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Chris Leslie

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Banbury, United Kingdom (1974 – present)

Chris Leslie (born Christopher Julien Leslie on 15 December 1956, in Banbury, Oxfordshire, England) is an English electric folk musician. As well as recording a numer of sole albums, Leslie has played with a number of seminal English folk-rock bands, including Whippersnapper and The Albion Band. He joined Fairport Convention in 1996.

Inspired by local musicians, Leslie began playing the fiddle at the age of thirteen. At the age of 16 he made his first album recording, with the Northamptonshire folk band Mithras on Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, released in 1974. One of his early influences and, later, his mentor was Fairport Convention’s then-fiddler Dave Swarbrick.

In 1976 he recorded his album ‘The Ship of Time’ at which time he was partnered by his brother John Leslie. Leslie also played with singer-songwriter Steve Ashley, touring extensively in the UK and continental Europe.

Leslie studied violin making in Nottinghamshire and completed his three-year course 1983. Back to Oxfordshire, he was invited to tour with Dave Pegg to promote Dave’s solo album.

Dave Swarbrick invited Leslie to become a founder member of the pioneering acoustic group Whippersnapper. This band made several albums and toured the UK, Europe and the USA. Chris also toured with light goth, rock group All About Eve.

During the 1990s, Leslie worked as a duo with Whippersnapper guitarist Kev Dempsey collaborated with folk pianist Beryl Marriott, and was a member of Simon Mayor’s Mandolin Quartet. He also played fiddle on tour with Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull.

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