Ali Dineen
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Ali Dineen

Brooklyn, New York, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Brooklyn, New York, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Solo Folk Acoustic


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Light Comes In (2016)
Tides (2014)



Ali Dineen is a singer, multi-instrumentalist and visual artist based in Brooklyn, NY who has traveled throughout the United States, collecting and writing songs that speak to those experiences, from a bike trip across the country to a sailing trip down the Mississippi River. She creates as meditation and healing, for herself and her audience, and seeks to continue the legacy of social consciousness and activism in folk music. Her work often uses narrative and visual elements such as shadow puppetry, and comes from an intimate and vulnerable place. In commentary between songs and in the content of the songs themselves, Ali connects the personal to the political and universal, giving listeners emotive access to other peoples' stories and to their own experiences. She considers music a tool for healing, creating community, and resisting the forces that divide and oppress us by raising consciousness and questions about systemic oppression and our roles in it as individuals.

Ali was born and raised in Queens, NY by two parents who were always musically inclined, through their own practice of instruments and the local church choir, where Ali was first exposed to polyphony and vocal harmony. She began playing piano at age 6 and continued to take lessons until age 16, when she began to teach herself guitar and write songs. Over the past several years she has returned to piano and also begun playing accordion and percussion, especially the washboard, in different 1920s jazz ensembles and protest brass bands. She studied visual art at Bard College, graduated in 2012, and worked as a carpenter for a year in California, where she also befriended soul musician Johnny Talbot, who taught her more about how to sing soul and sing with soul. She then made her way to Vermont, where she became involved with Bread and Puppet Theater, and has been touring and working in the company intermittently ever since. She moved back to New York City after her first summer in Vermont, and since then has played and performed with various groups including The Live Cultures and more recently, a non-male jazz band called The Crimson Ragdolls. Her main focus and most important project has been her original music, which she has performed more and more at folk music venues around NYC, especially Jalopy Theater and The Owl Music Parlor, and of which she just recently released an album in December 2016. She has continued to study different modes of music with different mentors, including Eva Salina and Francois Clemmons, always seeking to integrate music with social justice and activism.

She currently performs solo and also with different collaborators, and can be booked as a solo act, a duet with a cellist, or with a larger band of instruments and vocalists.

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