Cettina Donato is the only woman, in Italy, that conducts classical symphony orchestras performing a jazz repertoire while writing her own arrangements as well.
Additionally, Cettina is the only Italian woman, at the moment, who founded a jazz orchestra that plays original compositions composed by her. This jazz orchestra is called “Cettina Donato Orchestra” and it is based in Boston (MA).
Cettina has been performing as conductor and pianist in the US, Canada, Japan and Europe, playing in some of the most renowned venues including the Blue Note Jazz Club in NYC, Petruzzelli Theater (Italy) and Taormina Greek Theater (Italy). She has served as the International President of "Women in Jazz of South Florida" (Fort Lauderdale, FL) and has also worked as piano accompanist for the highly regarded Boston Ballet. Additionally, Cettina performed as pianist for several musical organizations and festivals in Boston (Regattabar), Cambridge, New York City (Blue Note), Austin (South By Southwest Festival), Brooklyn, Los Angeles, Canada (The Jazz Bistro, Toronto) and Europe including the Stockholm Jazz Festival (Stockholm), the Spring Time Festival (Prague), Berklee Summer Clinics at Umbria Jazz (Italy, from 2010 to 2013). Cettina was honored to receive the prestigious Carla Bley Award for "Best Jazz Composer of Berklee College of Music".
Having been selected by Berklee College of Music as "Best Jazz Revelation Composer and Performer" while student at Berklee, Cettina's recordings and “live” performances have been reviewed by some of the world's top jazz publications, including JazzIt, Musica Jazz, A Proposito di Jazz, Sound Contest (Italy), Jazz Times, The Boston Globe (USA), Metronome, Keep Swinging, Jazz Wise (UK).
Cettina has been performing as arranger, composer and conductor for several symphony and jazz orchestras including the Bari Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, The New Talents Jazz Orchestra, the Messina Symphony Orchestra, the Late Night Jazz Orchestra, the Lucca Jazz Orchestra and many others. She wrote hundreds of arrangements in a wide range of music (jazz, classical, pop). Cettina's arrangements have been played, and still are, by jazz and classical orchestras featuring some of the finest jazz players such Stefano Di Battista and Fabrizio Bosso just to mention a couple. In the United States of America Cettina founded her own Orchestra called Cettina Donato Orchestra, based in Boston and featuring musicians from all over the world.
At the same time, Cettina published as a band leader and piano performer 5 CDs: Piano 4 Hands (jazz piano 4 hands, 1 piano, AlfaMusic, ITA, 2019), Persistency-The New York Project- feat. jazz drummer Eliot Zigmund (jazz quartet, 2017, Alfa Music, USA-ITA), Third (jazz quartet, 2015, ITA), Cettina Donato Orchestra Crescendo (jazz Big Band and string quartet, 2011, Jazzy Records, USA-ITA), Pristine (jazz sextet, 2008, Wide Sound label, ITA). Two of Cettina's albums have been awarded the highest Italian jazz award called JazzIt as best jazz albums of the year (Crescendo and Third). Some of Cettina's compositions have been selected as best compositions in jazz contests. Cettina was awarded the JazzIt Award 2016 and 2018 as one of the best Italian Arrangers.
Cettina graduated in Classical Piano at “F. Cilea” Conservatory of Music in Reggio Calabria, Italy and a few years later in Jazz Piano at “A. Corelli” Conservatory of Music in Messina, Italy.Additionally, Cettina graduated in Social Psychology from the University of Messina. Later on, She earned two Masters degrees in Special Didactic and a few years later was awarded a PhD in Musical Didactic. Then, Cettina graduated from Berklee College in 2011 majoring in Jazz Composition.
At the moment Cettina is teaching Jazz Piano courses at “N. Piccinni" Conservatory of Music in Bari (Puglia, Italy) and Jazz Composition Courses at "A. Corelli" Conservatory of Music on Messina (Sicily, Italy).