Member Profile

Leigh Cline

Leigh Cline is a guitarist, producer and sound engineer who plays Celtic, Folk, Greek and Turkish music. Leigh presently performs in an instrumental Celtic duo with his fiddler daughter Alana performing at concerts, clubs, festivals, workshops and private events.

Leigh was part of the Toronto/Yorkville folk and blues music scene of the 1960s and '70s performing at many clubs and festivals throughout North America. For the Mariposa Folk Festival, in the '60s and '70s, Leigh was Stage Manager, Technical Director and Artistic Director. He was also Editor of the HOOT Folk Music magazine. During this time, Leigh was able to learn musical styles and guitar first hand from the likes of Mississippi John Hurt, Skip James, Bukka White, Maybelle Carter, Lonnie Johnson, Bill Munroe and Merle Travis.

Leigh was sound engineer for many performers including Bruce Cockburn, Joni Mitchell, Judy Collins, The Chieftains, Syrinx, Sha Na Na, Fleetwood Mac, Procol Harum, Rod Stewart, Poco and festivals in North America. He toured with Ian & Sylvia & The Great Speckled Bird. He was Sound System Designer for The National Ballet of Canada’s production of Yannis Xenakis’ Kraan Erg and was also System Designer for several exhibitions at The Ontario Science Centre. As well, he has been a Researcher for CBC Television Documentary Specials and Programme Director at the Orillia Winter Folk Festival. Leigh became the first Production Manager at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre.

In 1974, Leigh travelled to Europe doing club work in Istanbul and played with the Cretan singer Nikos Xilouris on several TV shows in Athens and mixed his sound for the season.

Since that time, he has played in many clubs (bouzouki club and folk style) worldwide with top Greek and Turkish popular and traditional musicians as well as mixing sound and designing festival and club systems.

He has become a specialist in Turkish & Greek Black Sea style music and has developed a guitar style specifically for that music. He is the webmaster of The Pontic Music Home Page and has held workshops on a variety of guitar and long-necked lute styles and lectured on the music of the Balkans, West and Central Asia.

As well as appearing on records as diverse as Sharon, Lois & Bram's Shishkebab to Middle Eastern recordings in Greece and Turkey, Leigh has three solo CDs: “Orient Express”, licensed in Turkey, the Caucasus, Central Asia and Russia, India, South Asia and the Middle East; “Galatia” that combines Celtic and Black Sea music and musicians; and “Al Asha Bi Daha”, traditional Black Sea music. The CD is licensed internationally and in Greece the album title is “Mian Ki’Allo.” He and Alana have an upcoming new Irish/Scottish/Cape Breton Trad CD to be released Fall 2016.

Leigh is the author, with fiddler Sandy MacIntyre, of the Mel Bay publication “Cape Breton Traditional Style Fiddle Sets with Guitar Tablature.”