Don Sineti Biography
It is with a heavy heart that we share the news that Don Sineti, our friend and performing partner with THE MORGANS for the past 50 years passed away on January 5, 2023.
Please send your condolences to Don's wife Mary Dansinghani at 54 Ellsworth Drive in Bloomfield, CT 06002. Don Sineti's obituary link at The Hartford Courant

Mystic — Folk singer, lecturer, illustrator and chanteyman Don Sineti, who spent more than a quarter century performing at Mystic Seaport Museum and around the world, died January 6 after a short illness.Sineti, 79, described as a gentle giant with a big voice, loved to act as a mentor to younger chanteymen as they learned the art of the sea chantey, a type of traditional folk song that served to synchronize work like hoisting sails or raising anchors on sailing ships.
“He was very proud to take new chanteymen onto a ship and let them sing chantey music the way it was written,” said Jim Mortimer, a friend of 25 years, and coworker at the Seaport.
“When he was singing at the Seaport, if you were on the bridge in Downtown Mystic, you could hear it,” Sineti's wife, Mary Dansinghani said on Tuesday.

Mortimer described Sineti as a gregarious, talented and empathetic man who was always concerned for others. “He was just a generally good guy, and he really liked teaching, so it's a tragedy to all of us that we lost him so quickly,” Mortimer said. Though best known locally for his role at the Seaport, Sineti, a Bloomfield native, was a man of many talents and passions, known internationally for his music and his work promoting conservation of whales.

As an illustrator a talent and passion he found as a child, Sineti funneled his interest in whales and dolphins into creating highly accurate depictions of many types of marine mammals which appeared in Connecticut's State Register, Alaska Magazine, The Whale Watcher's Guide, and various museums and galleries, including a showing at the United Nations and 30 pieces of his work which are part of the permanent collection at Hale Kohola Museum in Maui.

He used his broad talents and knowledge to educate, conducting lectures and workshops to promote the preservation of whales through the Connecticut Cetacean Society, which he co-founded in 1974, today known as Cetacean Society International. “As a result of his activism in trying to save the various sea mammals, he is known throughout the pacific northwest and Hawaii,” said Marc Bernier, who worked alongside Sineti for the entirety of their 27 year careers at the Seaport and knew him for about 40 years. “It was amazing how accepting and accommodating he was, and he was that way to the very end,” Bernier said, adding that his friend was universally loved and celebrated, in part due to his talents, but also his compassion. Sineti served in the army during the Vietnam War, and joined though, as the only son of a widow, he could have avoided the draft. “He said that he would not have someone else go in his place because even if he wouldn't know it, he would always wonder if that person was killed,” said Dansinghani, noting that the war was a turning point in Sineti's life.

“When he came back from Vietnam, he decided that since he had not been killed, he owed some obligation to make his life into something that would benefit other people and the environment,” she said.
Sineti spent most of his life as a bachelor, but met and fell in love with Dansinghani approximately five years ago. They married in the summer of 2020, during the height of the pandemic, and shared a profound depth of love that was evident to all around them.

No service arrangements have been made, but donations can be made in his memory to the  Cetacean Society International.


Don Sineti , folksinger, songwriter, part-time sea chanteyman at historic Mystic Seaport Museum (with one of the most powerful voices on the Eastern Seaboard!), and long-neck, 5-string banjo picker, is also an award-winning marine mammal illustrator with a number of prestigious exhibitions and books to his credit. For over twenty years, he has combined his exhaustive knowledge of cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises) with his boundless energy, to deliver rousing renditions of songs from the days of wooden ships and iron men, alongside his own compositions dedicated to saving whales and the degraded marine environment. With a booming voice and a hearty laugh, he shares his music, his art, and his unrestrained love for the whale with audiences of all ages.


With folk songs ranging from boisterous sea shanties to haunting whaling
ballads and Appalachian instrumentals, Don draws his audience into his music
with rollicking chorus songs, accompanying his singing with 5-string banjo
(played mostly in the old-time frailing style), concertina, and bones. Most
of his music is rooted in the British Isles, Canada, and the United States.


Don can speak with exhaustive knowledge about whales and dolphins,
illustrating his talks with baleen, scrimshaw, and his own sensitive
illustrations. He can present a program which deals in a general way with
the Order Cetacea, or he can devote himself to an in-depth lecture on a
single species, giving suggestions for positive action(s) to save these
majestic giants of the deep. His music is an integral part of the program.


Internationally acclaimed for his accurate portrayals of marine mammals, Don
has had showings of his work at the United Nations, Indiana University, and
at a number of museums and galleries. His illustration of Connecticut’s
State Animal, the Sperm Whale (physeter macrocephalus) has been used in
Connecticut’s State Register And Manual (a.k.a. “The Blue Book”). Don was
the major illustrator for Alaska Whales And Whaling, and he has had his work
published in Alaska magazine, and on the World Of Whales calendar, and The
Whale Watchers Guide. His prints are available for purchase, as are
note-cards and other items. Custom commissioned works are also possible.


Don combines his talents as folksinger/shantyman, instrumentalist, artist and
lecturer to present educational enrichment programs as either classroom
workshops or school assemblies. Extended residencies are also possible.
Students of all ages, and almost any artistic aptitude can learn to draw
whales and other marine mammals, recognizable by their species

Don served as a consultant for the 20th Century Fox movie "Master And Commander, The Far Side Of The World". They requested his input on the traditional sea songs used in the film. He said it was great fun, and he got a "thanks" on the C.D.