UK guitarist and singer Ali Tod blends modern percussive fingerstyle guitar techniques with classical training and loop-pedal mastery, to create a live acoustic experience that gets hands clapping, hips shaking and feet stomping. Comparisons have been made to the styles of Rodrigo y Gabriela and KT Tunstall, with clear influences on her technique and stage performances.
Growing up in Edinburgh, Scotland, Ali was musical from an early age, playing guitar, violin, piano and singing. She went on to study guitar at Edinburgh Napier University, gaining a Bachelor of Music degree in Classical Music with honours, before going on to gain a Post-Graduate Diploma in Education for Secondary Music from the University of Edinburgh. Whilst carving out her own sound on acoustic guitar that combined her classical training with her wider tastes and influences, Ali has developed her musicianship as part of many separate projects.
She is the founder of the Edinburgh Guitar Night, a series of live concerts in Scotland’s capital city, showcasing some of the best guitarists from around the world. The EGN takes place every second month, at the world-famous Jazz Bar in the heart of Edinburgh.
Currently Ali plays bass guitar for Edinburgh-based funk outfit The Fresh Squeeze, playing in various venues across the city.
In addition to this, Ali plays in acoustic duo Wedge Of Glory, regularly playing in venues in Edinburgh and Glasgow.
She regularly collaborates with other up and coming Scottish acts Nicole Cassandra Smit, forming an acoustic vocal duo, and Neo-Soul band Mother All Mighty, providing backing vocals.
Ali has performed with her idols, GRAMMY award-winning musicians Rodrigo y Gabriela, after the Mexican guitar duo discovered her covers of their songs on social media. She since went on to perform alongside Gabriela at the winter NAMM 2020 event and performed with world-renowned bass player Nathan East, GRAMMY award winning musician Daniel Ho and thrash-metal legend and Testament guitarist Alex Skolnick. Ali has also played alongside Gabriela at several benefit concerts in Mexico.
She has performed alongside GRAMMY award winner Brandi Carlile four times, singing with the Americana star at her female-led music festival Girls Just Wanna Weekend in 2019, 2020 and 2022. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Ali also performed original compositions in several of Carlile's livestreamed concerts. Due to popular demand, Ali was formally invited to play a set at Brandi Carlile's Girls Just Wanna Weekend 4 in Mexico in 2023. She was then invited to perform a song in the 'Ladies Of The 80s' show at the festival, alongside Carlile and other acts such as Sarah Bareilles, Lucius and Yola.
In January 2020, Ali performed as part of the Women of Fingerstyle Guitar event run by Fretmonkey Records, alongside legendary female guitarists such as Kaki King, Vicki Genfan, Muriel Anderson and Christie Lenée.
In October 2021, Ali supported world-renowned fingerstyle guitarist and winner of 'World's Best Acoustic Guitarist 2020' Jon Gomm on the Scottish date of his UK tour.
Ali has performed at the Zihuatanejo International Guitar Festival, Ards International Guitar Festival, Belfast Guitar Festival, London Guitar Night, Manchester Guitar Night, Edinburgh Guitar and Music Festival, Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival, Edinburgh Fringe Festival and Aberdeen Jazz Festival.