Live: Leyla McCalla Announces November European Tour

Photo Credit: Noe Cugny

In May, Haitian-American artist Leyla McCalla, released her new album Breaking The Thermometer. Today McCalla has followed up with news of a European tour that includes UK dates at London’s Kings Place and Birmingham’s Symphony Hall in November.

Born out of a multi-disciplinary theatre project commissioned by Duke University, which acquired the complete Radio Haiti archives in 2016, Breaking The Thermometer combines original compositions and traditional Haitian tunes with historical broadcasts and contemporary interviews to forge an immersive sonic journey through a half century of racial, social, and political unrest. The music is captivating, fuelled by rich, sophisticated melodic work and intoxicating Afro-Caribbean rhythms, and the juxtaposition of voices—English and Kreyòl, personal and political, anecdotal and journalistic—is similarly entrancing, raising the dead as it shines a light on the enduring spirit of the Haitian people.

McCalla isn’t just an observer here, though; she writes with great insight and introspection, examining her own journey of growth and self-discovery as she uncovers the Radio Haiti story and the inextricable ties that bind us all to it.

“Haiti’s always seen as this far-away place,” McCalla says, “but we’re far more connected as Americans than we realize. Haiti was the first independent Black nation in the western hemisphere. Its very existence was and remains a threat to colonial power. At the same time, though, it symbolizes a lot about injustice and oppression around the world. When we talk about ‘Black Lives Matter,’ Haiti is a huge part of that.”

Tour dates…

08 Nov – Lyon, FR @ Opéra Underground
09 Nov – Lyon, FR @ Opéra Underground
10 Nov – Villejuif, FR @ Théâtre Romain Rolland
11 Nov – Cenon, FR @ Rocher De Palmer
12 Nov – Nantes, FR @ La Bouche D’Air
15 Nov – Paris, FR @ New Morning
16 Nov – Roulers, BE @ Het Depot
17 Nov – Leuven, BE @ De Spill
18 Nov – Antwerpen, BE @ De Roma
20 Nov – Fleurus, BE @ Cap 150
22 Nov – Amsterdam, NL @ Vondelkerk

24 Nov – Birmingham @ Symphony Hall
25 Nov – London @ Kings Place