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.