Mario Donatone plays Ray Charles


It is an ambitious project involving an historical blues and soul singer pianist like Mario Donatone, who reached his full maturity after a many years as sideman for afro american artists in Italy and Europe with the repertoire and the style of a giant of ‘900 like Ray Charles, whose influence on all music of last the 60 years is total, even if his music didn’t receive very important revival.

Mario Donatone is the leader of an american style band made of instruments and voices that creates rhythm and atmospheres from the more authentic soul music,using rhythm guitar, piano, bass and drums along with two female voices, and the horn section with two trumpets and three saxophones.

The idea is to recover the deeper sound of the first Ray Charles, before he decided to use the big band as definitive backing of his voice.

It is not a simple and philological analysis but of a modern and choir based interpretation, in which the dialogue and the interaction among the many voices of the band, even as soloists,gives to a touch of originality to this homegrown version of the “supersound” of the american of “genius” from Albany. Only in this way it can be defined the combination where the gospel music of choirs is blended with the soul jazz of horns and the blues of the guitar,  giving the beat for piano and a voice that were a synthesis of all these styles.

Ray Charles broke down lot of barriers in music, keeping a “classical” flavourin his music and there is still much more to discover and listen. The project is born for giving to new strength to the most important aspects of his music, through an accurate selection of repertoire, able to let the listener travelling with mind and body.


  • Mario Donatone piano & voice
  • Giò Bosco voice
  • Isabella del Principe voice
  • Claudio Cesar Corvini trumpet
  • Andrea Polinelli high sax
  • Alessandro Tomei sax tenor
  • Henrt Cook sax baritone & transverse flute
  • Angelo Cascarano guitra & voice
  • Danilo Bigioni bass
  • Roberto Ferrante drum & voice