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NEWS   visit Lesl's flute website, iflute.weebly/com for news about lessons and tune books.
East Galway 2
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Dinny Delaney's.
Slow hornpipe and reel handed down to Mike from his father Tom Barrel Rafferty who had them from the blind piper Dinny Delaney of Ballinasloe.
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play hi-fi  The Magpie in the Tree
play hi-fi  hornpipes: Shrove Tuesday - Rambles of Joe Burke
play hi-fi  reels: The stolen reel - Feeding the Birds
play hi-fi  Lord Franklin
play hi-fi  reels: Moving in Decency / The Pride of Rathmore
play hi-fi  reels: Boys of Ballisodare/Five Mile Chase
play hi-fi  reels: All the Ways to Galway / Fairhaired Mary
play hi-fi  Woodsman's Air - Barrell Ó Rabartaig's Air
play hi-fi  slow jig: Paddy Reynolds' Tatter Jack Welch
play hi-fi  The Song of Wandering Aengus

Lesl Harker, Irish flute
Teacher and player of the traditional Irish concert flute, Lesl was brought up on folk music. She grew up in downtown New York listening to records of French folk songs and the Clancy Brothers. Her first instrument was The Tonette at age 6, an instrument similar to an Irish whistle, and by age ten she was learning Irish songs on her own from the singing of Liam Clancy.

After studying balladry with Richard Dyer-Bennet and receiving a BA degree, she became a professional minstrel, living in England for eight years. Lesl founded the "Keltia" band in 1994, performing across NJ at numerous venues including the Barron Arts Center, the Mine Street Coffeehouse, the Folk-project, television, WNTI and WFDU radio, and also working in her first harp-flute duo.

Searching for musical roots, she began what was to become a close thirteen-year association with the late flute icon Mike Rafferty, while also becoming flute accompanist to American-Welsh songstress Jodee James. In 2002, Lesl co-hosted the winds workshop at the New Jersey Folk Festival.

Lesl specializes in teaching the repertoire and fluid old-style music of East County Galway. Drawn from long apprenticeship to "The Mighty Raff", a relationship which lasted up to the end of his life, she published two award-winning Rafferty tune books beginning in 2005. The "Distinguished Achievement in the Preservation of Irish Music and Culture" award came in 2009 from Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, the international Irish music association. In 2011, a Union County grant award led to "Tunes and Tales of Old East Galway", a standing-room-only event on the history of the Rafferty musical heritage.

Lesl appeared at Philadelphia Flute Tunes in 2010 with original Chieftains flutist Michael Tubridy and Msgr Fr. Charlie Coen. She appeared at the New Jersey Folk Festival again in 2012. More recently, in October 2013 she presented the Mike Rafferty tribute at the Hurdy Gurdy Folk club in Fairlawn, NJ.

Flute and whistle tutoring is available from her home studio, and Lesl plays on the first Sunday of most months at the Irish session in Molly Maguire's pub and restaurant in Clark, NJ.

More information on the tune books can be found at the Rafferty books website, and visitors are welcome to contact Lesl at her flute website, iflute.weebly/com

Your influences?
Mike Rafferty (flute).
Equipment used:
Lesl plays a Patrick Olwell flute and whistles by John Sindt and Michael Copeland.
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