Biography

Biography

Donna spent most of her years as a singer songwriter in Chicago, soaking up the influences of Steve Goodman and John Prine, but as a teenager growing up in Park Forest, IL, she listened for hours on end to Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris and Joni Mitchell.  She developed a love for writing songs while harmonizing with her brother and sister to the songs of Simon & Garfunkel, James Taylor, Cat Stevens, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Dan Fogelberg and Harry Chapin.

Starting out at open stage night at Earl’s Pub (owned by Earl Pionke of The Earl of Old Town) on Lincoln Avenue in Chicago, she eventually branched out to perform at the Uncommon Ground Coffeehouse, Two Way Street Coffeehouse, Charlie’s Coffeehouse, The Fox Valley Folk Festival, The Heartland Café, Lucille’s, Bill’s Blues and Songwriters Night at The Bluebird Café in Nashville. She has harmonized on stage with Tom Dundee, Mark Dvorak, Chris Farrell and frequently lends harmonies to the songs Buddy Mondlock, along with Mike Lindauer.  Donna has been the opening act for several years for Buddy & Mike Lindauer for a yearly show in her hometown of Park Forest.

For a brief time, Donna played guitar and sang backup for The Art Thieves, a Chicago-based rock group led by John Kimsey.  Her songs were a perfect fit for Green Light Performing Company, a children’s educational theater and dance group led by Domenick Danza.  Green Light commissioned her to write several songs for their live performances, including “Invisible Light,” which describes the properties of light and supernovas.  The song was performed by Green Light at the Adler Planetarium (no relation).  Donna was also the voice of a popular radio spot in 1997 for the Little Lotto, singing the jingle “Metal Detector”.  Her singing can be quietly heard in the background of the movie soundtrack for “The Vision,” a comedy horror film by Robert Alaniz, singing the song “Demon of Doubt” written by John Ludwig.  One of her songs also appears in a short film by Eric Neal.  She has also worked with author Paula Kamen as the sound designer on her play “Seven Dates With Seven Writers”.

Donna has received numerous honorable mentions for her songwriting, including  a finalist spot in the 2013 Eco Arts Awards for her song “Bring You Home.”  She has produced four CDs, All The Riches of The World (1997), Alta Vista Sky (2002), Violets and Blues (2007) and Stories To Keep (2012).  Her song “Hide and Seek” appears on the compilation CD, “Live At The Uncommon Ground”. Her latest 2 CDs, both recorded in Nashville, received generous airplay on folk radio.  “Stories To Keep” was listed among the top CDs of 2012 for folk radio and landed in the top favorites for WDCB’s “The Folk Show”, WVPE’s “The Back Porch” and WAMU’s “Americana Breakdown”. She has been a host of Rich Warren’s “Sweet Folk Chicago” on WFMT and several of her songs have appeared on his pick list for “The Midnight Special”.

Donna is a writer member of ASCAP and an Associate Member of the Recording Academy.