Alana & Leigh Cline
“Alana & Leigh Cline are based in Toronto, but they acknowledged a Cape Breton influence on their music. And I like what they do because they have great attack. There’s a lot of energy going on here. We have one of the all-time favourite Celtic tunes, the Mason’s Apron, followed by the Canon Reel. So let’s hear it for Cape Breton, and Toronto, and Alana & Leigh Cline.” Frank Hennessy, Celtic Heartbeat, BBC Radio Wales
“Alana & Leigh are fantastic musicians, and a pleasure to work with. We have used them for a number of events, and they play beautiful music, always with an Irish twist for our events!” Jonathan Sargeant, Tourism Ireland
Alana and Leigh Cline are a Toronto based Celtic fiddle/guitar instrumental duo who combine Irish, Cape Breton and Scottish styles to create their own sound. They also include occasional Balkan tunes in their sets. Alana & Leigh have a new self-titled CD released in October 2016.
Alana first started playing at the age of 8 under the tutelage of Cape Breton fiddler Sandy MacIntyre. Alana also studied privately with All-Ireland Fiddle Champion Maeve Donnelly over a period of two years. She has augmented her playing style with private lessons from Irish fiddlers Kevin Burke, Liz Carroll, Tony DeMarco and Patrick Ourceau. In 2008 Alana became the first Canadian to be accepted to the auditioned Meitheal School of Irish Traditional Music in Limerick, Ireland with Paul O’Shaughnessy of Altan as one of her instructors. She has also studied fiddle at the Gaelic College of Celtic Arts in St. Ann’s, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.
Alana and Leigh have performed at various events including the Great American Irish Festival, Trenton Scottish Irish Festival, City of Toronto’s Canada Day Celebrations at Mel Lastman Square and Yonge-Dundas Square, Tourism Ireland, The Taste of the Danforth, Music Niagara, Northern Irish Connections/Invest Northern Ireland, Destination Halifax, The Toronto Redpath Waterfront Festival, The Royal Winter Fair, The Granite Club, The Toronto Christmas Market, The Downtown Milton Street Festival, The Toronto Public Library, folk clubs, private corporate events, weddings, pubs and private parties. As a soloist, Alana has performed at events for organizations such as Fredericton Tourism, The Toronto Irish Film Festival, The Ireland Fund, Golf Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as the Distillery District East Coast Festival. Alana hosted the weekly session at Toronto’s An Sibín Pub for over three years.
Leigh was part of the Toronto/Yorkville folk scene of the 1960s, travelling throughout North America as a folk music performer. For the Mariposa Folk Festival, in the ’60s and ’70s, Leigh was Artistic Director, Stage Manager and Technical Director, and did World Music Research. Leigh was able to learn musical styles and guitar firsthand from the likes of Mississippi John Hurt, Skip James, Bukka White, Maybelle Carter, Lonnie Johnson, Bill Munroe, Merle Travis and Doc Boggs. He also worked for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation doing music research for TV documentaries.
Leigh was sound engineer for many performers including The Chieftains, Joni Mitchell, Judy Collins, John Allan Cameron, Fleetwood Mac, Aly Bain and the Boys of the Lough, Procol Harum, Bruce Cockburn, Rod Stewart, as well as touring with Ian & Sylvia & The Great Speckled Bird.
For many years he worked in Greece and Turkey with top folk and nightclub singers and musicians. These included Nikos Xilouris, Domna Samiou, Stathis Nikolaidis, Tasos Halkias and Mihalis Kaliontzidis, as well as many others, both in the folk and bouzouki nightclub genres.
Leigh is the author, with fiddler Sandy MacIntyre, of the Mel Bay publication “Cape Breton Traditional Style Fiddle Sets with Guitar Tablature”. Leigh has three solo CDs “Orient Express”; “Galatia”, a Celtic/Pontic Greek fusion CD single; and “Al Asha Bi Daha”.
Alana & Leigh are members of the American Federation of Musicians Local 149 and Local 1000.