Born and raised in Messina (Sicily), Cettina Donato started playing drums at the age of 6. She performed since she was a child. At the age of 8 she met during a concert the Director of the Conservatory of Messina who really wanted her to study music at the Conservatory. Cettina started studying classical piano at the age of 9. Cettina graduated in Classical Piano, Classical Composition, Jazz Piano and in Musical Didactic at Conservatory of Messina (Sicily, Italy). Cettina graduated at Berklee College of Music majoring in Jazz Composition. She also graduated in Social Psychology at the University of Messina (Sicily, Italy). Cettina had the pleasure to study and play with some of the most important musicians of the jazz area as Salvatore Bonafede, Hal Galper, Adam Nussbaum, Billy Harper, Matthew Nicholl, Ron Savage, Dario Deidda, Roberto Gatto, Giovanni Mazzarino, Dado Moroni, Bob Mintzer, Ken Cervenka, Marcello Pellitteri, Ron Reid, Garrison Fewell and many others. As a composer and performer Cettina published her first CD called Pristine (Wide Sound Label). This album have had great reviews by some of the most important Italians and foreign jazz magazines as Jazzit, Musica Jazz, Jazz Magazine, JazzTimes, Keep Swinging, JazzWise, Metronome, A Proposito Di Jazz, Boston Globe, Sound Contest and many others. In 2008 Cettina attended the Berklee College's Clinics at Umbria Jazz festival in Perugia (Italy) where she met the jazz legend Herbie Hancock who has been for her a great inspiration. After having listened to Cettina's music, Herbie strongly recommended Cettina to keep playing and writing the music she composes. After a couple of days, at Berklee Clinics at Umbria Jazz Festival 2008, Cettina gained a scholarship in order to attend the Berklee College of Music of Boston (MA, USA). Cettina graduated at Berklee College in December 2011 majoring in Jazz Composition not after having played and being awarded many times as composer and performer. Cettina played as performer, bandleader and conductor in several venues between Italy and the United States as Berklee College of Music, Berklee Performance Center, Jordan Hall, Dante Alighieri Society of Massachusetts, Kendall Square, Lilypad Jazz Club, Ryles Jazz Club, Outpost 186, Eastern Standard, Boston School of Wine, Boston Common, Spectacle Island (Boston and Cambridge, MA), SomethinJazz Club (New York City, NY), The Gate To The Mediterranean (Los Angeles, CA) just to mention a few. She was awarded by the Jazz Composition Major of Berklee College with the Carla Bley Award as best composer. She is a JRR artist of Berklee College of Music, being part of the CD OCTAVE as composer, performer and bandleader. She has been the piano player of the Berklee Contemporary Symphony Orchestra. She has been the piano accompanist for the prestigious Boston Ballet Company, one of the most important ballet companies in the world. She performed for several jazz festivals in Italy and United States as Umbria Jazz Festival (2010-2011- 2012) working also as jazz piano accompanist for the great singer Donna McElroy's voice classes; Piazza Jazz Festival, Non Solo Jazz Festival, Berklee In The City, Berklee Summer, Note D'Estate Festival, Mantova Music Festival, Vatican Radio, Women In Jazz, European Music Festival. She was finalist for several jazz competitions as Note Di Donna (Piacenza Jazz Fest) and she had the second placement for the Luca Flores Jazz Award as Italian jazz new talent. She arranged several project for American and Italian Writing and Editing Companies. Cettina’s new album called Cettina Donato Orchestra CRESCENDO, recorded in Boston in 2012 was published by an Italian label called Jazzy Record (EGEA distributions) in 2013. A new compilation called Women Composers Vol. III edited by Women In Jazz South Florida was published on January 2013. It’s possible to find in this album a composition by Cettina Donato.
The Album "CRESCENDO" was awarded the JazzIt award as best album for orchestra of the year (2013).