Dana Ali Band
About Dana Ali Band
Dana Ali is an American Neo Soul artist, singer songwriter from Atlanta, GA USA. She has crossed the waters to the United Kingdom with her bass player Dave Hewitt (Babe Ruth fame). Together they have cowritten songs which have been recorded, in Nashville and in the U.K. Ali and Hewitt formed the Neo-Soul band, the Dana Ali band, taking elements of Soul, Jazz, Blues and R&B with Latin and Funk Rhythms to create a fresh and distinctive sound. The Dana Ali band have been touring the U.K. extensively and proud to present their awaited EP Album, FAITH.
Neo soul singer Dana Ali talks gospel heritage, Atlanta and finding success Talented Dana moved from Georgia, USA, to carve out a career in the UK 196 SHARES BYCHLOE GLOVER 12:07, 6 OCT 2016UPDATED12:16, 6 OCT 2016 Dana Ali of the Dana Ali Band 196 SHARES Get Daily updates directly to your inbox + Subscribe She made her name in Atlanta in a gospel choir. But Dana Ali may be more well known across the pond since she formed a neo-soul band with formed Ckreed and Babe Ruth star Dave Hewitt. It is rare not to see a poster advertising their Dana Ali Band, who are now surely one of the most prolific performing acts from Kirklees. “It’s my career so we do as much as we can,” said Dana, who swapped her southern US city home for Honley in 2013 with bassist Dave, who is also her husband. “We have been gigging every week. We’ve recently done Manchester Jazz Festival and have been fortunate to replay some gigs. Matt and Phreds is a staple for us, as is Darlington’s Rhythm and Blues Festival. “The response is getting better since we formed – playing regularly definitely helps. Dana Ali and Dave Hewitt of the Dana Ali Band “We don’t actually now have time to fit in all the booking requests we get, even though we’d love to do them all. “I just want to get to the next level – having a global outreach. I want to get our music out to the world. “I think singing is what I’m meant to do.” Dana and Dave are joined in the band by a stellar line up of guitarist Martin Chung of Nu-Popes fame, ex Shri and Jah Wobble drummer Marc Leyton-Bennett and keyboardist John Sunter Despite their whirlwind gigging schedule, they have just finished recording what they hope will be their first release. “We’ve done five tracks including Winding Me Up, which is now on YouTube. READ MORE: READ MORE Marsden Jazz Festival 2016: What's on at the event “It’s so fun to write. Dave and I collaborate and then present the songs to the band “We’re still busy with gigging at the moment but I intend turning it into an EP to be an autumn project.” Dana and Dave met when Dave, who is from Dewsbury but moved to the USA, set out in search of raw gospel singing talent. “I was involved with a gospel church choir”, said Dana. “It taught me to sing from by soul and to harmonise with others. “Dave and I started out as friends and did some recording with Alan Shacklock from Babe Ruth. Martin Chung, Dana Ali and Dave Hewitt of the Dana Ali Band “We thought life would be better for a family over here so we moved.” That the music scene is different in Atlanta and Honley should come as no surprise. “You can’t compare the two places,” said Dana. “Atlanta is well known for protecting and funding talent and has such a huge gospel history. “Of course, it was hard to start again in Honley because no one knew who I was so I’ve had to prove myself. “But it meant that I had to prove myself which has been a really great thing.” Dana and Dave juggle band commitments with bringing up their young family. “We have a four and a six-year-old. READ MORE: READ MORE Jazz meets metal: Say hello to Yugen “But we’ve got a team of baby sitters who have been a brilliant support to us. “The girls love to sing and play and I think they’ll end up following us into music, at least I hope so!” The sky is the limit for Dana. “Getting to tour to most places would be great. “I’d like to do London, USA and Canada. “And I’d love to go back and perform in Atlanta. Dana Ali of the Dana Ali Band “There are people who are looking forward to us coming back and sharing what we have been doing over here with them. “What I sing about really has a meaning I have a different vision of life. “I get such a high from music and just want people to come out and share the love.” Dana Ali Band’s next local concert will be on October 14 at the Picturedrome in Holmfirth.
Another Saturday night in Manchester. It’s throwing it down. No change there then. Where should we spend our hard earned pennies? A movie, a bar, or a restaurant? Then a light bulb went on over our heads. We had enjoyed the highly acclaimed Manchester Jazz Festival so we headed down to Tib Street to our favourite live music venue - Matt & Phreds. "It's friendly and about as cool as it gets without being pretentious" This long established live music venue is one of the best, if not the best, authentic jazz clubs I have been to and worlds apart from any of the bars found in the Northern Quarter. It’s been around for over 20 years and offers live music gigs six nights a week. It’s best known for showcasing the best in local and international jazz. Jazz greats such as Kit Downes, Marius Neset, Manu Delago, Jamie Cullum and Adele have all graced the small stage there. It's friendly and about as cool as it gets without being pretentious. After being greeted warmly and shown to our table near the stage by George our waiter-cum barman, the band trooped on to set up their equipment and the piped background music played a mixture or soul, jazz, funk and reggae To eat we chose the chorizo in a tempranillo wine and tomato sauce which was a snip at £4.50 and couldn't have been bettered at any tapas bar in the city. Having been told that pizzas are the speciality of the house, I ordered a Greek pizza whilst my companion had one of the house specials-pulled pork and pineapple. Manchester has many fine Italian pizza eateries but at a price of £7.50 and £9.50 respectively, the pizzas couldn't be faulted for taste and value for money. Not gourmet but the place is a jazz bar that happens to serve food, not a restaurant with a side of jazz. The headline act, The Dana Ali Band, is a neo-soul band who cite as their influences India Arie, Lauren Hill, Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder. Suffice to say that by the end of the second set the place was rocking with 200 late night revellers soaking up the atmosphere with Dana Ali effortlessly banging out classics such as I Can’t Stand The Rain and Superstition with her sweet soulful voice. In a superb rendition of the Al Green classic Let’s Stay Together, she stretched every velvet vocal cord she could muster to maximum effect. As Louis Armstrong once said, “If you gotta ask, you'll never know”. Well, everyone in the club tonight knew. Looking around as the clock struck midnight and the band played on, you could tell everyone had that same feeling. They didn't want the evening to end. It was a fantastic night. If you haven’t been there to sample the atmosphere, music and food, you should. You won’t be disappoint