In 2005 I set up my first tribute-band dedicated to the music of my idol, the great Ray Charles, and at the same time I created the root of a choir called initially World Spirit Choir.

The desire of making the most of the experience developed in years of touring with gospel music bands, besides the need to go beyond the standard way of choir singing, following the afro American tradition, without being able to add anything to the originals and go further on, gave me the idea of “a modern” choir, opened to other languages like the jazz, popular and ethnic music.

The choir was based at a refugees center in Rome called Baobab, where along with GiòBosco, who became the Co-director of the choir, we worked on some educational projects of the Municipality of Rome for immigrants. In 2010, was made a record in 14 languages in which the gospel was melted with world music, and we called it “a Christmas card of peace”.

In the same year and with the same instrumental band accompanying the choir, “Mario Donatone Soul Circus”, I recorded my first record as solo artist, “Blues for Joy”. It is perhaps my most loved records, with the best band I have never had, with Henry Cook at saxophone, Rodolfo Maltese on guitar, a genius member of Banco del MutuoSoccorso, an incredible person for artistic and personal thickness, that gave us a gift of humanity in the simple and lose interested way like great musicians have.

I’d like to mention an unforgettable weekend in a small town in Umbria, with my friend FabrizioTozzi, great cook and master of ceremonies, and his partner, the beloved Emilia who unfortunately is not more among us, in which we had a full immersion into the repertoire of the record and had a beautiful final concert.

Besides me at vocals there was GiòBosco, a deep and genuine singer, then my inseparable partner in all my musical experiences from there on and the spicy and eclectic Luna Whibbe from Rio de Janeiro. To the rhythm section the creative GianlucaFerrante on bass and the hot and encyclopaedicRoberto Ferrante on drums, also employed in the choir.

Roberto Ferrante and I met together and evening playing whi Crystal White because he was called to backup the regular drummer, and the fates gave us the chance to jam with Bon Jovi, that was onsite.

We introduced the record to the Auditorium in Rome in 2014 with Mario Donatone&GiòBosco Band, and that was he last time that we played live with the beloved Rodolfo Maltese.

That band was an example of vocal-instrumental band, with whose I would have continued to make experiments, until today.