Gerry Dignan

  • Songleader

A life-long educator, singer/songwriter, and Leader of Community Song & Dance, Gerry Dignan has led musical workshops at seminars, conferences and retreats across the US and abroad, including the United Nations, Jean Houston Social Artistry Seminars, Peggy Rubin Evolutionary Journey Seminars, and Music for People’s Art of Improvisation Seminars. Gerry is featured as “Uncle Gerry” on the multi-award-winning recordings for the internationally recognized Music Together family music program, and for the last ten years, Gerry and his wife, Denise, have traveled internationally leading family singalongs and various kinds of community gatherings for Peace and Celebration.

For most of his thirty-five years in education, Gerry used rhythm, rhymes, and raps to teach the Spanish language. He has also taught English as a Second Language classes in the Chicago area to both children and adults. For seven years, Gerry performed with the world-renowned Chicago Symphony Chorus at Chicago’s Orchestra Hall, New York’s Carnegie Hall, and Berlin’s Concerthalle. An active performer and featured soloist in Chicago-area urban gospel music (Holy Family Gospel Choir) since the 80s,  Gerry is also an avid aficionado of traditional Irish songs, performing in Irish gathering places since 1980, as well as hosting his annual “Irish Night” of traditional songs and stories passed down through his family. While singing, he accompanies himself on guitar, piano, djembe drum, Irish tin whistle, shruti box, and a wide array of percussion instruments.  Gerry holds a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish Education from the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) and a Master’s degree in Pastoral Studies from Loyola University (Chicago).

Gerry and Denise have hosted a community “Circle of Song” for many years in the Chicago area, and continue to do so (via Zoom) in recent times. For many years, Gerry has helped families to mark the milestones of their lives by anointing these moments with song — from baptisms, to weddings and anniversaries, retirements, and farewells. Gerry loves singing world music, black gospel, American folk, soft rock, Spanish folk, and improvisation. He and Denise have produced two CDs: Harvest of Life and Heart’s Desire. In his musical life journey, he has had the great honor of working with such great musical forces as David Darling, Nick Page Ysaye Barnwell, Ken Guilmartin, Sam Parker, and many others.

Visit Gerry’s YouTube channel