Leyla McCalla
Leyla McCalla
Breaking the Thermometer to Hide the Fever



Co-conceived by Leyla McCalla & Kiyoko McCrae

Music by Leyla McCalla
Directed by Kiyoko McCrae
Sound & Projection Design by Kyle Sheehan
Choreography by Jeremy Guyton

Leyla McCalla, Cello, Guitar, Banjo
Damas Louis Fan Fan, Percussion
Shawn Meyers, Percussion
Jeremy Guyton, Dancer


Leyla McCalla

Leyla McCalla is a New York-born Haitian-American living in New Orleans, who sings in French, Haitian Creole, and English, and plays cello, tenor banjo, and guitar. Deeply influenced by traditional Creole, Cajun, and Haitian music, as well as by American jazz and folk, her music is at once earthy, elegant, soulful, and witty — it vibrates with three centuries of history, yet also feels strikingly fresh, distinctive, and contemporary. McCalla’s debut album, Vari-Colored Songs: A Tribute to Langston Hughes, was named 2013’s Album of the Year by the London Sunday Times and Songlines magazine. It was followed by the critically acclaimed 2016 album A Day for the Hunter, A Day for the Prey, an extended exploration of the themes of social justice and pan-African consciousness that marked her debut. In January 2019, McCalla released Capitalist Blues, her first full-band album, which examines, through McCalla’s eyes, the divided sociopolitical climate in the United States.


Kiyoko McCrae

Kiyoko McCrae is a theater maker, filmmaker and musician. She is currently developing Breaking the Thermometer to Hide the Fever with Leyla McCalla, commissioned by Duke Performances. She recently co-directed Landscape with Figures with Andrew Ondrejcak for its regional premiere at Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans. She co-directed and co-wrote critically acclaimed immersive theater production, The Stranger Disease with Goat in the Road Productions and produced Vessels which is premiering at the Annenberg Center for the Arts in March 2019. She is former Managing Director of Junebug Productions where she directed Lockdown and produced Gomela/to return: Movement of Our Mother Tongue (NEFA NTP recipient). Her short documentary film Artist in Exile premiered at the New Orleans Film Festival in 2018 where she also won the Audience Award for Best Louisiana Short for her film Black Back. Kiyoko has toured nationally and internationally with By and By String Band, My Graveyard Jaw and as a solo artist, writing and performing her original music. Kiyoko received her BFA in Theatre Arts from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.