Pipes, Whistles, Guitar
Ali, from Methven in Perthshire, was inspired at the age of seven to take up the
bagpipes and rose through the ranks of the world famous Vale of Atholl Pipe Band.
It was there that he was taught, alongside Ross Ainslie, by the late, great Gordon
Duncan. He has since gone on to become a successful multi-instrumentalist on the
Scottish folk music scene. His arsenal includes Bagpipes, Whistle and Guitar as well
as several other instruments.
Ali has performed and worked alongside some of the most respected musicians and bands on the scene such as Capercaillie,
Dougie Maclean, Carlos Nunez, Deaf Shepherd, Clueless, Steve Forman, Salsa
Celtica, and Shooglenifty to name but a few. During his apprentice years as a
professional musician he was fortunate enough to become a member of the multi
award winning bands Brolum and Back of the Moon, touring with them for several
years across Europe and North America. Back of the Moon went on to win ‘Scottish
Folk Band of the Year’ at the Scottish Traditional Music Awards in 2005, with their
album nominated for ‘Album of the Year’.
Ali has also found himself producing some of the most well received Scottish Folk
albums in recent years. In 2007 he co-produced Maeve Mackinnon's award-winning
album, ‘Don't Sing Love Songs’ which was performed in the ‘Classic Albums’ series
at Glasgow’s international folk, roots and world music festival, Celtic Connections
in 2008. In 2015 he was nominated for ‘Instrumentalist of the Year’ at the Scots
Trad Music Awards, the same year in which Treacherous Orchestra’s album ‘Grind’,
co-produced by Ali, won ‘Album of the Year’.
His recent project, ‘Symbiosis’ which he shares with lifelong friend, fellow piper
Ross Ainslie has released two albums to critical acclaim. Ross and Ali were named
best duo in the prestigious BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in 2017 and were nominated
again in 2018.
Ali currently performs around the world with Old Blind Dogs, Ross Ainslie and Ali
Hutton’s Symbiosis, Treacherous Orchestra, Malin Lewis, Jocelyn Petit and Ellen
Gira, From The Ground and Tryst.