Donna Gentile performs Americana, Folk, World, Roots and Native Spirit-inspired originals and covers and offers a combination of entertainment, connection and meaningful experience for your special event, retreat, party or function. 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. Donna believes music is medicine and that we all come from indigenous peoples. She uses music and stories to empower, comfort, inspire and uplift others as well as to foster connection and invite conversations about the old ways, teaching stories and our ancient, colorful, indigenous roots.
Find Gentile’s debut Music is Medicine CD at donnagentile.com/music.
Gentile is Irish, Lithuanian, German, Italian and Slovakian (that the family knows of). She reminds us that we all come from indigenous peoples with rich traditions, and that we are all connected. Her heart is Native. She grew up in Barkhamsted, CT with deep connections to nature, which comes through in her songwriting. As a teen, Donna wrote poetry and says with a laugh, “it kind of scared the boys away!” With parents singing at home (Mom whistling a happy tune and Dad singing and playing guitar, mandolin and harmonica), music rooted itself in Donna’s young heart.
In 2006, after recording a birth song a cappella, 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 (the legend who inspired the creation of the Muppets’ “Animal” on Sesame Street) 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.
Music for People & Planet
Gentile’s music has been published on compilation CDs to benefit people in recovery from abuse and addiction.
This is Me is featured on The Thriver Workbook Companion CD published by Susan Omilian to benefit victims of abuse, and on Friday Night at LaSalles compilation CD to benefit Canton Community for Concern’s addiction recovery programs.
River Song for Kira, a gentle birthing song inspired by Cherokee tradition, was published in print in the Voices Along the River: An Anthology of Nature Poems produced by the Connecticut DEP, Kellogg Environmental Center and Osborne Homestead Museum to benefit programs that protect the environment and specifically, our rivers.
In 2013, Infinity Music Hall selected Donna as a finalist in their Open Mic Big Stage Competition.
In 2014, Gentile received a native name and was invited to perform at pow wows in New England including: The Annual Daniel Nimham Pow Wow Honoring Veterans (Carmel, NY), Golden Hill Paugussett Pow Wow (Goshen, CT) and Wolf Den Pow Wow (Pomfret, CT).
In 2018, Gentile released her debut CD titled Music is Medicine. Listen, stream and purchase at donnagentile.com/music.
Gentile can be hired as an opening act or headliner and brings a 150 watt StagePas PA that’s great for small to medium/large rooms and outdoor arenas. She loves to work with groups for empowerment, recovery, healing and Earth justice.
Connect at donnagentile.com/contact