Johnne Sambataro & Jason Sambataro
Lead Guitar/Vocals for the Dave Mason Band
"We used the Grip 3" Gooseneck pickup on my guitar and the one without the gooseneck (the "Original") on the Cajon Drum, plugged direct into a small Behringer mixer to (1) QSC K12 speaker. Ran it flat and man, it sounds great! Couldn’t be any easier. On the video, we used a Martin Acoustic Guitar but we also tried it on a Gretsch Resonator and a Gibson Banjolin. Again, this acoustic guitar pickup sounded great with every instrument!"
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John Sambataro was born on August 27, 1953 in South Florida. Growing up in a musical family made his career choice very easy. His dad Louis, who was also a musician and band director, inspired Johnne to start playing guitar at the age of 7. In middle school, Johnne was already playing with local South Florida bands and, by the age of 16, his professional career had started. Although widely known for his vocals, guitar playing and songwriting talent, his other instruments include piano and keyboards, bass, mandolin, midi-sequencing, as well as being a jingle writer, record producer and recording engineer.
After attending schools in South Florida, Johnne continued his education, studying Music Theory and guitar at Miami Dade Community College. In 1975, he began working as a session vocalist and musician at Criteria Recording Studios in Miami. At Criteria, Johnne was able to meet and work with record producers to create parts for their musical artists. Some of the artists that he was fortunate to perform and record with include, Andy Gibb, Barry Gibb, Stephen Stills, Eric Clapton, Peter Frampton, Terri DeSario, Meat Loaf, John Parr, David Coverdale, Jimmy Page, Zakk Wylde and many others. Additionally, his experience at Criteria provided him with the opportunity to tour worldwide with Dave Mason, McGuinn, Clark and Hillman, Firefall and Dion.
Johnne’s touring experience started in 1978. After singing background vocals on Dave Mason’s “Mariposa de Oro” album, he was asked to join Dave for his Summer Tour. From 1979 through 1980, he was the lead guitarist and vocalist for McGuinn, Clark and Hillman. From 1982 through 1989, Johnne became the lead singer, guitarist and songwriter for the rock group, Firefall. During his time with Firefall, the two albums “Break Of Dawn” and “Mirror Of The World” were recorded. From 1989 through 1996, Johnne became the lead guitarist, vocalist and musical director for Dion. In 2001, while Dave Mason was touring in Florida, he was asked to sit in for the DVD, “Live At Sunrise”, recorded at Sunrise Musical Theater. Currently, as Dave Mason’s guitarist and vocalist, he is now in his ninth year, touring with The Dave Mason Band and loves every minute of it! Johnne admits that one of best things about playing with Dave Mason on stage and in the studio is that, ever since he was a teenager, he has been a fan of Dave’s legendary music and songwriting.
Johnne has also appeared and performed on many different television shows, including Midnight Special, The Old Grey Whistle Test, Unicef Benefit, Solid Gold, Nashville Now, Dick Clark’s New Year's Rockin’ Eve, Into The Night w/ Rick Dees, CNN, MTV & VH-1, as well as the guitarist, mandolin player and vocalist for the theme song of the T.V. sitcom “Heartland.”
Johnne still lives in South Florida with his wife, Cathe. He has two sons, Jason and Jarrad, who are also musicians.