CLHP Intern Blog: Samantha Fassak

Leyla McCalla at Caffè Lena 2/16/14 “Now I’m going to change the vibe in here entirely,” Leyla commented as she switched from a more solemn piece to the upbeat call-and-response chorus of Manman Mwen, And as she eased into the exchange of “Manman Mwen, Manman Mwen”— her, audience, her, audience—the atmosphere noticeably shifted. It is this element of connecting through music that makes Caffè Lena so special.  The artist crafts the atmosphere and sends out a common feeling that everyone relates to in his or her own way. Given the intimate size of the venue, the vibe is more vulnerable than it would be in a larger space. * * * When I first enter the Caffè, I am greeted by welcoming wooden floors, trodden upon by folk legends from decades past,...

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