Originally from Philadelphia, Ilene moved to Providence, RI to study at the Rhode Island School of Design then landed in Chicago for two years, where her performing really began to take shape. Moving to New York in 1980, she was quickly noticed on the folk circuit (she played regularly at the famed Folk City and has also appeared many times at the Bottom Line). As a songwriter, Ilene has been covered on record by Anne Hills and Diedre McCalla, and many others have covered her songs during live performances.
In 1992 her debut CD, "Outside and Curious" (Gadfly 111591) earned her two New York Music Awards nominations. She has also been nominated for a BMI Songwriter's Award.