'VARI-COLORED SONGS: A TRIBUTE TO LANGSTON HUGHES' OUT FEB 4 – THREE DAYS AFTER HUGHES' BIRTHDAY
WALL STREET JOURNAL PREMIERS FIRST TRACK
Carolina Chocolate Drop and cellist Leyla McCalla pays tribute to
Langston Hughes on what would have been his birthday with 'Vari-Colored
Songs: A Tribute To Langston Hughes,' out February 4
on Music Maker Relief Foundation. (Hughes was born February 1, 1902.)
"I grew up with Langston Hughes' poetry and he inspired me to become an
artist," recalls McCalla, continuing, "I wanted to honor his life and
his legacy and my own creativity through him with 'Vari-Colored Songs.'"
She adapted his poetry to her original music. She says of the process,
"His poetry is so musical, so rhythmic. They're blues poems. I wrote
what I felt without having to fit the music into jazz or blues
The Wall Street Journal premiered a track from the project, the jubilant "Mesi Bondye," last week.
"Langston's poetry encapsulates things that they don't teach in school
about black history. He writes about the human experience so elegantly,"
she says reverently.