Donna Gentile ~ Music is medicine. Donna Gentile performs folk-pop, roots, Americana and Native Spirit-inspired originals and covers. She belongs to the Conscious Music Movement—lyric-driven music to inspire peace, unity and positive social change. Donna believes that music is medicine. It helped her heal from trauma and today, she uses music, personal stories and humor to comfort, inspire and uplift others.
There is a velvet, honey and rustic edge to Gentile’s sound. Audiences are moved by her rich vocals, inspirational stories and authentic delivery. Original lyrics are woven with deep meaning and upbeat melodies that haunt and hook.
Gentile grew up in Barkhamsted, CT with deep connections to nature, which comes through in her songwriting. As a teen, she wrote poetry and says with a laugh, “it kinda scared the boys away!” With parents singing at home—and a dad playing guitar, mandolin and harmonica—music rooted itself in Donna’s young heart, but she didn’t know she could sing or write songs until she was thirty-eight years old. In 2006, after recording a birth song, Gentile’s vocal gift was revealed and Donna Gentile & The Human Element formed with Gentile as lead vocalist playing rhythm guitar. The band performed R&B, swing, Zydeco, rockabilly and roots music and featured seasoned musicians Dan McNamara (vocals, piano, accordion), Steven Fishman (bass), Con Doty (lead guitar), Keith Legere (drums) and guest musicians on lap steel and mandolin.
Gentile went on to perform solo acoustic and as a duet with Rob (the Drummer) Gottfried at venues and events including Infinity Music Hall, Cheney Hall, Blueback Square, Mandell Jewish Community Center (with speaker, Meredith Baxter of Family Ties), Hope Out Loud Peace & Arts Festival, Legends Rock Bar, Northwest Park Nature Center, Lyceum Conference Center, Annual Walk for the Cure (WH) and numerous festivals, restaurants, coffee houses, farmer’s markets, benefits and house concerts.
In 2013, Infinity Music Hall selected Donna as a finalist in their quarterly Open Mic Big Stage competition.
Two of Gentile’s songs have been published to date. This is Me is featured on The Thriver Workbook Companion CD (benefiting programs for victims of abuse) and on Friday Night at LaSalle’s compilation CD (benefiting Canton Community for Concern’s addiction recovery programs). River Song for Kira, inspired by American Indian tradition, was published in Voices Along the River: An Anthology of Nature Poems produced by the Connecticut DEP, Kellogg Environmental Center and Osborne Homestead Museum.
In 2014, Gentile received the American Indian name of “Singing Leaves” and she performed Native Spirit-inspired music at pow wows in New England including: Daniel Nimham (August in Carmel, NY), Golden Hill Paugussett (September in Goshen, CT) and Wolf Den (October in Pomfret, CT) with her former Wapili and Coyote Badger Family Clan.
Gentile can be hired as an opening act or headliner and performs as a solo or duet.
Gentile has twenty original tunes and is meeting with a renowned studio in summer, 2017 to discuss recording a debut album. She’s running a crowd-funding campaign with a system of rewards at donnagentile.com/contribute and is gratefully accepting contributions.