The late jazz composer (May 11, 1936 - Oct 17, 2023) was born and raised in Oakland before relocating to New York in the mid-1950s. Born Lovella May Borg, she adopted the name Carla (from her father's middle name) and later married pianist Paul Bley in 1959.

Her father, Emil Carl Borg (1899-1990), was a music teacher, gospel pianist, and the choir director at the East Oakland Evangelical Free Church at Melrose and 47th Avenue at the time of her birth. Her mother, Arlene (Anderson) Borg, was also a pianist. At the time the family lived at 4539 Ellen Street.

Raised in a devoutly religious household surrounded by gospel music, young Carla was transfixed by a performance of Lionel Hampton's band on August 22, 1948, at the Oakland Auditorium 1. A few years later she dropped out of school and at the age of 17 traveled to the jazz center of New York, where her long musical career gradually took shape.

Sources: Washington Post, 10/18/2023, New York Times, 10/17/2023 obituaries; and

1. Oakland Post Enquirer, 8/19/1948 p. 25