Ivana Santilli

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Ivana Santilli
Ivana Montreal Jazz Fest.jpg
Background information
BornAugust 4, 1975
OriginToronto, Ontario, Canada
InstrumentsKeyboards, Trumpet
Years active1991-present
LabelsBrown Recordings Inc
Associated actsBass Is Base, King Britt, Sweetback

Ivana Daniela Santilli (born in Toronto, Ontario) is a Canadian R&B singer and multi-instrumentalist, who has recorded as a solo artist and as a member of the 1990s R&B/pop combo Bass is Base.

Early life and career[edit]

Santilli was born to an Italian father and a French-Canadian mother. Santilli's earliest performances began at age 9 playing trumpet for her father’s Italian wedding band in Toronto. Ivana is also fluent in both Italian and French.


During her schooling, she hooked up with her first band, Bass is Base, a band which gained national attention. The trio’s funk and soul fusion garnered them a number of Juno, CMVA, and MMVA awards, and they released two albums with A&M/Polygram & Island Records in the U.S.

Bass is Base broke up, and Ivana asked to be released from her contract with A&M records. She wrote and recorded 10 new songs as a solo artist within a month of the breakup. She then began working as a session musician (keyboards, Back up vocals) with various bands: Soul Attorneys, Women ah Run Tings, Punjabi by Nature, Holly McNarland.

Santilli began a solo career in 1999. She performed in Toronto at The Bamboo Club in March,[1] and released her album Brown in April.[2] That year she performed in Hamilton as part of Showcase '99.[3]

The album Brown sold very well, outselling some major label releases.[citation needed] The album included soul and bossa nova, as well as drum 'n bass ("Sun + Moon = Tomorrow"), and featured Santilli's vocals, keys, and trumpet. The album led to a Juno nomination in 2000 as best new solo artist,[4] and also featured '"If Ever I Fall", a duet with singer Glenn Lewis during his early career.

Santilli toured across North America, including a performance at the 1999 Stardust Picnic festival at Historic Fort York, Toronto.[5] She played live with James Brown, Tito Puente, Barenaked Ladies, De La Soul, Jamiroquai, Brand New Heavies, The Fugees, Jann Arden, Maceo Parker, Sylk130, Bahamadia, Pharcyde, and The Roots. One of her three performances during the Montreal Jazz Festival was the subject of a one-hour Bravo! television special.[6] Peer publishing signed her as a writer in the fall of 2000.

In August 2004, she released her second album, Corduroy Boogie, which included the singles, "Deserve", "Superstar" and "What Matters". The video version of "What Matters" appears on a various artists compilation entitled Required Listening. This album featured collaborations with James Poyser, King Britt, Dwele, Dego (4Hero), Kaidi Tatham (Bugz In The Attic), soul legend Omar, Stuart Matthewman (Sade, Maxwell, Sweetback). She then became heavily involved as a keyboardist in remix collaborations for Jazzanova, King Britt, Scuba, Vikter Duplaix, Steven Spacek, All Saints, Appleton: "Don't Worry", Rosey (Def Jam), Roy Ayers, Larry Gold. After touring Japan (blue note), and Europe, in New York, she appeared as an instrumentalist on various soundtrack recordings for film. Her third album TO.NY was released in June, 2008 with the singles "Whateva U Want" and "Been Thru This" which reached #91 on the Canadian Hot 100.

Santilli signed to CP Records and released her fourth studio album, Santilli in June, 2010. The first single is "Your Girl Tonight" and the second single is "Letting Go". Six of the songs on Santilli are new recordings, while the remainder were from TO.NY.

Ivana's 5th studio album was prereleased on February 13, 2015 and released digitally worldwide on March 10, 2015.



  • April 1999: Brown (Brown Recordings)
  • August 2004: Corduroy Boogie (Brown Recordings)
  • June 2008: TO.NY (Brown Recordings) review
  • June 2010: Santilli (CP Records)
  • March 2015: Late Night Light (Brown Recordings)


Year Single CAN Album
1999 "Too Deep" - Brown
"Sun + Moon = Tomorrow" -
"If I Ever Fall (Pt. 1)" (feat. Glenn Lewis) -
2000 "Lonely Lullaby" -
2004 "Deserve" - Corduroy Boogie
"Superstar" -
2005 "What Matters" -
2008 "Whateva U Want" - TO.NY
"Been Thru This" 91
2009 "Hollywood" -
"Your Girl Tonight" - Santilli
2010 "Letting Go" -
2013 "Lovers Love 2 Rock" - Late Night Light


  1. ^ "Live Reviews: Ivana Santilli, March 6, 1999, The Bamboo Club, Toronto, ON". Chart Attack, by Mike Doherty
  2. ^ Nazareth, Errol (1999-04-16). "Sex in the subtlety: Ivana Santilli brings elegance to the fore". Jam!/Canoe. Retrieved 2009-03-01.
  3. ^ "Live Reviews: Ivana Santilli, Pocket Dwellers, Dream Warriors August 20-22, 1999 Showcase '99, Hamilton". Chart Attack, Shawn Despres, August 22, 1999
  4. ^ Larry LeBlanc (12 February 2000). "Morissette leads Canada's Juno nomination list". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc.: 45–. ISSN 0006-2510.
  5. ^ "Live Reviews: The Stardust Picnic". Chart Attack, July 11, 1999, Howard Druckman
  6. ^ Montreal Jazz Festival: "Ivana Santilli" at TV Guide

External links[edit]