LEIGH CLINE - BIOGRAPHY






Guitarist/composer Leigh Cline creates his own distinctive style of music that combines his background in folk/blues/Celtic music with the polyrhythms and scales of the Eastern Mediterranean and Asia.

 

As a performer and mix engineer in the North American folk scene and clubs throughout Canada and the United States (including technical director and World Music researcher for the Toronto-based Mariposa Folk Festival) Leigh had the opportunity to learn directly from many legendary performers. Among these were Mississippi John Hurt; Reverend Gary Davis; blues men Bukka White and Skip James; country singers such as Maybelle Carter and Doc Boggs.

 

Leigh was also a researcher for world music and dance for the First World's Crafts Exhibition, as well as the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's radio and TV networks. He designed the sound system for the National Ballet of Canada's production of "Kraan Erg" by Yannis Xenakis.

 

In 1971 Leigh formed the band "Al Tayr" with Gypsy musicians Steve Sapounas (bouzouki) and the late Jimmy Flevotomos (oud) as well as Egyptian kanun player George Sawa and Mark Smith on darabukka. In the late 1970s he formed "Kismet Orchestra" with Tim Rice (kaval,clarinet & gaida) Ahmet Candan (saz & vocals), Geoff Clarfield (oud) and Rifat Uzunovic (vocals). Leigh has lived in Greece where he worked with some of that country's leading musicians: the renowned Cretan singer and lyra player Nikos Xilouris; Kostikas Tsakalidis, the legendary master of Pontic/Black Sea kementche (lyra); and Chrysanthos, the finest exponent of Pontic singing.

 

Since that time Leigh has worked with every major Pontic musician and singer. He is the only non-Greek to professionally play Pontic music. He has also played with various members of the Halkias, Soukas and Zervas musical families of Epirus, as well as with singers such as Yiota Lydia, Ilias Klonaridis, Stratos Dionysiou, Annoula Vassiliou, Stelios Perpiniadis and many other Laika, Roumeli, Thessaly and Greek Island performers. For many years he worked with Yannis Antos, Vassilis Tsitsanis' keyboard player.He has travelled extensively and performed with musicians and singers in Turkey, Bulgaria and the former Yugoslavia.

 

Currently, Leigh performs live and records both overseas and in North America, with Eastern Mediteranean musicians, as well as those from the Caucasus.





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