was here that she came to the attention of the Carolina Chocolate Drops – a group that did much to reclaim folk music for African American musicians. Her own music combines Haitian, Creole, Cajun and other influences with a passion for social justice.

Helen Gillet grew up in Belgium, Singapore, Chicago and Wisconsin. Performing her own eclectic mix of French, Contemporary Jazz, North Indian, Blues and Classical styles, she has been a mainstay on the New Orleans music scene since arriving in the Crescent City in 2002. Her training as an improviser began with North Indian Hindustani vocal ragas in 1998, which launched her into the worlds of free improvisation, jazz, funk, rock and French chansons. Although she has collaborated with an exalted list of artists (Cassandra Wilson, Smokey Robinson, Arcade Fire and Psychedelic Furs, among many others), she is perhaps best known for performing solo – frequently accompanying herself using a foot-controlled looping device to create layers of sound.

For this concert, Leyla and Helen will take turns performing songs and also will play together as a duet. Although they have been onstage together in the past as part of larger groups, they have never played as a duet or shared their own concert in this way. The Jazz & Heritage Foundation is proud to provide this unique opportunity to see this talented pair of musicians performing together.

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, Inc.