Ali Bey was born on August 1, 1970 in Detroit, Michigan. He began playing bass guitar at age eleven. Ali’s musical development was strongly influenced by both parents. Ali’s father introduced him to jazz, blues, and R&B and his mother is a Gospel singer who encouraged him to study gospel.
Herbert Nicholson, a music teacher at Drew Middle School in Detroit, recognized the talent in Ali and directed him towards jazz. He grew up listening to all types of music and developed a special love for traditional jazz and jazz fusion.
Ali’s professional career began during high school with composer and arranger Harold McKinney. Ali played alongside Harold McKinney around the Detroit Metropolitan area for 2 years. After high school, Ali became friends with Marcus Blegrave, a well-known jazz trumpeter, and the two played jointly for two years. In 1989, Ali was introduced to Donald Walden, a jazz master and much-admired saxophonist who at the time was the jazz instructor for the City of Detroit Summer Youth program.
The Ali Bey Quartet was formed in 2009; featuring Timothy Stroud (drums), Larry Andrews (lead guitarist), Raphael Statin (saxophonist) and Ali Bey (bass guitarist).